labelleizzy: (crafting)
y'all, if you've broken yourself and you still have pain, may I recommend seeing a good chiropractor?

*emphasis on GOOD*

I probably don't, almost certainly don't, see Larry often enough, given the number and range of my life of dislocations, injuries and breaks. (and they're all on the right hand side!)

Like a really thorough massage, when I go and lie on Larry's table, the end result has always been a drastic decrease in pain, drastic increase in flexibility, and an ongoing process of continuing indirect adjustments that my body does for itself after the direct treatment.

tonight I had a nice rich orgasm followed by a lovely nap, and then I was stretching around in bed as I usually do nowadays when I wake up, and two things adjusted themselves in my wrist, and my ACHILLES TENDON that's been tight and giving me grief for months and sometimes, makes me hobble really bad for an hour after I wake up.

y'all, it just went CLICK and I'm gonna test it in the morning but I think it's settled back in where it's supposed to be!

and yesterday my left shoulder just stretched forward and to the side and went CLICK and I have +15 degrees of flexibility going backwards now on both sides. just WOW.

I keep forgetting how many times I've broken this body of mine in various ways. this car wreck of NYE is the first one in memory that I didn't contribute to with some kind of impulsive action. There's a lot less, as in almost none, self blame in this case. I've just been working on healing, and healing minus blaming myself is actually not too bad at all.

but yeah. During this process I worked multiple times with medical doctors, the orthopedic doc, the physical therapist, my massage therapist, the chiropractor, and twice a week with my trainer at the gym.

healing is hard goddamn work and I'm trying like hell to not feel guilty that I have the resources and time necessary to try and heal up properly. If I were still employed in the education profession I would never have allowed myself this time energy and attention to heal as completely as I have while underemployed; that culture is hip-deep in a guilt and martyrdom complex of sacrificing yourself for the kids and I ain't about that anymore. sixteen years is plenty.

I'm healing and I refuse to feel guilty about this.

Note to self: remember the isometric stretches and counter stretches to encourage the tight places to relax.
labelleizzy: (hands)
Okay y'all, I was going through my posts to do with the car wreck of 12/31/16 where my wrist was broken and realized I haven't talked about it in quite some time.

I'm largely good. Still wouldn't call it 100%, and I've definitely still got some collateral damage that requires work and balancing, (muscle adhesions and stiffness and such stuff that developed further up the arm and shoulder from the initial injury and then from the immobilization) but I'm definitely functional. Call this halfway through month 8.

I can do most of the things I need to do in my life, but my shoulders get tired, tense and I got a couple of muscle knots that keep recurring under my shoulder blade. I've got some muscular tension under the ulna pretty well constantly, but it's more discomfort than pain. The pinky aches, like right now with typing, I can't hit the "p" or the quote mark with my pinky. I've adapted and use my ring finger instead. I'd definitely like to do that again, but I'm okay where I am right now.

I think I'm healed enough to go see my chiropractor, Larry, for the pain and inflexibility again. I'm hoping he can help me with the tendon on the last joint of the pinky. It feels like it's ... off track? does that make sense? Like there should be something to do that would click it back "in place" and then the mobility would be better and all.

Hand strength is pretty good, almost normal again. I can pull four plates at a time out of the dishwasher in each hand again! (that's so fun.) Still seeing our massage therapist twice a month and will for as long as she's still living locally. IDK what I'm gonna do if she actually does move away. Nadine is a motherfuckin' BEAUTY, a real treasure.

Still working out twice a week, everything's working there. My core strength, legs and back are in good shape, and I can hold myself up on my hands for some of the exercises. I can definitely hang from the TRX straps to do inverted rows and I LOVE that... I need to push myself back into yoga; last time I checked I could actually DO the basic inversions like Down Dog with only mild discomfort, and yoga is so good for the whole integration of my body, stretching and elongating *sigh* ... still trying to get out to dance at least once a week...

Got some more good stuff moving in my life, but I think I'll try and make that a separate post.

*waves bye so she can eat dinner and go to a dance meditation class*
labelleizzy: (Default)
Homework: write list of affirmation (I am, Liz is, Lizzie, you are)

Lara wants me to write lists of affirmations, and she said by using different ways to access the brain new things can come to light. so, first person, third person, second person.

I've done something similar before in exercises to access my subconscious mind. Feri calls that part of us, Fetch, also known as Child-self. Fetch is the part of ourselves that cannot be accessed by words or logic, it's nonverbal, responds to and communicates by way of sensory input and feelings: colors, smells, texture, I like, I don't like, crying, laughing.

anyway. that's kind of a digression, but not entirely so.

and welp, I don't really have any idea how to do affirmations. We were doing some short breathing meditations on Thursday and she was talking me through it and one thing she said was to "celebrate your successes" and my brain just... like a needle scratch across a 45 record. Like those words, they didn't parse.

1) Celebrate ME?
and
2) I don't even know what success IS. How can I grasp it long enough to celebrate it, and note 1).

*sour face*

I know that is entirely the wrong way to go about this assignment. I'm okay with being stuck for the moment.

Arbitrarily I'm picking TEN as how many genuine affirmations I have to come up with. I'm going to go look up the proper definition, and I'm going to promise myself to not be weasel worded with my list.

I want to be authentic, and to really give myself a frame.

I spend entirely too much time in my head, chewing over all the ways I'm certain I've fucked up, broken things, made irredeemable or unforgivable mistakes. I'm not even very good at faking that I think I'm all that.

The one thing I have going for me right now with regard to my mental health, is my vivid memories of how shitty the inside of my head used to be, before therapy, before beloved friends taught me about community and ritual, before I learned some new coping skills and strategies to get around my constant mental noise and chaos.

I do know that I'm LOTS better than I was 20 years ago.
that can be my first affirmation, because it's definitely true.

I am healthier stronger and I cope much better with my life and my stress than I did 20 years ago (@ age 27)
I am proud of myself for my commitment to my own physical fitness, health and well being. Go me!
I am in love with moving my body in beautiful and pleasurable ways.
I am looking forward to growing older in strength, passion, and my hopes to help fix the world.

Liz is learning to balance generosity with self care and not be a fucking martyr.
Liz is no longer in love with or clinging to her own pain.
Liz is worth someone wanting to get to know her and share dreams together.
Liz is getting over her fear of trying new things that she nonetheless WANTS (yay ukelele! yay dating!)

Lizzie, you are kind and generous and you're learning to be gentle.
Lizzie, you are welcome in the world, there is space for you to contribute and be useful and loved.
Lizzie, you are big hearted and creative, with a million ideas and possible solutions.
Lizzie, you are continuing to forge your own path and it's gonna be hard, but you can definitely do this thing.


I have a community. I have a safe home. I have ... security. And that's all still hard to believe sometimes, since I know there are old riverbeds in which it's easy to let the waters run... but I've chosen a new watercourse, and I'm using what I have to try to make a difference, instead of dwelling and staying stuck in my old crapola. I'm strong enough. I'm flexible enough. I'm determined enough, and I'm creative enough.

I wrote a poem on May 4.
it looks better in the handwriting but here it is:

SELF LOVE
is a
RADICAL ACT
of
REBELLION
against
THE POWERS THAT BE
who want you and us to
FEEL HELPLESS
TRAPPED
POWERLESS
LONELY, UNLOVED
WORTHLESS STUCK

LOVING YOURSELF
FEELS GOOD and is
GOOD FOR YOU and can
LET YOU HEAL all your WOUNDS
labelleizzy: (Default)
Q: What prevents me from getting started?
Q: What are the obstacles and impediments?
Q: What are my goals?


I'm keeping myself accountable for this writing by way of a facebook post where I asked friends to say: write the thing! and give me a number between 1 and 9, labeling each writing prompt with a number in my ADHD journal.

Actually the goals part is the most difficult, so it's appropriate to use it for last.
shall I write about writing? or about this therapeutic process to address the impact of adhd in my life, now that I know something about that being a THING for me?

I think I'd prefer to write about the therapy process and unpack some ideas or thoughts or just basically ... well, hopefully do better than just word-vomit but I shan't make any promises tonight. I have 10 prompts I've culled from the group on monday and therapy with Lara yesterday.

Q1) What prevents me from getting started?
--- Interest. Now that nobody's making me do shit, now I'm not accountable to a boss, a schedule, a clientele (well not precisely) I mainly spend my days doing what I want with a few commitments per week, mostly self inflicted. There's stuff that I know I COULD be doing, even SHOULD be doing,
...and I don't. I don't do them.

I used to judge myself on that, but I don't. I used to tear myself up about that, but I don't. Thank god, I used to literally be my own worst enemy that way.

---Accountability. For reasons that I hope to be able to dig into later, accountability is huge in my motivational force. If I promise to someone I will do something, I will do it solely BECAUSE I SAID I WOULD and that seems to be sufficient. If someone asks me to do something, and it's pretty direct, like Jeff asks will I pull out that part of the garden full of aphids, and I say I will, that seems to be sufficient.

However. If I don't have some kind of outside accountability, I don't do things on any kind of coherent timeline. Which is maybe not always important, but like, it feels like it would be good to shower three times a week, but I can't always hit that. And sometimes that's the depression, but also that I don't get enough human f2f feedback to notice and then to feel embarrassed when I stink.

I've actually planned to chain the showering habit to the working out habit... but haven't been successful. I don't at the moment know how to force that.

Maybe I could find a depression/neurodivergent partner, who also has a not-daily habit they want to build, and we could encourage each other.

It seems that I am better about keeping other people on track than I am at keeping myself on track.
also I am better about staying on track if I have someone else helping me stay accountable.

The last writing prompt out of ten, is, why is it more effective to have Lara or anyone else, tell me what to do, than it is for ME to tell me what to do, in this accomplishing tasks.

1) The oldest part of my brain says because what I want doesn't matter. Because you're always supposed to put other people first, because you can't figure stuff out on your own. (interesting that I chose to use second-person there...hmmm) There's a LOT of old messages there, traceries of a former self. What my friend Chelsea recently called... something like spent seed pods, or carapaces, or used envelopes.

what I want DOES MATTER. I don't ALWAYS have to put other people first, I am ALLOWED to be first on my own priority list godsdammit! and I definitely CAN FIGURE STUFF OUT ON MY OWN but I do have old learned helplessness and my constant fight against distraction to get the stuff figured out, and then the steps sorted out, and then get the shit DONE.

2) when I was teaching about study skills (bear with me a moment, it will become relevant) I had the kids take a test which would help them figure out what their learning style was like. Howard Gardner had a theory of Multiple Intelligences, for which there are Varied tests, now available on the internet. (gosh that would have been much more easy and fun to do on the internet! but it was nearly fifteen years ago that I started that unit, & in an inner city school with limited computer resources.)

I suspect that I have a deep need for interpersonal learning. I'm only sometimes good at teaching myself new skills; I hunger for someone to see me and teach me. I love dance class and working with my trainer for that... but having a teacher teach me and walk me through the material, help me build skills? so much more satisfying than YouTubing my way through something new. (I bet Jeff has a strong intrapersonal learning drive. It would make so much sense.)

What are my goals?
  • I want to feel productive, truly productive, every day.
  • I want to help other people every day. (I can be the person helped, it's allowed. *smile*)
  • I want to feel like my mind and my time are under my guidance and control.


That last item is going to require a new skills base, or a return to old skills (Flylady or Franklin-Covey 7 Habits territory), probably some new skills base. My needs are different now than when I first learned those, ages and ages ago. My mind is different.

Okay. that's enough for the first two prompts.

Thanks for listening, hopefully this isn't too much of a plate of scrambled spaghetti noodles for anyone but me to find benefit in.
labelleizzy: (Default)
I'm supposed to have a list of goals for the therapeutic process. I did write some of them down, and I'll add them either here or in my bullet journal once I have my head in order.

I was thinking earlier today about jobs I've held, and my favorite job. And why it was my favorite job, and I wanted to break it down a little, in hopes of reproducing the conditions someday. In part or in whole.

this is the job I held for eight years and a bit.
it's the reason why every smartphone I've ever owned had "librarianing" added to the spellchecker.
=)

I used to be a junior high school librarian.
I just wanna list the things that I loved about that job, because there's a lot of things I loved about it.
  • It had a regular daily schedule with rhythmic breaks in it.
  • ...but I got to choose my daily tasks, and when to do them.
  • High responsibility, low supervision, I got to determine when something was done.
  • some built in regular deadlines occurred weekly (overdue notices compiled and sent out)
  • some deadlines quarterly (grades for Library TA's), or at other calendar dates (budget deadlines, book ordering, etc)
  • Lots of time with people, specific agenda of helping people (students and staff both)
  • lots of time alone to do one on one tasks (repair, budget work, tidying)
  • Teaching. computers, dewey decimal, how to process books for circulation, some basic book repair, how to circulate books, how to pull records for books that were overdue, how to research, how to use the card catalog, how to find books you wanted... so many teaching opportunities, all in small groups, and NO GRADING.
  • I could take pee breaks as needed. That's a fucking luxurious situation to consider after teaching full time in a public school. I swear to god you can't get five minutes to pee, because it takes you 3-5 minutes to just walk to the other end of the school where the faculty bathroom is, and god help you if you're on your period or have to poop. it's *exhale* inhumane. actually.
  • Professional development funding.
  • Networking with the other librarians in the school district on a monthly basis.
  • Training to be a union site rep and shop steward, learning the history of unions in the USA
  • generally speaking, high interest high novelty work, high number of positive social contacts with students and staff. Decent respect from peers and students. Increasing responsibility the longer I was in the position.


  • There's more of course. Some damn wonderful people really made the difference for me in that job. They got me through the first six months after my dad died, with challenging, interesting work, taking care of tweenagers, teaching and helping and finding and fixing, sorting and throwing out and organizing and tidying. Always something that needed doing. Always something that MATTERED that needed doing.

    It's still MY library. In my heart it's still mine.
    I miss it. Actually.

    so I mean I want another job with some more of what that job had, without the soul deadening paperwork and jumping through hoops that teaching in the public school required.

    And really I want more of that in my life. I've been trying to find that, build that myself, but it's just been so crazy challenging on my own. I miss the community, the sense of rightness and purpose, the ability to HELP SO MUCH AND SO OFTEN SO MANY PEOPLE. I was proud of my work there. It was crazy and sometimes boring and wonderful and the kids were always so amazing and my co workers were always weird, wonderful, dedicated, amazing.

    Okay.
    Okay.

    I have more on this but this is a good starting place.
    I'll go make myself some dinner and dig into my homework reading pretty hard once I've eaten, take some notes to be ready for tomorrow.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Smoke Signals, from a prompt on @NaNoWordSprints (started 7/5/15, completed 7/9/2015)

Her efforts were all in vain. It was stupid of her to believe she could remember those ridiculous long ago lessons in woodcraft and firemaking. Despair struck Darla hard in the chest for a moment. She might not freeze to death, if she were careful, but she needed fire for light and to scare off predators larger than the mosquitoes and black flies that had been biting and pinching her for what felt like hours and hours.

How did she get separated from the rest of the women on the rafting trip? She let her hand drift to the welt at the back of her head that the black flies had been tormenting. Quite a knot there. She recognized her own disorientation, dizziness, and difficulty with balance as likely symptoms of concussion. Thank god she still had her canteen and her “batman utility belt” as her lover teased her. She had a good small knife, water purification tablets, and a weekend-plus-one’s dose of her medicines in a tiny orange waterproof matchholder, all firmly attached at her waist. If only Darla weren’t so beholden to “better living through modern chemistry, she’d still have MATCHES in the matchholder instead.
“You’re going on a rafting trip with a professional guide and half a dozen other forty-something women,” she mumbled out loud to herself, “YOU won’t need matches, the guide will be prepared!”
She took a short drink from the canteen.
“No, much better to use the waterproof container for your meds, it would make you miserable and risk your life if you got THOSE wet or worse, you’d inconvenience everyone else needing to get a helicopter lift out from the campground!”

She groaned and leaned away from the tree she’d propped herself against to slump forward, elbows on her knees and hands supporting her head. Darla hissed as her uncautious fingers poked the large, sluggishly bleeding lump behind her right ear. It was very tender, as she already knew from allowing her giant head to thump back against the tree trunk earlier. She hoped it was just a bad bruise and a bit of a cut, actually cracking her skull seemed a bit much even for a klutz like herself.
Read more... )
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Oh god, we were SO FUCKING STUPID.
So naive.

those long discussions around the campfire or around the HDTV, cold beers in our hands, hot nachos in the fucking microwave, laughing and joking about the fucking "zombie apocalypse". How we would have this job or that job, how we would hole up in a Costco store, because it would have everything we'd need to survive and even enjoy life after the world ended. The skills we already had or could learn quickly in order to be valuable enough to win our way into someone else's fortified stronghold.

We had NO IDEA. We had NO IDEA what we really needed, what we really knew how to do, how fucking SOFT we were.
How much EVERYTHING would hurt. How much WORK just bloody EVERYTHING would take, how much thinking and planning and acquiring.

How much FEAR. Terror. Absolutely shit-your-pants terror.

We used to say, "I'd get a really good knife, and really good boots, and this kind of backpack and that kind of rifle" without really understanding.
What happens when your knife gets dull? Well, you sharpen it. How do you sharpen it? Do you KNOW how? do you have the right tools? can you recognize something else you could improvise as a blade sharpener, if you run across it? and can you use that blade, even dull, to do what you must to survive another day? It's hard work, gutting a carcass, butchering an animal for meat...

Same goes, obviously, for the REST of all our dumb-shit assumptions about how privileged and lucky and SKILLED we were.

What happens if someone TAKES your tools from you? Those books you treasured, that were the reason why you thought you'd gain admission into someone's guarded bolthole? The boots, the knife, even your CLOTHES. What happens if you're not strong enough to protect them? To hold onto them?

Knowing how to brew beer isn't very valuable when there's not enough fucking FOOD. Nobody really cares about booze when they're starving. Knowing how to bake bread is useless, so are gardening skills, if you can't settle down anywhere longer than a week or two for fear of the scavengers. Wildcrafting is a blessing, and I'm glad every day for what I learned from my beloved Girl Scout Leader, of all things. What she taught me when I was fourteen makes the difference now between hungry and starved to death.

I'm always hungry now, I'm always worried about getting hurt bad enough so I can't run anymore. I haven't had any of my meds in over two years, I've got half a tube of neosporin left and fuck-all chance of scoring any more. I'm getting slower, I hurt more often, I'm lonely as fuck. I'll never stop grieving my husband and my home and the comforts I once took for granted, but I just don't have any fucking TIME to FEEL. Every moment has to be spent in working out how am I going to survive this day, food, water, shelter, taking care of myself, whether I can trust anyone at all. Despair would dog my footsteps if Despair could keep up with me. I move fast for an old broad. Fuck that, I move fast period.

What the fuck am I even doing? Who am I even writing this for? I have no idea who's going to read it, but I'm stuck here anyway till it's dark and I can sneak away through the shadows. Might as well, I guess.
heh.
One thing my shitty childhood was good for. Learning how to hide, to sneak, to find all the places nobody would think to look for me. No, I'm not sharing my secrets. Find your own damn bolthole. Oh. Heh. If you're reading this, I guess you DID find your own bolthole, just that I was here first. Hi.

I'd tell you to keep the faith, but I don't think anyone has faith in anything but themselves anymore. I'd tell you to keep up hope, but I know you know that's a stupid, useless thing to say. I can tell you I'm thinking about you, because it's true. Random Stranger Reading This, I hope you're less hungry and less alone than I am. RSRT, I hope you have someone or something to love and take care of. RSRT, try to be kind. My only happy memories from the last two years are of random kindnesses. Someone scratched directions to a waterhole that hadn't gone dry. Someone left bedding in a bolthole. Someone left the last few pieces of fruit on a tree... that might not have been kindness, that might have been someone who was too big to climb out onto those thin whippy branches at the top of the tree... someone little like me could still get up and out to them.

Once, back in the day, I was fat and prosperous and happy. I thought I was ugly, being fat, I had NO fucking IDEA. I was so lucky then. I was loved, and safe, and pampered and treasured, and I had no idea. Now I'm tiny, wiry, strong, and fast. I have had to be, to survive.

Random Stranger Reading this, despite everything, have hope. Life may be shit right now, but if we all keep going, something has GOT to get better. Maybe I've been off my meds too long, and this is a manic episode, maybe it's just I've exhausted all my fear and I don't fucking have time for anything that doesn't keep me going.

I do have hope. I don't know why, but I do. It's almost dark now, I can barely see to write, so it's time to pack up and head out silently to my next bolthole.
I hope you can pass some hope along to the next person you meet, and I hope they're worthy of you trusting them.

Good luck, and gods' speed to you.

"kilroy"
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Hera and Zeus in establishing conversation: digression, deflection, bragging, outright lying and misdirection, condescension and patronization…

“Oh, sweetie?” Zeus said from behind his newspaper.
“Yes dear?” Hera replied, in a syrupy sweet tone, not missing an iota of nuance.
“I thought the boys and I might go up to Lake Tahoe this weekend, do a bit of skiing and drinking. Did we have anything on the family schedule?”
Hera is irritated. “Why didn’t you check with your personal assistant? who is it this week, Brad? or Carmen? You know that Iris always makes sure to update and sync our calendars. Everything is already on there, you just have to LOOK.” … you moron, goes unsaid but clear in her tone of voice.
He lowers a corner of his newspaper and winks at her. “But sweetie, you KNOW I always trust Iris to keep the calendars pristine/complete/professional/whatever/elephant. She’s an absolute PRO.” He smiles, so close to sincere that someone who hadn’t been married to him for 25 years might even believe him. “I was just wondering if you had anything that hadn’t made it into the calendar yet, or if any of the kids had called and wanted to come over. I would change my plans if any of the kids had made plans to come out?”
Hera barely restrains her eyeroll, maintaining eye contact and elevating one eyebrow slightly. “But DARLING,” she said with only the barest hint of sarcasm, “I do KNOW how much you adore visits from our progeny. I would definitely let you know if any of them had plans to come say hello.”
She tossed her napkin into the middle of her plate, and gestured for Gerardo to come clear the table. “Feel free to have fun playing with Cy and Des. Y’all don’t stay up too late, and drink your water before passing out tomorrow night, okay?” Genuinely irritated now, She rises and stalks over to the crystal vase of lilies and irises on the sideboard, rearranging blooms and pinching off browned petals, collecting them (the petals) in her hand. “I’ll see you when you get back, then. Drop me a text when you have an ETA.”
Glancing back at her obliviously smug husband, she slipped out the doorway before any of the servants could see the frustrated tears fall.

38873 words as of today.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
*wince*

I didn't have what I would have thought of as a "happy childhood". Suffice it to say that there was enough pain in my life that I chose to live almost entirely in books from a very early age. Also I think it's fair to say that I had a lot of difficulty making friends even under the best of circumstances. The neighborhood kids and I didn't get along, and where I'm what we now call "geek", they were all what we'd call "jocks". Family dynamics at home weren't "nourishing", and I spent almost all the time I wasn't in school, alone. That didn't change till junior high, when I finally found a safe place to make friends of my own, friends that my sister didn't know about and couldn't mercilessly tease me about.

It will be a surprise to no one that I was regularly bullied almost every day in junior high school.

So, I was humongously awkward. An ugly duckling in so very many ways, lacking in social skills and without confidence to make proper conversation with new people (which was *everyone*) at my new high school.

Somehow, eventually, I did find a few people who warmed up to me, starting with one friend who'd just moved into town and didn't know anyone else, and gradually getting to know some people I'd known slightly in junior high. I still had huge amounts of anxiety around social interactions. Thinking of my freshman year in high school is enough to bring the memory of metallic-tasting panic to the back of my throat, even twenty-five thirty years later.

(God, this is difficult to write.)

There was this small group of what I would now call geeky guys. Robert, Mark, and Erik.

My lack of experience in any kind of social interaction, my extreme anxiety (that I was fighting to overcome on a daily basis), and the, well, let's face it, neglectful home environment, all meant that it was easy for me to mistake attention of any kind for positive attention. My sister and I were used to hitting, punching, hair pulling and scratching each other on a regular basis; my dad was either emotionally distant, physically not there, or verbally abusive; Mom had her hands full juggling the whole household and a full-time job, and my brother was just a kid, four years younger than me...

Any kind of attention, really, was a novelty, and nothing I was used to at thirteen. (I was really just thirteen when I did this. Someday maybe I can forgive myself.)

These geeky guys began to pay me attention. It felt ... familiar. Trading verbal barbs and sarcastic jabs, was second nature. It was how we talked at home.
It did eventually get to be mean, moved from notes in lockers to them learning my combination and leaving things for me. Once a pile of brown apple cores. Once, actually, a dead bird. *shudder* (If I knew then what I know now...I would have done some things differently.)

Once, I returned to my locker, and my books were neatly piled as though on a bookshelf, upright. Which I knew full well was not how I had left them... With a sinking feeling of dread, I noticed wet white glue, and sawdust, all over the bottom of my locker. I guess I was lucky to have found it all before the glue dried and set, in retrospect.
(In retrospect, I now feel a blazing and righteous anger at Robert, the boy who I knew even then was the ringleader.)

At this distance, I've no idea what the chronology of events was, where in the school year these different things fell. I distinctly remember, however, that it was a hot day on the afternoon I missed the school bus home and realized I had to walk four miles home with a heavy backpack and crappy shoes.

I had had a rotten day to begin with and missing the bus felt like the cherry on top of a shit sundae.
This was in the early 80's, before anyone thought to carry a water bottle around with them regularly, and it didn't take long walking in those crappy shoes under the Sacramento late spring/early summer sunlight before I was hot, sweaty, thirsty, and even MORE cranky than I had started out.

I was turtling HARD. Head down, armor up, not noticing the world around me, stewing in my own misery, when someone goes by on a bike.
... and turns around, and heads back towards me, panting.

Pulling somewhat out of my turtle shell, I glance up.
It's Erik. Little blond dude on a bike. He's sweating. I wish *I* had a bike. I'd be home already instead of only halfway home.

He says, "Here!" and holds out a water bottle. There's beads of condensation on the sides, it's obviously nice and cold, it's everything I wish I could have but I have learned that NOBODY does nice things for me, period, unless they're going to snatch it away and yell "PSYCHE!" afterwards.

Something COLD and MEAN shifts in my chest.

I question his motives to his face. I say mean things about the water bottle even, that it's probably dirty. Wide-eyed, he stammers something about he just bought it at the gas station when he saw me walking home and thought I looked hot and thirsty. (He wasn't wrong.) The MEAN in me doesn't let up, and I think I say something about he probably already drank from it and he probably has herpes and as it leaves my mouth just as MEAN as I can make it, the MEAN in me shifts, twists and oozes away, leaving a horror in my soul. Did I actually SAY that?

His face slams shut. His eyes get dark, his jaw juts out, he jams the bottle (delicious cool bottle, that I wanted so much, I want now to say "yes, please", I want to erase the last ten minutes SO BADLY) back in his backpack, wheels his bike around and rides off.
.
.
.
Erik never spoke to me again.
There are things for which there is no apology possible.

And that is the lowest I have ever sunk. That is the person I have striven to make amends for, *shakes head* with basically my entire life.
One single moment of intentional, focused cruelty in a time of my own soul's pain.

I was in the gutter for so long. It took me many years to be able to know that there even WERE stars, much less figure out how to see them.

I'm sorry, Erik. I wish I could have seen your kindness for what it was, instead of what I expected.



This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, Last Chance Idol, week 3. The prompt is "We are all in the gutter."

You can read my colleagues in Last Chance Idol, and vote for me (and some of the other wonderful writers there), HERE.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I never used to think of myself as an artist, which is funny and sad on a number of levels. I had this image of myself as a fuckup, someone who does stuff half-assed, has trouble with completing projects, and I wouldn't let myself justify costuming or calligraphy or writing as "artistic". I'm almost entirely self-taught in those realms, which was part of the problem.

Finally I decided I could call myself an artist once I'd become a part of the Waldorf teaching tradition. My program follows one of Steiner's precepts, that the Teacher as Artist is a goal to strive toward. And it's made clear that the artistic technique is not just meant for the Art of Teaching, though it's a part. I struggled hard to make my work "artistic" as my teachers requested, characterizing rather than defining, showing the gesture or direction of an idea rather than delineating it.

I also struggled with comparing myself to my classmates. I have always been an enthusiastic maker of images, but I had never had much instruction with regard to technique, while half my classmates produced what seemed like masterworks in comparison to my own clumsy efforts.

The first teacher training art class I felt at home at, wasn't even an *art* class.
The second half of the High School Mathematics curriculum taught to the Waldorf Teachers-in-training is Geometry, including the artistic component of Geometric Drawings.
There is a real peace in learning how to be precise. We were explicitly taught the steps and stages for any geometric construction. Bless Patrick for a meticulous teacher, breaking down the techniques with ease and clarity, having us practice until we understood.

24PointConnection GeomDrawing
(image of a 24-point geometric web)

Once I began the process of drawing a geometric figure, I found myself in this incredibly clear-headed space. Like a life-long weight of self-judgment had lifted. Liberating!
I can't even really explain how it felt, what it did to my head, to my sense of self, to be able to grok clearly and completely how to construct this precise and beautiful thing.

flowery fun with geometry
(image titled "Flowery fun with geometry" using many interlocking circles and colors and shading to create a flower shape.)

Being able to create these complex and meticulous drawings sent me into a very Zen space. My head quieted, my focus narrowed, and all there was in the world was me, my hands, the paper, tools, and pencil. Completely "in the Zone", completely in flow-state, I very rarely wanted to stop or even pause in the process. It seemed *easy*, and was definitely FUN.

I had a paradigm shift. No longer could I tell myself "it's too hard, I can't do that, too complicated, too detailed, I'm not ____..." where ___ could be anything from "that kind of artist" or "precise" or "clever like that" or "skilled like that" or even the base canard, "good enough". Those evil little brainweasel voices couldn't be heard over the all-consuming focus on the process of construction, the flow that somehow seemed so easy in such an unexpected place after so long striving after it.

SimpleGeomFlowrWNotes
(image titled "simple geometric flower with notes", seven interlocking circles filled in with blue, pink and green.)

Why am I not doing geometric drawing all the time? It's lovely, it's satisfying, and there are thousands of possible projects to practice.
Why NOT do a thing I enjoy, and that brings me peace? Why NOT enjoy exploring my skills, expanding my image of myself to include calm precision and creation of beauty?

Every day we grow and change. We all transform ourselves into new people, a little at a time. Sometimes the transformation is consciously done, sometimes simple passage of time creates the transformation without us thinking much about what we're growing into, what we're becoming.

If the time will pass regardless, why NOT be intentional about what you choose to do with your transformation?

I wanna get GOOD at the art. And I know it doesn't just happen, I know I have to work at it. I have to LET myself get good at it. I have to be willing to fail and to suck and to throw stuff away sometimes. I have to go GET what I need to get better, I have to take lessons, write scripts for comics, watch YouTube instructional videos, practice little chibi drawings, start doodling on my tablet computer, and with the watercolor paints, and just allow myself to practice and experiment.

And I have to remember that nothing worth having is birthed all of a sudden.

ComplexGeomFlowr1
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 1", initial shading and coloring)

Art in particular is part of a slow and steady process, a conversation between me and the paper, or the clay, or the paint or fabric or the computer screen.

complexGeomFlowr2
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 2", intermediate stage of shading and coloring)

Art for art's sake is fine, I think it's a worthy goal just to bring more beauty into the world, to provoke conversation or thought or change. Art has the ability to wake people up to something they may be unaware of in the world.

complexGeomFlowr3
(image titled "Complex Geometrical Flower stage 3", completed shading and coloring)

Art can serve an even higher purpose though. Art can bring a chance for transformation and healing, rest and respite, community and peace.
All of these are things that the artistic process has taught me, has brought to me.

This, this making things, making art, changing one thing into another thing by channeling ideas and images THROUGH ME, this is one way I can contribute to the world.
And to make this contribution, means that I can give myself permission to learn these skills properly, to practice the crafts that I love: writing, art, communication, teaching, healing. I can give myself permission to practice them until I am properly good at those skills and can then use them out in the world to the end result of community and healing.

There's so much pain in the world and not nearly enough beauty. Too much loneliness and not nearly enough love, compassion, and beauty.

I can do this. I can remember, and use as fuel for the work, the fact that the things I HAVEN'T done are the things I have most regretted.

Face the Fear and Do It Anyway.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Just now in my garden (that isn't a garden -
It's more like a dead patch of dirt than a garden!)
There's men cutting trees, stripping sod from my garden
There's men moving rocks, digging holes in my garden.

My backyard was green and quiet,
Full of light and birds and green things,
Overgrown and sweet and shady,
Blessed refuge for my spirit.

Knowing what is yet to come
Still my feelings drag and droop
Missing what had been before
nothing yet has been replaced...

But then in my garden (so soon in my garden!)
New pond and stone birdbath enlivens my garden,
Bright birds and orange koi making homes in my garden,
My sweet spouse and me drinking tea in our garden.

soon,
our
green
flowering
fruiting
quiet
noisy
fluttering
splashing
twittering
garden.

IMG_20140916_154921
This was my garden last week,
IMG_20140929_124645
And this is my garden right now.


please find my colleagues' work on this theme HERE and when a link to voting has been created in the evening of Sept. 30, it will be HERE. =)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
I check over the controls of the diving bell yet one more time. Usually I would laugh about how "OCD" I am about checking, double and triple-checking my instruments, but diving to 600 feet is serious business, not something to be at all casual about. I will make no apologies, even in the recesses of my own (admittedly geeky and neurotic) mind.

This is definitely the deepest I've ever been, and I'm an accomplished diver. But it's only the second time I've been down in a diving bell and the first time I've soloed.

Thank God for Mark, up on the surface. Mark's as reliable as the day is long, and knows these seas as well as anyone his age possibly could. He's grown up diving and fishing out here his whole life. Out of a huge family of divers and fishermen, he's the first one of his family to finish college and start working as a marine biologist. I'm so glad we got partnered up by the Institute.

The bell descends further. I'm past 150 feet now, and breathing a little heavier. Vision's slightly blurry. I check my glasses against the fine print on the dials, the bifocals are much more effective. My ears won't pop from the pressure and it is affecting my hearing. I toggle the communications switch, and hear Mark saying something garbled, something about the controls?

I clear my throat. “Philip here. All seals working well. Still having trouble hearing your transmissions. Over.”

More dull crackling noise from the comms. I shake my head. We continue the slow descent and I keep making detailed notes in the paper logs so we can compare with the films and tapes for reference later. Sonar shows some schools of fish, and some interesting large silhouettes at the edge of instrument range. I scan the camera banks in between passes over the dials and displays to make sure everything's okay. Sudden flashback to driver's training, and chuckling, I remember how I aced the driving test. This is nothing like that, of course, a diving bell is both more complicated and more simple than driving a car. Feeling pretty confident today, however. Everything seems to be going splendidly, despite the comms and their glitchiness.

The bell descends even further, and I feel a little dizzy, damn my ears that won't adjust to the pressure! They hurt horribly now, and definitely seem to be affecting my vision too. There's grey fuzziness in my peripheral vision, and I'm still having trouble focusing, even on the sudden flicker of movement on the cameras.

"Are you getting this, Mark? Left edge of the dorsal view. A light keeps shimmering in and out on that side. Over."
I have difficulty hearing the response. The comms crackle. I hear a voice making noises, though it's unclear, then, "Yes. Left ... blue light."

It looks almost like one of those music videos, where a spotlight follows the performer around the stage, only... only it's moving in three dimensions, and I've never seen anything move so FAST. I have trouble tracking the whatever-it-is. The movement style is atypical for any of the big sea creatures I've spent years studying.

"Mark, Mark, please tell me the video feeds are working, and that you see this. Have you ever seen anything like it before? It seems totally unfamiliar to me!"

I frantically check all the video monitors as the comms fill with static and clutter AGAIN. Flick a glance over the dials. We're still descending, and the creature, this new creature, seems to be pacing me, pacing the diving bell as it descends.

"Mark, did you see a tail? Dorsal rear view?"

Mark's reply this time, "Yes ... seeing it. ... blue ... fish ..."

My vision is getting even cloudier, but I'm determined to get a good focus on this fish. This may be a new discovery, a new paper, for Mark and me (and the Institute, of course)... We could really make a name for ourselves! We could...

uh... wait. What? Is this really happening?

Hair is swirling around the face, the human face, of the creature swimming slowly around my diving bell. It definitely appears, well, mammalian, in spite of the blue color to the skin, and the scales that begin mid-torso, right where a human would have a navel.

She's BEAUTIFUL.
I'm yelling.

"Mark, Starboard Center camera! Do you see anything? Check the goddamn Starboard Center Camera!"

Seriously, I'm gonna die if we don't have this on film. This is INCREDIBLE. Myths come to life, proof on camera, everything I've dreamed of since childhood! I'm absolutely euphoric!

“Philip ... big deal ... right there. Right there.”

I'm breathing heavily, and my vision isn't getting any better. I stumble over to check the gases mixture and make sure everything's OK. It's not great, but it's within safe parameters. I think.

Except that my vision's narrowing, and my ears make all the bell's instrument noises sound like I'm underwater (OK, I do know I'm underwater), or in a cavern or something...

... and I feel the back of the dive chair pressing hard at the back of my neck, but I don't have the strength to raise my head
... and the grey at the edges of my vision is turning to black...
... and it's getting kind of hard to breathe...



This has been my LJ Idol entry for week 20, and I intersected my entry with [livejournal.com profile] grail76's. You can read his entry HERE . We worked with "intersubjectivity" and "rapture of the deep".

Please feel free to enjoy the work of my talented colleagues, and vote for the entries that you enjoy, HERE.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
It's been two years now
since you left
So loud
And then so silent
Refusing
To speak.
Lying with silence
Sharp, pointed,
Nasty.

You said you'd be here
many years
you said...

Words left unspoken,
Promises
broken.

Lying to my face.
Mirrorshades,
Blank eyes:
Lying with the truth?
"I don't know"
FUCK that.

Disingenuous -
DID you know?
You said
whatever you thought
I wanted
to hear.

Disinformation
feels just like
all trust
disintegration.
Every time
you lied
Recalibration:
How could we
make do?

A strategy in war.
We were the
terrain...
Was I the prize?
The end-game?
The goal?

Was this even love?
Furious,
hurting:
Win the heart and mind,
Recover
MYSELF

Sex was fantastic...
Apathy?
Passion?
Now I'll never know.
Your true north
nowhere,
Your compass: broken.
Did you love
At all?

Disinformation:
Truthiness
Ain't truth.

Pattern's still the same:
Please tear down
your walls
Learn to see yourself.
Grow a pair
Man up.
Motherfucker, PLEASE.
KNOW thyself.
*eyeroll*




This has been my entry for this week on LJ Idol, [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. This week's prompt was "disinformation" and it immediately brought to mind this PARTICULAR ex boyfriend. *sigh* I guess I still had some old feelings about all the stuff that happened.
I encourage folks to visit my colleagues' brilliant writing HERE and of course I will also encourage you to help me continue to play in this enjoyable sandbox by voting for this entry HERE
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Writing Community:

What if we collected a group of writers willing to write to prompts. Everyone contributes prompts, somewhere between 1 and 5 for some fixed period of writing to be agreed upon in advance, six months maybe?

Use an open google doc to organize all the promptsprompts, and have a rotating moderator, maybe like in the game Apples-to-Apples.

We could still have polls for favorite stories, but low votes,instead of elimination, could have mandatory concrit from other members, specific to that one piece.

Thoughts? Feedback? Suggestions?

I know that[livejournal.com profile] therealljidol will not last forever, and I would love to find or found a group to keep writing and reading with.

Good discussion in The Green Room for this week that's prompted this idea.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Steve's deep voice comes through the comm system with a clear note of sarcasm and a touch of Brooklyn: "Well, THIS is gonna be more fun than a barrel full of monkeys..."

The giant gelatinous creatures look like an unholy offspring of banana slugs and squid. Their eye-searingly acidic stench had evacuated civilians without complaint for city blocks in every direction.

Clint shudders, speaking loudly over the sound of the rotors. "Cap, I never understood why townfolk used that figure of speech. Back in the circus, I SEEN a barrel full 'a monkeys, and it NEVER ended well. The screeching. The biting. The scratching, the fur flying, and just let's not talk about the rest of the dirty mess monkeys love to make." He rotates quickly through the arrows in his quiver, selecting the most likely to get this job done fast.

Steve snorts as he flies the helicopter in circles over the park where the creatures have nested. "Nah, Hawkeye, that's just right. Ma said her pa would always say that just before he had to go tackle the nastier chores on the farm. Nest of skunks under the porch. Wild boar gored one of the horses. Mucking out the pigs, or fixing the stock fence that went down in the middle of the worst rainstorm in thirty years."

For a moment, both men watch in fascination as one of the iridescent eggs below bursts open with a flail of acidic tentacles. Birth fluid rains down on the sad, scorched remnants of the park's trees and jungle gym, droplets hissing and smoking wherever they fall.

"Well, thank god for Bruce and Tony and Jane and SCIENCE," Clint muses, pulling the string taut to his left ear, delivery-system arrow nocked and ready. "THESE pigs are going to be a lot easier to muck out once we've neutralized most of the acid they've slimed everywhere."

A few moments later, the creatures below are writhing like slugs doused with salt. The SHIELD science teams in full hazmat gear are laying down even more acid-neutralizing foam as they cautiously approach the egg-pile.

"Hah! Evil scientists, Zero, Avengers and SHIELD science-types, fifty-four? or is it fifty-five, now?" Clint raises an eyebrow, cocking his head at Steve.

Steve chuckles. "And nobody's handing us shovels and pointing us toward the pig-pen, today. I'm just as happy to let the science teams do the rest of the clean up."

"Hey, if they wanna analyze acidic tentacled slug-babies, who am I to stand in their way?" Clint rubs his chin and swiftly stows the rest of his gear in the long narrow pocket behind his seat. "Not my circus, not my monkeys."

Steve slants a wry, sideways glance at Clint from the pilot's seat, as he turns and heads for home. "This ain't a circus? We got acrobats and knife throwers, fireworks and explosions, exotic animals and shiny costumes...?" He raises an eyebrow back at Clint.

Hawkeye slouches back in his seat, scowling. "Okay, FINE, this IS my circus." He gets a thoughtful, mock-serious expression for a moment gazing straight through the windshield. "Does that make us Fury's monkeys?"

Steve's face is perfectly bland when he replies, "That would mean Tony and Thor were Fury's flying monkeys. I don't think it would be productive sharing that image with either of the guys, do you?"

Clint laughs softly. "No. Don't suppose it would." He grins at Steve. The next time Thor and Tony light up the sky, they both know they'll remember this.

Flying monkeys, heh.




This has been my entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, week 12. The prompt was "barrel of monkeys."

I'm enjoying writing within this community very much. If you enjoyed this post, or got something out of it, please consider voting for me so I can continue to write with these amazing and supportive people (sadly this week is a Community Only vote, so if you're inclined, feel free to join the LJ Idol community!). The polls are HERE, and I'm back in Tribe One.

Author's Note: If anyone's unfamiliar with the Marvel Avengers fandom, Steve/Cap is Captain America, Clint/Hawkeye is, well, Hawkeye. (and I hope Hawkeye gets his own movie someday too.)

Crossposted to Archive Of Our Own, here.

poem

Jun. 6th, 2014 05:15 pm
labelleizzy: (forward momentum)
why is it painful to let go of unhelpful words?
perhaps these were once upon a time, protectors,
the words bookworm, nerd, gimp, weakling.
the belief that if it was hard, I wasn't meant to do it...
if I were meant to do it, t'would come naturally, surely?

i can't seem to get my glasses clean
to see my own Self in the mirror
to understand my own wingspan
or the extent of my reach
or how far I can leap

hamstrung by my blindness
the persistence of memory
self image of pale, soft, weak, fearful
but there is so much more to me
than what I used to be

Am I strong? Yes. Am I smart? Yes.
Am I capable? Yes. Am I flexible? Yes.
Am I kind? Yes.
Am I soft?

*smile* Yes, I am soft.
Soft like a pillow at naptime, and comfortable.
Soft like silk sheets, and strong like them too.

Am I brave?
Yes.
Could I write were I still fearful?
Yes, ... but I wouldn't show my heart, were I still fearful.

I don't deal in trivialities.
I want the blood, and the bone, and the sweat,
I want the gritted teeth and the grunts of effort.

I step beyond old useless protectors.
I make myself stronger from the inside
I stand strong

I do not need the deflections of nerd, gimp, weakling.

I see the world as it is and as I would have it
and I reach out my hands
to begin shaping the world
A strong, kind, smart, compassionate world

and my strong hands
will shape it
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
YOU can still sign up for LJ Idol (if you want to!)

via our host Gary, [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm at LJ Idol: if you could continue to spread the word that the Sign Up Sheet is still open until Monday (March 17th), I'd very much appreciate that! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/711493.html.

also for my reference: Week 1 Prompt (deadline for submissions is Monday March 17th as well)

Week 1 green room link here (first day)

Week 1 work room link here

My Week One entry is HERE.

Voting, as far as I can tell, starts shortly after the deadline to submit. So after Monday sometime the poll should be up.

Please feel free to vote for my entry if you found it worthy.
*curtsy*
labelleizzy: (avengers)
Hi.
*waves*

Having added a few people recently, I just want to say here it is, my guilty pleasure that I don't feel all that guilty about because it is FUN. SRSLY.

Chapter 8 of Avengers Assemble: for Karaoke?

Chapter One is here.

Philosophy

Mar. 9th, 2014 12:39 pm
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Love is a verb.

It’s taken me many years to realize that intentions don’t count for much unless I actually DO SOMETHING about them. Teach. Reach Out. Help people who need it. Talk. Listen. Figure something out and then Do that thing. Make. Write. Art (yes, it’s a verb). Dance. Share something that’s important with people who matter.

Make stuff. Laugh. Sing. Enjoy where I am now. Strive toward something meaningful.

What’s next?
No idea. I’m making the map as I travel. I used to believe that everyone else had gotten the map, and I was stuck behind the door somehow, but I know better now.

We’re all on stage, improvising. Or in the workshop, building from scratch, solving problems, making mistakes and fixing them. Or writing, revising, sculpting a new shape with words on a page.

Starting from the quiet place works best for me.
Here’s a moment of quiet.

Profile

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labelleizzy

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