labelleizzy: (thinky thoughts)
I am an artist.
*smirk*
Yeah, and HOW many years has it taken me of Making Things to be willing to say that? Too damn many.
Too many years of judging myself harshly, of getting in my own way, of "saving" art supplies and fabric and my time, energy and engagement for "some other time", some time when I was "worthy" of using them.

*shaking head*

Recently I grokked that destruction is a necessary part of creation.
I must destroy the beautiful clean lines of that shrink wrapped notebook if I am to use the notebook.
To make something useful from that gorgeous kelly green silk, I have to cut into it, not leave it stored up in a box in the garage.
If I cut that t-shirt to fit me, and sew it back together? It will look SO much better on me than if I schlump around in a Men's XXL, no matter how cute the graphic.

I have to tear the paper. I have to write on the canvas. I have to stick my hands in the wet clay and PUSH. I have to get out the hammer and the anvil, the beads and the copper and the pliers and the wire cutters, put my hands on the project and CHANGE THINGS.

.
.
.
I'm going to have to learn and relearn this for the rest of my life, aren't I?
Because it's so easy to sit on my ass and just absorb how amazing everything is, without making my own mark.

Chop wood, carry water. Every day. Enlightenment isn't a one time deal. It's invented and created and realized over and over again.
Because I'm human, and I fall asleep sometimes into life but I don't WANNA walk through the world asleep!

I have to keep waking myself up. It's not easy to stay awake to this truth right now.
I'm largely contented, and let's face it: my life is really simple, as Scalzi says, I'm playing in Easy Mode, despite the ways I am weird and not mainstream.

so here is my goal: do one thing everyday that makes me uncomfortable. Destroy something. Make something new from the remains. Speak truth somewhere that it needs spoken. LEAVE MY HOUSE more often, god can I get out of my comfort zone more, please? I won't learn very damn much staying at home reading and writing on the computer. Poke at people until they agree to do things with me.

Take some damn risks. Do something new. Open up wider. Say yes more often, solicit chances to say yes more often.

Say Yes. Get my hands dirty. Get off my ass and MOVE.

Writing is one of my art forms, that's why I've been loving this writing competition so damn much. Someone ELSE is kicking my ass by giving out prompts that I have to challenge myself to meet. It has forced me to try thinking and writing about totally new things, and I've been taking the chance to write in totally new styles as well.

Make the thing. Do the thing. Wake up, wake up WAKE UP!
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
well hello there, [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol community!

Apparently I'm here in time to say HELL YEAH LAST CHANCE IDOL! WOOOOOO!~~~

*climbs back on the horse*
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Kindling:
The moment of eyes meeting
That flash of heat or awareness:
Gorgeous! So alive!
Potential and possibility.

In that moment,
It's not mister or miss right
It's mister or miss RIGHT NOW
Like, damn you smell good
And
What are you doing later?
And
I wish I could taste your sweat
Or
Do you taste as good as you smell?

The heat builds as you slide closer
Hands touching, eyes meeting
Mouths ... Testing? Tasting.

How lovely is that spark of awareness
That tells me of another's loveliness
Of my desire
Of their desire
Of my loveliness to them.

*****

Sidelong glances, flirting in a coffeeshop. Sparks kindled, fueled by a comfortable loveseat and delicious spicy chai. Warmth of your denim-clad knee, a certain tone of voice, a sudden impulse of delight that burst out in my laughter.

Another, immediate, passionate connection. The crowded pub, the musicians jamming traditional tunes. Ridiculous flirting beneath your lowered lashes as your bold words surprise me, again I burst out in laughter. I dared to flirt back, I kissed your cheek, asked you to dance. That spark flamed so bright and beautifully!

Some fires are slow to catch, and burn unexpectedly. With you, it wasn't the first glance, or the fifth. Perhaps it was the twentieth or even fiftieth, but I was suddenly caught in your eyes, drowning in desire. Wanted to touch, kiss, taste, nibble, hear incoherent noises from your throat.

Some fires sputter, move from warm coals to flame and back again. There's days where all I need is the smell of your hair and your soft body cuddled up to mine, or a cup of tea in your kitchen. But there's days I want to growl and plunder your mouth, take your clothes off with my teeth, drag my fingers over your sweet skin.

*****

Passion, fire, sparks, ignition.
Connection and lust and affection and humor.

It's not the kindling that's most important, though it's the most exciting part of firestarting. The most important part is how you feed and care for the fire.

Some fires you only need, only want, for a moment: strike a match. Some fires you want to keep you warm a long time, and those require more planning, more care, more tending.

Strike your spark, kindle your flames, and meditate.

Do you need a flash of light?
Do you need to feel the burning, do you need to be consumed?
Or do you need a lot of long, slow, warm coals?

Bear what you want, what you need, in mind.

Now select the appropriate kindling for your fire.


This has been my week 19 entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol. I'm pretty sure anyone can guess the prompt this week was "kindling."
Please feel free to enjoy the work of my skilled colleagues HERE and to vote for me in the poll that's coming up Tuesday.

I need to apologize in advance, but since I'm going off the grid this week, I can't guarantee responses to comments. Nor can I really guarantee I'll get to read even the [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol entries on my friends list, much less everyone's entries.

I want to wish everyone the best of luck this week, while I go off to the desert and try to kindle some new fires of my own. =)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
As kids, we all knew about the pothole down the road that you had to avoid on your bicycle, or which neighbor's yard you'd never trespass in, for fear of a dog perhaps, or some grown-up's anger.

These are workarounds. This is knowing your environment, and keeping yourself from harm.

As kids, some of us knew grown-ups in our lives who had to be managed. Or avoided. Or placated. Or hidden from.

* I remember my fourth grade teacher, who used to hug all the pretty girls. I was maybe nine, and I envied Charlene (*not her real name), tiny and blonde, shy as a mouse, with Mr. M's arm around her. At the time, I didn't understand why she looked quietly miserable, when his hug looked so warm and affectionate.

* I remember my tenth grade English teacher (the third one we'd had that year) who struggled ineffectually to "manage" our class of high spirited and mischievous honors students.
His face is clear in my memory, though his name has faded. I had asked him to please control the class because I, at least, wanted to learn. He shrugged his shoulders and said helplessly, "But, Liz, what can I DO?"

* And I remember my dad. He started working from home when I was around 13, firmly planted in his comfy chair with his cigarettes, newspaper, and yellow legal pads. I remember him commanding me to fetch him yet another beer from the fridge's endless supply.

I was shocked and pleased in equal amounts to discover, some time last year, that someone had coined a phrase for these kinds of dysfunction. "The missing stair". Because some ideas are nearly impossible to understand until you have a name for them.

To deal with a Missing Stair in your life or environment means that some necessary thing is broken and everyone has just gotten used to, adapted around the brokenness. Used to it, enough that nobody talks about it anymore, and the collective assumption is "well, that's just how it always has been, we all just deal with it." Or maybe you've heard it phrased as "It's just part of the culture here," or as "boys will be boys."

*explosive sigh*

I call bullshit on that nonsense.

* My tenth grade teacher needed a mentor, or at minimum, direct instruction in how to manage teenagers in a classroom.
That skill is something that actually can be taught, something that can be learned and practiced. He should have been taught those skills, and he should have been provided with good examples to follow. His teacher training, and our school administration, should have seen to that, and failed to. (I am particularly incensed about this because it was something my own teacher training lacked as well, twenty years later: one of many things that convinces me this brokenness is systemic.)

* My fourth grade teacher, it turns out, was (eventually) reported to authorities and removed from teaching at my elementary school. I did not understand at the time, when the kids were gossiping on the playground, what it meant that Mr. M was no longer teaching at our school. Or why when I asked my parents about it, they made faces and changed the subject.
The silence around this subject is a kind of brokenness that could perhaps have mended by using the story, the true story, as an age-appropriate teachable moment on how to trust your gut instinct, how to be safer around adults, on appropriate or inappropriate touching, or on how to stand up for other people.

* And of course, there was my dad. The lessons I could learn from his life are manifold. But whatever it was that he needed, well. I don't know.
What I've learned from his example, I've had to unravel, unlearn, and relearn over years of ACoA meetings, journal writing, talk therapy; and my own year of total abstinence from alcohol.

Shame and silence NEVER solve these kinds of broken. The Missing Stair effect occurs in large communities and inside our own heads.

Problems like these fester and persist in the darkness and the silence.

Acknowledge the broken stairs. Point them out.
Please.
Talk about them. Research. Offer assistance, if you have it to give.

Because if one of us has a hammer, and another has nails, and someone else has some solid boards, and someone else actually knows how to fix a stair?

We will never know that the stair could actually be fixed, until someone says, "Hey, I have this thing that might help fix that missing stair..."

and I am so fucking tired of jumping over the broken places.





Hey y'all? I have this thing that might help fix that missing stair.
(listens for responses)



This has been my Week Two entry for [livejournal.com profile] therealljidol, and the prompt was "The Missing Stair".

Beta-readings done by [livejournal.com profile] chippychatty, [livejournal.com profile] wrenb, and [livejournal.com profile] violaconspiracy! Thanks, guys, you definitely made this better.

Please go read and enjoy my colleagues' entries here. To vote for my entry, find me at the bottom of the second poll, link is *here*.

Thank you for reading!

100 things.

May. 3rd, 2013 01:28 pm
labelleizzy: (autumn leaves)

Working out is *fun*.
Tal seems to grok that a) bodyweight exercises are both more appropriate for the shape I'm currently in (ROUND is a shape!) and b) that mixing it up, making each workout different, is the most engaging.
I don't think we have done the same exercise twice yet, barring warmup on the fitness center stairs.

 

bless her. I admitted I didn't do my homework between Wednesday and today (was supposed to do an hour of something cardio and an hour of yoga, oy, that's a lot!).
She asked, semi rhetorically, "what am I supposed to say to that?" in her slight accent.

 

I said mildly, "Say, 'do better next time'."
So she did, exactly so.

 

*smile* I don't know if I will be able to do all of the next batch of homework, she wants me to do two cardio and one yoga (Monday and Tuesday classes I've been trying to attend anyway) so if I can fit one cardio in over the weekend I'll be set.
she also wants me to eat five times a day.
I like how that makes me feel when I do it, so I will definitely try. I'm up to twice today, and I will see how it goes.

 

Balance work is crucial, I was very weak and noodly-muscled when I tried the various balancing exercises Tal asked me to do. Core strength also needs work.

 

well, that IS why I'm working with her. Because I know I need help to get back to a habit of fitness and flexibility.

 

This is the diagnosis phase, where we find out what I'm capable of while simultaneously working to IMPROVE what I'm capable of.

 

Forward Momentum!





labelleizzy: (Yay)
If you always do what you always did,
then you'll always get what you always got.


Yeah, today it's hard to get out of the house, but I've promised myself that I will go seek exercise pants and then spend at least 45 minutes at the gym, even if I am embarrassed about how long it's been since I went.

I'm no longer needing to have a Kleenex box next to me 24/7 (for which much YAY) and my joints are feeling creaky. Must move. Must needs schedule some gym time so I can start checking out the available classes at the gym: they have Zumba and Nia and Pilates and Yoga, and that is also full of Yay.

My friend Kim just posted a video to FB about a guy in NYC doing a "Dance-Walk" thing with his iPod. Such dorky fun... but shameless though I am I do not have *quite* that much shamelessness.

Okay, here I go.
labelleizzy: (creating yourself)
*whew*

Guess I've been here a long time now.

Here's something I learned this weekend.

I grew up in Sacramento but have spent the last several years slagging it off and praising the Bay Area. Thing is, I don't have to slag off one place to love another place. And visiting family and friends this weekend has been good from the perspective of appreciating how much value-added Sacramento has in terms of old, vivid, meaningful memories. There are stories around every corner: there's where so and so used to live, I got my first tattoo there, Drat my favorite thrift store has gone out of business, there's my first apartment where I lived with Jeff for a little while, etc. Stories that go back so far that I remember distances in minutes-walked or bicycled because I was a kid and that's just how you got around.

Stories that shaped me.

In a similar vein, I found myself falling into old habits of snarkitude. I'm embarrassed to admit this. I took the easy shot, more than once in the last week or so, snarking or slagging people who are "easy targets", people who other people also make fun of, people who I used to make fun of myself. I don't need to do that either anymore. I don't like how I am when I do that. I want to be a person who speaks up when my cousin says something I object to, not wait till he's out of earshot and snark on him. I want to work on that level of courage. I want to have the courage of my convictions and the strength to hold them up.

Truth is more important than the easy laugh.
Integrity is more important than avoiding offense.

It's time to kick things up a notch. It's time to show up and take on more responsibility, take care with the details to make sure they are done properly. It's time to reach out and go get what I need for my life and my health and quit avoiding, best I can, the things that I don't want to have to do but that I know I need to do if I'm going to launch into the next phase of my development and my impact on the world.

I want to make an impact. I'm okay with it being subtle (though knowing me, I'll probably be a bit brash and loud about it instead) and I'm okay with being small-scale.
For now.

Taking care of business is what I can do right now. Bringing Quality and Commitment to whatever I choose to spend my energies on. What I realized this morning, is that means, if I'm being a housewife, to take care of things as best I can, and don't put it off till tomorrow. If I'm being a student, same thing. If I'm jobhunting, same thing. (sensing a trend here? Yes, I procrastinate)

I need to use available tools to help me stay on track, motivated, on top of things, and to complete quality work. To quote a certain famous Hindu, I need to be the change I wish to see in the world. And let what doesn't matter, fall away.

I think I better go. I have work to do.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Ridiculous and inconceivable that tomorrow is my last day of Summer Session for the Waldorf teacher training.
I won't get to see my friends every day? I won't have dance and art history and creative writing and speech classes every day? I won't get to hang with the incomparable Ken, my sculpture teacher? I won't be learning new songs on the fly every morning with Lisa?

*WAAAAAHHH!!!*

This has been wonderful. I am entirely sorry it's almost over. I will survive the transitions necessary, but for now I have to kick my own ass to get there.

I get to bring a lot home with me. My Main Lesson book from Roberta's class, with art and poetry we created together. Some of my sculpture work. A LOT of literature to read and share, including a great article on the Waldorf philosophy of reading in elementary school. I have work I want to continue to refine, including writing and speech exercises, some of the art in the Main Lesson book, and I have a bit of clay I can use to be creative, and which might last a long while if I am kind to it.

Tonight I have to make a card for Glenda, another for Anne-Marie (my class secretary), and try to do a bit of practice for Saturday's assembly: the skit, the speech exercise, and the eurhythmy performance.

Gonna take the husband out to find some food he finds appealing. Right now he's feeling better enough to play piano, which is a VERY good sign.

Love ya, read y'all later,

Liz
labelleizzy: (planets to save!)
Hi LJ!

Been offline for two days. It's been surprisingly good; rewarding and productive. My house looks better than it has since we moved in, I cleared almost all the surfaces (including the floors, I could actually sweep in here and probably will in honor of Samhain before I leave for class tonight...) I threw a bunch of stuff away, recycled a bunch of stuff, and took at least 40 pounds to goodwill (my mom's trivet collection was HEAVY... *g*)

Saw the podiatrist yesterday for the pain I've been feeling in my right foot. It's been on the top of my foot and making me limp a bit, enough that I was worried about doing my back an injury or insult again. (it's happened before when I have been gimpy!) We looked at my x-rays and nothing was broken. *whew* and wow, what they can do with x-rays now! they were sent directly to his computer, like 15 minutes after they were taken, and he could tweak the resolution to clear up the picture in case the tech only took a mediocre picture... measure my bones in their real sizes, right there on the screen, it was pretty wow.

he manipulated my Rt. foot a bit before we looked at the x-rays, and a bit more afterward... he also checked out my calf and shin for a bit, and then he explained what he could see on the x-rays.

The places I was feeling more pain were metatarsals 2 and 3, though all 4 of the smaller metatarsals were sore! (as I discovered once he was pressing firmly on each one and I was yelping! And this is true on BOTH FEET!) On the x-rays he measured and showed me how 2 and 3 (the bones just next to the big-toe bone) were measurably thicker in the dense, structural bone, than 4 and 5.

Then he explained why that is: my calves (and I assume by extension, my hamstrings) are SO TIGHT that they are putting stress on the arch-bones of my foot! (No shit, there I was!) Mind-blowing...! He also explained that the reason I love my Chakos (and by extension the mules from Keen) is the slight heel (on top of the arch support); calf muscles like that make the body want to walk on its toes all the time (hum, that explains why I sit with my heels up on the chairlegs all the time when I'm on the computer!) The stress from the muscle constantly pulling works to strengthen the bones, but taken too far, you can get stress fractures... and DO. NOT. WANT.

The PT for this crazy tension, is to do those calf-lengthening stretches, hanging your heels off the kerb, sort of thing, but this morning I've been exploring my body's flexibility and it feels like, well, EVERYTHING is tight - hams, obliques, quads, the IT band, adductors, abductors, and the little trapezoid-shape over my lower back... (let's not even BRING my shoulders and neck into it right now...) Had a lovely massage from a new guy at Massage Envy Wed night, but you couldn't prove it by me today. (Ow.)

So yesterday after coming back from my appt, I did some more housework and organization, put some Rush on (Snakes and Arrows, for those who know) and was trying to dance and move around the place. Yeah, all kinds of muscular tension, ALL OVER.

I've been saying for a long time that I wanted to get fit, get strong, inhabit my body more, but now I have literally SEEN what it does. WOW. Sitting on my ass for too long is double-PLUS-ungood!

You'll see me moving a lot more in the upcoming years, and for the rest of my life. Thank goodness I'm in the Waldorf program, it's really about learning BALANCE between the realms of your life - artistic, physical/kinesthetic, mind, spirit, social...

My habits are changing. Which means folk won't find me here QUITE as often, but _I_ will DEFINITELY be healthier for it.

And now I think I will get dressed and go for a walk to the grocery store.
labelleizzy: (Buddha think and become)
If I don't take the time and energy to meet my own needs and take care of my self, why would I believe I could meet the needs of others?

If I don't weed out the cankerblossoms from my own soul, won't they set root and even seed out new cankers, new miseries, new heartaches? New misunderstandings?

If I don't show respect, how can I expect respect?

If I don't live the love, why would I expect love to be given to me?


***


I failed to plan. I failed to set my priorities and my plans in order to meet those priorities.
I have been failing to plan.

It is time to use the Big Brain and work out the Most Important Things and how to achieve, become, or work toward them.

I start again today.
labelleizzy: (book)
You have a budget of $100, a time limit of 6 hours and a fascinating potential romantic interest. Please describe your first date.

mmmm. I like this idea.

OK.

Santa Cruz. Good restaurant, seafood pasta. Kiva for hot tubs and quiet talking. End the evening on the beach with dessert and wine and a small bonfire. Learning to smooch them on a blanket on the beach by firelight. Holding hands walking back to the car as I return them to where we met up. Goodbye kiss that's a promise for the second date.

Yeah.
that'd work.

Ask me a question.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Bit pensive today. It's quiet, just the laundry thumping round, and I've got lots and lots to do or that I should be doing, but... But.

I wonder what home is.

Part of this has to do with the fact that I am indeed, technically homeless.
I mean, god bless Laura for taking me in. But it's not MY home. It's hers.

Is home some random apartment I don't yet have possession of?
Is home a domicile at all, or is it as large as a city I know my way around... and am comfortable travelling thru?
Is home the Starry Plough, or the Fair Oaks Tudor Faire?
Is home the living room of a dear friend who's having me over for dinner and a heart-to-heart talk?

One former lover and still dear friend talked about places wrapped around people. For me, Aberystwyth is more than a medieval Welsh town, it's Spiky John and Pete, Big John and Andrew, Shasta and Rachael, Sarah, Stephen, the girls in the dorm, my teachers and the shopkeepers, the other students we'd play billiards with, go to the pub or the football club/dance hall.

Berkeley is still Kevin and Ammy, though neither of them has lived there in over 2 years (?).

Sacramento is my mom (and dad, though he's dead), my sister and her husband and my nephew, my high-school friends, and many of my pagan friends and Faire friends.

I'm in this weird limbo-space. Or a weird gypsy space, perhaps.
Heather Alexander's CD, "A Gypsy's Home" has a title song with the lyrics
Don't tell a gypsy she has no home...
My road is wide and my sky is tall
And before I die I will see it all...


At the moment, I don't feel like I'm supposed to put down permanent roots.
I feel like those plants my mom keeps in vases and glasses for YEARS before she puts them in dirt, if ever.

The potential of my current life is strange and wonderful. There is no fixed horizon, no concrete path.
It's a beautiful, terrifying thing.
But I won't "settle," not ever again.

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