Tear it down/Build it up. Assess. Repeat

The reason I decided I wanted to start painting was simple; I did not know how to paint well. Granted well is a very subjective word- I had never really picked up the medium and paint was something I wanted to familiarize myself with. I typically dabble in acrylic but recently some free water color paper made it’s way into my life and I was stoked. What’s better than free anything? Free art supplies (and maybe free booze). Other than experimenting with my wine pieces I haven’t used watercolor much. The best way to learn a new technique or medium in my book is to throw yourself into it. Just go for it, dive in and see what comes of the process.
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” -Pablo Picasso.

While painting today I was being very pensive. I tend to treat my life very similar to the way I treat my painting affairs. I don’t think too much about what I am going to do before I do it, I dive in and go with my gut. With the paint I would start something and then completely wash it away- deconstruction that would breed new creation. And. This. Is. My. Life.

Something I so completely enjoy about watercolor is the depth of shades you are able to pull from just one pigment. Something that starts out so deep and rich when diluted can become almost non existent though what I find most beautiful is letting the color just swirl in the water on the paper. Before the paint and water have decided on a shade their entire spectrum is visible in just that small drop of water and I love it. Life like my paint has so much depth, it’s complexities are overwhelming often-  so flow with it, enjoy every shade, each emotion, own your truths. Learn to appreciate your ability to display such an impressive and beautiful array of depth.

I somehow just sighed and whispered “fuck” out of confusion/sadness/life yet followed it with the thought “I’m so happy”. This has been my brain in Portland. I am glad I am here, I am working it all out. I think I will call this collection I am working on “Swallowed up in space”
Good enough words for now.

Weddings out the bum

this doesn’t need to be an entry, I was just using wordpress rather than lame notepad since Microsoft Word has been wiped off my laptop. This could be much better but it’s not a speech or anything just a blurb for something wedding related.
Might as well post it for the sake of an ‘update’

I remember the first day I met Amanda, I was sitting at the bottom of a stairwell anxiously waiting to see and hold her, then there she was, wrapped in a tiny, soft blanket- my baby sister. Twenty one years have passed now and with every passing day I grow to love and appreciate her more. I remember when Amanda was young and her sister and I admitted to being too tired to keep playing ‘Cats and Dogs’, she would run screaming to mom and dad “sissy’s are being mean!” us older girls would get yelled at of course to be nice and that “she’s the baby” it made us so mad! I don’t know why that memory sticks out in my head but I find it hilarious, I had no idea back then that that seemingly spoiled little sister of mine would turn out to be such a beautiful, smart, loving, and humble woman.
Growing up in the Seattle area I wasn’t always there to meet Amanda’s boyfriends through the years and would try to keep up with her ever changing heart but I do remember the day I was finally able to meet Riley. I remember thinking to myself how impressed I was at how he interacted with our family, how he fit right in, and the way he took care of Amanda. Riley has always done everything in his power to make sure Amanda is happy and loved. Through the years both Amanda and Riley have learned a lot about each other and relationships, through trials and tribulations their connection has always led them back to one another and now rather than teens infatuated they are adults in love and ready to commit to joining their lives forever. Amanda has so much love and grace to give and I know in my heart Riley would move a mountain for my baby sister, he is a driven and dedicated man worthy of her giant heart. I am overjoyed that these two have found happiness in each other’s arms and a home within each other’s souls. I cannot wait to see them on their journey as husband and wife and continue to give them my love an support throughout their lives. To many happy years and smiles and dancing sprinklers. I love you

I need to learn to meditate and is the world going to shit or is it just me?

So I’m sure I’ve talked about this before in past entries and with friends in conversation but I tend to struggle with “natural vs medicinal” when it comes to my health.
I can’t quite put my finger on it but I have had such an ominous gut feeling lingering about lately- globally and personally I worry about health. I worry not just on a physical level but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A large part of me believes strongly in the power of thought. I try to push negative thoughts and feelings aside but as I am sure everyone can agree, doing so can often be difficult. I would not say I am a “germaphobe” but with the amount of public transportation taken as well as the personal contact with strangers my boyfriend and I go through daily I definitely worry more than I used to. There is only so much a glove can protect from- what happens when warm weather sets in?! I refuse to be the weirdo in the medical mask and latex gloves ridding the blue line downtown!
Germs aside, this entry wasn’t prompted by a bus ride, handshake, or the fact that my nose is running to Peru right now. I have an acquaintance who at 24 years old was diagnosed with cancer and epilepsy. She had a large brain tumor and was given only a very short time to live. She has since decided to give up on western medicine and in turn opts for holistic practices- marijuana oil, tuning forks, a raw diet, reiki etc. to help with her now sizably smaller tumor.  I won’t get into telling her story, I don’t know it well enough nor is it my story to tell but while visiting her YouTube channel today I very much contemplated my lifestyle.
This gut feeling I can’t seem to shake has me thinking of war, outbreaks, loss of love and life in general. I can’t explain my worry exactly but I feel like a change is needed. (Oh hey someone who thinks the world could use change!- that’s a new idea.)
I had thoughts of gardening and sustainability, being able to REALLY take care of myself. I don’t want to have to check labels and worry about what is in my food and where it has been. I also don’t want to have to worry about my future children getting polio because someone thought it was a precious idea to ignore science and reason and not vaccinate their cloth diaper wearing, home birthed babies. Okay, okay- to be straight I actually fully support and am all about home births and cloth diapers but anti-vaccers really bother me and it’s a hot button of mine. I feel like I am taking two sides of an argument here and it may seem confusing …and it is really. I’m not sure where I am going with things.

I suppose this is what I am thinking- we could all live a little more organically, become more self reliant and seek some accountability BUT to an extent. Nothing is good in extreme. I don’t think because you want to live more organically that science should be ruled out- saying no to artificial coloring is one thing, saying no to vaccinations is another.

Well this certainly has become a mess of an entry. Between not knowing exactly where I stand on an idea and being passionate about another mixed with my already random though patterns I have ended up with this thrown together bit.
To get back to where I intended to start, I wonder how much a significant change in diet and lifestyle would really effect my overall health. Would I still struggle with depression and anxiety as I do? In the grand scheme of things will I be much better off than I already am? I am still going to die. Maybe that coffee I bought from 7-11 is going to kill me faster. I suppose I just don’t want to make a change after the fact. I don’t want to realize how amazing eating a homegrown diet could be for my health after I have been diagnosed with something life threatening.

gajg.kjdgka fuck. I hate this entry so much. I give up.
Also- I worry technology, having a cell phone, and staring at a screen for hours could also be killing me.
…and my thoughts about things killing me might be killing me. Jesus. I hate my brain sometimes. Shut off.

I need to learn to meditate. I think that would do me wonders.

I’m mostly here to vent because wine and girl talk are not accessible to me.

Can I just say how extremely annoying it can be to have to deal with man – a “more rational” being?
That seems like a fairly obvious statement and I’m sure I could get a few “Amen!”s out of any crowd but REALLY.

I have such a smart, logical, and very rational boyfriend and dammit it can be incredibly frustrating being an emotion wielding woman around him.
Last night I was upset, I wanted to have sex I won’t get into reasons why I was upset but they were slightly hormone (with alcohol on the assist) induced. We never really fight, we argue every now and then and that is about it when it comes to any turbulence in our relationship. So regardless of the short argument I ended up crying (because I am a cry baby, no shame in my game…err, lack of game?) at this point I am no longer really upset about what prompted the argument but more so upset that my boyfriend just goes right to sleep. There was no attempt to fix things, no attempt to console me, no talking about things- he was content to just fall asleep while I cry. Rude! Well at least that’s how I felt and feel. A little concern would have been nice.
This morning he left for work,on the way out he gave me a kiss and told me to have a nice day- the usual. I get a text on his lunch break asking how I was feeling, I say good and we message a bit, I didn’t want to have last night hanging over our heads, so I ask if he was mad about the night before. I apologize, say I overreacted and  that I want him to have a good day and be happy. In reality I am still a bit upset about how the night ended but would rather just move on make our peace. I mentioned how nice of a day I had with him yesterday and didn’t want anything to take away from that.
And then he says this:
“I won’t talk to you when you’re like that anymore. I wasn’t content but I wasn’t going to engage you acting that way.”

First off let me say “acting that way”- yes I overreacted to the situation but overreacted as in I probably could have just ignored things rather than bringing them up and having any feelings at all. I was by no means acting irrational, throwing a fit, or any other crazy behavior a woman can chose to display when she gets into a fight with a man.
And second – RUDE! I do not need to be talked to like I am a child, I found that text to be so very condescending and patronizing. Not cool.
I get it, I was upset and emotional and there wasn’t much our fighting was going to do to resolve things so sleep would seem the logical thing to do but I’m not always thinking logically. Sometimes I am upset, sometimes I cry and sometimes having a boyfriend who isn’t so composed and “rational” would be nice. I was being an emotionally driven woman- just make me feel better, I can guarantee it would be in both of our best interests.

I suppose that is all I have to get off my chest. I’m sure a much more productive talk will take place when he gets home rather than trying to accomplish anything via text while he is at work. John is usually right in how he handles things and I think that is what makes things all the more annoying. I don’t want to be the one who was wrong but a little more of “Happy (live-in girlfriend), happy life” would be nice now and then haha.

Naked as we came

A dose of truth and a story I’m not sure has fully been told.
I keep thinking back to my camping trip this summer.
There was a time I couldn’t commit to someone who was exciting to me yet not quite right because they weren’t John. Though John and I split up for a few months this summer, deep down I knew I wasn’t finished with the relationship we had. I wanted him and while I dated other people in Seattle, I think I was dating just to distract myself from wanting him. Then I met someone, and feelings arose unexpectedly. We decided to date and I was almost happy… but I wasn’t with John. I got quite sick one week and rather than wanting to see the man I was dating I found myself further burring my heart into John, we talked constantly and it was clear we still very much cared for each other. I decided to end things with this Seattle boyfriend and shortly after unforeseen events led me bound for Portland. I was on my way to live with John. Moving was a giant leap of faith for both of us and while part of me wondered if I would think of this Seattle man and regret leaving things I knew I had to explore this path in Portland. John and I were unfinished business and I knew I would always want him if I didn’t fully commit to the relationship.
So here I am in Portland, happy enough and so grateful. I have such a lovely boyfriend.   …but my mind keeps wandering back to this summer and a tent in the forest.
…Then again also back on an Irish pub in Newport Oregon, and a warm February in Sacramento California. There will always be past men and past memories. When do I stop questioning my decisions and learn to trust where I am and who I am with?

I am almost happy.
I don’t know what I want from love.

Gratitude

I managed to unintentionally tie two separate trains of thoughts together cohesively. Nice.

Besides my ongoing quest to answer the ever daunting question of ‘what do I want to do with my life?‘ (something I see more and more comes with the territory of being a twenty-something …and will quite possibly will follow me through adulthood) I find myself searching for the meaning of Love. I’m so worried I will settle or worse believe something to be right and have it be so wrong. I seem to want a passion with another that is unhealthy, in my head that passion translates to love. The rational voice in my head realizes this yet somehow when I am without this type of ‘love’ I crave it. I am currently in a very sensible relationship. Though getting to where we are now has been via an odd and unconventional road, we live together, support one another, and are generally a happy couple. My boyfriend makes sense in the long run. I find him to be insanely attractive, he is smart, caring, and a good, honest man. I see us to be a happy old couple, however at times I wonder if I am happy enough now. We don’t have the same humor, or have the same hobbies and I often wish we had more meaningful conversations. I want to laugh more together. I remind myself that we cannot be each other’s everything- we have friends for that (or at least we would if we didn’t live in a new town and actually knew people) Am I just adjusting to living in a new city and living together? Do I really want MORE? Why should I move on from something good in the search for something else when I’m not even sure what Love really looks and feels like? I won’t, relationships are a commitment and I intend to see where things go. I wonder if the reason I question my own happiness even has anything to do with my relationship at all. It has been mentioned to me that I might never be satisfied and happy with what I have and who I am. Of course this internally infuriates me, the thought that I am creating my own unhappiness- yet this could very well be true. I always want more, better, happier, different. Why is it that rather than appreciating what I have I look to the past and compare or look to the future in hope of better. I don’t think it’s wrong to strive for better but I do fear that I’ll let moments and years pass me by without realizing how precious and perfect they were. It makes me sad to think I might not allow myself to be content. I realized today, while looking at old photographs that every moment captured was so special and beautiful. Photographs I remember thinking I looked heavy in or ones where I knew I had hated my hair cut I look back on now and think “Man, that was a fun age” or “what a good day” even the bad memories I’ve learned to love as life lessons. There will always be something to gripe about, something to pick at, and some dead horse to beat with a stupid stick but what you will remember from your days are the good times whether you appreciate them or not now is a choice. I would rather love my days while I am in them than love them down the road as a memory.

So, to my anxiety, to my stress, and my depression I have this to say:
Relax. Relax about the dishes in the sink, relax about how long every bus ride takes. Stop fussing over your make-up, stop hating your hair and picking apart your relationships. Don’t harp on the future and don’t compare any of your present to your past, today is today and it is fleeting. Love yourself for who you are in every moment, take time to appreciate everything. Smile and have a grateful heart. Also fuck you, I don’t much like you. – Love, A smarter, happier part of your brain.

6

6.
“Indulge in lust a little, and like the child it grows apace.

The wise man hates it therefore; who would take poison for food?
Every sorrow is increased and cherished by the offices of lust.

If there is no lustful desire, the risings of sorrow are not produced, the wise man seeing the bitterness of sorrow, stamps out and destroys the rising of desire….”
– FO-SHO-HING-TSAN-KING 852-854

I feel like all my thoughts here flood towards my last serious relationship- a relationship embedded deeply in lust and desire, lies and sorrow- definitely sorrow. I can’t help but relate lust with addiction.
Part of me finds sorrow to be a beautiful part of life so I suppose that would conflict completely with Buddhism.
This is all I have to say for now. I am being lazy

4&5

4.
“The best scenery is nought-to-see–
That is the Mind-Essence if Illumination.”
– HUNDRED THOUSAND SONGS OF MILAREPA

5.
“You cannot find Buddha nature by vivisection. Reality cannot be caught by thinking or feeling mind. Moment after moment to watch your breathing, to watch your posture, is true nature. There is not secret beyond this point.”
–  SHUNRYU SUZUKI: ZEN MIND , BEGINNER’S MIND

3

3.
“In the same way that someone in the midst of a rough crowd guards a wound with great care, so in the midst of bad company should one always guard the wound that is the mind.”
– SANTIDEVA; BODHICARYAVATARA 5.19

My mind immediately took me to an unexpected place with this quote. While I get the metaphor here and agree that I must guard my mind from negative energy and bad company I couldn’t help but think I should be careful as not to BE that bad company. I have been feeling so very up in the air and distressed recently (and not so recently) I know that my mindset and poor moods have been reflected in my attitude. It’s hard to put myself in check when I am not taking any medication to help balance my anxiety and depression. One day I hope to be able to find balance on my own, medication only does so much, but at the moment (unmedicated) everything easily becomes overwhelming and I would love to be back on something to assist me until I know how to help myself naturally.
Reality is that I will push people out of my life with the wrong attitude. As much as I hope people can love me enough to bare with me through tough times and dark moments I shouldn’t drag people down or take my negativity out on or around them. People will leave and people will start associating me with negativity, stress, and sadness. So today I will think to guard my mind but I will also think to make it so others, the ones I love, do not have to so tightly guard theirs in my company.