In November, as I sat in my very empty apartment, having no idea what direction my life was taking, worried that I’d mucked it all up with a series of debacles that were anything but minor to me, I came to the realization: I wasn’t really living. Living, as it turns out, is messy without all of the controls I’d put in place to pretend that I was satisfied. I had set these goals for myself (all of which I’d managed to accomplish). Then, the floor fell and I’d spent three years picking up the pieces.
Mother’s Day is tomorrow and as I was trying to maintain a more positive attitude about it, I was instead feeling ambiguous. Many, many years ago I stepped into ready-made families and situations that brought children into my life. The first experience was when I was very young and I helped raise 3 young boys. It was a disguised lesson in tolerance, understanding, and I got to give so much love that I thought I’d burst. Those bonds changed as the circumstances of my relationship with their father did, but I learned a lot. I once called them “mine”.
I’d face a girl next and I’d try my best to teach, engage, and inspire her despite some of my major flaws in parenting. It wasn’t until years later that I’d get to see some results of working with her in preparation for tests and school assignments. She’d never agreed with me which was also a lesson on maintaining patience and being humble despite strong, opposite opinions. I once called her “mine”.
The truth is that I was only temporary, a stand-in for the real parents. They will never call me “mom” and those experiences lasted as long as they needed to…in order to learn the lessons.
But it still stings because only I will recognize and know how important each and every one of them were to me. Each connection felt special and they felt as though they belonged to me even if it was only for a time. I know that I have had to let that go but every Mother’s Day, I remember them and it hurts that I won’t get a card or flowers or a day with my kids…because they never truly belonged to me.
Now, I have Cher…and I understand that she also doesn’t belong to me either. Nothing: animal, vegetable, mineral, four- or two-legged belongs to me. All are borrowed beings with their own thoughts, feelings, lives…they are not obligated to love, care, or respect me. There is only one person that can be that for me…
So this Mother’s Day, I am choosing to not wallow in a concept of “what could have been” or a fantasy of what a parent should have. I’m grateful to have had these life experiences at all!
So if Mother’s Day doesn’t live up to your expectations, I hope that you can appreciate whatever you were given. Good moms are hard to come by and if you’ve been graced with a positive experience, congratulations! You are one of the lucky ones. If you’ve had a negative experience, congratulations! I hope that the bad experience can shape your view in such a way as to love others better than what you personally experienced. Either way, I hope you have learned something (anything) so that you can make your peace with it.
I know that I have.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of my readers and, as always, Enjoy! ♡
While grabbing today’s lunch, I decided to grab it “to go” from my favorite food truck. Creature of habit that I am, I always get the same meal: Dal over Rice. In the hundreds of times that I’ve grabbed this meal that has now become one of my go-to lunch staples, I realized why I order this meal so much. It isn’t just the speed of the service nor the servers (which are dutiful and exceptional). It is the great care that they take when placing the often messy dishes into the containers they use. None of the components touch each other or are carelessly thrown in. It is done with the skill and precision of modern artists; their light conversations are seamless and belie the masterful preparation and effort that it takes to make it all look easy. Moreover, the lunch truck is ever-present: Monday through Friday, rain or shine.
I am grateful for my meal and am inspired to make my 9-5 days reach this level. One day at a time…
My design won! This has been an amazing year and I am so grateful to all of those folks out there who voted for me! Thank you, thank you, thank you! ♡
Spring always brings about inspiration in my creative work and I am enjoying the exploration. I’m trying to avoid too much planning and thought because it always interrupts the natural flow so now I find myself revisiting some old techniques and styles that I was successful doing before. There’s a new depth to them and they appear to be more–at least to me–detailed than before. I still think that I need go larger so that I can attempt to replicate them in a larger scale, perhaps using different tools.
The work above was done using a calligraphy pen which I bought recently and the design is very similar to a piece I did in high school. I think that by revisiting them that I am in some small way reclaiming my past using my own take on the technique I was taught in school. I always found myself deviating from what the class was doing anyway because I saw no value in producing artistic work that was restricted to the teacher’s perspective of the world and known skills that others could do much, much better.
I see that having different points of view and frames of reference at historical styles are important and valid for personal growth. I also know that perfecting something that is done with your own two hands is really the goal.
The cosmic clock IS ticking, whether we care to admit it or not. The awareness of this inevitable fact is what motivates me still.
After all, tomorrow isn’t promised.
Please VOTE HERE for my design (Lisa from Jersey):
I am stretching, flowing, learning. I am making mistakes, being kind and staying the same while changing. Maybe I’m becoming more of myself; evolving.
I find myself much like Alice and Malice. Never wanting to fall up or down, really. I just want the elevator to be like Willy Wonka’s…sideways and up and up like an air balloon.
I am different, for sure. I am relieved. Joyful. Blessed. Happy. But I’m also emotional; aware of the world and how beautiful it is and how subtle, surprising and fluid.
My Latest Obsession Have Been Songs with Interesting Stories to Tell:
“Naci en Alamo” is a song without origin or ownership. Translated into different languages and versions, it keeps getting re-purposed and claimed and re-interpreted by different countries, which fascinates me.
“The Girl From Ipanema” has been in my head for a week now. I downloaded four different versions with varied points of view both masculine and feminine. I love the way people interpret and modernize it into jazz, big-band, and it’s original, familiar bossa-nova.
My days are getting curiouser and curiouser as I tumble down this rabbit hole. But I’m hoping to come out on the other side… transformed.
Tell me…who’s at YOUR tea party? Are you feeling mad as a hatter? Or are you, like me just growing and growing until you soon outgrow where you live even?
I wonder where this little door leads…hmm…let’s see…
Here’s my avatar (designed by the wonderful Beth Sobel). She’s amazing…
Shout out to the League of Extraordinary Penpals founders, Julie Trévily-Pigeon and Denise Hotze. They are amazing and are truly kind, wonderful, dedicated people who understand the Art of Snail Mail.
I have found my people…