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Sunday, August 19, 2012

what works for me now...

So... this week, which has been helacious has also brought about some really interesting things... How about instead of asking Why? I ask What if? How about instead of dreading all the things left to do, I celebrate what is accomplished? How about remembering that everyone starts somewhere, and all those somewhere's are different and I'm not in a race, I'm on a journey? How about moving past forgiving and into forgetting? How about doing what works instead of repeatedly doing what doesn't in hopes that I will "work" in a way that isn't so different? How about not just believing but saying out loud, "love is enough" (without adding the disclaimer that it has to be, because some days it's all I've got) How about letting the things and people that are clamoring for my attention actually get some of it, instead of viewing them as a distraction? I made art this week... I made art I like this week. I wrote this week. I wrote stuff that needed to see the light of day so that it would stop darkening my heart.
This is a Swoon post, because, I'm really loving what works.

Friday, August 10, 2012

26 years later, this is how it feels

I need to preface this with a few things-- I'm busy getting myself entrenched in Effy Wild's Book of Days, using the word "surfacing" as my word for the year. This part of my story is the first time I ever fought my way back up to a place I could call me. As I'm flinging the mud in my own world again, this time in my life keeps revisitng to me to remind me that something good always comes from the hard stuff... that there is a reason you bring yourself to the place of breaking. And I think that this might be the definitive retelling of this part of my story... There is art that goes along with it, but the art and I are still making our way to see things the same way.
Once upon a time, he was the center of my world. He was everything I ever wanted and the only thing I needed. He loved me… and I #loved# that he loved me, perhaps more than I loved him at all. My whole world shrank down to him—and how he saw me and what he wanted from me and how I could give him what he wanted. And he wanted all of me. In that space between loving him and losing me is where I found out how much “all of me” was. It was not just the breath I took, but that the taste of the air held only him… It was not just the clothes that II wore, but that they showed me as he liked to see me and liked to have me seen. I was his doll… and in that there is a truth I don’t love about myself—I liked it. I liked being the centre of his world until I learned the most important part about being someone else’s sun %-- it means that there is no you left for just yourself. So it meant that I pushed too hard to still be me… angry, aggressive, smart, a Moltov cocktail with a fuse ever hanging close to a flame. With all of me, I both gave and threatened to take away the absolute control. I pushed against the “be sweet for this, be sexy for that, be tough for the next thing, bend when I need it, break when I ask. Say yes. Say yes.” So I said no. Sweet, but with smoldering make-up. Sexy, but in clothes so complicated to remove that by the time I was undressed neither of us cared about the sex anymore. Tough, but so removed that it made no difference if I was strong enough—no one dared get close enough to find out. And I bent… to not smoking in front of his friends, to wearing silk dresses to church, to not drinking beer with the boys, to being everything he wanted every minute he wanted me and nowhere in sight when he didn’t or I couldn’t be. And I said no. And broke when he asked me, because I had said yes, and I didn’t know how I could say both, be both the girl who said yes and said no. I didn’t know that he needed more than he wanted, and that he hurt more than he loved. And so my no was still yes, and I bent, back over the hood of his car, and I broke inside… but not the way I thought—I broke away from being the centre. I broke away from being the doll. The cigarette that I did not let fall from my hand lit the fuse on that Moltov cocktail and in time I exploded—away from him, out of my self, into the space where I began to really take me apart piece by piece and learn. How to be sweet. How to be sexy. How to be tough… How to bend. How to break. And to say yes. Say yes. I came up from that place a long time ago, and brought him back down into it once—to hurt him. To take me back. To make him say yes. Yes. And then no. And the sadness in his face when I took that no and twisted it into a yes that he physically could not control is the sadness that belonged to him and I simply returned. It was cruel. And it worked. I walked away that night with a hole in my heart that was no longer filled with shame, but with the space to begin to take on something new. In many ways, no one has ever known me better. In many ways, no one has ever touched me more deeply. In many ways, the connection between us is still as strong as it was. I forgave him. I forgave myself. He will always be a part of my story and I will always be thankful for the things I learned, though not always for the ways in which I learned them. . And, now, I will always be the girl who can say no and say yes.

Monday, March 5, 2012

There is always another hill to climb... and a give-away

Good morning... and it is, really, a good morning. I woke, at 4:00 am, as I always do, though today I will work an overnight to try to get my store back in shape... to catch up and get a little ahead of the game and feel a bit more under control again. work has been both my saving grace and the bane of my existence for awhile now. I'm treading water in a position that challenges my skills and ways of doing things, and like anything "new" it forces me to change the way I've been doing things and to learn a new routine. I'm fine with that, but the learning curve, which includes a steep incline of failing before success, is difficult. I am looking forward to breathing room again, to the place where I feel that I am in control agaion. I know that that is an illusion-- that there is rarely any control of outside forces, but at least I'll have the illusion, and as you whoread me regularly know, I believe in the strength of illusions. On the home front, we've managed to hang on to the house, for at least the next year anyway-- we'll be dirt poor, but that is certainly not the worst thing that could come of all this. We are having to learn new ways of pulling together and tightening the belts, but we are doing it. And that, alone, is something amazing. All of the change and stress has made me crave silence and solitude which is hard to find as a mom, partner and manager... It is hard to find when the deepest parts of me also always want to reach out, be a part of something, matter. And it's an interesting journey to watch from outside of myself as I patch the cracks, find the things that work for me and become a little louder about my needs... I am used to not allowing anyone else to help or take care of me. I'm used to always being strong and in control (see above comments on illusions). I am stepping back a bit, letting things fall apart a little and seeing what in the wreckage are actually things I want to save... Interestingly enough, each of those things begins with me, and ends with me giving back... Planet You, finding my groove with work, being a better mom, having more peace at home, making more art. So there are plans in the works to take a week of vacation time and turn one room in the house into studio space for me, where I can create in an environment that is just for that. I am shedding the guilt of having taken over the diningroom, the breakfast nook and every other available square inch of space to create... I'll have my one place (though I still may need extra room to store supplies). I'm standing up for time to myself and the right to say No More... to work and at home. I'm talking more and more to my quiet self about what she really needs to thrive, because the thing about being Planet Kaere, just like being Planet You, is that it is still easy to simply do what we do instead of do what we desire. So, also on my list of actions to take is to stop keeping things I might need one day, and stop adding to the yardsale pile and have that yardsale instead. As I've been going through the house, trying to even make enough space to accomodate the Great Spare Bedroom takeover, I've come across quite a bit of "stuff" that is just-- MORE. So, for anyone who wants a little "more" in their world, I'm having a little giveaway...
A priority mail medium sized box (or the equivalent if you are elsewhere in the world because priority mail to y'all is too expensive for me) filled with art/scrapbooking/mixed media/ journaling supplies.
A five by eight journal
an assortment of patterend paper and cardstock
paper flowers
assorted bling
glass beads
a box of coloured chalks (crayola)
Maya Road chipboard book (I use mine as masks and stencils)
an assortment of fibers (floss and ribbons)
stickers and other adhesive embellishments.

So here's how to enter (each action counts as an entry)
1. Leave a comment on this blog post
2. "like" Planet You on facebook
(and remember to leave me a comment saying that you liked it.)

3. Subscribe to the newsletter (little button over on your right)
4. Become a registered user at the Planet You shop (no purchase required) (and make sure you leave a comment here telling me that you registered)

I'll be collecting comments etc. until midnight, March 9, and I'll announce a winner sometime on Saturday. Your package will post on Monday the twelfth.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sometimes, you just have to jump...

Wow... the emotional rollercoaster of the last few days has been extreme. The incredible sense of relief, the incredible sadness, love, fear, resolution, determination... you name it, I've been there. We're approaching the last few days of gathering information that will be the cornerstone of our decision to keep the house or walk away. In the past 48 hours, I've met with a bankruptcy attorney, called my family to tell them we are likely moving back, told my boss that I will be relocating in may, called home again to say that we might not have to leave, told my boss that I may not have to leave, and had quite a few conversationswith friends and coworkers about leaving. The thing here, behind all the rest of it, is that we have an SBA disaster loan that is, well, a disaster. But the crux of the change was telling the SBA that they could take the house-- to which they responded : um... no... we don't want to do that, let's see what we can work out. Now, it's not like we haven;t been asking them to work with us for the past six months, but this is the fist time we've simply said No More. If we don't fix the HVAC system the house will be unliveable come mid May, if we don't fix the plumbing (and resulting carpentry issues) problems, one bath day we'll find ourselves sitting under the house. If we continue to pay the SBA we can't do the repairs (and yes, doing them is still going to be a huge belt tightening pull on an already emaciated piggy bank) but it is mostly doable. It's been a lot of conversations about what is and isn't okay now, and what will and won't be okay in the future. It's been conversations about limits and how far past them we've already been pushed, are willing to continue being pushed, are incapable of being pushed anymore. It's been conversations about disappointment, shame, desire, blood from a stone, blood from a dream, and the incredible powers of belief, faith, and the universe. It has been moments of silent frustration at all the things that "could have been". Through it all has been a sense of peace, because those that love and care about us are gathering around us (physically and spiritually) with hugs and support and prayers and positive thoughts and the kindest words and gestures. To be told, so often, in the past few days that "We just want you to be happy and safe" has been such a relief as we've gone from calling to movers to putting on the brakes on having to leave has been the happiest and safest knowledge we've had in awhile. But I can breathe again. And by the end of the day today, I expect to know a whole lot more about how things are going to go, an yes, that could mean that we're back on the short list of packing it up and heading on out. And I appreciate all of you who are going though this ride vicariously. I'm sorry it is so DRAMA filled. I'm not a drama person, usually. But I do know that whatever comes, we'll be okay, and we are surrounded by people who love us and care about us. I know that no matter what happens, the world still needs more art and love and kindness. And i know that even when I least feel like it, giving more is the only way to make this world more resemble the one I believe in.

Make something beautiful with your hands and your heart,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

There will be time and time Enough...

A million years ago, shortly after I stopped studying art and started studying language, I had a bit of a meltdown about writers who seemed to love obscurity for obscurity's sake... and then, I really did fall in love with TS Eliot...and that one line seems to always be at the center of my psyche...
The world has been slowly pushing me into decisions, making the way to make things clear... and so after surviving a winter with no heat, we've hit the first day of 80 degrees and Joe decided to test the air... no such luck. The line iced over and at least he turned the unit off before we ended up with another ceiling flood. But this is the catalyst... because Joe and Sea will be miserable in the heat of the summer here-- and we haven't the ability to use a different type of cooling system... so while we are just barely scraping by with the changes the SBA has made to our house note, we simply cannot replace a six thousand dollar air unit. So, I'll spend these couple of days off making arrangements for moving the family back east... and see what comes from really shaking the tree... The thing is that as hard as things have been here, as difficult as work is, I love being here. I love this house and my job and my work family and all the life we've been building here. The thing is that I can't believe that I'm going to lose my house for want of a six thousand dollar repair... and a few thousand additional dollars a year... it is that small an amount, and that much riding on it. And I have a hard time wrapping my head around that. The thing is that with all the great things beginning to come into our lives, nothing is happening fast enough to stop this slow-motion trainwreck. I'm brave... always have been and hopefully, always will be... but I'm scared about this... about disappointing people and the emotional back lash of feeling like a failure. I'm afraid that this surrender will be the beginning of a series of surrenders back into a life i don't want to live. I know that there are choices here, and that at the end of every hour I am in control of those but I feel a bit adrift. So I'm sitting here with a glass of wine and a cigarette and eyes with barely contained tears, sniffling in my sadness at a good bye I'm not really desiring. I'm sitting here calling in my miracles, all at once, please. just this one more time (because keeping us alive through Hurricane Katrina might have taken all the miracles I had at that time) and accepting that sometimes even the RIGHT answer isn't the one we most want. But I'm really hoping that there are still just enough miracles left in my life to keep us in this life here, in our house. We've gone so far as to set up a charity fund which makes me feel both grateful and ashamed at the same time. I believe that there is answer that will not diminish us. I just don't know what it is yet. so I keep up with my Book of Days journal

and I still try to do my best at work, I work on thePlanet You shop and am still working on the upcoming Planet You
workshops. Life is going to go on and I'm going to continue to do my best to find my place in it and offer peace and kindness where I can. "The world will turn, at least that's what they say, we'll crash and burn it's hard to look away, these kinds of things are easier to say than do." -- Aimee Mann

Make something beautiful with your heart and your hands,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Love and suffering...

So... it's St. Valentine's Day... and unlike most, I am drawn to the martyr images of St. Valentine... which are horrific but yet, strangely peaceful. Love is something that is easier to think about as puppy kisses, new baby smells, fuirst date stomach flutters. It is hard to remember that with love comes a certain and distinct amoun of suffering-- the pain we feel when those we love are hurting, the stretching of ourselves to allow room for another to really inhabit our lives, the plain day to day dealing with the little things that we don't even like about those we love... because yes... love doesn't erase that he leaves the toilet seat up, or he answers every question witha question... love simply makes room or the piler of dislikes to gather in a corner waiting to be swept away as part of the weekly chores. Real Love is work... it is commitment, and one that requires reaffirming. Real love is soul spreading-- which is awesome, in the truest sense of that word. Real love is worth more than just having one day dedicated to it... worth remembering and honoring every day. Real love is a blessing. In the midst of all the hardship I am facing... when it is easier to say "just forget this" and get out, I work hard every day not to just remember but to express my love for those in my life.

Today-- don't just say I love you, make a pact with yourself to say it more often.
Make something beautiful with your heart and your hands,

Monday, February 13, 2012

a little Reorganization at the Shop at Planet You

Whew... I've been on a getting organized kick... which is only just beginning to show as a more space and less clutter reward. In my efforts to pare things down, streamline my storage and cataloguing and generally make life a little easier and less stressful I decided to re-do the Shop at Planet You... which was NOT less stressful or easy, but I'm a technophobe, and I learn most things by failing at them the first, second, third or fiftieth time. But... here's the deal... if you haven't visited the Shop at Planet You, come take a peek... Currently in stock are an assortment of Adirondack Paint Dabbers, Punchinella, Derwent Inktense Pencils, scrap paper grab bags, some Crafter's workshop Stencils, and soon to be available are Dylusions Ink sprays, and Crafter's Workshop Face Stencils... and psst... Next Week... the 7 Gypsies Binderie & adapter will be in stock (sorry, but no coupons allowed on this one). The next line I hope to be carrying is Golden Paints and Mediums... so keep an eye out for those!
Domestic Shipping is built into the price of every item. No ugly surprises at checkout. I offer coupons about once a month (register for the newsletter to your right). Hope you're all busy making something beautiful wth hands and your hearts,