Tuesday, June 29, 2010

so that's what i've been trying to do!

turns out there's a name for us weirdos who prefer to do everything ourselves and dream of self sufficiency on our own little piece of land. we're called urban homesteaders and it's a quiet revolution that's been going on for a while. i love the diy attitude and living lightly on the earth. i dream of having a big vegetable and herb garden, a mini orchard, a chicken coup for eggs, maybe a goat or a single cow for milk, and honey bees. i love making bread from scratch, eating a salad with actual flavor that's still warm from the sun in the back yard. i want to make jam and dehydrate apple chips and sew my own clothes. it's not that i want to live on a big farm in the middle of nowhere. i just want to live a simpler, healthier life, reliant on my own skills and the bounty of the earth instead of being nothing but a consumer. and i love the flexibility of doing as much or as little as i want or have time and skills for. i love that i can ease into this. i love that i look at my current life and see a lot of things i already do that seem so normal to me but no one else i know knows how or bothers. i can see this growing throughout my life and one day someone new meeting me and pointing out how strange my lifestyle is. i get that sometimes even now and find myself going "huh, ya i guess it is, isn't it?". so instead of the crazy cat lady i'm going to end up the mini-farm city girl or something. whatever. i'm going back to learning how to make brew mead in my closet and grow tomatoes in a little pot outside my door. so there.

oh hello my people!

like to get my hands on this movie, it looks inspiring

Saturday, June 26, 2010

on art and creativity

something that came to me recently and it's one of those silly little personal epiphanies where you say "why didn't i ever think of that before?". maybe it's part of my healing and developing more self esteem and maybe it's just getting older and more capable and jaded but i find myself struck recently by the simplicity of the world. that when you understand how things work you wonder why they ever seemed out of your league and complicated. i watch workers "install" new windows and screens in my apartment and i get how it comes together and how easy it all is. perhaps it takes practice and precision, but it's not mystical or amazing. it's glass glued to metal, set into the frame of a hole in the wall with sealant to keep the water out. no mystery to it. building a house or other structure is just setting wood or metal into the ground with concrete, adding more wood and jiprock and insulation and putting a roof on top. perhaps this is one of those things that the rest of the world figured out before me and maybe it's my diy spirit but maybe the rest of the world thinks this way as well:that things you don't know how to do or create are mysterious and complicated and you should never attempt them. working in tech support and seeing first hand people's fear of technology leads me to believe such. maybe i've just had too much of this martini on an empty stomach. i find more and more that when i understand that nature of a thing it seems much simpler then i imagined and i can't fathom how i ever though it was otherwise. i find this kind of understanding and insight leads to interesting things in my crafts and art work. one of my more recent paintings is an abstract of bright tropical colours overlayed with a rough bird of paradise flower and looking at it i find myself thinking of a line out of a terry pratchet novel that talks about a rough sketch of a horse that is "not what a horse looks like, it's what it are". i feel the same about that painting. it's not what a bird of paradise looks like, it's what it IS: delicate and energetic and exotic and passionate. perhaps that's why i work in mixed media. sometimes to revel in creating something in materials where i understand their nature, sometimes in order TO understand their nature. to work with it and around it and feel my gift flowing through me and put something somewhere because 'that's just where it goes'. perhaps that's also why i'm drawn to plants and animals and all the other life around me. i can understand and work with and change all the lifeless objects around me to suit myself, i can never force a plant to grow or my cat to be happy and playful or the birds to come to my feeder. they will act according to their natures and i cannot control a thing about them. they create the world around me as much as i do and when i revel in their beauty i am also appreciating my own gifts and understanding. our talents are the goddess's gift to us. what we do with them are our gift to her.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

inspiring poem from somewhere or other

Dies Slowly by Pablo Neruda

Dies slowly he who transforms himself in slave of habit,
repeating every day the same itineraries,
who does not change brand,
does not risk to wear a new color and doesn't talk to whom doesn't know.

Dies slowly he who avoids a passion,
who prefers black to white
and the dots on the "i" to a whirlpool of emotions,
just those ones that recover the gleam from the eyes,
smiles from the yawns,
hearts from the stumbling and feelings.

Dies slowly he who does not overthrow the table when is unhappy at work,
who does not risk the certain for the uncertain
to go toward that dream that is keeping him awake.

Who does not allow, at least one time in life, to flee from sensate advises.

Dies slowly he who does not travel, does not read,
does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself.

Dies slowly he who destroys his self love,
who does not accept somebody's help.

Dies slowly he who passes his days complaining of his bad luck or the incessant rain.

Dies slowly he who abandons a project before starting it,
who does not ask over a subject that does not know
or who does not answer when being asked about something he knows.

Dies slowly he who does not share his emotions, joys and sadness,
who does not trust, who does not even try.

Dies slowly he who does not relive his memories
and continues getting emotional as if living them at that moment.

Dies slowly he who does not intent excelling,
who does not learn from the stones of the road of life,
who does not love and let somebody love.

Let's avoid death in soft quotes,
remembering always that to be alive demands an effort much bigger
that the simple fact of breathing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

what is this inner child thing?

sounds like a whole lot of psychobabble to me. the idea that we were frozen at the time of our childhood trauma and have remained buried and frozen at that age and with that unresolved pain even as the rest of our minds grew up. i would say "ya, and homeopathy is real" except that A)homeopathy seems to be the only thing that works for my cat and B)EVERYONE who has ever gone through healing from childhood sexual abuse agrees that it is so. huh. ok then, how does one fix this? i've been asking myself that for some time now and i think i might have the beginning glimmerings of a clue after last night. i couldn't sleep and i'm not getting any so i thought i'd masturbate and maybe then i could sleep, right? until my subconscious decided that my normal "well that was disappointing, i wonder if i'll ever have sex with anyone else again" thoughts warranted losing it and bawling my eyes out for no reason i could figure out. very odd sensation to not know why i was suddenly so incredibly heart broken but not being able to stop my body from responding. it was like i was watching myself have a nervous breakdown from some corner of my forehead that was unaffected for some reason. as this went on and on i decided to just go with it and observe, and i started seeing all this stuff come up. all these negative self-hate tapes i'm usually pretty good at shutting off now. and it started feeling distinctly like there were two me's. the adult me who was bemusedly wondering what all this was about and about a 12 year old me who was howling out her pain that she was unloved and unwanted and hurt all the time. how she felt her body belonged to someone else since other people use it and abuse it to their own purposes and it wasn't a safe place to live so she was numb most of the time. how she felt trapped in that body and hated to have anyone touch her for any reason. how she didn't believe that anyone could ever help her or love her. how she wanted to die. how no one ever heard her. strangely i found my hand stroking my own hair of it's own accord and physically flinched as the twelve (maybe twelve?) year old violently pulled away from anyone touching her or trying to comfort her, telling me comfort of any kind is just the lies people tell you so they can hurt you more. i felt like i was betraying her when i had to force myself out of bed to go read and break out of my head space so i could sleep sometime before work. i didn't know how to say "we have to go to bed now, please calm down" without sounding like every other adult who had ever dismissed her feelings and told her in so many words she was not allowed to be angry or sad or scared. i think i should pursue this further. going to go find the chapter on this in courage to heal.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

on feminism and periods

i find it this rather entertaining. at the same time i find it equally entertaining that the only difference between these and regular kotex products is the packaging (neon colours!) the price ($5 more!) and them making fun of themselves. at the same time, though, they have the traditional (read:cliche) ads happening in Australia with different packaging (black!)

so clearly the only thing that's changed is someone a little smarter works in the advertising department. i don't worry about the whole issue myself since i take birth control without a break (more on that in another post), and i do approve of busting the retarded decades-old ad styles and shame game, but i do think somewhere they missed the fucking point. there is absolutely no reason to use disposable period products of any kind. women have been using cloth and sponges for hundreds of thousands of years and had less medical problems from it. moreover i think the "change the packaging so no one knows it's a tampon and then seem hip by making fun of our old image" is rather insidious and neatly sidesteps the main issue of menstruation being a taboo topic of conversation. our history books have gone so far as to make it seem we're really nice and modern and tolerant now since "we used to make bleeding women stay in their own tent or building since they were considered unclean". this is another of those cases of history is written by the victors and just because it could be worse doesn't make the present better. those history books fail to mention the rich sisterhood that existed in that seclusion time. the time honored traditions passed from mother to daughter, the gentle time of rest and celebration. this was not a tradition of men screaming "EEEEW! BLOOD! throw her over there, out of sight!" this was a voluntary ancient tradition of female power and wisdom which the men who wrote the history books were so terrified of they twisted it out of all recognition. even if any of that "history" were true it would not excuse our current society's attitude towards healthy women of a childbearing age (which really is rather "EEEEW BLOOD!"). if we want to really take feminine power back where it belongs, it begins with owning our bodies. it begins with handling the hygiene of blood the same way we view any other body fluid: it's a fact of life. it's as gross or clean as you want to think it is. there is certainly no need to fill our landfills with disposable products that are harmful in their production, use, and decomposition. you want to do something really radically feminist? trade your tampons for a diva cup and your plastic pads for cloth ones you throw in the washer with the towels. stop blushing and averting your eyes when people talk about vaginas and bleeding therein. refuse to accept people implying you are not to be taken seriously due to pms or hormones and demand the respect you deserve as a competent adult human with valid emotions and thoughts. and most importantly: teach your daughters and sisters and mothers the same.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

craving passion

i actually dreamed last night. that's very rare in itself but even more rare was that it wasn't a horrible nightmare of the chased-by-a-serial-killer variety. it was a rather sweet scene of a first kiss with someone i know that i'm mildly attracted to in real life. as much as my sex drive feels like it has been taken out back and beaten to death, i do find myself finally craving tenderness and intimacy again. i often get this way when i'm single and i'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse since it has lead me to poor decisions in the past. i find myself desperately wanting to really FEEL something. i find my days to be generally...beige. i'm not doing much of anything, i'm not even trying for much of anything. i certainly don't feel anything other then boredom for the most part. as much as i know just how deeply it can cut i find myself craving a romance of some kind just for the distraction of feeling alive. as much as it can hurt like your dying, at least it's better then feeling nothing. that's the worst of the singledom for me, i feel dead inside. i want to LIVE. i crave the glorious highs and horrible lows. i feel like i'm locked in stasis and wasting my youth, too scared to do anything. that's not really true of course. to be honest i haven't been really attracted to anyone in some two or three years. i don't know if that's because i haven't bothered to meet anyone new or because i have cut myself off from the possibility. oh whatever. i will resolve to meet my need for emotion through striving to grow as a person and little adventures like rock climbing and camping. chasing after romance for it's own sake has never done anyone any good. i'm more then half resolved that i've had my last relationship and sexual experience ever anyways, best not to dwell.