A very tired and brain-dead widow reporting in tonight on this last night of NaBloPoMo 2016.
I’m back home from my evening event – a movie night put on by my downstair’s tenant, the museum. I drifted off during the show a couple of times for a second or two. And I really enjoyed the movie and had been looking forward to it too! Grrrr.
As I am so brain-dead I had to log onto Facebook to see what the writing prompt was for today as I GOT NUTHIN’, dear Blog.
The prompt was: Have you chosen a word of the year for yourself for 2017?
Hell no…but I’d guess I’d better if I ever want to get this post down and hit the sack. So here goes:
My word is REACH. I will be reaching down deep inside as I start my year-long mandala and art journalling course. I will be reaching up high at work if the opportunities I am currently researching the hell out of do become reality. I will be reaching all around to push my body back to better health and fitness once I get the all-clear from the doctor.
After giving myself a stern talking-to, I did manage to haul my ass down the street to yoga class tonight.
Didn’t go last week ‘cos I thought I was coming down with the plague. Still feel that way but no plague in sight so no reason not to go. It’s the plague that cried wolf, clearly. Last week it was in my ear tubes. Now it’s made my throat feel rough – hot and sandy. Like I was screaming my lungs out at a concert the night before. Feels just like the beginning of the flu but it never advances into full-blown disease. Weird.
As I knew would happen, I was glad I went to yoga once it was done…but the gettin’ there?! Oh man.
Received 2 Christmas cards in the mail today. Reminding me that I need to do mine – especially the ones for overseas. I usually love doing this (as I love going to yoga) but right now Everything is Hard.
Yoga, Christmas, writing this blog post…you name it. Everything. Is. Hard.
I’ve had a tree up for over a week but nary a decoration on it yet. And no inclination to hang any. I will have to force myself to do this, as I forced myself to put the tree up in the first place, and forced myself to go to yoga. And will force myself to send out Christmas cards.
This is not me.
But obviously it IS me. For now, for this time. I am sure this too will pass.
Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is “What was your most precious possession when you were a kid?”
That reminded me of something that – while not exactly qualifying as a precious possession to me then (although it is one now) – certainly captivated me as a kid and started a little obsession that is still going strong today: dragonflies.
Last week I had a little person (and parents) visit me at my place. Dad pointed out the dragonfly symbol to be found all over the house, and encourage the young man to seek them out in all the rooms. Then came the inevitable question: “Why do you like dragonflies so much?”
Well, here is how it all began:
When I was 2 years old, my mother took me to the Netherlands to show me (off) to all the relatives, being the first grandchild in the family and all. To keep me amused, my grandmother (Oma) let me play with her teaspoons and apparently I became especially enamoured of the one with the dragonfly on the handle. So much so, that it was given to me. And I still have it to this day.
I don’t know for sure the origin of this spoon. I do know that there was (and still is) a women’s magazine in the Netherlands called Libelle. Which is the Dutch word for dragonfly.
I think this may have been a promotional item for the magazine but have no way of knowing for sure as both Oma and Mom are gone now.
Since that time I’ve had a fascination with dragonflies. Across the street from my childhood farmhouse home was a pond and some abandoned fields. As kids, my sisters and I spent hours playing there – exploring the ruined foundations of old buildings and chasing tadpoles, frogs and bugs, including dragonflies and damselflies.
When I got older, dragonflies came to represent various things to me – creativity, adaptability and transformation/rebirth. Dragonfly nymphs start out living under water and only leave the water to become the flying adult form. Quite the change of venue and form! I’ve had to start my life over a couple of times already so transformation resonates with me.
In some native cultures, dragonflies represent the souls of the departed.
People that care for me love to gift me with items that include a dragonfly motif. I happily accept these and as a result, I have many, many dragonflies everywhere in my home and my life.
I’m not sure if this means the dragonfly is my spirit animal…but hey, a girl could do worse.
OMIGAWD, why didn’t any one tell me the Flower of Life was going to be so fucking hard to draw? I mean, it’s just a series of circles you don’t even really draw because the compass is supposed to do all the work for you? Okay, technically Julie did say it was challenging. But I didn’t really believe her. Or I thought yeah, “challenging for other people”. Not I. Hah, I was born with a compass in my hand, or so I thought. (Ouch, sorry Mom).
Bloggie, it took me 4 attempts to get the damn thing drawn. Four. And did you know that if you don’t hold this compass exactly right, the circles can get bigger or smaller because the fucking pencil lead magically starts moving from its predetermined length and suddenly your circles are off-kilter and not matching up any more after the second or third rotation?
Maybe I just do not have a good compass. Maybe. It looks like a good compass. See:
By the 3rd attempt I tried holding the compass differently – very lightly, by the very top of it only – so that my apparent death grip on the compass would not change the size of the circle’s radius inadvertently. Success!
Having re-mastered the compass, I moved on to the kitchen to try to make a lasagna for the first time in many, many years…AND without pasta.
I thought slicing zucchini very thin and layering with it would be an acceptable substitute.
Here is the finished product, ready for the oven:
Blog, it’s either going to be amazing or a soggy mess.
How I wish I could say I spent Black Friday out in the forest – meditating and eating only vegetables that willingly sacrificed their lives to nourish me – to karmically balance the rampant consumerism of yea (yay!), this very black day.
But it was just another Friday for me, in the True North Strong and Free. I got up, did my morning thing, went to work.
And found an email in my Inbox with a 55% off coupon at Michaels! Fifty-five percent off!!!!
So, at lunchtime I decided to brave the big box store shopping centre near my work. I was resolute in my determination not to let the size of the crowds sway me in pursuit of this extraordinary deal.
Blog, it was very anticlimactic. Not only did I have no problem with parking, the line up for the check out at Michaels was 1/4 of the size of the one I had to deal with last week.
Emboldened by my success, I printed off another coupon when I returned to my desk and hit the Michaels in my home town at the end of the work day. Again, somehow I missed all the Black Friday Crowds O’ Frenzy.
I am pretty damn excited to try out these inks, let me tell you Blog. I’m planning to use them in my next mandala exercise – the intimidating and apparently sacred geometry of the Flower of Life. Cue choir of angels singing.
So to sum up – I did cave on my high ideal of NOT EVER SHOPPING ON BLACK FRIDAY.
I picked up the tickets tonight for the winter get-away Mizz CJ and I have planned, in Barbados. Wheee!
This is a special trip to commemorate our being friends for 50 years. We met in Grade 2, you see.
My daughter Mizz J and I had such a lovely time there in January of this year that I resolved to try my best to make an annual getaway to somewhere warm – if not Barbados, then somewhere that didn’t need a coat, boots and mittens – every winter from now on.
When Mizz CJ heard about our trip she thought it would be perfect to celebrate our milestone there, in 2017. Of course I agreed!
We have a week booked at a small family-run hotel on the beach in Hastings.
Looking forward to those early morning ocean dips and laying under a palm tree devouring a good novel while ocean breezes play with my hair.
I have the Bridgetown weather (along with Amsterdam’s and that of my area) displayed every time I go to the Weather Network webpage. It is 30°C there. Every. Damn. Day.
Last week, on one day it read 28°C. I almost fell off of my chair when I saw it. I wonder if the Bajans grab for their sweaters when the temperature dips down like that.
I had to use the cheapo markers again. I realized that by outlining the pencil work with fine point black marker so early on, I made it impossible to choose watercolour paints or pencils as the (so-called water resistant) marker bleeds when in contact with water. So now I am limited to using these markers for colouring this piece.
As time goes on I will get better art supplies, but for now these will do. I am having fun and learning, regardless.
Much as I am sick to death of being inundated with Black Friday Everything for over a week already, a wee part of my brains asks: I wonder if my favourite art store will be having a sale? Hehehe!
Yes, Black Friday has become a “thing” here in the True North Strong and Free in recent years, even though our Thanksgiving occurs in October. I don’t particularly like our adoption of this American event – but that doesn’t stop me from pursuing a Black Friday deal on something I was in the market for anyway. (Clearly I can’t bitch about it too loudly.)
Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to my American blogging buddies!
Back at my current nemesis – the Hamsa – and feeling much better about this one.
For one thing, I didn’t use my hand this time (fingers too thin and long) and I was able to achieve a more “proper” hamsa outline.
Once again the natural world is featuring prominently in my design.
The Hamsa is supposed to be a symbol of protection, happiness and prosperity and I can think of no place I feel all of these things more than being out in nature.
This is as far as I can get tonight. There is a battle going on inside my body – between my immune system and a viral invader. So far I think the immune system is winning, but I need to rest to give it a fighting chance.
Saturday night, while I was searching for hamsa inspiration I came across a mention of this book – Women Who Run With the Wolves – while googling symbols. Funny where it takes you when you head down a search engine rabbit hole. I wonder if Google is the new Tarot deck – delivering answers that your subconscious is looking for. OK, OK Blog – I agree…that is a bit of a stretch.
I knew I had read it before – I just wasn’t altogether sure that I still had it in my possession. Quickly I went to the dining room and checked the bookcases there. YES! Somehow this book had managed to survive the several purges of my library since I first bought (and devoured) it many years ago.
I’m looking forward to revisiting my old, long-neglected friend. With white supremacist patriarchy gaining more and more strength and approval in the States (nay, the WORLD) again, I think this qualifies as required re-reading.
Just in case you thought the True North Strong and Free was spared this idiocy, I give you This Hour Has 22 Minutes’ take on Sam Oosterhoff. This new world needs more AGNES. That is all.