Thursday, August 18, 2011

Don't look down!

The kids got to ride way freakin' high in the fire truck bucket at the Poncha Springs Family Day. They had a blast, and I was relieved they didn't require a parent to go up, too!




Kids waiting for the parade to start at Stampede last month.


Friday, June 17, 2011

A Curious Self-Portrait

I'm in my third semester of my journey to become a counselor. One of my classes this semester is Creativity in Counseling, and I recently had an assignment to do a self portrait. It did not turn out at all how I expected. I did not have a plan in mind at all when I started, and it just flowed out. (Be kind, I am no artist.)


The central yin-yang is me, my balanced and centered and colorful self. The three circles connected to it are my children. The six circles outside of those represent my parents, my sister, my 2 closest friends, and an extra circle for a future friend I feel is coming. The ring of small circles surrounding those represent other family and friends. The ring of green triangles represent mountains and earth in general, and outside of those are representations of blue moons (also representing water) and yellow suns. Between the moon/sun combos are pawprints representing all of the animals in my life—past, present, and future. The outer edge represents fire. The earth and elements are important parts of my spirituality, I work in animal rescue, and family and friends are important to me. All are here. When looking at the photos of the finished product, I noticed it is slightly off-center. But so am I sometimes, and it IS a self portrait. ;) And interestingly, and a surprise to me, the entire thing became an eye. My eye. Can you see it?

While working on it, my mind went into a very meditative state. My work felt sacred and important, while also childlike and simple. Time fell away and music filled me and my hand took on a life of its own. I did not think. As you can see from the image, there were a lot of repetitive movements and colors, which I think helped take me into that meditative time-free state.


This took me more than one sitting to complete, and between sessions I wondered why my “self-portrait” had taken such a turn. It bothered me at first that my center self was not independent of the initial 3 circles, but now it makes sense. My children are still quite dependent on me, and if you look closely, the light blue circle (which I associate with my oldest) looks as though it is just starting to separate.

I recently came to a realization that despite rarely feeling lonely (I enjoy solitude!) I often feel deeply alone in life, being the sole support of three children with my family and friends scattered around the country. I’d never realized how much this aloneness weighed on me before. This activity showed me how far from alone I truly am; I have my children, my sister, my parents, my friends and other loved ones, my land, my spirituality, animals and the mountains and the sun and the moon and myself.

There is wisdom within us that is often imprisoned by language and only freed by creativity.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to be Alone

I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
Henry David Thoreau

How to Be Alone
by Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient.

If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books; you’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.

There is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.

The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and Silverware. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.

And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after-all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings.

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of never happened had you not been there by yourself.

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those “sappy slogans” from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relived, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it.

If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.
Franz Kafka

Dirt Traffic


My neighborhood


Growing Up

Almost 11!




Defying Gravity

Da Boy.