Saturday, March 31, 2007
I could not sleep last night; my hormones were wrecking havoc on my body temperature, and my mind re-played various scenarios from last night over and over again. Then I had a pain in my toe and it was throbbing all night, and of course I obsessed about infection and the metal of that ankle and how that could land me in a hospital or kill me. (don’t laugh---one of the recent things my doc said to me was “be careful about ANY kind of infections in your foot or leg as the plates etc. will attract and hold the infection and can cause some serious problems, and I know someone who knew someone who died from this!!!!) Great. I am leaving in two days for California and don’t have time to deal with this. I will get to the conclusion of that story in a moment.
I wake up even on the weekends at 5:30 am, before the 6 AM alarm goes off, and this morning was no exception. I fell back to sleep, only to have a huge tractor trailer pull up in front of my house, with this thing that looked like a mini tank (and sounded what I imagine a tank would sound like) powering up. I have no clue what it was, or what it was doing, and I flopped back in my bed groaning, pissed off, and feeling really sorry for my neighbor with twin boys who was probably cursing them out more than I was.
I managed to fall back to sleep, and had a dream.
I dreamt that I was trying to get home, and I was stuck behind a roadblock while a funeral was happening. There was a HUGE platform, draped in black cloth. Underneath it a giant body. Then the wind started blowing, the body started shaking and moving, and the cover flew off and it was a black horse. I was shocked. What the hell????? “…“ to see a dead horse in your dream, indicates that something in your life that initially offered you strength is now gone. This may refer to a relationship or situation. “
Fast forward to the next scene. . Someone is talking about sex and saying oh, if you are married you have it made, when you are single you are desperate and must get it when you can. Fast forward to the next scene. The skeleton of the horse is sitting and looking over a bed with two skeletons of people laying next to one another, exhausted from what appeared to be a wild night. Next to the skeletal couple is a baby swing, rocking, and empty.
WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT? I quickly looked up my dream symbols and translations. “To see someone depicted as a skeleton, signifies that your relationship with them is long dead. “
But this was a couple AND a horse…..and what was the empty baby swing? The closest to that was about an empty baby carriage…..“if it is empty, then it indicates sadness or an unfulfilled goal. Alternatively, it suggests that you need to cater to the needs of your own inner child.”
No matter the true meaning of the dream, it was F-R-E-A-K-Y.
Back to the foot story. I end up calling the doc, they bring me in and sure enough he says “yikes” and starts me on antibiotics, soak rituals etc. At least I won’t spend my vacation in a San Francisco hospital where no one can visit me. Not quite what MY doctor ordered.
Friday, March 30, 2007
You are not here however, to listen to me whine. So I will get over it.
I will list the good things I did today and rejoice in them:
I got to see my friend Rob whom I have not seen in two months. We always have interesting conversations over some kind of drink and gnosh. On a whim we took off to Target and I bought myself a new piece luggage-an Eddie Bauer piece. 15 year warantee. I am sick of the luggage I have, all of which I have managed to mangle in some way; broken handles, missing wheels. I break luggage like I break corkscrews. So I will take off with my first ever new piece of luggage. OK to be fair, my mother did give me a suitcase set when I went to Italy when I was 19, but that has LONG since died.
I have some strange electrical things going on with my Honda CRV, and aside from that, I left my lights on for 15 mintues which drained my battery. It was dusk, we were ready to leave the mall, and there my car was DEAD. The good part is Rob knew that the mall security guards have a portable jumper and in no time they had my car jumped and running.
I got paid today which means I have a job and for that I am very thankful.
I leave for a five day break from my life on monday, and I will get to see a dear friend and just sit and relax and meditate on the direction of my life.
I am rambling here, mostly because what I really want to say I can't as it is just too personal. I can't get out of my head about it enough to make any sense out of life right now. All I can do is take it a day at a time.
A PS...Larry told me tonight that he thought I was too obsessed and hard on myself in many ways. I am driven, and I admit that. But I look at how far I have come in my life, and I don't know if I would be where I am without being driven. Well, while I am taking a break to renew myself, and will I think more on this. He thinks I drive myself crazy, a part of which is true. But then again, is he trying to tell me I drive HIM crazy? LOLOL......
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I did get a wonderful gift today, and in spite of the fact that I have tons of shit falling on my head on a daily basis, the universe is kind and bequeaths random gifts when I most need them.
Gina was getting a lesson on a type of two person massage and she and her partner needed a willing body. I love massage and it transforms me, so it was not difficult to volunteer for. We went to the new spa at the Emerson, and there I experienced a small piece of heaven.
The Abhyanga massage consists of a series of ayurvedic techniques, combined with the dripping special hot oil from your head to your toes, all done by two massage therapists working in unity. My entire body was annointed and then massaged, including breasts and butt, which I have rarely encountered in other massages. After the massage I was scrubbed down with a powder of sandalwood and patchouli, which helps absorb the oil.
After an hour of nirvana, I indulged myself in a hot shower, shampoo, and a lotion rub. Gina gave me a tour of the place and we ended up in the Emerson's restaurant where we had a glass of white wine. Then off to Gina's where she made me dinner (and I SO LOVE that)
So I sit here and am musing back on some of the past few days events, and I am sad, but with a sort of odd detatchment from it all. I feel more like an observer than a participant, and that is good because as an observer I may find some insight.Thank you Gina (and Renee) for the fabulous massage and lovely evening. It picked me right up by my bootstraps and set me up straight.
This is one of Larry's few digital works. When I saw it I fell in love. The light and the tones remind me of Vermeer. And the hand. It is a strange fetish I have, but I love men's hands (ok, SOME men's hands) and Larry's have always been up there on the rating scale of hands. So, since the best part of my day involved hands, I thought this piece very appropo. Thanks Larry for letting me use this even though I did not ask you.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tonight's image is of a barn that I took a photo of on the way to Mohonk Mountain house one afternoon. The photo came out with a weird dreamlike glow to it. It was eerie. Probably old chemicals, old film, who knows. I shoot with anything on hand..old disposable cameras way past their due date, then aged to perfection in the glovebox of my car all summer.
As an older teen I was obsessed with barns. Was it their beautiful red against verdant fields that called out to me? Was it the beauty of their construction, even when aged to a skeleton of sky and timbers?
I never thought of it until now, but I painted my house a few years ago a beautiful dark barn red. It is stiking against gold, green and orange trims. I am in love with it and every day when I come home I smile.
I was inside a barn once, when I was a teen and helped hay some fields. We drove through the fields in a truck, and tossed the bales into the back. When the truck was full, we rambled back to the barn, when they got thrown off and stacked. The bales were quite heavy, and I remember breaking out in the worst hives and having problems breathing as I was allergic to the grasses. I went home fairly miserable that day, though I never regretted the experience!!!
Oh and YES I DID GET MY TAXES DONE ON TIME!!! Early!!!! It has been years!!! And, I am getting a refund, a decent one! But alas, the business did not make a profit, and I will be sitting down and making a new plan. I really have had enough of spinning my wheels and am going to think prosperity, abundance and getting better business sense!
Off to write my Meganaid blog. Megan has not been well, and though I try and keep upbeat, snippets of fear and statistics creep into my brain and worry me. I ran into someone who runs a Buddhist chanting group once a week and told me that she can help transform these doubts into a solid foundation of strength. It all sounds good to me.
In peace, Patti
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I don't think that my business has made a profit yet. And one sure realization is, that I don't know who is making huge bucks out there on ebay, because between the Ebay and Paypal fees, and the time to photograph/scan, list the item, then do the shipping for the sale, you are already behind the eight ball. I am going to have to rethink my art, and how to spend more of my time MAKING art and find a way to market it on the internet that is less time consuming and expensive. Of course, that is a challenge when you are working a full time job AND helping out with a 2 year old and a sick child.
Tonight's photo was at my friend Ruben's house. We have worked together for 15 years, been through marriages, relationships, and divorces together. We are really close friends, and I joke in school that he is my husband who cooks. (and oh boy can he COOK) His 7 year old daughter Talia was there, so the girls played with the little chicks that hatched about a week ago, they played on the piano a bit, and we all ate dinner and hung out together. The girls wanted pictures, and this is what they wanted pictures of-them sticking their tongues out. Silly kids.
So here's to you Mr. IRS tax man. You got lots of my hard earned money. And to think what it funds makes me sick. But...I will just look at these two girls and laugh, because that is all one can do. And, it makes for less wrinkles.
TO JOY and LAUGHTER and being in touch with the child in you, Patti
Monday, March 26, 2007
On the way out I stopped to talk with Jamie, the young single mother who works there, who was also once my student. She asked about Megan, and I filled her in on her cancer and treatment.
Her young friend was standing next to me. With intense green eyes she looked at me and said "is she back from Iraq?". I said yes, and told her that ever since Megan returned from Iraq she has been very ill.
This young woman proceeded to tell me about her boyfriend who returned a year ago, who has horrid stomach ulcers which make him vomit several times a week, and how she has to wake him up as he is screaming from his nightmares. His back is also destroyed and he is in pain.
She was bitter, young, and trying to make sense of it all. I felt her pain, her frustration in trying to help a young man she is supposed to marry. She was angry at Bush, at the war, and desperately wanting to make a life with this damaged young man.
I wish I had some words of wisdom to give her; I could only nod my head. I told her how lucky he was to have such a sweet fiance, and that she should seek out others for support.
I got into my car and sat for a bit. I could not put on any music as my CD player is still broken (that is for tomorrow's rant) so I sat silently in my thoughts. My stomach churned thinking about the damage, the uncertainty, how death still reaches out its hand beyond the war zone.
Part of this escape to Sauselito is my need to escape the reality and the fragility of my life. I need to gather strength and peace to help my family who so desperately need me.
How many lives are being challenged and destroyed every day due to this fucking stupid war Mr. Bush? How does it affect YOUR family?
In contemplation, Patti
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Though I am not a computer tek, I do fiddle around on it enough to be able to troubleshoot, write a bit of code, make and upload my own website etc. One of the things I have done is install a stats counter on my blog. I can see how many people look at my blog every day, as well as how they got to me: IE search keywords, or if they got to me through my website etc. On occasion I check these stats, and have found out some interesting information.
One of the top keywords that was used was Aquaveet. I wrote a blog about a party and drinking too much Aquaveet, and voilla, since January I have been found because of this one episode. I am sure that they don't ever come back again, as do most people who stumble upon me, but it is amusing to figure out how they find me. I have used the words sensuous with a combo of other words from time to time, and for a while I was getting hits based upon keywords of people looking for some racy stories. Sadly, I do not write my Anais Nin stories here (I don't think that is allowed now, is it) though you KNOW I would love to.
I have also been found using the query: "what do Gibbons eat". Gibbons, meaning the monkey. But, because I did a whole blog on my family name and joke, I came up. Having the title of the blog starting out to be EAT MAN has also bought me some traffic.
So tonight I am playing it safe. Oh, and the blog title is based upon this sweet late 1800's card I had in my studio. I just loved the blossoming tree, the interestingly dressed child, and the cavorting kitty. It breathed spring to me, as did the murmuring trickle of water seeping out from under snow banks in my yard. I can just see the top part of the Buddhas head today in the garden behind the stone wall. I measure the progress of spring now by the unveiling of my garden sculptures.
May your monday be gentle to you tomorrow. Patti
Saturday, March 24, 2007
I took my first spring trip up to Woodstock today. I was surpised at how busy it was and had a hard time finding close parking. I walked through town, and saw my friend Jay and Rita who own the florist shop. I have known them for 25 years and they are a town institution. I used to work in the store next to them, and even delivered flowers for them for a while when I was pregnant with one of my kids.
Woodstock has some stores and restaurants that have been around since I started hanging out there as a teen in the early 70's...at a time where it was still legal (or no one bothered them) to have Head Shops, and people smoked pot in town and rarely got harassed. I suspect there is still a lot of that happening, but I think it is more hidden now. Joshua's, Candlestock, Jean Turmo are still there, as is the Corner Cupboard, the Little Bear, the Bear Cafe, Clouds, the Kleinart Art Gallery, Jaritas, the Golden Notebook. There is a comfort in seeing such places survive 35 years, and it is still fun to walk though town, watch the townies strut their stuff, the kids still hanging out on the green.
I have fond memories of Woodstock. I lived about 20 miles away in the mountains towards the ski centers, but was able to catch the Trailways bus on the main road to get a ride into town. I had friends I would stay with, and my parents never knew what shenanigans we were up to, such as going out at 15 to the Joyous Lake, hearing fabulous bands and dancing to disco and motown into the wee hours of the night, partying of course. We never got into too much trouble, and that was pretty amazing considering some of the stupid stuff we did.
My clothes came from Woodstock, I kissed many boys and men there. Once in a while I will run into one of them, and we will wink at one another and have a good laugh. I always made it a rule that I never seriously dated anyone from town as it was so incestuous. The one time I did spelled trouble, and I never broke my rule again.
Woodstock is still a cool town. You never know who you might see as many of the stars who live in NYC have second homes up there. The Bear Cafe is a good place to have a drink or dinner and people watch. I have sat across from Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke (when they were together) and there are many famous rock and rollers who show up...as well as Brad Pitt and Liv Tyler and others. The Bearsville Theater is right behind the Cafe, and hosts many fabulous concerts. I have seen Bruce Cockburn, Happy Rhodes, Sam Phillips, T-Bone Burnett, Orleans, and so many others. The last time I was there was for my friend's birthday party. People thought we were glam rock and roll stars (they thought Rhona was Patti Smith, which meant the rest of us were important people..) and later on her friends, who were fire spinners, put on a show under the stars on a very cold night.
I bought some gifts for friends and family in town, stopped and chatted with a few old friends, and smiled on the way home. I still feel the love and the magic, and remember poignantly all those nights that I was wild, young and free, swimming at Big Deep, learning about love and life.
The best part is, it is only a quick 20 minute drive.....and the memories and entertainment is pricelss.
Now that is not so bad, as it was a place of peace actually. I did not want to think, I did not want to feel. I did not want to write, which is unusual as I am so obsessive about my blog. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.
The day was lovely enough.....It was a warm late afternoon spring day, (yes, here in the northeast we consider 50's warm in March..) and as Dana and I were walking to Ugly Gus's (great name for a restaurant, lol) we started running into friends along the way, who had either walked or were parking their cars, and we all walked together to meet the rest of the dozen or so friends whom were celebrating one of our co-workers birthdays. Joanne's celebration had been snowed out by the storm that dumped 1.5 FEET of snow on us, so we were doing it again, just a week later.
The companionship was great, upbeat. We all laughed, imbibed and gnoshed on the appetizers of happy hour and food ordered by others. We are a tight group, and you could "feel the love". Honestly. I consider myself priveledged that I work with such a wonderful group of people.
After a few hours of this, I left and drove one of my co-workers home. She is half my age..and has such wonderful energy. I thrive on such energy; it is this kind of energy that keeps ME young. (oh if I could only siphon this out of people and drink it like wine!!) We sat and talked for a long time, and somewhere along the way I had a mini-melt down. Perhaps it was the wine, perhaps it was just too much emotion pent up for too long a time, and it needed release. A few tears, a few words of frustration and angst, but I got over it fast, and felt better.
One of the things that I took away with me last night was a discussion I had with a friend about life. I shrugged my shoulders and said "everything in my life is what it is, and is supposed to be that way for a reason." My friend told me the Chinese have a phrase which means exactly that. Of course I can't remember how to say it, never mind write it, and it had nothing to do with the wine as I had not even been drinking when we had the discussion, haha, but it had such a poetic ring, and it made so much sense. (I am going to email her and ask her what it was...) It gave me a sense of peace when I thought about it, and I see it very clearly. That very same friend gave me a pocket charm that said HOPE on one side, and had the word in Chinese on the other side.
Thank you Dana xxx
die Hoffnung (German)
This mornings quick digital artwork inspired by HOPE......
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I have taken to carrying the camera with me where ever I go. The next step is to buy an extra set of batteries to keep with it as the other day the batteries died while I was photographing in the middle of a big snow squall at dusk. Soon I will be carrying around the watercolors and sketch pens in my car and finding areas to pull off and enjoy the landscape.
Even though it is cold, and there is A LOT OF SNOW on the ground (I can't see my Buddha!!!! He is BURIED!!) I am trying to enjoy the strength of the sun and the length of the daylight. I ran around after school for a bit taking pictures in my garden and yard. Tonight's picture is a digital collage of a photo I took of an architectural piece in the garden. It is actually a tall pot stand, and you can see how deeply it is buried. The snow sparkled like old German glass glitter, brilliant in the sun. The other day I saw a robin, and the geese are back in the fields. I smell spring.
I helped celebrate the first day of spring by spending the evening out alone taking care of my self. I rejoiced with the returning strength of the sun by buying myself new fun sunglasses, a few tank tops for my trip, and a brief run through the Tanning Booth. I know it is bad for me, but I figure a few visits will give me enough color so that I will be ok in the northern California sun. I actually love laying in the "pod" with my glasses on, listening to the music and tuning out for the 8 minutes or so I am in there. I can almost get myself into a trance like sleep in that amount of time. It is wild. Mentally it sure helps too, and you know, I love having a wee bit of color. (so that I am a shade darker than sour milk as my English teacher used to say to me)
I am finishing off the night with a glass of wine and chocolate, and maybe a bath. I also bought some lovely creme at the health food store today, (along with an aromatherapy soy candle which can also be used in its molton state as a body butter!!) so I will go to bed smelling like lavendar and vanilla or some other medley of scents.
I hope you too have celebrated spring in some small way, and if not, there is no time like now to rejoice NOW. And when Larry gets home, maybe (if I am not asleep by then) I will suprise him with a oil scented back rub. He will wonder what I have been up to.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I HOPE I booked a ticket to San Francisco for 5 days of my spring break. I say I HOPE as still have not recieved a confirmation email from American. I used the miles I have been saving for years. I don't have money to travel this spring, so I finally broke down and used my miles. I have never been to visit Bardet who still owns a house within walking distance to me here in the Hudson Valley, but moved out to Sausalito several years ago. There is no time like now, which is something I have learned with my accident and Megan being sick.
It works out perfectly for me...I can go during the week and still have the weekend before to pack, and the weekend after to recover. I want to spend some of the time with my family and in the studio, and some of the time away from ANY obligations. I am pretty fried I have to admit.
I read this sunday's New York Times magazine article at the end of the school day on Women in the Military. My cousin forwarded me the article; it angered me, saddened me, and the Times has only covered part of the story...about the sexual abuse/harassment, and PTSD. It did not cover the pregnancy stories, the neglect, and the diseases and medical problems that are surfacing in these women. I was glad to see this exposed as I have wanted to go public on this three years ago, but out of respect for my daughter, I kept silent. However, now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag, I stand strong and speak loudly about my outrage of how the military has treated both our men AND women. I think we should send the Bush girls over there to serve like any other American soldier... let's see how they fare and how GW and wife would react.
JUST GOT THE CONFIRMING EMAIL....I am going to terrorize the west coast with Bardet.
I had one of my first dating experiences with a man I met on the ferry to Sauselito back in the 70's..but THAT is for another blog. It is an interesting story..... and parts of it I will have to leave out.
Tonight's photo is of a Victorian paper angel and my genii incense bottle that is a wonderful sparkly green, and a handmade Valentine card by one of my students whom I adore. And, it's all good.
Monday, March 19, 2007
After school I went to do all the things I could not do over the snow laden weekend---the Post Office, the Bank, the grocery store, and then I decided to go to the tanning booth for 6 minutes to get some friggin light, and maybe a little bit of color IN CASE I make that plane reservation for San Francisco for a few days of R and R with a friend over Easter break. I was also supposed to go to a meeting tonight which I was dreading as I still had to finish my NY sales taxes. So while in the grocery store, I started to visualize my class being cancelled. It started snowing harder and harder out. I get home, and go straight to the answering machine where I expected to see a flashing light with a message saying MEETING CANCELLED. But what, no flashing light or numbers on the machine? I go to turn on the lamp - no light--- I can't see to make sure all is plugged in...so I try a few more switches, what, no light???? NO ELECTRIC??? While in the dark I get the phone call, too much snow, class is cancelled, but shit, I can't see!!!
I run around the house like a crazed woman. I can't blog, I can't see to do my taxes. I can't work in the studio. I can't listen to the weather or to my music. I CAN'T DO A THING. I finally decide the universe is making me be quiet. I wanted a night without class, I got it! But that also meant a night without anything. I had no choice but to find some candles, pour a glass of wine, take them upstairs to bed, and just lay down and try and rest. Unfortunately my mind would not rest, so I laid there and thought about my son (that is for another blog) and my daughter, and the baby who is sick again, and my life, and I got myself all in a twist.
Larry came home, and after two hours of the watching the electric guy trying to figure out what was wrong with the electric and climbing the pole etc, we went out for sushi. We got home about 10 PM and FINALLY we have electric, and all is well. OK..almost. I still have to finish my taxes, which HAD to wait till I am done blogging, and I am again reminded to BE CAREFUL WHAT I WISH FOR, or better yet, to more SPECIFIC about what I wish for. Lesson for the day.
It's OK. I am learning. And each time I get better at it. Off to do taxes, xxp
Sunday, March 18, 2007
This photo is my dried yarrow against the snow. It also could be sky....depending upon how you look at it. I did not use a flash and let the fading evening light color it a cool blue......such a beautiful color, with a little help from Photoshop of course. My yarrow also grows wild throughout my cottage style gardens. They are hardy and provide color and cut flowers summer through fall.
I have not left the house in three days except for two very short trips. Sometimes I just hole myself in for long periods of time, and when I am tired of being alone, I go out on a social spree. I am such a moody person sometimes. No one really cares I suppose, except Larry..who probably wonders what planet I was evicted from.
I got my sales tax done, and a good chunk of my income tax. It looks like I will break my own record folks.. I will file on time. John, my tax man, better have something better than coffee waiting for me when I come in.
I finished The Kite Runner last night, and one of the best lines of the book was at the very end. It made me think deeply about forgiveness..... and the two men in my life who hurt me horribly. I sometimes wonder how I survived the first 25 years of my life...but time and experience heals all wounds..and as Hosseini wrote: "...I wondered if that was how fogiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night. "
It was on that thought I drifted into the journeys of my dreams.........
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I had spent the last 36 hours running around after a 2+ year old toddler whose nose was constantly running and creating a mess on her face, on her hands, on everything she touched.........snot gives a better gloss than my Japan dryer and some of the sealants I use in my art work.
I did manage to get some laundry done, and a little cooking, but for the most part I was in high gear soothing, entertaining, wiping, and laughing with my own little leprauchaun. After she left at noon, I locked myself in the back room and worked for 8 hours solid on the taxes. My NY state sales taxes for the year are due monday, and at the end of the week I have an appointment with my accountant for the "other" taxes. If I get all the work done this weekend, it will be the first time in 10 years that I have gotten a tax return done on time. At one point I was two years behind, and had maxed out my extensions.
All day I was envisioning numbers flying around the room, forming nooses, making waves, zooming in my eyes, ears, and flying out of some other orifice. I listened to the Kate Bush song PI and the words to the song wrapped inside of my head....
"Sweet and gentle sensitive man
With an obsessive nature
and deep fascination For numbers
And a complete infatuation with the calculation Of PI
Oh he love, he love, he love
He does love his numbers
And they run, they run, they run him
In a great big circle
In a circle of infinity
3.1415926535 897932 3846 264 338 3279 "
(from her latest FAB double Cd "Aerial")
After 8 hours of daydreaming, numbers, calculating and sorting, I developed a migrane. I barely managed to eat dinner that Larry made, and went upstairs to get a sweater to wrap myself up in as I was cold. On my dresser was a card and a few gifts, and I smiled, remembering that it is my name day, and that in spite of the craziness and difficulties of our life these days, and a major snow storm, that Larry had not forgotten this strange little day that he celebrates with me.
I was supposed to be a Patrick, and was therefore named after the great patron saint of Ireland. As luck would have it, I was missing an essential element to fill the part, and I was forever a Patricia Ann. Each St. Patrick's day I would get a perfunctory reminder of my sex, and I could never fill the role of a boy in my father's eyes, even though I played football, shot a gun better than any of the country boys, and had the highest mark in the Shop class (back then there were NO girls in those classes)
So each St. Patrick's day Larry buys me a bottle of Baileys. This year he gave me a card and a hair clip for my wild long red hair which is slowly starting to spurt some grey. :( I will pour a few glasses of Baileys, , hope that my medication kicks in, and toast to the country of my heritage...where Leprauchans play tricks, where there are pots of gold at the end of rainbows, where fields are green, and you can kiss the Blarney stone (I have done it, it is difficult...)
It is a place of magic and music and GREAT BEER.
So here's a toast:
Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.
Patti O' Block
Friday, March 16, 2007
Julie (my best friend) and Dave her husband were up from North Carolina, and it was her birthday. They braved the storm and came over to hang with us for a bit. We were snowed in for two to three days, and I remember having to drive like a maniac to get up our hill, and how around the curve I spun out and bounced off a snow bank. (laughing) I don't remember if it was 2 or 3 days we were off from school.....
And here, 15+ years and a few days later, I am revisiting this storm. Megan is living in Julie's mom's house, I am sitting here in the very same house, but with a different man, and it is still storming out hard. I am perhaps a bit sadder this storm than last.....back then I was still rather full of innocent foolishness and wishing upon stars and kissing and laughing and believing in romantic love....... and getting what I thought I wanted. I still wish upon stars, and am romantic and believe in love, but it has become somewhat tempered by sadness, disappointment, and heartbreak, and I am a hell of a bit more real about it. Some of my dreams still come true, and I will never give up working on others, and I will always be in love with love.....
I don't mind the snow. I know the strength of the sun will make short work of it soon. And someday I will be out of my boots.
To Spring! patti
Pic taken looking out my side window...and you can see the remains of last year's sunflowers that feed the birds. Oh, and my little cobalt pyramid. That is very special.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Bathing suit, sunscreen, hat, towel, blanket, cooler, (wine), food, plenty of water, bug repellent, camera, paints. Oh, a book for a lazy afternoon break. Map. If I had a laptop I would write too. (I really need a laptop, even if it only does word processing for now....) OH and I need an IPOD or something like that, so that when I want, I can have music. I enjoy silence, but I like the option of tuning things out, especially if there is someone near me who I don't want to hear, or don't want to seem open to an invitation to chat. (I will chat at times, but that depends upon many factors, as I am a solitary person when it comes to creating.)
I have been making notes of vistas, interesting places to photograph and paint. I already know of some that I plan on visiting, and I must follow through and spend my early summer mornings and later afternoons traveling and painting during the best light. It is in my blood, and I need to put the desires into play.
Tonight's photo was made in response to all of my Hudson River daydreams. Larry took a photo of me at Olana (home of Hudson River painter icon Frederick Church) a summer or two ago. It is a combination of Islamic/Moorish architecture with a hint of Italianate in it. I was sitting in a foyer lined with Islamic tile work.
In my personal and art exploration, I am looking deep into myself, both my emotional and physical self. Tonights digital PS work explores a part of that. I find it reminiscent in a way of the classical romantic painters such as Gerome. Perhaps because it incoporates the culture that he painted, along with a respresentation of self but in a more surreal contemporary setting.
I am hoping tomorrow is a snowday. I am looking forward to divinding my time between artwork and taxes, and some house work. I really need another gift from the universe....
and tomorrow would be a small favor. In anticpation of sleeping in, Patti
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I am posting a picture that I used on Megan's blog recently, taken by Larry of Alanna. Shortly after she was born, both Larry and I started photographing her. Mine are of the snapshot variety, while Larry's are just lovely pieces of art.
Alanna is not only comfortable with being photographed, but she LOVES the camera, and we have given her some of our disposables to run around and make pictures. I recently developed some of them and was shocked at the accuracy of her shots of our family and friends, and of Beppo the cat of course. The other two cats don't have shock collars on and they usually run away from her no matter what is in her hand.
Beppo was Megan's cat, and when she moved out, she became our cat (how many of you know THAT story!!!) We obtained two more cats after her, which totally freaked her out. Then Megan took off for Iraq and was REALLY gone, and that was when she went bonkers. Peeing all over everything. We could not get rid of her, and she would die outside, so we got a shock collar to keep her in 3 rooms (sort of an invisible fence for cats). It worked. She has never peed since (except in the litter box that is...) and a fate of three rooms to live in is not that bad considering the alternatives. So..what's a few flashes in the old eyeballs?
I had Alanna after daycare today and had to go to the chiropractor in our neighborhood. Ken has his office in his house which I LOVE, but I did not know what to do with her during my appointment as I could not find anyone to help me out. But, as my luck had it, I saw some people I knew playing with their kids in the street (it is at the end of a dead end street) and I agreed to let them watch her for my 15 minute visit.
Alanna was in her glory. She ran off with the older kids, not even looking back at me. Sidewalk chalk and drawing beckoned to her, and the older kids had her mesmerized. Suddenly I was back in the early 60's in Long Island, where everyone played in the street. We rode bikes, flew kites, tugged on sleighs. We saw and heard the cars coming two blocks away and had plenty of time to get out of the way.
When my appointment was over, Alanna was quite vexed that we had to go. She did her share of crying, then once in the care wiped the bottom of her sneakers with her hands, and then proceeded to lick each and every finger. I shook my head, and just remembered my own childhood and what I wished it had been, and thought, "sheesh, kids" and smiled the drive home.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
I was numb after seeing Notes on a Scandal last night with Larry. It hit too many sensitive places; too many lightning-bolt-flashes of recognition in our face.
Cate Blanchett: a beautiful ethereal artist and art teacher in a challenging high school, married to an older man, mother to two challenging children, one of whom has a disability . She has a passionate clandestine affair with a 15 year old, and is manipulated and blackmailed by an older associate played by Dame Judi Densch.
Loneliness. Desire. Betrayal. Bitterness. Desperation. Destruction. Redemption. Replay.
I was shaken up. There were parts of the script that I could have written, parts which I could have played; some which exist as distant memories, others - stories in the making.
How many of us have built our lives upon taking care of others, forgetting our own needs and desires until they are either lost to fantasy or acted upon, often with disastrous consequences…some living in chambers that echo of loneliness and emptiness, making them bitter, empty shells of what they once were or hoped to be. I see it too often in my life - tears of wasted lives, and unhappy people…
It was not an uplifting movie. It hits nerves way below the surface and made me twitch. Worth seeing, but be prepared.
Tonight’s photo is another of Charles Rosen’s paintings. It is one of his later works, painted in the 30’s, of a tugboat on the Rondout Creek, which is at the end of the D and H canal, and which feeds into the Hudson. Today you can still see them roaming the Hudson., pushing and pulling the laden barges that make their way up and down the river.
For Rosen as well as so many others, it is in art and writing that we find peace and sublimation. It is into the arms of the muse and divine inspiration that we fall and entrust our souls. There we find truth and answers, and in divine creativity see love and light, and are saved.
in creativity and the arts, patti
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I don't know what it is that is causing such upheaval in my life, but I suspect is has been the forced shock of the realization that life is so precious and I have spent hours ruminating about purpose, desire, dreams, failure and frustrations.
It has not made for much peace in my heart and in my mind, and it has now spilled into my life. I am not one to get too personal here, but I have to say, that life has been quite heavy.
But the sun was shining, it was warmer than it has been in weeks. I picked up Karen and away we went for breakfast and a trip to the Dorsky Museum in New Paltz New York.
I find so much joy in art, whether making it or looking at it, so it was a treat to spend intimate time witha friend and enjoy the sacredness of the museum.
The Judy Pfaff mixed media show was impressive, and she gave me great hope and inspiration, as a majority of her work in the show was from a 7 year period. Her work was an exciting mixture of many printing processes combined with encaustic, resin and other materials.
The other galleries were showing American artist Charles Rosen. His early 1900s landscapes were a blend of pointalism, the brushstrokes of Van Gogh. Tonight's blog picture is of the spring on the river. I was mesmerized by the colors of his palette, mint greens, cool blues, rosy pinks. His later 30's paintings were of Woodstock and Kingston and surrounding areas, and his paintings become more abstract, more cubist and more intense in their pigments. I will post a few pictures over the next several days of both his and Judy's work.
I ended the day by going to see Notes on a Scandal with Larry. NOT the movie that I should have seen tonight/or that we should have seen together.
This too will pass, cause the times, they are a changin'.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
I have spent a majority of the past few days obsessing about several things (I am good at that by the way…multi-tasking obsessing…) one of which is my broken CD player in the car. I cannot play or eject any of my 5 CD’s, and it is maddening to not have a choice of what I want to hear. Music is such an integral part of my being, and though at times the radio can be ok, for the most part I like to chose my tunes according to my mood and the moment.
I fear that one of them is stuck. And, after doing all my investigating, I suspect it is the Red Hot Chili Peppers mix that my girlfriend made for me and it might have had a paper label on it. In checking online, the paper labels pasted on top of a CD make it a a titch bit too thick for players that are not tray CD players, and often jammie up those CD players in cars. DID I KNOW THERE BEFORE I PUT IT MY CHILE PEPPERS?????? NO.
So, digging further on the net (while I am thinking, why isn’t there a Mr. Wonderful who just appears like a genii to fix this for me) I read about the paper clip trick. I go to the car, but my car does not have that little slot. I stuck the clip around a bit, not really caring if I was hurting the CDs, as all I want is my CD player back . Nothing works. Click. Whirl. Error. Now silence.
I read about pulling the radio fuse, but first I had to go back out to the car to find the Manual and see where I put the security code for the stereo. I eventually find the code card, and as soon as it is warmed up tomorrow, I am taking my cup of coffee, and going on the hunt for my fuse box and the right fuse that goes to the radio. Can’t hurt, can it?
In the meantime, I am desperate. I am driving all over Ulster and Dutchess county with no music. I decide to make a tape of some of my favorite tunes. I play the tape in the car on my way to Rhinebeck tonight. It wows and garbles and had no consistency in its clarity. I hear this god-awful hissing when I crank the volume.
I am dismayed.
However, I have not given up. Tomorrow I play with the fuse, then I put out an email to friends who are electronic buffs. If that does not net me any success, I will put on my best jeans and sweater, and march my butt to Best Buy and see what kind of deal I can wheedle out of them to help me. Me thinks I am too old to get much help out of the young guys who work there…but it can’t hurt to try it.
And I am still trying to visualize that it will work. I will hit a huge bump, and all will be fine. (I have tried smashing on the top of it-perhaps it needs to come from underneath.)
AMIDST the garble and hiss I bid you good night, xxpatti
Actually, the title of this card should have been "but Jay cheered her up", but all I had was Robin..sooooo.
Jay came and picked me up after work and we headed to Albany to hear Johnny Winter and his band and Leon Russell. It was a hoot. A very interesting mix of people, and it was mostly my age or older. Very few under 45+ crowd, LOL. It was certainly a different perspective on things, and I realized that I am not liking moving up that age ladder with my friends.
But let me tell you, these musicians don't know about age when it comes to their music and performing. They both appeared somewhat frail; Johnny needed help walking, and Leon seemed ok with his cane, but once they got on stage, they played and sang like they were 30 years old. Their energy blew me away, and believe me, I have a lot of energy. I was glad that I saw these legends live with their bands. And, the acoustics at the Egg were pretty good!
My energy is running out. I am off to bed, but because of my compulsiveness about writing every day, I had to report something before being quiet.
till tomorrow xxp
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I took tonight off.
I was still sick last night, so I decided to cancel German class, and the only plans I made for the evening was to take care of myself. A few phone calls later I had booked a visit with my wonderful healer/chiropractor, and an appointment for a massage. Total hedonism, and much needed.
I had such intense day at work…you have no idea. And I can’t discuss it here…but when I say it was nuts…it is more than anyone could image that goes on in a school such as the one I work in.
I was crazy with the energy of the day, and everything in my mind and heart, which has been boiling over for days - came to a head. Yet rather than melt down I had a flash of wisdom and truth----- I needed to lighten up and laugh again. I have kept to myself and buried myself in my work since Megan first got sick in October….and I forgot what it was like to be my silly zany self.
So I laughed, I played, and I smiled…and it felt great. It bought incredible energy back to me, and back to others. I hope I can maintain it. But I am aware of it now, and know I need to keep good thoughts and energy going if I want to attract more of it into my life.
After my energy and chiro work, I headed over to Gina’s for my fabulous massage. I lay on the table for a few moments, feeling the heated lambskin wrap under the flannel sheet. I sank down into it and smiled . The room is dim, the candles are lit, the oil is fragrant. I am relaxed and working on emptying my head of the day’s detritus.
Enya plays quietly in the background, but she makes me think of other times and other things and I struggle with emptying my mind. At one point I give up and give into it and enjoy the strong massage while wandering around in another world. It’s ok because it was a good world that I escaped into……
When I made this card, and saw this image, I had a flashback to 45 years ago…….I was about 3 or 4 and upon my waking up my two wonderful aunties were standing in my bedroom. They were angels to me, and I was .probably holding my head the very same way as I thought I was seeing a vision. It’s funny that I can still remember that day like it was yesterday.
Tomorrow night a good friend is taking me to hear Johnny Winter and Leon Russell. We have gone to a few concerts together, and we ALWAYS make sure we laugh.
And it will be good.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
In summary, it was about driving, about the freedoms and experiences that driving gave me as a teen, and of those pleasures that it still gives me. I escape from the world, and I absorb the landscape, listen to the music or to my mind, make notes, photograph. I compose my blogs, or rehearse a lesson. Sometimes I even go places in my mind I would not dare to go in reality. The road becomes the outline of my life...the experiences fill it in.
One of the stops in my day of driving was to meet Annie and Susan in this little place in Saugerties called Chiptole Grill. Housed in an old pizza hut, the husband and wife do a nice job, and a sweet waitress really made it a cozy experience. Susan interviewed me for an article she is writing in wake of the current Walter Reed fiasco. It was a very intense conversation, and I felt myself getting more and more angry at the crimes our government is committing every day. That's OK, this is only the tip of the iceberg and I think that the ball is rolling, and I for one, will make sure it stays in motion. And if you haven't already seen it, rent or buy The Ground Truth, and visit the IVAW.org site.
I am stepping down off my soap box and going to bed. I am so frustrated that I lost my blog...........patti
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
While I chop and I saute, I think about life, wondering if I will ever find what I am looking for, wondering if my daughter will beat the odds and be OK, and if Alanna will grow up to be a strong and healthy young woman. As I dice the garlic, occasionally smelling my fingers and nibbling on a piece or two, I shrug my shoulders and softly sing to myself "Que sera, sera, Whatever will be, will be; The future's not ours to see..." (I am dating myself from that one, even though it WAS sung in a movie before I was born...but some things are timeless.)
I am a picky gourmet cook. Previous blogs relate my past life of working in a fine French restaurant at the innocent at of 15. Fresh ingredients when at all possible, and the flavor must be prefecto! Many of the times I do not use a cookbook, or I will just glance at the ingredients of a recipe and then create my own version of the meal, but I since I had this beautiful Soup Bible type of cookbook with the most BEAUTIFUL of photos in it, I used one of the recipes for a hearty vegetable soup.
It was most disappointing. Too many onions and leeks, not enough liquid. NO TASTE. Flat. The only thing it had going for it was texture. I stood annoyed with my hands on my hips in front of my soup which took a good hour to make from start to finish.
I HATE when I have to redo some one's recipe, but out comes the magic wand, the vinegar, the Braggs, the organic spices, more liquid, a shake of this and a shake of that and POOF, there I had it, a hearty thick, GIANT pot of soup that had some FLAVOR. A shake of freshly grated Parmesan on top, and we were good to go.
Alanna ate her entire bowl of soup, mesmerized by the myriad of vegetables to be pulled out, examined and tasted. She ate every bit of the broth, and was excited that I had used Butterfly Pasta (no one has told her they are bow ties...)
It was a success.
I smiled, knowing that I made enough to keep everyone going for a few days, I thought about how soothing food can be for one's psyche, and I promptly grabbed the left over mashed potatoes and consumed a bowl. My comfort food.
I am off to dream. I only slept a few hours last night. Too much on my mind, a different bed, and windows that were rattled from the ferocious winds. Cold drafts reaching down to circle me, making me just cool enough to never be warm. In my dreams I hope I find peace...even if only for a while......
Monday, March 05, 2007
Then one day, you are in a supermarket, or on a back road with the top down, in a friend's car, or in an airport. One of THOSE songs plays and it all comes back and slams you in the heart. You remember every feeling, every sadness, every joy that you ever lived in that song.
Tonight it is frigid. I am deep in thought, wrapped in a robe to keep the cold draft off me from the French windows which rattle with the intense wind. So much going on in my life, so much confusion. So many feelings, so many paths before me. I try to think clearly, to be wise, and be true and honest to myself and others - and search for the answers.
Last night I posted a few lines from this song; tonight is another part of it which inspired tonight's digital work. The files are so compressed that you can't see the detail and what is in the picture, but at least you get the mood.
The stars light a sky
On a galaxy of emptiness tonight
Though I'm happiest
When there's no reason for me to be
With no one's expectation to weigh heavy on my heart
And so much hope it sometimes tears me all apart
Won't you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?
Could you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?
'Cause there's a galaxy of emptiness tonight....
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Behind the Face
Oil on Canvas, 72 x 36"
My Brother's Keeper?
Oil on Paper, 72 x 42", right panel
I am hoping that if I stay home today I will be mostly better by tomorrow. I am trying to focus on healing and taking everything that I have...Emergen-C,ginger tea, Zicam, and at night, codeine cough medicine. . I have spent a large part of the past 10 days at home except for the days I had to teach, and I have had enough.
I have to admit I did sneak out last night to go to Ani Tachdjian and Steve Weis's opening. The paintings were dark, and similar in their aura of mysticism, mythology and magic. I would find myself going back to several paintings, and each time I looked at them, figures,eyes,and erotica appeared like magic.....enticing me, pulling me into their mysterious worlds. I sipped on my champagne and let the images seduce me. I have been in a bit of a dark place for a while now...and it was easy to fall into into it unnoticed under the guise of looking at art.
I took care of my body and soul today by going out into the studio. No matter what is going on, it is a place of comfort and safety. I put on some music, and periodically I will hear a new piece of music which enraptures my soul. Life has been really tough, and I have so many questions, and there is so much at stake. I am seeking the answer and a way to find a place of peace.
Beth Orton's Galaxy of Emptiness (from PASS IN TIME, a collection of her work; a great diverse CD. This was one of the many stellar pieces meant to be heard on a good surround sound system) It is a haunting sound and interesting mix.... smoky, slow and mystical....like the paintings of the previous night.....
The stars light a sky
On a gutter full of broken dreams tonight
Though I'm not content, that's the way it seems to be
Still, I've been fighting all week
Though I don't know what for
Hoping someone else, somewhere near knows the score
Won't you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?
Could you please
Knock me off my feet for a while?
'Cause there's a galaxy of emptiness tonight
A whole galaxy of emptiness tonight
There's a galaxy of emptiness tonight,
a whole Galaxy of emptiness tonight.........................
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I was pretty sick all day. I allowed myself to go to the studio as I had missed being in it so much this week. In spite of the fact that it flooded, I was desperate to get in there - even mopping and sweeping the floors was a pleasure. I did get some cards made to send as thank you notes for those who have been so generous in donating to Megan's fund.
Lois dropped off a birdhouse that I am supposed design for a big fundraiser in Rhinebeck, NY. I asked her if I could do a collage/assemblage, and use text that has double entendres. She reminded me that Rhinebeck is rather conservative, and it WILL be in store windows,and that it was a benefit for kids. OOPS I said, I will make the verse tame. Some pretty famous people make birdhouses for this benefit, including Annie Leibovitz.
I briefly popped into a few openings to support some friends, and Lois whisked me down to the Watermark Gallery, where Ben has the most amazing collection of African Art. It is like a museum! Lois bought a piece of Kuba textile/cloth. After that, to the Armadillo for margaritas and a bit of food. One of the high points was meeting a man whom Lois knew, who has a marina down on the Hudson River in Marlboro. He told me that I could paint there any time, and I will go down in the spring and check it out for its potential. I am gathering my list of vistas for this summer, and I am getting very excited about doing it.
Off to bed. I must get well.
Friday, March 02, 2007
In short-it was a long day. Pouring cold rain and ice, I was sick, went to school when I should have stayed home. I have a whiskey tenor voice; I am sure some have found it interesting. One of my students told me not to talk because it was making her feel pain.
I had to break my rendevous with Rob, so that I could come home and take care of myself. I really wanted to go and do museum and coffee, but I knew it was not wise.
The quiet and centering part of the evening after all the craziness---was dinner. Larry got take-out from Kyoto. I took the time to light scented candles, put out the simple black plates, and the sake bottle and glasses that my brother gave me 20+ years ago. It had been a long time since I have used them, and Jude had given us a bottle of Sake for Christmas.
As I sat in quiet and ate my dinner, I thought about the times my brother and I had gotten together for long conversations and a bottle of sake, tipping the delicate cups many times to our lips, nodding.
It has been years since those poingant memories...and with a bittersweet tender ritual I heated the sake and shared it with Larry. We say campai, which in Japanese, means "empty cup". We say it many times tonight; the sake bottle is deceptive in the amount it holds and it seems to be bottomless.
I end the evening with a hot toddy which even for me seems terribly strong. I fear Larry is trying to knock me out. He is right, it is probably the only thing that will slow me down. Even when sick I cannot stop. I am so driven....
I ran around the house tonight taking photos for tonight's blog. I have come to the realization that I need a monopod for some of the photos I want to take with long exposures. I am posting a somewhat blurry photo of a painting I did looking out onto Julie's yard. It was the second time that I went to live with her.....and I remember with fondness the day that I painted it, and the energy of love that it moves with....
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I dragged myself to German class too and we had a really hard lesson. At one point I almost gave up and was going to go home, but Patrick picked me up and I had no car. Two plus hours later, my brain was smoking...
We have a flood watch posted, so I just dashed out in the sleet to the studio to pick up anything but plastic on the the floor in case it floods. In my moving things I found this odd piece which has been floating around for a long time. I never do anything with it as it is too bizarre for a card, and not something I would frame. It just sorts of appears now and then.
As I looked at it, I thought how "Monty Pythonesque", and I remembered the laughs I have had out of The Holy Grail and The Meaning of Life. A few summers ago when I was laid up for a month after surgery, I pulled out these movies as I needed some comic relief.
I think I am going upstairs to watch Comedy Central. No words of wisdom, or deep introspection here tonight. I can't find the energy to think, but I could sure use a good laugh with a nip of brandy!