Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Life Painting class in Oils

I've been struggling with oils all term, and this is everything I've done so far. I see myself progressing, but each assignment has been a struggle, getting the desired textures, using only the colors allowed by the teacher for each assignment, painting myself without avoiding looking clearly at myself... these assignments have been really tough. The Spring break is over and Friday we start doing some new exercises. I need to remember that it is ok if I'm not happy with the limitations, because this is a learning experience, not about creativity. B*B, Ysabeau

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Challenges and point of view

First of all, it's a stunningly gorgeous day here, 75 degrees, skies bluer than a sky blue crayon, some light breezes doing a wafting thing with the leaves, and twittery birds here and there. It looks like something out of a happy childhood dream.

I've been dealing with a flu bug, but I was enticed out into my patio, with my book, coffee, and happy little dog. One thing was bothering me... I wanted to lift the patio cover up (it was dropped down to shelter from winds a few days ago), and that's a little tough for me. I sat there a while. I read and sipped coffee. Birds were in the pepper tree in our yard, and I couldn't see them... so I decided to raise the canvas cover. It is important to realize that I was doing this as a compromise because I wanted to take the dog to the Dog Park but thought this would be less difficult.

Putting the cover up, involves pulling each leg up to a certain height so it can click into a fastener, and is uneven until you get them all done. One done, no problem. Two done, ok so far. Three, oh, oh, not so good, have to slide along the side and support it until I can get to the last leg. I have to shove the glass table out of the way with one hip, step over some bricks to put pots on, carefully.. and my bad ankle chooses this moment to give out, with no way to catch myself.

I fall slowly, hard, my ankle wrenched because of an old metal piece fastened into the concrete that my shoe caught in, down onto my bad knee, I can feel things tearing a bit in my abdomen, block some of the force with slapping the concrete but can't get a good hit, and hurt my left wrist and palm when I come to rest, but that's no big deal. My bad knee has a palm-sized purple mark, in spite of long pants, so I iced things down, sat in my chair, and cried with pure old anger and frustration. It seems like I just can't do anything, without making a mess of myself.

This is why I have to be so thoughtful and plan out my adventures, and still expect some time to recover. In early February, I was trying to clean up the patio so I could use it, and ended up getting bit badly by one or two of the immature black widow spiders I found, and was killing with a stick. I didn't know I was bitten until later, because I can't feel my skin on a lot of my abdomen, and I had fourteen (I counted) bites in that area. I was pretty sick, but they are almost gone now, just little red marks and small lumps under the skin. Last term I was walking across a classroom, stepped on a cluttered ramp and my ankle just went and I really hurt it, if I hadn't had a cane I'd have fallen flat, and I was so embarrassed when I made a hurt sound, and everyone in the classroom heard me and people tried to help, and I couldn't keep from tearing up with the pain.. very frustrating!!! and it hurt bad for over a week, and slowed me down a lot.

I have a list of things I need or want to do, and I work away at it, but always much slower than I think. I want to do reasonable things, I try to be patient, but it is not easy for me. I like to keep our home up, cook for us, make things, and learn something. I see myself as a tough, resilient, intelligent person, and I try to break tasks down into smaller bits so they are more manageable, but I am not so perfect, and I lose my patience, my sense of humor, and don't always handle it well.

So, right now, I'm going to sit down and have a yogurt, drink my coffee, read a silly book, and put some happy or bluesy music on Rhapsody. I am going to accept my challenges, as much as possible, and try to keep my balance, because I love my life and it's a more than half full glass, all the time. I'm probably not going to go to the Dog Park today, though.