interior ruckus…a poem about motherhood

interior ruckus—part one

i had no idea at twenty-nine
an unfamiliar inner voice
so bossy, persuasive
now, right now

hormonal messengers
working overtime
baby, baby, baby

OR so i assumed...

in my 20s, i knew so little about my biology 
youth doesn't ask many questions
baby, baby, baby

oh, to possess that blissful ignorance again

i understand now…
my ancient biology didn’t take over,
my private sociology did

interior ruckus of
age & expectations
my societal & familial programming
working overtime
interior ruckus—part two

period late
hopeful & cautious
baby, baby, baby 

a September birthday?
NOPE, not this month
my body sighed

moons passed
late again
my body whispered, YES
a winter birthday?
baby, baby, baby

my son arrived
late in February 
all giant and squirmy
and mine
 
three years later
that familiar drumbeat
my personal sociology 
our son needs a sibling

my body whispered again
maybe baby?
Saturday—NO 
Monday—YES, and...
babies, in my wife? 

baby A & baby B
gritty little homesteaders
inhabitants of my territory
overlapping claims
our complex symbiosis 

my daughters arrived
in the middle of May 
all tiny and squirmy
and mine
interior ruckus—part three

mothering through menopause
hormones tectonic
& not just mine

age and expectations
divergent boundaries
epicenters evershifting
interior ruckus

a lifetime spent studying the waves
vibrations recorded
push and pull
energy released
expected

motherhood's seismic shift
less vigilance now required
when monitoring underground movement
tremors are expected

my interpretations of modernism, impressionism & baroque movements…

Modernism (1875-1960) The responses of modernists to modernity range from triumphal celebration to agonized condemnation and differ in mode from direct picturing of the impacts of modernization to extreme renovations of purely artistic assumptions and practice.  —Google Arts & Culture 

Standing Girl, Egon Schiele c. 1908-1909

I know my interpretation of Egon’s-Standing Girl doesn’t possess the same raw sexuality in any way. However, slowing down is shifting my perspectives in many ways & not just in my creative work.

Impressionism (1860 - ...) Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light...ordinary subject matter...crucial element of human perception and experience.  —Google Arts & Culture 
Baroque (1600 - 1725)  Usage of the term is often extended to the whole period 1600–1750 without qualifying restrictions, or improperly to mean a florid and elaborate style in art, architecture, music or literature, of any date from late antiquity to the early 20th century.  —Google Arts & Culture 

https://artsandculture.google.com/category/art-movement

hacking my lacking art education…

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Yesterday I placed Google’s ART MOVEMENTS as the first item on my browser (link below). G going to this site before the news might be better for my soul. As I hack my art education, I’m going to create or curate work(s) in the style & order the movements appear on the site. Continue reading

Oh, the places we go …

Featured

Some mornings I feel settled, calmly visiting with Jeff over coffee, reading what I choose, editing photos, and having a bit of discipline not to jump from thought to thought.

Today, however, was definitely not one of those days, maybe the snow threw me off, yesterday was SPRING for goodness sake.

I looked at my browser history for some insight. I could somewhat follow my own tracks. However, if I disappeared today even the most intuitive detective would not know where to begin to understand my bread crumbs…sourdough, whole wheat, cranberry walnut, cheddar jalapeno, then a lone Dorito perhaps?

OOhhhh, I want a cheddar jalapeno bagel now, I can finish this later…or maybe not at all.

Try being a detective and see if you can decipher your own state of mind. I didn’t solve anything. However, I am stepping away from the screen for a while and doing something else.

Here are my links, as if you don’t have enough bread crumbs of your own.

https://calmigo.com/pages/the_science_behind_calmigo

https://freedomofmind.com/cult-mind-control/malignant-narcissism-stereotypical-characteristics-of-a-cult-leader/

https://www.inikaorganic.com/blogs/natural-beauty-hub/kangaroo-paw-flower#:~:text=It%20hydrates%20and%20brightens%20the,the%20moisture%20our%20complexions%20crave.

Father and Daughter by Paul Simon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COQPSoRFdwg

Trust your intuition
It’s just like going fishin’
You cast your line and
Hope you get a bite

—Paul Simon

more images from my prairie & sea series…

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.

—Victor Hugo, French author of Les Misérables

a 7 minute read that could change your life…

I listened to the SAVVY PSYCHOLOGIST: 18 Beliefs That Are Ruining Your Life by Dr. Monica Johnson on the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast. She talks about schemas, which I knew little about. I found her descriptions empowering and worthy of sharing. For more details on each one, I’ve provided the links below.

A schema is a stable and enduring negative pattern that develops during childhood or adolescence. It persists and expands throughout our lives. —Dr. Monica Johnson

Read it one more time, I’ll wait…

I now have a better understanding of the well-worn grooves in my brain and how they affect the way I interpret and respond to everything. I noted the schemas I thought most applicable to me now.

18 Beliefs That Are Ruining Your Life/Part One

NOTE: There are three main not-so-helpful responses to schemas: surrender, avoidance, and overcompensation. Keeping these in mind when you read this list is helpful.

1. Emotional Deprivation

This schema refers to the belief that your primary emotional needs will never be met by others. These needs can typically be described in three categories: nurturance, empathy, and protection. Nurturance relates to needs for closeness, affection, or love.

This schema can arise due to having parents who are more distant and don’t adequately attend to the emotional needs of their child. Parents can be well-meaning but have a child who has a more sensitive temperament and the parents aren’t equipped with the skills necessary to support them.

2. Abandonment/Instability

If you have fears of abandonment, this is one of your predominant schemas. Typically, people with this schema believe that they will soon lose anyone with whom an emotional attachment is formed.

3. Mistrust/Abuse

This schema refers to the expectation that others will intentionally take advantage of you in some way.

4. Social Isolation/Alienation

Do you experience life as the black sheep? This schema refers to the belief that one is isolated from the world, different from other people, and/or not part of any community.

5. Defectiveness/Shame

Are you afraid that if someone got too emotionally close to you, they’d find out how awful you really are?

6. Failure   

I think many of us have a fear of failure to some degree, but perhaps in your case, it’s more debilitating. Did you grow up in a family where anything less than an A was a failure?

7. Dependence/Incompetence

This schema refers to the belief that you’re not capable of handling daily responsibilities competently and independently.

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”  —Pema Chödrön 

8. Vulnerability to Harm and Illness

Do you always feel like your own personal doomsday clock is ticking away? This schema refers to the belief that the next major catastrophe is right around the corner, whether it be medical, financial, environmental, etc.

9. Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self

Are you too involved with your family or romantic partners? People who struggle with enmeshment often have little-to-no boundaries and are too emotionally involved in their relationships.

AVOIDANCE: Damn, this is a new schema, not from my childhood. With too much focus on my kids and their lives, I often neglect my own growth. It comes from a loving & well-meaning place but it’s actually detrimental to my whole family. More focus on my own needs will give my brood the much-deserved space to do the same.

18 Beliefs That Are Ruining Your Life/Part Two

10. Entitlement/Grandiosity

The belief that you’re superior to others. Some may have an exaggerated focus on aspects that they believe display this superiority (e.g. being amongst the most wealthy or successful). …we might call them clout chasers; however, individuals with this schema are engaging in these behaviors to achieve power and control, and not primarily seeking approval or attention.

11. Insufficient Self-Control or Self-Discipline

This schema refers to the inability to tolerate any frustration in reaching your goals, as well as an inability to restrain the expression of your impulses or feelings. In its milder form, you may have an exaggerated emphasis on discomfort avoidance: avoiding pain, conflict, confrontation, responsibility, or overexertion at the expense of personal fulfillment, commitment, or integrity. When lack of self-control is extreme, criminal or addictive behavior may rule your life. …it’s impossible to have a healthy existence and avoid all discomfort.

SURRENDER: This is what I thought of myself as a child. I was disciplined in sports, but not school, and I lacked self-control over my eating habits. To this day I often think of myself as lazy, lacking direction, and terribly disorganized. These attributes are sometimes true of me but are no longer dominant. However, I still have many internal battles regarding this hardwired schema. It’s time to UNSURRENDER to this negative thought pattern.

12. Subjugation

This is the excessive surrendering of control to others because you feel coerced. This behavior is usually done to avoid things like conflict, anger, or abandonment.

13. Self-Sacrifice

This schema refers to the excessive sacrifice of your own needs in order to help others. The most common reasons are: to prevent causing pain to others; to avoid guilt from feeling selfish; or to maintain the connection with others perceived as needy. 

OVERCOMPENSATION: Although well-intentioned on my part there’s a downside: 1) self-sacrifice can build resentment 2) makes those I’m making sacrifices for feel incapable when they haven’t even asked me for help in the first place. This schema is overcompensation on my part to avoid being seen as selfish.

14. Emotional Inhibition

This schema involves the belief that you must suppress spontaneous action, feeling or communication. This is usually to avoid disapproval by others, feelings of shame, or losing control of your impulses. 

15. Approval Seeking/Recognition Seeking

This schema refers to placing excessive emphasis on gaining the approval and recognition of others at the expense of your own genuine needs and sense of self.

16. Negativity/Pessimism

This schema refers to a pervasive, lifelong focus on the negative aspects of life while minimizing, ignoring, or discounting the positive aspects.

“Schemas tend to be easier to change during childhood but can become increasingly rigid and difficult to modify as people grow older. Schemas will often persist even when people are presented with evidence that contradicts their beliefs.” —Dr. Christine Padesky/Verywell Mind

17. Unrelenting Standards/Hypercriticalness

This schema refers to a belief that you have to meet extremely high standards of performance or behavior. The person with this belief pattern is usually doing this to avoid criticism.

18. Punitiveness  

This is the belief that people should be harshly punished for making mistakes. People with this schema tend to be critical and unforgiving of themselves and others.

Thank you, Dr. Johnson…you’re a savvy psychologist indeed.

taking pictures of pictures…

While sorting old photos I was struck by the frequent composition I’ve shot for decades. The dominant landscapes of my life share something quite powerful with my sense of self. The proof is in the piles of photographs I need to sort through.

Without lots of breathing room, easily feel claustrophobic.

Walking Town Neck Beach on Cape Cod I get a familiar sense of spaciousness..and then often an accompanying longing for the South Dakota prairie where I grew up. The way these sensations are intertwined, my native Nebraska artist friend, Elizabeth Bunsen, and I have named our “interior geography”.

Interior might not quite describe how truly primal these feelings are for me.

I was going to edit all of these photos of photos which would’ve taken hours. However, since this is the first step in a series I’m working on I thought showing the images raw was more interesting.

What is your interior geography?

if you give an insomniac coffee & predawn time alone…

This morning I remembered a thoughtful quote I heard recently during Vermont Recovery Advocacy Day. I made coffee and started searching. I often think of the children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff.

One thing leads to another and sometimes you don’t know how you got there. This happens frequently to me.

Today, I thought I would follow the trail. If you give me coffee and some time alone…

OK, the author of the quote, I think his last name was hummmm…Chesterfield. There were some real gems from him. I thought I must have the attribution correct..Lord Chesterfield.

“Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one.”

Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.”

I kept reading and then this one popped up:

“Women especially as to be talked to as below men, and above children.”

Lord Chesterfield, you obviously were not the author I was looking for…and maybe kind of a prick, but hey it was the 17th century when you were writing, so I won’t “cancel” you—context is everything.

The sun is up now, it’s snowing and I’ve had my second coffee…I finally found the correct quote.

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

—G. K. Chesterton

Thanks as the highest form of thought and gratitude doubled by wonder—so beautifully said. What other quotes about gratitude can I find?

I needed to know a bit more about G. K. Chesterton. He was an English author best known for creating the priest-detective, Father Brown.

Then, I next read on his Wikipedia page that his best friend from his St. Paul school days was Edmund Clerihew Bentley, inventor of the clerihew

I didn’t know what a clerihew was. Should I have? Do you?

A clerihew (/ˈklɛrɪhjuː/) is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley. The first line is the name of the poem's subject, usually, a famous person put in an absurd light, or revealing something unknown or spurious about them. (Here is a well-known clerihew of his.) Sir Christopher Wren Said, "I am going to dine with some men. If anyone calls Say I am designing St. Paul's."[1]

I wrote my own clerihew after reading Mr. Bentley’s example.

To the courageous people of Ukraine, I humbly offer my thanks, gratitude, and compassion for what you are against-all-odds bravely doing to protect your families and defend democracy around the world.

the prairie and the sea…

Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect day to post about two of my great loves—the prairie and the sea. I started this project with these first two photographs. I got quite obsessive while working on these images. I photographed smoke bombs I bought at the dollar store for the cloud layer I wanted. I like the surreal quality of the images…dreamlike perhaps.

“I like a good story and I also like staring at the sea– do I have to choose between the two?”
― David Byrne, How Music Works

Happy Valentine’s Day!