when the world feels like a batshit crazy place is pretty challenging. I don’t know the best way to access a more grounded version of myself, but I do know the quickest. When I’m acting childish and feeling like I deserve more (or less) of whatever—a little gratitude for all of the good things in my life seems to ground me the most.
Gratitude not attitude seems to do the trick.
grounded—mentally and emotionally stable: admirably sensible, realistic, and unpretentious (Merriam Webster)
I’m not entirely sure about “admirably sensible” or “unpretentious“. However, feeling grounded, well, that’s worth a little exploration.
:the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance
I don’t always want to see things from other points of view or walk a mile in another woman or man’s shoes. I don’t have to first feel empathetic or sympathetic before I actually understand my own thoughts.
Maybe it’s best to let our perspectives have their way with us, initially anyway, keep what’s informative and then get curious about how other people view things.
The key I suppose, is not waiting so long that rigidity sets in and we become unable to change course, even as we acquire additional information.
“Shoulda taken a break, not an oxford comma Take what I want when I wanna”
—Billie Eilish lyrics from my strange addiction
Instead of rushing in to validate someone else’s perspective the way I’ve been conditioned to do, understanding what’s happening to my own nervous system regarding an event or circumstance seems well worth practicing.
I’m gonna take a break…more than an oxford comma. After all, I’m not often being chased by giant predators as my lizard brain endlessly tries to trick me into believing. I usually have the time to take a minute.
Thank you Willa, Lucy and Ellis for introducing me to Billie Eilish. Damn she’s really something.
When I have a lot of things to do that I’m not very interested in, I escape by creating something. Anything. I like what happened when I put off my “should do” list tonight.
A different perspective? MAYBE? That would be noble.
Nope, I was just giving my brain a creativity fix.
Vintage shoes, an abandoned farmhouse, South Dakota two-lane, a Vegas sign, urban ruins (Detroit), California fires, summer feet, Lucy & Willa, New Orleans lights, an octopus and an alligator in the Everglades…all provided my muse. I could while away many more hours making these.
However, I’m going to bed. I’m optimistic I will actually conquer more of my “should do” list tomorrow—now that my creative bucket (or bottle) has been filled.
These are images I created from my photographs one night this week when the house was quiet and I stayed up late. The cowboys are from photographs I shot at the Burke Stampede Rodeo in Burke, South Dakota. The boots are mine. The railroad shot was taken in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The Chevy truck I shot in New Orleans.
What we focus on can give us more clarity OR get us to hyper-focused, losing sight of the big picture. For me, I think this is a crucial distinction to understand right now. Take a look at the very subtle differences in the photos. I focus on the fungus in front and the whole picture shifts. I focus on the fungus in the back and everything changes…even the light a little bit. Perspective.
I feel this shift a lot when parenting teenagers. What do I need to pay attention to right now? Should I use a different lens here? Why am I so focused on this right now? Should I take a broader look OR get in there and really explore one singular issue, letting other things fall out of focus?
These are really hard questions for me to manage in a split second. However, as a very visual learner, a subtle shift in perspective made more sense to me when I thought about it in terms of photography. What we focus on grows and sometimes we need a ridiculously wide lens and sometimes we have to hyper-focus.
I chose to focus on these mushrooms and not focus on other thins for a few minutes. Aren’t they magnificent?
I furiously got rid of stuff that was keeping my mind a complete mess. I couldn’t even prioritize what I needed to work on first. I spend one hour cleaning out and booked an appointment with GOT JUNK. The minute they drove off I could breathe again. The guys were great and both artists in their own right too. Apparently GOT JUNK sites have a lot of materials, metal, wood and other things to scavenged. I gave lots of things away and unearthed a few items I unfortunately would’ve purchased again because I didn’t know where they were. The clean out felt awesome. These are not very good before and after photos, but I think you’ll get the idea.
Yesterday, I got to the studio ready to work on my designs for STRUT and all 4 of my sewing machines didn’t work—broken belts, jammed up and one vintage and one, a 1950s SINGER I acquired I couldn’t figure out how to get the bobbin to thread even after I read and reread the manual. Reading manuals is not one of my strengths. It’s like reading Japanese or Greek or writing code to me. I called my sister to tell her that I actually had to laugh at the absurdity of having all machines fail on me when I was busy sewing. I was grateful that I could find the humor in the problem. What else could I do, really? What was the universe trying to tell me. I then headed out to one of the most loved repair shops in northern Vermont…Smitty’s in Essex Junction, Vermont. http://www.smittysews.com/
I was so grateful for the service. SMITTY and his wife are truly Vermont Treasures.
In an hour and half I had two of the machines in beautiful working order. I’m sewing leather and my sewing machines are taking a beating. If anyone ever wonders what to get me for a gift, it’s leather needles. As a bonus, I got to have tacos with my daughter, Willa while I waited. There’s always a bonus, if we’re paying attention to everyday hardships if we dig deep.
By 2pm I finally was able to get to work and nearly finish one of my pieces for the show. I love to work with the tension of tough and soft materials. I think the leather with the softness of the ecodyed silk from Elizabeth Bunsen is an interesting contrast…just like life.
Sometimes things are hard and sometimes things are delicate and sometimes we just have to laugh at it all.
I snapped this photo watching “Better Call Saul” the other night. Our beloved cat, Ms. Karen Lillibridge Govoni is hanging with my husband, Jeff. When I looked at all of the textures in this image it looked like a renaissance portrait to me.
I liked how it was so layered—Karen’s paw hanging, Jeff’s stripey socks, my crow painting, the $10/10-year-old blanket from the airport in Vegas, the industrial lamp and the stack of books (Willa Cather’s My Antonia is the white jacket in the middle). I took this on my iphone 5S. My family has new iphones and I don’t. I’m not too bitter about giving up my upgrade, that’s what Moms do, right? I think I only have to wait until 2019.
When I started playing with this photo in Adobeillustrator I wished that I could shift perspectives on how I see things in the world as easily as I can manipulate them by using design software.