Monthly Archives: April 2006

Walkin’ in the sand…

Pen & Watercolor Pencils

I managed to get out of the apartment this weekend. I worked on updating the class schedule on my friend Kelly’s website (finally!) and then wanted to get out to maybe sketch a bit. We drove over to the Newport Beach… beach at the end of the afternoon. My first attempt was the pier, which looks so bad that I didn’t even bother scanning it in. I really need to work on my perspective rendering skills. I took a few photos, so I’ll try again. I have a really hard time with perspective when I’m out in the open. My second attempt produced the above result… Gabriel’s sandals and his sand toy. Not perfect, but better.

Sisters of the Soul journal two

My entry in Dee Radcliffe’s SoS Journal

The month is up for the second journal and I will be sending it out with only one page completed. I’d intended to do more, but what with my neck/shoulder/arm issues, it was all I could muster. I’m not all that happy with the result, but it’ll have to do. I scanned and manipulated a photo in Photoshop and then printed it out on canvas using my Epson printer. I’m not sure why it came out so, er, morbid, but alas…

I received the next one, which was started by Kathy O’Bryan… a lovely “book-in-a-box”… loose sheets of watercolor paper swathed in satin. Some of the pages already completed are completely covered in fabric. Very cool book. I’ll have to rise up to the occasion. Dee’s will be going into the mail on Monday. Hope she likes what I’ve done…

Quiet of the morning and some deep thoughts…

Digital photo manipulated in Photoshop

I love the tranquility of early morning. All is quiet and the light is just creeping up from the horizon. The cars haven’t yet started their busy procession on Harvard Street and all I can hear are the birds hooting and chirping, and the churning pot of coffee I just put on to brew.

I have been blessed by some wonderful online friends. The Belle Papier Yahoo group has been a mainstay for me for many years now. It has accompanied me through good times and bad, has inspired me to create, even through dry spells, and when the droughts persist, the community has gathered ’round and been supportive. Mostly consisting of women artists, this board has been one of the few that I read and participate on regularly.

I got home yesterday to a couple of packages in the mail from some of my Salon Sisters… one of them contained a peacock feather, which I promptly inserted into the pen holder sitting my desk next to my computer. This morning, feeling contemplative with my cup of coffee and poking through some old blogs that I’ve had open for weeks, it occurred to me that perhaps the feather represented something deeper. I am one of those people who believes that nothing that occurs in our lives is insignificant if we are in-tune to its message.

So I Google-d ‘peacock feather’ and ‘spiritual’ and found the following: “Sri Krishna wears a peacock feather that reminds us of his play with the gopas and gopis of Sri Vrindavana. The male peacock especially has long been a symbol of romantic love, and the rasalila episode of Sri Krishna’s life teaches us how this kind of love may be directed to God.”

Having been a devotee of Krishna (many, many years ago), this made sense to me. I’ve been feeling somewhat… unsettled… lately. Romantic love could never be further at this junction in my life. While I spent a good part of my youth seeking it out, I realize that perhaps it is not what the focus of this lifetime was meant to be. Geez, it’s taken me long enough to get to that conclusion. And yet, I feel the need to direct the energy associated with it somewhere, and have been doing some investigating. I came across a book by Sharon Gannon and David Life entitled Jivamukti Yoga – Practices for Liberating Body and Soul. In its teachings, perhaps I will find what I am looking for, though I have yet to get started. If I have learnt nothing else in this life, I have certainly learned the art of procrastination.

The cycle of birth and life and death and rebirth—samsara—has had significant meaning to me lately, perhaps because I am at the middle of my life (well, one doesn’t ever really know what the timeline is, does one?), and the proximity of the “end” is drawing nearer. So much to do, so little time… though, so much time wasted, too. In fact, samsara will be the subject of the tattoo that I have decided to get… circling around my belly button—the source of my beginnnings, and hitting three chakras along the way, will be the depiction of the cycle of birth-life-death. Apparently, my higher self believes it is something I need to be reminded of.

I have spent so much time on trying to unravel my purpose. Life at times seems so pointless… why are we here? What is the point if we simply live and then die? Have I been put here for a specific and special purpose, or am I just here for the heck of it? Why are the Gods so conceited that they require all of us little soul sparks to idolize them and devote our lives to them? If we are made in God’s image, then we must share Godly qualities, and even our imperfections must be reflective of the qualities which we mirror? Is God perfect? Is God just a flowing stream of creative force, and the collective emanations that we consist of as a whole (from the sand on the shores… to the meteors flying through space… to humanity) a by-product of this creative force, simultaneously co-creating ourselves?

This in-body state that I currently find myself in has been a source of pleasure and joy as well as resentment. At times it feels like a heavy cage that encases me and keeps me from soaring to where I feel I need to be, and yet it also provides the vehicle to be able to experience things that are only possible in this form. I am ever the Ghost in a Shell.

And now to bring my meandering thoughts back to the Salon Sisters… here is a (translated) Sanskrit prayer to you, regardless of your spiritual affiliations:

vancha-kalpatarubhyas ca
kripa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo
vaishnavebhyo namo namah

I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.


Scoping out a moto school… maybe

The hubby (aka “Guy-b”)… he claims he knows his place (beHIND the camera) but you be the judge…

So glad it’s Friday and the weekend is here. Worked my tail off at work this week, and the neck/shoulder/arm thing is ever present. Proofed a cool article that Steve was working on for today’s Friday Feature, posted here.

While searching for a local area moto school, I came across a listing for Rick Johnson Racing, here in Irvine. When I mentioned it to Steve, he said “Yeah, I know Rick…” So my next question was… *big grin* “Can you ask him if he’ll teach me how to ride?” After looking at me with furrowed brow and grimace, he said “Yeah, I guess, the next time I see him at a race.” There’s hope for me yet… whether road or MX, I’ll be riding one of these days. Steve can’t be the only one running up the hospital ER bill.

The wassup…

Frank doing a burn out…

Well, I’ve been aching, lately. Since my last foray into L.A. (about a month ago), my neck has been killing me. Well, not just my neck, ‘zactly… my left side, more like, from neck to waist, all the way down my arm. It’s gotten somewhat better (so I don’t have to keep mooching Vicodin from Steve every other night just to get some sleep) but … now it’s doing the weird short circuit buzzing down my arm. Next Friday I get to undergo an EMG (electromyography) test… I hear you become a sort of human pincushion… sounds like SO much fun.

For secretary’s day (oops… faux pas… it’s now called ‘administrative assistant’s day’ or somesuch thing), the lawyers took us underlings out to Bistango’s for lunch. I’d never been there and was impressed with their selection. The place is nice… a little mini art gallery on the walls, and the food was excellent. My boss ordered a glass of red zin’ so I did too… what the heck… no one else did, though. Us kanuck’s need to stick together, eh? Amazing what one glass of wine can do these days, though… to think I’d drink half a liter and then go on drinking shooters and chasers all night is unfathomable at this point in my life.

As I was driving home, a Def Leppard song came on the radio just as I was pulling into my parking spot. I’m in a rockin’ mood tonight (despite the pesky shoulder) and so decided to get upstairs and dig out all of the Def Leppard CDs I have, and upload them into iTunes… I’ve been listening to them since… and some Def Tones and Everlast and Joy Division… and… The poor little speakers on my iMac just weren’t meant to be played maxed out, but OH well…

Gabriel’s at a friend’s and Steve’s gone to Murrietta to interview someone for the magazine, so I’m home by myself, something that doesn’t happen often. It’s kinda nice. I wouldn’t be able to blast music like this if either one of them was here… and I wonder why I’m going deaf…

I’ve decided that for my midlife crisis I would sign up for motorcycle lessons and a get myself a road bike. And a tattoo, too, but that’s fodder for another post (I’ve got my appointment booked with Steve Godoy at Outer Limits, Orange, for mid-June).

Look out world, here I come. Since I was nineteen, I’ve wanted a motorcycle. I’d’ve given my left arm for a Ninja or an Interceptor, but a) I had no money, and b) when I tried to sweet talk one out of my dad, he said forget it, I’d kill myself. I’ve been a frequent passenger on the back end of one though. My friend would go riding with her boyfriend Frank (who later became my boyfriend for a time) and they’d invite me to ride along with Rob, one of Frank’s buddy’s. Nothing quite like it. Some people just know how to ride-Rob was one of them. The three of us would feel as one… he and I and the bike. It was an awesome feeling. One time we were on HWY 40 (or was it the 132?) and he gased it… we were going 180 kilometers per hour… what a trip. Frank gave him hell for that when he caught up with us, telling him he was driving irresponsibly. Ah well… those were some fun times.

So… I’m going to shop for lessons and scope out a bike. The good thing about the lessons is that if I have to drop it ’til I learn, at least I won’t be dropping my own bike. 🙂

Next Sisters of the Soul journal…

A photo from eons ago…

This photo was taken ages ago… I don’t remember the occasion, nor who the photographer was, but I do remember that moment, hugging my friend, Violet… one I’ve know since we were in diapers. We were maybe nineteen years old in this photo.

We go a long ways back, she and I, and we’ve seen each other evolve from childhood to adolescence to young adulthood to parenthood. Not all of it was pretty (and I have more than a few scars from her jagged little nails), and yet, we’ve shared the secrets of our soul, and even became “blood sisters”, pin-pricking our fingers and joining them together. We are of the same (Hungarian-Canadian) heritage. We’ve shared everything from clothes to boyfriends. When we were little, we’d push each other off of my mother’s lap, vying for her love and hugs.

Violet is another one of my “soul sisters” who I wish to honor during this journal project. The journal I received the other day (Dee Radcliffe’s) has a paisley sub-theme, so I thought this photo was rather fitting, and will work it into my contribution somehow.

MUSES musings…

I’ve finally worked my way through the first part of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) book. My thoughts follow…

Name your dream —
To get paid for work I create as an artist/writer
To comfortably support myself and my family doing work that I love
To live in a comfortable, spacious home which accommodates all of our needs and interests
To skillfully balance finances, work, home and family responsibilities
To find my tribe(s) and develop deep, meaningful friendships
To find a way to use my talents to enrich the lives of others in a meaningful way
To strengthen my connection to ALL THAT I AM and in doing so, open the wellspring of spirituality
To connect on a deeper level with my loved ones
To live more healthfully, integrating proper nutrition, exercise and spiritual practice into my life

Essences that come with fulfillment of the dream —
Freedom to create my own schedule
Time to nurture my needs and those of others
The comfort and luxury of prosperity (this one was in the book, but I couldn’t have said it better myself)
To find meaning in all that I do
To elicit growth in myself and others through my writing/art
A healthy body, mind and spirit; a longer and more fruitful existence

Childhood private-eye work —
When I was a child, we played many role-playing games. We’d play school, and I enjoyed being student as much as teacher, and would often forfeit the teacher role to appease some other, less compliant, kid. I loved playing spy or detective board and role-playing games. I loved looking through the microscope, but was more fascinated by the myriad colors in whatever object I was viewing through the lens rather than ponder on its chemical composition or molecular structure. I loved to read and to write. I loved to learn all about rocks and minerals, and the natural world. By third grade I’d figured out that I was best-suited to live in either California or Florida—they represented the perfect climates for me, and I’d studied much about the demographics and economics of each state. They were Oranges in my very Apple world.

I loved to play with Barbie dolls and could role play for hours. My dolls took on roles of doctors and fashion designers, and everything in between. I fashioned furniture for them out of tissue boxes and made clothes for them from material scraps.

I remember my very first easel… I was around 4… I loved to paint, swirling my wet brush around on the cake of paint until it had the consistency of pudding—my favorite color was royal blue. When I was around 6, one of our neighbours had a visitor come ’round—must have been a family friend—he rounded us kids up into a pack and drew pencil sketches of each of us. I remember being ever so impressed with his rendition of ME! and thinking “I can do that!” I started drawing things. As all kids are prone to do, I used to trace stuff, but as I got more confident, I progressed to freehand drawing. I loved to write, too, and from about third or fourth grade onward, I kept a journal. I still have an Enid Blyton book that my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Simpson, gave me at the end of the school year, with a standing order to “Never stop writing!” And so it has been.

I love to write and yet I question the intrinsic value of it — will anyone want to hear what I have to say? How will my writing make a difference in someone’s life–would my writing make a positive difference in some way, or will it simply be dead weight, or a useless bit of fluff? This applies to my art as well. Same quandary. However, I have found that whether others like to hear me or not, the urge… this uncontrollable urge to CREATE for the sake of it… happens regardless of the existence of audience or accolade.

Another butterflies-in-the-stomach inducing activity: travel… particularly to foreign countries. The more out of my element I am, the more exciting and adrenaline inducing the experience. New cultures, new foods, new textures, new languages… it’s all good.

Red, Black & White Journal (again)

Layout to accompany my previously posted image
(Click to see larger view in separate window)

I’ve been rather obsessed with graphic novels lately, and so given the color theme of this journal, I had decided to try my hand at a two page ‘cartoon’ spread. This is my very neophyte result. The color scheme lent itself to ‘creepy’ so I went with a vampire theme. I’ve been longing for some of the old comic books I used to read as a kid: House of Secrets, House of Mystery and Dark Shadows. If I would have remembered the titles of the comic books last weekend, I might have been able to find some copies at Meltdown, but it took me a week of searching through my memory archives to finally remember “Barnabas,” one of the main characters that I was so fond of. A Google search gleaned tremendous results. Next time…

I have been in so much pain this last week or so. It all started last Saturday evening, after my jaunt into L.A. My neck started hurting and from there my whole left shoulder, sub-scapula, running all the way into my left arm… some numbness, but mostly jolting pain. I have a referral to the neurologist SOMEwhere, just need to put my finger on it. I was just ready to have someone rip my arm out of its socket to stop the pain (like that makes a WHOLE lot of sense, but…). Working like this is no piece of cake… being productive is an even larger feat… and with a desk as busy as mine, there is no choice in the matter, so I’ve been working my way through the days, with gritted teeth, and by the time I get home I’m fully exhausted (and all but useless). I’ve discovered that slinging my arm helps a bit, so I’ve been doing that when I can. I’ve also poached a few Vicodin from Steve, and took half a tablet this afternoon, in a last ditch attempt to find some relief. I’ll let you know how it works out, as soon as I get up from my nap.

I’d like to blame the advent of this pain on the rain (or rainy weather), but I’m not sure. My PCP (primary care physician) thinks (I’m sure) I’m a hypochondriac… and maybe he’s right… but damn, I’m good at manifesting pain, if that’s the case. To be honest, I’m ready to try for a new doctor who at least makes a good show of pretending to give a shit about his patients.