Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lion Confrontation and the Gelatin Hockey-Puck Gift

Lion  from dream
mixed media
soft pastels and acrylic
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Lion Confrontation and the Gelatin Hockey-Puck Gift

I am with a group of people that includes Sara and Erin at a wild animal Park with free-ranging wild animals.  We are on foot, not in expedition vehicles.  I leave the group briefly to climb to the top of a large hill, and from there, I see below me a huge maned lion chasing a wildebeest.  There are 4 or 5 wildebeests running ahead, but he has his eye on one and as the other veer off to the sides, he follows the one.  The lion and the wildebeest are running from my right to my left, approaching me at an angle.  Suddenly, another lion appears from the left and rears up, roaring, confronting the first lion.  The wildebeest escapes.  I realize how close they both are and am frightened and run down the hill to where the others are to warn them.  I am afraid, but the tour guide and others seem to think we are safe.  That the hill between us protects us.

We continue our conversation and at some point later, I show Sara and Erin that I have this hockey-puck-shaped gelatin block with which I am going to make a gift for Alden. Saturday, September 19, 2015

What does this remind you of?

First, the dream was very long and complex and I feel sad that I can only remember such a small part of it.
I am, of course, much sadder that I am missing Alden’s babyhood, Frankie’s childhood, and the other three grandchildren, too. L  I wish I were rich enough and healthy enough to travel much more frequently to see the grandchildren.  (And Sara and Erin et al!)  And I wish we weren’t estranged from the other three grandchildren.

I know that female lions normally do the hunting.  However, I dream most often of male lions, and they seem very threatening and scary in my dreams.  I may dream of male lions because I am afraid of men.  Especially roaring (angry) men.

When I was hiking alone in Colorado, at one point, I came out on the top of a cliff and looked down into a marshy wetland and saw a grizzly bear.  I had read about female hikers being mauled and killed by grizzlies and was a little worried and fearful. The cliff I was on was not very tall, maybe fifteen feet.  It was however, very steep, vertical, and I knew the grizzly bear could not climb it.  I also knew from experience that is it often possible to climb around a cliff.  However, the bear paid no attention to me and continued on its way. 
If I were in a shamanic frame of mind, I might consider the lion(s) to be “spirit guide(s)” with something to tell or teach me.

Yesterday, I went a field trip with my Japanese woodblock printing class to see an exhibit of prints at the Lawrence Street Gallery.  There were some gelatin prints there and I told Lori and Joan that I had considered buying gelatin plates to make monoprints at Utrech when I was there with Sam and Joan (and other times).  At the exhibit, there were books handmade from prints, and I told Joan and Lori that that was why I had originally signed up for the printmaking class, besides thinking it would be fun.  I thought I could maybe make children’s books with woodblock prints.  I had no idea, never having taken a class in woodblock printing, how complex the process was.  Cindy and Lori both take a YEAR to make a single print.  That would totally not be conducive to making gift books, which would need a number of prints. (Maybe potato prints would work better!)  Also, yesterday, I picked up a circular piece of plywood upon which I considered making a painting to go with the others I have tentatively made for Alden (which need to be framed.)

Which brings me to the topic of guilt, I wanted to make books and art for Frankie and Alden, but I have so many ongoing projects and there’s been such upheaval in our lives that I haven’t been able to complete any in quite some time (including one from two years ago that is partly done, Frankie goes to France, Italy, the Pinery, Welcome Home Alden, New Kid, The Welcome Home generic, and one I started for Gail that was supposed to be for last Christmas.  That was a version of one I made for Frankie, but I wanted to include the new painting, since I finished the painting—I only need to clear the gutter and upload it. And then there are a number of kids’ books I’ve written and thought I shouldn’t do until I finished the others.)  So I feel sad and guilty.

Once a project gets on the back burner, it’s difficult to pull it forward again. L  Because I’m immersed in my current projects, such as carving the blocks for my Japanese woodblock printing class.  Which I’m having insufficient time to work on because of my novel and the other things going on in our lives.

Speaking of guilt, I got to bed later last night than I intended.  Since it was early, and I didn’t get a story, I read a chapter of The Forest Lover, by Susan Vreeland, which I am loving.  Then, I read a chapter of How to Fix your Novel.  I was only going to read one chapter, and go to bed, because I was feeling utterly exhausted, but the chapter was short and I continued reading.  I read three chapters, and of course, that book has assignments having to do with the novel you are currently working on and one of them seemed particularly relevant, so I started working on it and then next I knew, I was eating (some salami) and working on my novel and the next thing I knew, it was 11:41.  I dropped everything and went to bed, but I’d meant to go to bed early.  And for me, being in bed does not mean being asleep.  I couldn’t sleep.  My goal is to get to bed by 10:30 and get up by 7 AM or earlier, and when I sleep later (or lie in bed later, more like it, because I am tired, but can’t sleep), I feel guilty that I am wasting time.  And I feel guilty for going to bed late, because then I am more likely to get insufficient sleep and waste some of my morning work time.

Speaking of guilt, I was reading a (“stoopid”) article about type A personalities which said that they are most likely to die of a heart attack.  I don’t want to be a type A personality!  L  (I don’t want to die at all, I have too much to do!)  You’re a Type-A Personality if your to-do list is ever-present (and ever-growing), if, in fact, even your to-do lists have to-do lists (or, at the very least, lots of highlights and annotations). “You know you’re a Type A person when you go over your to-do list first thing in the morning and you’re multitasking to a superhuman amount,” says Melissa Heisler, stress-reduction expert and author of “From Type A to Type Me: How to Stop ‘Doing’ Life and Start Living It.” So use your affinity for color-coding and list making to your advantage. Capitalize on your organizational skills to help your non-Type A family members and coworkers and motivate them to do well without setting unrealistic expectations, says Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology. Take charge of planning your next family vacation, volunteer to head up a new project at work or organize a weekend getaway for your friends. But maybe, just maybe, learn to delegate some of those action items.  (I don’t want to do any of those things—I want to organize my novel, my kids’ books, my art, and my love for Keith.)
I’ve been keeping color-coded to-do lists for years.  And I feel guilty about doing it and guilty that I don’t get everything on it done.  But there is more on it than anyone could ever do!  But I can’t leave anything out!  (Except what I finally forget!)  It stresses me out and the things I don’t have on the list also stress me out (like cleaning, for example!)

I have other characteristics of a Type-A personality as well, but I am getting OFF the topic of the dream and have much else I MUST do. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hypnogogics: The Puppet man, blood on the cinch and other images of insomnia

Puppet man, Scary evil man with sharp teeth
hypnogogic image from last night
Blood on the cinch
Hypnogogic image from last night
Avocado, watch, toll money, jelly jar
oil pastels on textured paper in handmade sketchbook
Insomnia painting/sketch for me
by Heidi Chester
watercolor, oil pastels, colored pencils.

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Heidi's bouquet
watercolor, by me
Last night, I suffered from insomnia.  This is, unfortunately, fairly common for me, though I've discovered that if I avoid certain foods, I sleep much better.  Last night, I did not sleep well at all, and as often happens, I had weird and scary hypnogogic images so bright as to be almost hallucinatory.  Those are the first two images.  The third I drew ("painted") with oil pastels at the motel when I was awake at night.  The fourth image my friend Heidi drew for me in my handmade sketchbook when I was visiting her, and the lsat I painted of her bouquet right before bed.  A delayed bedtime, due to doing art.

In the blood on the cinch painting, I was rubbing blood and a beautiful highly decorative cinch on my horse.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beater Mess

Beater Mess

I am standing by the front door with a group of children, nearly ready to leave with them to go someplace when my mother hands me a beater to lick.  It is thickly covered with super chocolaty batter.  One of the kids bumps me and the beater with its batter falls to the floor, which is covered with a very new and clean-looking rug.  I immediately pick it up, but a huge amount of batter sticks to the floor.  I say to the milling kids, be careful not to step in the batter, and one boy comes over and intentionally sticks his foot in the batter on the rug and then backs up, tracking it to the door.  He stands with his back to the door wiping batter from his foot on the door.  I am horrified by the mess, guilty and worried about getting it clean again, but I do nothing about it because I want to get the batter licked off the beater before I move to try to clean up.  I worry about the kids tracking through the mess and making it worse.  My mother reappears and the mess is miraculously cleaned up without a trace or stain.  I feel relieved but guilty that I didn’t help.  Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What does this remind you of?

I am reading the book, It was Me all Along, by Andi Mitchell, about food, over-eating, obesity, which was given to me by my daughter, Sara, for my birthday.  In the opening section, the author describes, among other things, licking raw cake batter from bowls and beaters.  Her mother gives her one to lick.  My mother did that too, and of course, I continued to do that as an adult.  Probably, reading It was Me All Along yesterday stimulated the dream.  I loved to lick beaters.  It’s one of the reasons I rarely bake anymore, because licking the beaters and the bowl etc. is so very tempting to me, even if I am cooking something I shouldn’t eat.  A huge discrepancy exists between what I would like to eat and what it is safe for me to eat with my allergies, food addictions and health issues.

I also have issues around messes, messes I make, and messes I have to clean.  I feel guilty about making messes and about not keeping things as clean as they “should be,” but I absolutely hate cleaning; it is one of my least favorite things in the whole world. (Although I do like things to be reasonably clean, neat and organized, getting them that way is not my forte.)  And I worry specifically about the expensive cream-colored rugs in our house, including under the dining-room table! (Seems so weird to have a rug under a place where people eat!)  The amount of batter on the dream beater was way out of proportion to what a beater could actually hold.  And it kept expanding, like the amount of anything sweet and chocolaty that I would want to eat if I ever allowed myself to do so.

In the dream, I also felt guilty that I had a beater to lick and none of the other kids did.  That didn’t seem fair, yet I was unwilling to give it up.  I have guilt about having things that other people don’t have and need, about not donating money to worthy causes, etc.

The boy who came over and stuck his foot in the batter reminds of my brother Robert and Graham, their contrariness, of which I have a large dollop as well.

On my recent trip to Syracuse and New Hampshire, I felt guilty that I did not help more with cooking and finances. Also sad that I lost time at Heidi’s dealing with the phone.