life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I write to expose and work through the ugly parts of this disease, open heart surgery that was less than successful and more recently an S-ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) implanted in my chest that will hopefully restore my heart beat in case of sudden cardiac death. I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to learn how to live a full life with heart failure, to honor my creativity, and to explore all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say
"Don't talk like that!"


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Music is loading really slow lately...sorry...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Repeat After me......




Every once in a while reality (which I am typically good at keeping at bay) crashes through all of my defenses. Officially 1 week of pneumonia and I think all of the coughing has really done a number on ribs and chest muscles that have already been hacked on enough….Ouch!

Repeat after me….no fear…..no fear….no fear….no fear….


"Run Around" Blues Traveler

Monday, February 22, 2016

An amazing experience!









Breaking down an exhibit, is always kind of sad, but this one was really tough! I have made some wonderful new creative friends, mounted an amazing art exhibition with a strong message and we had a blast doing it! Thank you Marla E Artist, Lillian Verkins, Denisse Berlingeri for coming on this terrific journey with me. Thank you Amy Padgett Painter and the Leesburg Center for the Arts in believing in us and our message! It was a dream come true! "Love Potions" Protecting and celebrating women's hearts!


"Make it Mine"  Jason Mraz   

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Damn...that vulnerable thing.....again....

Damn!  
It is that vulnerable thing…it keeps showing up!
I know it is there, but it is such a problem for me! A problem I never seem to be able to resolve.

I know vulnerability is the way to true authenticity.  I have read and studied enough of this to understand why it works, and it does make sense.  But oh my, to lay myself open, open for all to see and judge, I do not think I am strong enough.  And then I often wonder…is this what my art is about.  My feelings, my thoughts, my loves, my hates right out in the open, in the language of pictures, that most people cannot understand?  Is it my way of exposing my vulnerabilities without having to reveal or defend my feelings to others?  I feel like I am cheating vulnerability!  I am completely open but in a visual language that few understand.  Yes…I am cheating… vulnerable to myself  but not open to others?  Does this count as vulnerability?
"Beautiful World"  Colin Hay

Friday, February 19, 2016

Perfect Imperfection....

So easily said but there are times that it feels so impossible.  A huge part of my own personal “perfect imperfections” is to not only do and be sure about what I want, (and by the way I am still working on that) but to be able to accomplish that on my own.  I know….I know…there are those that love me, that want me to be able to ask for help, and oh my how I have tried, but it is difficult, uncomfortable and inevitably results in my giving away my power.  I have got to be able to do it on my own, to not have to depend on anyone or anything else.   Success and/or failure are unapologetically mine and mine alone….it is my own beautiful , rare, strong, perfect imperfection!

"Morning Girl"  Neon Philharmonic

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NOPE!

The part I hate worst about this…..is my body’s inability to tolerate “real life”.  It is not that I go full tilt a whole lot, but every now and again, it is a good thing!  It seems that my body is railing against even the “every now and again”!  And I hate it!  Granted…..a 3 night big art opening is a bit excessive, but I was home every night before 11, limiting my drinks to 1 each evening, and perhaps one night of serious misbehaving.  But is it fair that that adds up to diminished kidney function and pneumonia?  How am I supposed to know what my limits are?  I felt great while I was misbehaving!  And here is the big question I have to ask myself (and answer) if I knew what the limits were and I still wanted to do “it” bad enough, would I?  It is one thing to take care of myself, but when does that cross the boundary line and the illness takes over the joy and fun of my life?  That boundary line is sneaky…
The big question is….if I got to do it all over again.... differently..... would I?     NOPE…..
"There are Places I Remember"  The Beatles

Monday, February 15, 2016

Still a mystery......

There are many geological and astronomical things that happen in this world.  In the past, earthquake, volcano, tidal wave, eclipse and other events were seen as sacred.
Catastrophic geological events would be explained as angry gods.  Likewise benign but observable celestial events were typically justified as “signs” from the Gods that would be interpreted to support or oppose a situation that was typically political in nature.


Today, most religious explanations have been abandoned as science continues to prove the physical cause and effects of geological and astrological events.  However there are some that deny science regardless of the evidence.  Every now and again  I am confronted with a mystery that defies spiritual and scientific explanation.

Why are most typical women’s cycles and the moons cycle both 28 days? I hold on to that mystery and continue to stand in awe of the moon and my relationship to it, without certainty of science or spirituality.  The power of the moon's gravitational pull is measurable in the ocean tides and the effects on human behavior are statistically evident in births and crimes. The moon reminds me of my own mysteries. The moon and I remain a mystery, not because of the scientific or sacred reasons for it.....but the effects we have.
"Fly Me to the Moon"  Frank Sinatra

mys-ter-y
ˈmist(ə)rē/
noun
  1. 1.
    something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain.
    "the mysteries of outer space"
    synonyms:puzzleenigmaconundrumriddlesecretproblem, unsolved problem
    "his death remains a mystery"

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pushed Outside of my Comfort Zone!

Nude Nite pushes me….Pushes me outside my comfort zone.  Pushes against all of those things that have been mashed into me since I can remember about what is good and what is bad.  Nudity has been one of those taboo issues that artist consistently tackle and audiences want to look away from….well they look away from it…when others are watching them.  Popes had “fig leaves” added to sculptures in the Vatican and hired another artist to paint over some of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel nudes.  Hundreds of years later,  as liberated as we claim to be, the mentality of a good girl still circles around the quiet, covered and pious.  That has nothing to do with the goodness in my heart!  I love being pushed outside of my comfort zone! (and it fits ALL of my core desire feelings, PASSIONATE, CONNECTED, EXCITED, FEARLESS)
"Express Yourself"  Charles Wright

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Damn it...not my new socks!



And then there are days when the most ridiculous things will slap me in the face….reminding me that with all of the successes I have had recently….the problem is still here…Damn it!

              "I'm No Superman"  Lazlo Bane

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Where the magic happens.....





Each year I look forward to Nude Nite.  Every year I am more honored than the year before that they actually jury me into this exhibition, but more than that, every year I am encouraged to leave my comfort zone and touch the part of me that I know, is where my magic is.  For a few days every year I get to be in the company of a tribe of totally talented and completely fearless artists. It is magnificent!

My lanyards from previous years live full time on my refrigerator, reminding me how good and how right it feels to be where the magic happens!

                                    "Good Girls"  Julian Moon

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

this is NOT for sissies!



And…finally!  After weeks of dealing with a body that has done it’s best to reject this ICD, today there are signs I have won the battle!  Three weeks of giant and gross trans-dermal patches delivering meds directly to the tissue may finally be over!  Today I got to come off the patches and the meds!   Yay me.....
for NOT GIVING UP!  But I am telling you…this is not for sissies!


"I Just Want to Celebrate"  Rare Earth

Monday, February 8, 2016

Has my name written all over it!

Sometimes things just drift into my life, unsolicited, but they seem to be directed right at me and speak to my life and my heart.  As I re-start my creative life, after a year of physical struggle, this just seemed to have my name written all over it.

2-9-   Deliver 2 6 foot pieces to Nude Nite Curator….Doctors
2-11,12 & 13- Nude Nite opening
2-16- Doctors
2-18- Gallery Exhibit meeting, Art Center Board Meeting, Emerging Artist Meeting…did I mention how much I hate meetings, but I did finagle them all on the same day!   Woo-Hoo
2-21- Love Potions Exhibit comes down
2-27- LAA Creativity Presentation
3-2-   Facilitating 13 weeks of Artists way and curating the student exhibit
                          "Strip Me" Natasha Bedingfield

You just will not see it....

And…that is a good thing, especially on Monday mornings!  I bet this will not be what you expect!  Monday mornings are not a bad thing for me….they are spectacular!  I have had the past few years of learning how to be alone!  According to all of the “rules” alone is a bad thing, unhealthy, damaging, unnatural, and anti-social behavior.  Bull Shit!  It is not that I do not like people, I adore crowds at art exhibitions, festivals, and teaching but, for short periods of time and then I need time to recover!  I have wonderful swaths of  alone time to create really stupid stuff,  dance in my PJ’s, sing really really bad and loud and to write about it…. with no one watching.... peppered with large, lots of people, creative events.  When the big events get too much I can leave and when I am lonely…technology has given me the ability to reach out and have creative conversations.  But Monday mornings, regardless of whether it was just having another body in the house all weekend, or big events, I get to return to alone and “me”(and it is a wild thing you just will not see it!).
                             "Wild Thing"  The Troggs

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Regions Mortgage FAIL...

or Retrograde RANT part 2
This is basically part 2 to last months rant!  Regions mortgage failed at an auto-draft, using the wrong account number....after an hour on the phone with both my bank and Regions, it was determined that this was Regions problem.  I again provided them with the corrected information (they also had the wrong phone number too, my phone number and bank have been the same for over 30 years!).  They did "bless their hearts" rescind the late fees.....grrrrrr.  Regions assured us that the problem was taken care of.....Feb. rolls around, and as I check my bank account I notice there is no Mortgage debit!  I called right away but the woman that took care of the prior issue was "in a meeting"...in a meeting for more than 4 hours (no comment here) and her replacement customer service rep. was surly and short.  Insisting that because my auto-draft had been interrupted I had to make a formal written request to have it begin again. Last month I was led to believe that the problem was rectified, what I failed to understand is that THEIR problem was rectified, they got their money.

Why is it acceptable for a Regions Mortgage make to an error....be unwilling to take responsibility for it and expect their customers spend their time and resources to fix it. Regions Mortgage you FAILED!  And in the advent of social media and the internet, I must say....not smart!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Going RED!

Other  than this blog, I have been pretty silent about my heart. Recently I mounted an art exhibition exposing women’s heart disease, and just posted this on FB.  I think perhaps this may be part of why I am here, my purpose in life.  It is time I speak out. Women’s heart disease cannot be about being old, feeling guilty, not good enough,  and unable to participate in anything in life that I want to.  I do not want to be ashamed of it any more.

                                                                           "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"  Jackie DeShannon

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Remember to Celebrate!

I have been at this for over 5 years now….you would think I had the program down by now. The most insidious thing about heart failure is that it always changes, and I do not mean long term expected downward changes but the daily roller coaster ride….not knowing if my heart is going to support my body and what I have planned for that day. Damn it is so friggen’ frustrating. But I am a survivor, and
a great survivor at that. I just need to remember
to celebrate the good days! Remember to celebrate!


"This is How a Heart Breaks"  Rob Thomas

Enough....



This is a mouthful….
each line I was squealing…
ouch…whew…it’s not just me…

But….. 
then the part about empowering other women, being fiercely kind with a sense of humor feels good and natural to me.

I wonder if my desire to be enough….will come from empowering others?

Oh how I want to be enough!

"Arms Around my Life"  Janis Ian