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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Friday, February 16, 2018

I think it is absolutely necessary!

Nothing is as sweet as validation! 
To push beyond what I think is possible. 
To walk in a space that scares me. 
Then to put it out in front of strangers and risk humiliation may be one of the greatest act of trust that a creator does.  I trust the universe…It lets me know on a regular basis that being brave is what my life is about.   And sometimes…only sometimes does the universe literally scream back at me yes…yes…yes! 
And it did last night!  It is not about the money, although the money is nice…it is about following my heart.  It is about the universe screaming “Yes, Girl… keep doing that”.   If I get to choose to leave anything to the world…this is it….say yes…break the rules…do what your heart is telling you to do, it is ok to be scared, in fact, I think it is absolutely necessary!

"Heart of a Hero"  Cathy Heller

Enough to be different....

They told me and I listened….
I listened to my church.
I listened to the laws of the land.
I listened to “good” people that “loved” me.

So much pain and grief I have felt because they told me what was good and bad….

I believed them and I quit looking for who I was.  It was never right…it never made sense and every time I mentioned it, I was told I was wrong.

No one can tell me who I should be any more…I no longer give permission for anyone to condemn me for choosing a different path and I give myself permission to quit acting like I want or need your approval.
I am not a Christian 
the only doctrine I follow is love.
The laws are not always right,
people that break them and walk free every day.  
I will only defend love.
Good people, the loudest ones, 
chose what is best for them, 
they want me to be more like them.

I love myself enough to be different.

"If I could Change the World"  Eric Clapton

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A naked exposed heart is so disgustingly poetic!

It never gets old…the excitement of delivery day came with some new crappy stuff.  I woke up at 4 AM  yesterday… have no idea why…just did…so I am going to chalk some of this to being excited about delivery day mixed with just plain lack of sleep tired.  Excitement and exhaustion stirred together with muscle pulls caused by pulling myself up and down in and out of the van and perhaps last nights chest pains have a simple explanation. These pains were different than I have ever had before.  I will confess for the first time I was kind of scared.  I have had two weeks of unexplained elevated BP, and when I ask why…The nurse looks at me over his glasses, with that “really, you are asking me that" look and answers with a hint of sarcasm…you have a cardiac condition.   It is the day before Nude Nite opens and Valentine’s Day after all...if my heart is going to act up… today would be the day.  A naked exposed heart is so disgustingly poetic!
"All About Your Heart"  Mindy Gledhill

Monday, February 12, 2018

The gift...

Delivery day is creeping up on me and I can feel the fear slipping in.  It is like all of the bubble gum I have stuffed in the cracks of my life are beginning to give way!

Every single year….The delivery drive to the “Nude Nite” venue feels like a slow walk to the gallows. A litany of questions unravels inside my head, as I get closer and closer.
“Do I belong here?
"They must have made a mistake."
"My work is not good enough!"
"Why did they select this piece?"
"If I turn around now and run, they will never know it was me.” 

As I pull into the parking lot, I wonder if the other artists are panicking too. Do they have the same list of ugly thoughts playing in their heads…or is it just me? 
After I arrive, climb down out of the van and walk toward the line of artists checking in, I keep my image turned in and clutched to my chest, I do not want anyone to see it. Somewhere in my ridiculous thought process, I still think I am keeping my option open and can turn and run the other way. Finally, it is my turn, the commitment is about to be made. Without emotion or approval, they ask my name, have me sign the legal documents, and hand me a brown manila envelope with my name on it, it contains a lanyard and comp. tickets.  I gather up the paperwork and artwork and walk into the gallery area where no one notices me, it is a simple matter of fact business transaction of dropping off art.  The curators will make the decisions later where and how all of this artwork hangs and the Installers will set about the job of hanging over 200 pieces of art.

I go to the empty spot I was directed to and stand long enough to take a deep breath, before setting my work down.  I feel everyone in the room is watching and knows that I am just plain not good enough to be here! After I set my work down and unwrap it, I finally feel brave enough to lift my eyes and look around.  All of the sudden it is not about me anymore! I am surrounded by the energy of incredible artists, artwork, massive amounts of glorious unimaginable talent, images that take my breath away and a feeling of incredible satisfaction and belonging envelopes me. I am surrounded by magnificent creatives and their work and energy.  Like storm clouds clearing, my breathing slows and my heart calms. At that precise moment, I know this is exactly what I am meant to do.  This moment is what makes all of the fear worth it…It is that fleeting but so very real moment that I feel the universe wrap its arms around me and lovingly tell me…this is who and what you are. I am embraced in the "knowing" like a big warm hug. This is why I am alive.

This horrible paralyzing fear is always going to be a part of the journey.  I do not think I will ever get used to it. I just have to know it will be there every time I deliver artwork for an exhibition.  I have to do the work, show up and move through the fear.  For this, I am rewarded with the unquestionable understanding that this is who and what I am in the world.  This is the amazing gift of being an artist that I do not think most people will ever have the opportunity to understand….
"It's Don't Come Easy"  George Harrison

Sunday, February 11, 2018

wasted time....

YEEEEE-OUCH! I do not think anyone ever taught me how to determine what is worth my time…I mean clearly, there was do a good job, take care of your children, clean your house and yard oh yes and go to church!  Sounded reasonable to me….everyone else was doing it…You know what else they were doing? They were talking about, criticizing, making fun of, and getting angry about anyone that did not do it just like they did.  I look back and I wonder…why did I ever care if they did it the same way I did?  After choosing not to do it “their” way, and yes a good part of that is a natural outcrop of age, I realize and grieve about how much time and life I lost…I am not wasting any more time!  Living, loving, laughing, nothing else seems important anymore.
"Light on"  Mark Ballas

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Speaking Volumes!

"Double Crossed" is a recent remake of an earlier version after a long sabbatical from layered paper pastel work.  It is a simple composition and a study of the theory presented by Dan Brown in his novels that featured the fictional character Robert Langdon, an ancient “symbologist”.  The author speculates that in the 15th -17th century and beyond, secret societies that were exploring mathematics and science were threatened as heretics by the Catholic Church. It became necessary for them to communicate publically through simple secret symbols.  This theory is more than just fiction and does have some examples and support of existence. Evidence suggests that the symbol for a female was the chalice and the male was the blade, both were physically iconic of the male and female sexual organs. Simply interpreted the “\/” became the female symbol of the chalice and the “/\” became the male symbol of the blade.  In exploring the theory,  I found it was much easier than I imagined incorporating those symbols in a piece of work.  I can easily see how if the symbols were kept simple in concept, that any piece of art could be speaking volumes and revealing secrets that the world is oblivious to!
"Who Says"  John Myer

Thursday, February 8, 2018 that

My soul often cries out for life and experiences that this world and all of its rules and regulations claim are irregular, immoral or just plain wrong.  I am learning to do them anyway.  The growth of my soul depends on me having the strength to move beyond what others think!  Sometimes it is so easy….other times it is quite a struggle…..but I believe, in the end, it is necessary and it will be so worth it!
"Never Going Back Again"  Lindsey Buckingham

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Things that make me smile....

There are times that I question everything!  And most things I have denied, done, pushed away have been done based on what I was taught or what others have expected...It is time for me to break those rules without regret and smile much more!  Perhaps it is time for me to question more what I think I believe to be true and learn for myself those things that make me smile!

"Smile"  Uncle Cracker

Saturday, February 3, 2018

This might work for me!

So there we are trying something different.  I am a self-confessed medicine weenie…and the last round of pain meds and all current available narcotic pain meds seem to make me sick to my stomach….not nice at all! So we are going to try to control the inflammation around my kidneys with steroids…YIKES…we are at the “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” portion of this program.  There are not going to be any good long-term answers, just temporary ways to control the symptoms.  Steroids scare the hooey out of me and when I looked up the side effects, I got even more frightened.  One of the common effects is a swollen or puffy face and neck…like I need that!  As tears welled up in my eyes at the thought of how my face might change.  I realized…this might not be a bad thing…if it stretches all of the wrinkles out of my face.  I mean don’t women pay big money to have collagen injections to “fill up” wrinkles?  This might work for me in several different ways!  Woo-hoo!
"Ob la di ob la da"  The Beatles

Friday, February 2, 2018

Thursday, February 1, 2018

On a Carousel...

One of the best days....
That day comes fairly regularly!  I get all of those things, amazing journey, responsibility, life quality and every Jan.1 I proclaim to myself this new sense of renewal and by Feb.1 it is over.  So the question is,  am I a big failure?  Do I just continue to set my goals way out of my reach?  Or (and here is the scary one) on some really sadistic way do I enjoy beating myself up by constantly failing?  And then the next big ass question is, if I recognize this failure merry-go-round, why the hell am I having such a hard time getting off of it?
"On a Carousel" Hollies

Daddy's Girls

Happy Birthday, Daddy!  How lucky we are to spend Dad’s 89th birthday with him.  And how can it be?  When it seems like just last week I was tiptoeing into the house past curfew!  Daughters…Sisters and most of all friends!  We are so very very lucky!

"Daughters"  John Mayer