The Job: Will You Wake up or Stay in Bed?

Sometimes my job as an art therapist is to help someone get out of bed, go outside, and get to my office. Once they’re here, they may not do that much besides be here, if they are very depressed or traumatized.

People don’t understand the way this act of getting out of bed can be so huge. That’s because a lot of people don’t see depression as an illness and don’t look at a their own lives as a struggle between being awake and staying asleep.

Being in bed is sometimes the only safe place for a person. When they’re really depressed, they don’t think they have any reason to get out of bed, which is true. They have no ideas for getting out of bed and it is very convincing to stay in bed.

THat’s where therapy can come in, thanks to modern day technology. The person can stay in bed and text me and read my texts. IF they want, they can call and talk on the phone. They can do this for 5 or 10 minutes, rather than 50 minutes. They can also use video technology to have a session and we can see each other. They can even make art in bed.

The goal would not be to get them out of bed. Why would I be able to convince this person that there is reason to get out of bed when they have no reasons? Stay in bed until you feel like doing the work of getting out of bed and dealing with not being in bed. Sometimes I too see no reason to get out of bed. At those times, my daughter is the only reason to get out of bed, since it is not ok for me to stay in bed and not take care of her and be active in her life. Before her existence, I could be entirely convinced to stay in bed.

My job then becomes just communicating with someone while they stay in bed and they are not alone during that time but not required to do anything except say hello and anything else they feel like saying.

There is a whole Russian novel about a guy who stays in bed all the time but he has a servant since he’s rich so he gets his servant to do stuff and come into the bedroom. The servant might as well be his servant and therapist. The guy in bed is very likable, I don’t remember much of it, besides understanding hime spending his waking hours in bed. He had not smartphone or even a telephone and no visitors so when he was in bed, he just lay there unless he was talking to his servant.

More about Movies

I love how movies are so complicated to make. There are so many people involved and there’s a million things that are done. It’s like people working on a cruise ship. The captain is like the director. IF the movie tanks, like the ship, the director goes down with it. Most of the people are behind the scenes.

A movie really stays with me when I get the purpose behind it, what the message really is, when you look at the whole thing. It’s a splendid dressed up narrative; you can get lost in all kinds of things, the setting, the dialogue, the acting, the stunts, the genre.

Ultimately for me, there are things that stay with me even after I’ve forgotten the plot or main thing of the movie.

The other day I was reminded of a movie that really got to me a long time ago. I looked up the name. IT’s called The Sweet Hereafter. It was one of those punch you in the stomach and rip your heart open and scratch out your eyes. To me, it was just another version of the Catcher in the Rye, served up differently, from different perspectives. A yellow school bus is meant to be carried along by special angels or invisible catchers, like pall bearers carefully carrying a coffin, but the opposite. The bus has to get wherever and pick up kids and never get crashed or crash. In the movie it has crashed. There’s a girl who survived barely and a man coming there who has a problematic relationship with his drug addict daughter.

Once you’ve forgotten a lot of the movie, it’s the little pieces that remain, the pieces like little stained glass colored mosaics, that still shine and sparkle. The movie came to mind a few days ago, when I was thinking about how hard it is to cross the street without getting hit by a car because I easily space out. I’ve been working on this very consciously for the past couple of years. Now I stop on the sidewalk and wait for the light. I have a patient who is doing it too. We’ve talked about how important it is to stay on the sidewalk. A lot of people in NYC do that head start thing where they are already not on the sidewalk, with the pent up energy of horses wanting to get out of the gates at a race.

I have a bigger challenge when with a few kids dealing with crossing the street. I learned a long time ago with my daughter who is now 9, to “cross at the green, not in between” as my dad used to say. It’ goes through my mind a lot.

I like the new countdown lights we didn’t have back in the 70s and 80s. The light run into numbers so if it’s at 9 I wait but if it’s at 15 I cross and count the numbers down in my head. Numbers and counting can help me get out of daydreaming.

Herding four girls from school to gymnastics, about 10 blocks or less, can be very anxiety provoking. when you’re with another adult,  you can’t just do things your way. The other adult doesn’t always wait about the light, she looks around and crosses if the light just turned red. Sometimes I am standing behind girls physically pushing them, holding them, standing in a place where I’m like a gate wall. I’ve tried to get them to stop talking and messing around while crossing the street. It sort of works. I scared the baby sitter the other day but saying that I wanted to lecture the kids because it is bothering me and I can’t stop thinking about the girl in her first grade class who got hit by a car and died. She highly said we shouldn’t scare them and just do what we’ve been doing. She already was annoyed that I put the story in her head.

I shouldn’t have. I keep it to myself most of the time. I can’t forget it. I used to go into the yard at pickup during 2nd and 3rd grade, I’d see all these kids and know that Tess wasn’t there and sometimes I’d imagine every kid had an expiration date on them, and hope that no other kids were going to die too young. People are annoyed by the book Cathcer in the Rye, but I feel like him a lot. I hear terrible stories from adult survivors of the car crashes of their childhood, which involve dead parents, live parents who didn’t take care of them, getting raped by someone when only 5 or 6 r 7 or even 12 or 13. I forget some of the details but not the stories and often think of these stories when not at work. I remember a 7 year old girl who wrote a poem that she put on her dad’s coffin; she was sexually abused without him being there for her. HE was a gambler and the whole family was a terrible monster she lived through and she had no childhood, it gotten stolen and beaten out of her. Being a therapist for adults who had terrible childhoods no child should ever have is like being the catcher in the rye but the one who gets there and finds the kids that fell off the mountain and helps them get up and then the therapy is about them getting some piece of childhood, learning to play again, and some consistent support to restore their faith and trust in other humans.

The movie just really says, there should be no school bus accidents. The dad should keep helping his daughter and keep being there through her drug addiction; she should know he wants her to survive it and that is it. The movie gets into the complicated wrinkles of the traumatized town and the movie is a tapestry of different threads.

Keep the children safe, the movie screams. Get many catchers even if they can’t cath every one of them.

I just saw another movie that got me and really hit things open and clear. The Fundamentals of Caring. A similar movie about a man who has lost his son, his child son, and trying to get up from the fall by working as a caretaker of a woman’s son who is in ahweelchari and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It’s just another manual for surviving the same kind of emotional killer, losing a child and then helping a mother keep her child alive despite his very disabling illness.

IT’s all about the balance between protecting and letting go, a constant job for a parent. You can’t hold on too tight and try to safeguard too much or you’re getting int he way of a child feeling free and able to get up from a fall. They can get up on their own, you can be there in some way so they can do it. You can’t get up by yourself unless someone has picked you up many times and been there and watched you learn to get up on your own. There is no catcher in the Rye as much as there should be one to make sure kids get through the first 20 years of their life alive and intact and their childhood has not been messed with or taken from them.

Not all movies need to be so serious. Actually Fundamentals of Caring is very funny and plays on the whole idea of being too careful. there are many pranks about faking scary things, the movie ends on that kind of note.

I should think of some funny movies that had some kind of stuff like the crust of a pie, it’s not just mushy inside sweet stuff. La la land really got to me in terms of it feeling like an unfinished desert that you eat it and it’s not satisfying and your stomach hurts. We’ve all seen a million love story romantic comedy movies. What makes any one particular one any good? I’m not sure the last one that was really great. If I take a really old one like Bringing up Baby, with Katherine Hebburn and cary Grant and a tame leopard and a wild leopard, that is just  a fun caper and something I can watch many times. Is it seeing Cary Grant in a woman’s bathrobe looking for the dinosaur bone and it’s not on the bed so he and Hebpurn have to follow a dog around digging holes and trying to find where he put it. She wants him, he wants to get away from her and all the mishaps and accidents he causes, he’s trying to get to his fiancé. You know he’s having a crazy time and you want to watch it and see him learn that he would rather spend a day of tame and wild animals and rushing around trying to get a dinosaur bone somewhere.

 

Is everyone in la la land over “La La Land”?

I saw it today, The IT MOVIE that’s getting all this buzz, etc. I thought it was meant to be a parody of musicals and references to old movies, and that the plot was a joke on all the typical musical and romantic comedies. If they were picking an actor to play the part like she’s not a person but a kind of cardboard poster of any happy go lucky old style films, they did it right.

There were a lot of moments that seemed like a joke. Every kiss seemed to be imitating the big typical kiss of the romantic comedy that is wholesome. The profiles of each of them and the tilt of the head and placement of lips.

Whoops! Wait, am I really supposed to care about these two people who are mostly in montages for the real life part of time continuing but they are like advertisements of a life and of a relationship?  There are three parts to this kind of movie relationships : meeting and rubbing each other the wrong way, suddenly realizing they’re in love, being in love and having things to talk about and care about, telling each other they’re talented and believe in each other and that their dreams will come true, living out the dreams and realizing they can’t go down the road together any more and have to choose separate paths due to their successful careers. Oh how sad and bittersweet. Are you for real in 2016. I thought I went to sleep and woke up in the early 60’s but then got bored and went back to sleep.

It was like the whole movie was a clever ad, the kind where you’re wondering what exactly is the product they are trying to get me to buy? The colors are great and some of the visuals and movement of scenes have more of a cool movement than any of the boring dances and songs I can’t remember.

Here’s a fun quote about the costumes. She wears dresses in almost every scene of the movie,in bright primary colors that swing for dancing around in la la land. He wears the thin ties of the serious artist/musician as opposed to the husband character who wears regular ties for their regular life which she sacrificed the romance for.

I wanted women in the audience to be wooed by Ryan, and the men to feel romantic about Emma,” says costume designer Mary Zophres.gh

Are you kidding me? Is it actually 2017 or the 1950’s? I’ms supposed to be “wooed” by the guy and if i’m a male, I’m supposed to feel romantic about her through their boring typical musical sort of retro costumes? The costumes give the movie good pops of color but they’re hardly anything you’d swoon over or feel anything about these people. For sure nobody is sexy. It’s one of those movies where sex doesn’t exist even though were’ supposed to be so emotional about the characters arc of relationships etc.

Watch “Splendor in the Grass”. I can admit that movie makes me cry and feel the tragedy of how life can interfere with some kind of intense true love, but younger than the people in this movie. There is more going on in it anyway. The girl gets in a fight with her mother about sex while she’s taking a bath. It’s Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. I’ve seen it at least 3 times.

They go to see Rebel Without a Cause. It’s like Annie Hall where the Woody Allen character takes her to see terrible movies about the Nazies. This is Two Couples with no Cause in search of an Author and some Academy Awards.

“La La Land reeks of mothballs”. What a great sentence by one of the few film expert/critics who haven’t drunk the Koolaid.

http://observer.com/2016/12/good-intentioned-but-overrated-la-la-land-reeks-of-mothballs/

What is the big deal about the acting in this movie? I used to be annoyed by people oohing and aaing over great performances where the actor had to play someone mentally ill or some other extreme and people went on and on about it. At least there the actor has to deal with real circumstances like schizophrenia or being blind. What kind of acting can you get out of a person who has maybe two or three facial expressions. There are a few versions of smiling, mostly done by having her  perfect mouth closed, slightly open or open big. There’s the biting the lip on the outside to stop herself from bursting into tears. She is able to get her eyes wet and look emotional but really her face is blank and one dimensional. She’s very good at the blinking and not blinking at the right moments in very close closeups and that’s about it. I don’t get the big hype.

Go back and actually watch any of the movies this movie seems to reference to, either on purpose or accidentally. Bye Bye Birdie is more complicated with the same kind of wholesome feel good ness.

I saw the movie with a 9 year old who liked it but wasn’t absolutely in love with it. She commented that basically there were only 2 characters in the whole movie. Exactly. The only romantic movies with only 2 characters and a few background ones that works is the series about the man and woman that meet only for a day, and again in several movies, sort of a copy of the plot of Same Time Next Year: Before Sunset, Before Sunrise and Before Midnight. Guess one reason why we want to watch these 2 people in 3 movies? I’m not sure, but it feels way more realistic and romantic/nostalgia/sad. It helps that the woman in it, Julie Delpy writes the screenplays of the second two movies with Richard Linklater.

I liked the colors and the editing of the movie. I just told a friend maybe it would be fun to watch the movie without the sound on. There are these great cuts, unexpected, funny, meant to confuse between real life and “movie” life, and seem like a funny joke about the movie itself being so fake you think it’s done on purpose

Emma Stone has not written anything, thank goodness. I do not understand how everyone is swooning about this performance. I don’t get it. You would think singing and dancing was practically impossible in most movies that she is so great at it.

Once you’ve seen Charlie Chaplin in anything you can’t argue with the fact that in comedies especially, facial expression is everything. Ryan Gosling doesn’t have an expressive face either. People like Jim Carrey maybe go too far in the other direction. There’s Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Downey Jr. and hosts of others who actually have faces that move and can carry an emotion or idea where the camera is on them and they do something magical. I don’t see that with the Stone face smile of Emma Stone.

The editing and composition of the scenes is great. I got pretty dizzy in a lot of the film with a lot of sudden cuts and the camera’s movement.

I’d say that was the most moving part of the movie, being moved around like that.

Supposedly the scene where the break up is happening is supposed to be so “real”. The lighting and choice of no music etc yes, but the plot is so boring and typical, it’s like real celebrities complaining about how they can’t sustain a relationship because both people travel so much for their jobs and don’t see each other. Oh no, she has to choose between her own success and seeing him less or just going around with him and giving up on her own career. Wow. i’m so sad for them. I won’t even list the real life celebrities that had this problem, touring for music and acting in movies all over the place. So tragic.

The whole plot is built on cliche. You can’t see the mold and the mothballs through the shiny feeling of this movie.

I just hate when everyone swoons over something that really is just not that great and not even good.

Sorry but I just don’t get it. I’m going to have to deliberately not watch the Academy Awards. By the way, I did for sure notice the weird racism in the movie; you’d have to be an idiot not to. I won’t even get into that. This review captures most of it:

http://fusion.net/story/377467/la-la-land-oscar-hollywood-musicals-race/

 

Everyday Inspiration, Back to Day 2: Lists

I’ve been rethinking the lists assignment for this great writing class I am taking now from WordPress.

I thought more about my relationship to lists and categories in general.

I enjoy categories and lists and lists within categories. Pinterest really satisfies that urge; lately I have been active on Pinterest, partly because it does not involve politics or the idea of being right or wrong. As with an art therapy group, there is no right or wrong to collecting images you like. Going back to Pinterest was very interesting in terms of how I viewed categories which are “Boards” and lists which are “pin/saved images”.

First I wanted to make a list of the lists I have been thinking of writing.

1.) There is still the List of choices for making a list provided for the class:

  • Things I Like
  • Things I’ve Learned
  • Things I Wish
  • Things You’re Good At

2.) List of films I saw in 2016 that had a big affect on me, that I can remember right now without looking it up and also what made these films have meaning for me.

3.)  List of specific 2016 things I am grateful for.

4.) List of regrets.

5.) The list of Pinterest boards I have added and other boards renamed.

6.) The list of lists I want to write that I can’t remember now but may remember later.

7.) The grand list of New Year’s Resolutions that I am not going to make.

8.) The list of things I want to do to my studio to make it match my dream studio as much as possible.

Everyday Inspiration Class: Letter

Write a letter to someone or something:

Dear Digestive System,

You have been torturing me all day. I eat and feel terrible stuff going on in my stomach area, I don’t eat and feel it also. Right now it is so sharp and blunt. I don’t know how else to describe it.

You visit me from time to time; there is no warning. I drink coffee every day, sometimes sipping on it all day long, and you leave me alone. I don’t eat consistently healthy foods. I have not been motivated lately to be careful or mindful of food choices. My mind has been on other things. You know I try very hard from time to time, and then let go and stop caring about proper nutrition when I have other more important things to deal with

I would gladly feel the knife in the gut pangs of hunger than you. You come whenever you feel like it. You are supposed to be inspired by stress but stress is an everyday thing in my life, and you often leave me alone. You like to pick times like weekends or vacations to come and make yourself at home, because you are a sadistic asshole.

Today you were determined to make me suffer. In the morning I was fine. I ate ice cream because there is an article out there that says very intelligent people eat ice cream for breakfast. No, as you well know, I wasn’t suddenly deciding to eat ice cream to convince you I was intelligent. You already knew this years ago. As a child, I had grand ambitions to eat lots of ice cream as an adult. In fact, I saw little other reasons to be excited about becoming an adult. I’ve eaten ice cream for breakfast at different times for years. In fact, this morning I had sneaked some ice cream before anyone else had any idea to want ice cream for breakfast. I was excited to be given the green light f to eat ice cream this morning, out in the open.

I felt fine before, during and after that. You struck later in the day before the trip to Ikea. By the time I was making lunch I had no interest in eating as the pain had begun. It wasn’t as sharp as it is now. I brought some bread with me in case I decided to eat it at Ikea. I drank my coffee late; I decided not to let you prevent me from having my coffee since you had already started tormenting me.

I think you went away for a bit and I got alittlebetter in the late afternoon. I decided to eat whatever I want as an experiment. You’re there not because of any specific food, so why bother avoiding any foods in particular? I decided to eat through you and see if you might retire and leave me. Things I ate: a bowl of spinach linguini with pesto,peanut butter, not that much, dark chocolate, and some cheese popcorn. By the time i ate two handfuls of that pop corn, you had settled in for th night and were not going anywhere. I’d already gotten out the rolaids and taken 3 of them.

At this moment as I write this, you are now a big monster doing your worst. I am not tired enough to just force myself to go to sleep; it is true that you often fall asleep during the night and slink off and leave me alone by the time I wake up. My stomach middle area feels like it’s riveted with bullets, or that you’re twisting something in there.

I thought writing this letter might help. At the moment of the pop corn, I had this urge to eat a lot more food, maybe eat my way through you. Right now, I think I will try ginger tea.

It’s 10:56pm. Still time to do my almost daily yoga. Earlier I thought it might help push you away for a while, but at this point I can’t imagine doing much besides lying on the couch and trying to find a Twilight Zone episode to distract me from your relentless insistence on making me feel like I’m being punished for something.

What could it be? I could come up with many reasons. I acted like a jerk early in the day. I tried mightily to improve my behavior and succeeded. I mostly acted quite well as I can sometimes do if I catch myself and turn things around, somehow back to trying mindfulness to manage my angry thoughts.

I know you have something to do with anger as you’re right in the center of the third chakra, the fire, the action and ambition chakra, all about doing and using the fire. Fire is part of anger, when controlled and focused it can be a great energy. Indifference and complacency are the enemy of focused thought out action. Anger is the friend of action, activism, ambition, caring. You are angry at me first, you came here unannounced and now I’m angry I have to endure you for hours on end.

At the moment I find it hard to care. I am in selfish mode and negative cloud. I am cut in half by a sword.

I don’t expect this to be great writing or a great letter. IT’s not helping me feel better physically or motivating me to do yoga to try to fan the flames and make you smaller.

Please, I beg you, just go away. You can return another day. The tea does nothing

Ok. I should try that thing where you go into the feeling rather than run away from it. Not effective either.

Sometimes if I don’t eat anything for hours, I feel better, like this afternoon. It was a terrible idea to eat through you.

I hope you’re having a great time in here.

How do I end this? Sincerely? Best? Goodbye? Be gone? Fuck you forever? A plague upon your house! Actually I am your house for now. I hope I’m just a cheap motel with free breakfast in the morning.

Your host, my body.

PS.You’re still  here…

 

Everyday Inspiration Day 1: I write because…

You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.” – Mark Haddon

I did this assignment so fast, that I want to go back and really focus on the question and answers or clues. Maybe I was running away from the assignment; it’s the crucial question for me. That is what is going on right now and has always been there; hiding in the closet. I am fonly now admitting to myself most of all, and to a few others, that I am a writer, and have been one long ago, at least since that journal from high school.

It is easy to hide behind being a “visual artist”. People might not understand my being a writer because I’ve convinced them I am a painter. Pictures and words. I worked hard to go from words to pictures back age 20 and now I’m back to going to words.

Actually after losing that journal on the subway, the other day I found a bright red “cahier” not sure the English word, from a much younger me. There were lines in it for learning handwriting. The kind where you can fit lower case next to each other and more space above to make upper case. There were a few pieces of other peoples writing, some poems. Then the writer’s name. That was it. I was probably practicing handwriting, but I’m not sure what the thing with writing other’s writing. It seems like a clue. I liked other people’s writing. I liked writing their writing. I even today started with a quote.

I think I always was interested in the visual aspect of words and handwriting. It was a big deal for me at some adult age to consciously decide I didn’t like the way I print low case “a”s and wanted to make them look like how this font is; maybe it’s a writer’s a, the a on the typewriter. Recently I started writing t’s Ls ps and gs differently, from copying my daughter who talks about handwriting with me. She thinks my handwriting is messy. It is but I’m sort of changing it. It helps you slow down. I’ve always wanted to write the way my brother does. His capital A”s are so beautiful and impossible to copy. It came from his working at an architecture firm a lont time ago. I am fascinated with other people’s handwriting.

So in this case, the answer isn’t even I write because I like words; it’s because I like letters! Wow, maybe that is ultimately what it is. I’m not super into fonts, but I do like certain ones and think about that choice seriously.

So that might be one answer. I write because I love letters. I love all the books that start little toddlers or younger children reading. A is for apple; B is for barn, etc. My I write because is also very entwined with reading other writer’s. Looking at their writing, their sentences, their words, the letters.

I remember being excited to tell a friend that the word “urine”, is You Are I N E. It seemed so important at that moment 29 years ago. Sort of strange now. I admit it with a tinge of embarrassment, not about the word, but that it doesn’t seem to mean much. I guess it meant what it was: You are I. The “N E” is subtler but was part of it.

I have landed back to the beginning. I was thinking a lot about words, which I’ve been thinking about long time; I love looking up origins of words, especially fun to look up a name and surprise someone with the meaning. I see names as very important; of course they are. How they are chosen, who chose the name, what was the process. Ultimately I guess I wrote simply because I love letters; I love the alphabet. I love other language’s alphabet, but I am most familiar with English. When I was studying Japanese back in 4th grade, I remember the first thing we learned was how to read and write the 2 easy Japanese alphabets. First “Hiragana” and then “Katakana”. The first one is away to write Japanes words simply and read them. The second one is an alphabet just used for foreign country’s words. The real tough and important one is “Kanji”, it is impossible to learn all of it. Each character is so complicated and means a whole word. That is what I remember. It was fun doing the letters. Same thing with Russian in college. You get to do the alphabet. It’s cool in its own way, and learning a new alphabet of another language; that got me already into the concept of languages, and how other languages can be so different from English, starting with the alphabet. Alpha turns out to mean ox and beta turns out to mean house if you go back far enough.

The secret to my wrestling and struggling and process with “Why do I write?” may be simply in this ox an house

Day 2 of Writing Class: List

These are the choices:

  • Things I Like
  • Things I’ve Learned
  • Things I Wish
  • Things You’re Good At

I wrote a whole draft of a list of Things I’ve Learned, but I decided to do something different with the same topic.

Things I’ve Learned about My “Writer” Identity:

  1. I’ve been hiding in the writer “closet” for years, at least 30 years.
  2. I was struggling with this beast back in 1985 in my writer’s journal for an English Creative Writing class in high school.
  3. It’s always been, “What do I write about?”, “What do I have to say that people will want to read?”, having this urge to write but not having anything to write or write about, least of all fiction.
  4. I try in every way possible to destroy my thinking of myself as a writer or at least place obstacles in my pat. I left the 1985 writers journal on a subway two weeks ago. I was terribly upset and angry at myself. I had lost a big clue to who I was, not as a teenager, but as a budding writer back in 1985. When I first discovered that journal in the spring, I felt like I had been given a time capsule to this person that had been me, at least, what she wrote and how she thought about writing. I found it at this point where I had started writing a lot more again, so it seemed so just right that it fell into my lap.
  5. Did I lose that journal to tell myself that I can’t write or to make things hard for me, did I lose that writer in me, or that key into my mind as a 17 year old, or, did I lose that journal because I don’t need it and have already incorporated that writer inside me and need to focus on what I am writing now or my writing process? the Maybe both are true. The reason I was carelessly carrying around this old green covered Meade notebook was that I brought it to my therapy session that morning to show my therapist. This is a new therapist I am working with after several years hiatus from therapy. One main focus of my therapy is my struggle to be ok with being a writer and with my writing. It seemed even more of a message from the universe that the last event with that journal was for that very purpose. I texted my therapist about it right after I lost it. I seemed to need for him to know that he was the last person to see it and hear it.
  6. The more I write, the more I delete my writing and sometimes edit it but no longer just look at a first draft as finished. I used to write posts for this blog and fling them out there. Now even for the blog, I write many drafts I never post.
  7. I started writing something new in the spring that was a new kind of writing and a new sort of genre I tried out, some kind of  personal narrative. I did not know until then how much my work as an art therapist from the past especially was going into my writing. The other thing I discovered was writing and my daughter, writing about being her mother and writing with her. I already considered her a good writer back when she got excited by writing in second grade.
  8. The whole writing issue, beast or monster is intricately connected with my  GraphicNovel, started in 2000, which is a sort of memoir of the mind. This graphic novel has been torturing me for the past 16 years, most of which have been “writers block” years. It was started with the goal of publishing it; that goal has always been there despite my success in squashing it.
  9. My writing and my art have been coexisting with my Graphic Novel illness. I only realized it with writing recently when I saw that the more I write the more likely I am to get back to the graphic novel, and that whatever I’m writing somehow seems to be an act of avoiding working on the graphic novel, but sometimes seems to get me back to it. The art coexisting has been going on since the beginning. This last project involving cartoons, Bathroom Art Only, is the first series of work where my art directly connected to the graphic novel and sort of spilled into it and the art work threw me back into it after a long block. Then the door closed a few months until my writing flung me back at it. At other times, my art has seemed to focus on being as different and far away from the graphic novel as possible, as if it is trying to keep me away from it.
  10. The graphic novel has become a strange realization of my personal “Pictures and Words” struggle. More on that another time. End of list!

 

My Solo Art Show in Brooklyn!

#Bathroom Art Only is the name of the exhibition of my art in Williamsburg at the gallery of the art therapy clinic, New York Creative Arts Therapists. The opening reception was at their Open House on Saturday, October 29.

Somehow, with Halloween and the pre election events, and the election and post election events and reactions going on and ongoing, my show event got lost in all that, and I neglected to post photos on this blog, my Facebook page, Twitter and everything else. I am still trying to sort out how this very important event in my career seems to have been pushed to the side by me, the artist. Another post can address that complicated issue…

The show is still up through the end of 2016.

I wrote some posts about my art project, #bathroomartonly (#Bathroom Art Only), which was created to address the rights of transgender identified people, as well as gender non comforting, gender fluid and every gender in between, to equal access to public bathrooms. I started the project in the spring and over my summer road trip, I posted photos of public bathrooms I “visited”, as part of my whole project, which I think of as going beyond just having this exhibition of my work.

The work in the show is meant to be provocative and humorous and to use the comic strip medium to address how we construct gender and invite people, whether cisgender or non conforming, transgender, and all others, to look at gender in a different way. The show is organized in categories of “characters” that typically are not viewed in terms of gender, office supplies, cats, heads with non gender bodies (self-portrait collages), toilets and poop all talking. Not all are directly talking directly about gender, some are more subtle ways of thinking about gender construction. Here are photos and you can see the messages without me explaining it:

 

Cupcakes still on my mind

I must add as an afterthought, that I just realized during one of my Guilty Internet Window Shopping Black Friday weekend experiences, I put a cupcake watch in my cart. I put things in carts and then get off quickly after having spent too much time figuring out the 35% discount.

That cupcake watch, I thought about it today and sensibly told myself, you certainly don’t need another watch, another Bestsey Johnson watch, after all you have the sugar skull, that Alice looking one, the cat one, the Marilyn face one…

Writing this list, I realize I already went into the too too much so much that you can get more because the muchness has already gone over the top, so it’s again so tantalizing to think, after writing this Ode to Cupcakes, don’t I need to reward myself with that cupcake watch, if its’ still on sale of course. Oh no. I will try to resist it.

Cupcake watch

I confess I have a small “cake” wristlet bag that was one of those I must have this, things, It says let them eat cake on the bottom. But still, cupcakes are better…

Everyday Inspiration Day 1

This is a topic, “I write because”, where I am excited to say that today, I wrote because my 9 year old daughter was writing; I have a love hate relationship with writing, but when we write at the same time, I enjoy writing and don’t feel all the usual crazy stuff and insecurity and everything else that comes with torturing yourself writing and in between writing.

The prompt was a great 4th grade prompt: Cake or Cupcakes, which do you prefer? A very important question that I have pondered quite a bit.

It just so happened that we went to get cupcakes today with her friends and friend’s babysitter Heidi. I already knew my daughter was writing in favor of cake.

So here is my writing that I did in the 20 minutes that she did her piece. I’d also like to say that writing for 20 minutes is great because you enjoy it and have fun but don’t go too much into it and get caught up. For the ADHD writer, it’s great. No time to get bored or distracted except within the topic.

Ok, here it is. I have to add that my daughter asked me to put it in this blog!

Actually it is probably more fun to read as a post on its own, so I will make a separate post right now, write now!