Monday, March 26, 2012

A very personal journal entry that I don't know why I'm sharing.

I wish I had written this when it was still fresh.  When I still had tears in my eyes.  When the loss was still just under the surface...but I didn't.  I just held it in and put it off.

A week ago i drove by what was my childhood babysitter's home.  I hadn't seen it in years...even though it is close to my parent's home.  I don't think I purposefully avoided it, but maybe I did.  There are so many memories wrapped up in that location for me.  My grandparents lived across the street from there for many years as well.

But this babysitter of mine was more than just that.  She was family.  Her family was mine and like wise.  At least it felt that way to me.  In later years I also considered her a friend. 

Several years ago now she died very unexpectedly at a fairly young age.  It felt horrible then and in some ways it feels worse now.  Because now I know the things, at least in my life, that she hasn't been here for...

My getting married.

The birth of my daughter.

I miss her more when I have a dream about her.  Because sometimes in these dreams she's still alive.  It's like I get to spend a little more time with her and then I wake up confused and sad.

It makes me all the more grateful I still have my parents, my sister and my other living relatives.  I love them all and I'm struck by how short this life really is.  How it all goes so fast.  How time changes and re-shapes things.

The house looks different now than I remember it.  I think some of the trees are gone.  The steps where I split open my forehead are still there.  The empty field where her son and I rode on his 4-wheeler was long ago paved over.  The yard somehow seems smaller.  My grandparents house is still the same dark brown.

I played in that street, rode bikes down the sidewalk and watched cartoons in her lap in that little house.  And it all seems like it was just yesterday.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I've been busy

February and March have been seeing a creative outpouring from me.  I've been spending almost every spare moment in my art studio.  I'm lucky to have this extra room in our house that lets in lots of light all to myself.  It's usually a mess but that's okay.  I thought I'd show some of the fruits of all this creativity.  I hope it demonstrates all the fun, experimenting and playing I've been doing.  I tried my best as an untrained photographer to capture these but alas, I've been using lots of metallics and whatnot and it's quite reflective.  So naturally it's all better viewed in person.  But for now, this will do.

As yet untitled acrylic on canvas.  14"x14"

postcard-sized watercolor and water-soluble crayon

detail of above

And here are a series of hanging "tiles" that I did using plaster and board:

"Empty swing" Acrylic and ink on plaster and board

Acrylic on plaster and board approx. size 4"x 5"

Acrylic on plaster and board

"Nail and Bone" Acrylic and mixed media on plaster and board

Monday, March 19, 2012

I will probably pay for posting this...

I am posting this without asking permission of my husband of now 6 years.  Yesterday was our anniversary and while we didn't do gifts for each other, I considered this a gift.  It is a composition assignment he had to write and turn in yesterday.  Had me in tears I tell you.  Enjoy...

 Significant in more than words (by Jeremy Chea)

 I have served with many significant people who deserve to be addressed in this essay as much as any other person.  Friends who have been to hell and back in their life and career who have showed me perseverance can take you anywhere.  However, taking all of those people into consideration I have to chose the one person who has supported me, opened my mind to a whole different world and most importantly to coincide with the date of our anniversary; I chose my wife and best friend, Amanda.   To start this I need to start at the beginning.  I was stationed at Eielson AFB, Alaska.  I had one year remaining on my enlistment and while I was home visiting my friends, I met an amazing person.  Within two weeks of talking and emailing, it was apparent this person was THE person.  For one year, we helped each other through the daily agony of not being near one another.  Where other people may have given up and moved on with their life, she continued.  We saw each other three times during the one year period and each time it was amazing.  She never complained about the distance, only commenting on how strong our relationship would be in the end.  And even though she was the sole cause of the most horribly emotional year of my life, she helped me through it and I knew that she was the last person I would ever date.     I freely admit that I am an introvert and a hermit.  This did not fit well with Amanda’s lifestyle or her personality.  Early on she began getting me out of my comfort zone and experiencing things I had never experienced before.  Bringing me to environments that I had previously tried to avoid.  Opening my mind to experiences I had never felt comfortable in.  We have traveled to places that I had never heard of or had never considered visiting due to my fear of social contact.  She has forced me to come out of my social cocoon, which I thank her for each and every day.      My decision to finally attend school was not an easy one.  It is something that I had delayed for a very long time and unfortunately the decision to start back came at the most inopportune time... after the birth of our daughter.  In a time when Amanda needed my help more than ever, she accepted that my decision was the best one and kept the dissatisfaction to a minimum.  Through every night of homework or each night of being gone to attend class, combined with me still having a full time job to support our family.  She has happily supported me in every way possible.  She has given me quiet time to write papers or take tests and she has shown a genuine interest in my success and my hardships during this period.  Regardless of the situation, Amanda has been the strong point in my life.  She has kept my mind clear and focused.  She has done her best to get me out of my comfort zone and experience new and exciting things, which I never would have done in any other circumstance.  Most of all she has supported me in the advancement of myself and my career.  And while she will make a comment about not being able to change a person, I beg to differ.  She has changed me and continues to change me each and every day.  For the better.