Monday, May 24, 2010

Buying Things

I've been stuck at home for a month and a half now. I only leave the house when necessary for food or sanity. And because I don't go anywhere, I don't buy anything but groceries. I'm hoping this will carry on even after I don't have to use crutches anymore. It also helps that Josh and Lou are here, so I have friends and food and house projects to keep me perfectly entertained at home. I don't see anything that I want to buy because I stay home most of the time...and we don't watch TV, so I don't see ads for things that I might want to buy. It's like I'm able to forget that there are things out there that I want, because we've made it so that everything we need is right here. It's nice. And...I find myself having to create ways to stimulate my brain cells and entertain myself at home, so I've been working on projects and singing to myself. Doug helped me fix this recording of me singing Julie London's Cry Me a River. We were going to add guitar, but turns out it's quite a difficult song to learn for just a funzies afternoon tune. So, it's just me. Oh well.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Out Driving

Today I went for a much needed outing all by my lonesome. Because of my injury, there are only a few things I can do without help. Driving to Nowhere is one of them. I've been feeling really down from not being able to do anything on my own, so today (while on the verge of a breakdown) I went for a drive to Nowhere. I drove out to the super rural parts of this area and kept driving for almost an hour. I felt soooo much better when I got home. Doing things for myself and having alone time are so important to me. Anyway, while I was driving I got to thinking about what it means to live in the present, and whether or not that's really possible. And I was thinking about our cravings for something better, something more, can keep us from living in the present.
When I was in college, I wanted nothing more than to be somewhere else. I just knew that somewhere there existed a place full of intellectuals reading and learning and growing together in a beautiful world of culture and thought. I was determined to find it, and I was determined to be miserable until I did. Well, I certainly succeeded at the second part. And I'm pretty sure I succeeded at making other people feel like they weren't worthy of my presence unless they too were miserable. I felt irritated most of the time and I looked down my nose at people who did not think like me. I knew that all my misery would cease if I could just find that place full of smart people. But I was stuck in Auburn, and good thing, because I'd still be looking for that non-existent world otherwise. I had to learn to make my own happiness, make my own world of beauty and intellect, and make my own world of peace. I had to let go of being so hard on other people by letting go of being so hard on myself....not an easy thing to do. I stayed so angry at myself for having clutched to the Christian belief system so tightly, and I wanted so badly to find the new set of "answers." And because I was angry at myself, I was angry at everyone else. It was a long time before I realized there aren't any answers....and an even longer time before I realized that's a good thing.
Anyway, back to this idea of living in the present. I remember what it was like to dream of this far off "better" place, and what it felt like to really believe that I would find it. When I was in London, I rode the train a lot. I loved riding it alone, and I have a very specific memory of standing on the train listening to Amelie, and thinking to myself, "This is it. I'm here. I'm right here in this very moment." It obviously was some kind of important moment for me, because I still remember it and it was such a fleeting, ordinary thing. But today I started wondering....was I really in the present right then? Or did I just feel like I was because I was reflecting on the fact that I had finally come to do something that I had always dreamed of doing? Or can you really only experience the present in can only think you were living in the present? That, of course would suggest that no, you cannot live in the present. So what of our cravings for something more? Surely most of us have longed for a life more meaningful, more important, more exciting than the one we lead. What is that craving for? Why do we have it? Are we supposed to listen to it? Will it ever go away? Suppose I had chased like crazy that idea that somewhere everything was just as I had imagined it should be. Would I have found it? Even if I had never found it, could I have found any happiness or rest along the way? I don't know. But I know that I'm glad I found a way to let go of it...and I'm also glad that I didn't let go of completely. I think it's important that I still believe that things (in the big picture sense) should and can be different....that people can do more. Monotony was once my greatest fear. But, I had to learn that monotony doesn't jump out and get allow it to take you. It was kind of a hard lesson to learn, because once you know that you're in control, it means that if you want things to be better or different you have to get up off your ass and make it different for yourself. You can't sit around waiting for things to change, thinking everything will be better for you someday when something-or-other is different. You have to make it better. It's easy to complain. It's easy to put on your smart hat and talk about how the world's shitty and nobody thinks for himself but you. But what good is your smart hat if it doesn't teach you to live in such a way that you grow and change and learn from the people around you? Right? Right. I'm out of coffee.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Fun Day of Shooting

Lou and I played dress up and took pictures in the garage with special assistance from Doug. My favorites of the day:

Getting Inspired

I got my real cast yesterday (it's hot pink), and I've been trying to get inspired to work on some fun portraits so that my brain doesn't turn to mush while I'm stuck at home. I've wanted to try using costumes and props in my portraits for a while now, and we just got our first studio light, so I really need to jump in. And, it's something I can do in the house, without having to crutch myself around outside somewhere. My beautiful friend Lou is living here, so I'm going to try and convince her to be my model. Here's my inspiration for my portraits of her....

Friday, May 14, 2010


So, I hurt my foot really badly after a fight with a shopping cart and ended up needing surgery. I've been on crutches for a month now, and I still have a month to go. The surgery was two weeks ago, and since then I've been in a clunky and very heavy cast. It's so heavy I usually need someone to carry my leg while I crutch around to the bathroom or wherever. Mostly, I've been on the couch for the whole two weeks, though yesterday we ventured out for fancy coffee drinks and a short trip to the bookstore. Were Josh and Lou not here to keep me in good spirits, Doug and I would both be in a total depression from lack of moving about. Anywho.....I've been thinking a lot about what I'll be most excited to do when I can walk normally again. I want to ride my bike and stand in the shower and cook and tend to my garden. But I also want to go places. New Orleans is first on the list because Josh and Lou have never been and it's only 2 hrs. away.

I want to travel more. I wish it weren't so damn expensive. Travel is so healthy. I've been thinking about how I glad I am that I went to London all by my lonesome when I was in college. It was so good for me....traveling alone gives you such a sense of freedom. Actually, doing other things alone can give you a similar feeling: hiking alone, sitting in the park alone, driving long distances alone. It's just good to be alone from time to time, really. But maybe it only works if you're alone on purpose. Hmm. Anywho, I'm rambling and my lunch is ready. Doug has to carry it to me. I'm still on the couch.