a slice of my heart

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pink is a kind color ***

I certainly didn't expect this.

I took a walk around the property yesterday and was so surprise, turning around a corner to go down to the creek, when I was wide eyed struck by beauty that I didn't expect.  It is still a pretty rainy spring - four days away - but some things do get a jump on it out of sheer joy, I think, at finally being released from the grip of winter.
I'm afraid my camera doesn't do justice to them, perhaps I need a lesson from Carl. They look like peony camillias, a pink I can happily live with. Placed here, they are like a pray to compassion and mercy. It's, as usual, a grey and damp day but when I look deep into the center it reminds me that there is still joy, there is still beauty in this world that is lately clouded by chaos.  

***   An addendum.......this is hysterical .    I have the most god awful grey-mouse hair.  If it's not colored (bleached) people always say...."Is something wrong?"  "Don't you feel well?"  "You look so sad." hahaha  I am additionally blessed with straight, limp, thin hair.  One more thing to envy you about if you are not cursed blessed ....  if you don't have it.  I dyed it this morning.  The pluuuh grey was scary evident as I haven't been well and I let it all go too long.  It didn't come out it's usual bright and happy platinum, it came out slightly corn and dry as a broom, so I decided to use the whole conditioning tube to soften it up a little.  The conditioner is slightly violet, that's supposed to keep the yellow out.  I left it on for about an hour, I'm the person that, sometimes, thinks if a little is good, a lot will be better...........I now have a whole swath of pink hair.  I can only laugh, I'm going to leave it, it's kind of cherry cheery. hahaha

Friday, February 24, 2017

The beauty and truth of the simple and complex

 I don't think I'm alone in writing long posts, am I?  Think of it as a three page hand written letter to a dear friend from a dear friend. We all love to get mail.

# 1
 I have been slowly getting sicker and sicker for two years now.  I've seen my PC, and Ear/Nose and Throat specialist and a Neurologist multiple times over this period.  The symptoms have shown up one by one and now most at the same time, which is probably why no one has been able to diagnose it, that and the fact that doctors don't understand it enough to put 2 + 2 together.  Finally! I had a reputable company out and we got to the bottom of it.   ....  I have Black Mold Poisoning - a build up of 2 fucking years!!  I have been telling the landlord and sending him pictures for all that time. Although he already knew it was here when  he did the walk through and my daughter pointed it out, he's like any other landlord...avoid responsibility-spend no money.  We, she and I, were too stupid to understand the seriousness of this and didn't understand where my symptoms were coming from. It's been very confusing and sad actually, because it's stopped me from doing so much.

 The door to the bathroom (we have two, thank God),  that's where it is because of a former water leak, has been closed for 6 weeks now and several of them have gotten better, but not all.    Shaking, memory loss, fatigue, lack of attention, hair loss, chronic sinus infection (remember - I talked about that in a past post) 7 months !, loss of balance, weakened immune system  --- I just got the flu for the first time in over 30 years and it was so bad I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance, one day stay, not even overnight - fucking $5,700! - praise God for  Medicare.

The good news is they are completely remodeling the bathroom in the clean up and I am slowly getting better, yippee!
(I don't think this has anything to do with simple or complex, it's just stupid)

The truth: Black mold can kill and you gotta' stick up for yourself....and get educated.

Amazingly, I have been able to do some art, not much, but still it's satisfying. I finished the Madonna, finally !! and put some finishing touches on some of the others.
Top, left and right, birds watching over.
I love that little shell that looks like a fish (or maybe it's a dog..?) Serendipity is a big part of this kind of art.
                         Little blue oyster shell on bottom to hold prayers or momentos.  That little thing       makes me beam, I love it so much - blue, wow!

I love doing this because it's like doing a rubix cube. It's a very complex and calculated art. Will this work, will this work? And magically the third or fourth shell you pick up is perfect.  (That would be when you have about 100 lbs plus of shells to choose from.) I know this is a different kind of art, not contemporary or commercial, it doesn't appeal to the masses but I've pretty much come to peace with that, sort of.  I still feel a little embarrassed because it's not "hip", but fuck - I'm smiling the whole time I'm doing it.

The truth: This is a very complicated  issue for me. It deals with fitting in and I've always been uncomfortable with that.  But it's also simple, we just follow the voice, we just do what we do, there's truth in that, and comfort.

I've been grappling with one of my biggest adversaries a lot lately, envy.  It is particularly tough right now because of my imminent need to find a living space - like in very soon! - that can accommodate my special needs: Bipolar, PTSD and HSP.  (primary colors frightened me and make me gag..hahahah, sometimes it's hysterically funny! sometime not.)

 I have very little money and the time is getting closer and closer so I am panicking.  I need an atmosphere that is aesthetically acceptable with these conditions, or I risk a dangerous depression, I'm very serious about that. It's not that I can't find the middle ground, it's that there is no middle ground, prison or sanctuary are the only options when you're dealing with disabilities of this nature. It's not hyperbole or drama or stubbornness, it's my reality and I've been doing my best to cope with it since I was 3 years old.   I could list all the gory and dark details that got me here, aside from the genetic components, but that's not the important thing, I am here, so I have to find a way through and right now I am thrashing around in the dark. A panic that I've been shoving down for most of my life and is vicious now, is terrifying me. I can't get through a day without thinking - is this going to be my end, is this the place where there are no more steps?  I cry and cry and cry. I have an elastic band on my wrist and I snap it all the time to shake me out of the thoughts. I've never watched more movies in my life, in fact I think I've watched a lifetime of movies in the last year. Netflix and Youtube are anesthetizing.

Thank god I finally have a good therapist. I swear to you if I hear one more person say "You've got to fake it till you make it" or "Have you tried exercising?" or "Have you thought about joining a group?", I'm gonna' sucker punch 'em.  Do I look like a fuckin' idiot??  She understands and respects what people like me go through and how crushing it can be to your life, the only one you've got.  There are no do-overs here. Medication helps, I faithfully take mine but there's a limit to what it can do - we all know that.  I even cheat and take more sometimes...but  that's  not   good ....

So, I envy you. Whether you are sick or depressed or under a burden of  debt or something that seems a dead end for you .....
if you have a family or a job that you like or even often don't, or money, or friends, a lover or a spouse (who is loving or even tolerable), if you get hugs or kisses that come from neither fear nor sorrow or have a yard or a garden, if you live with the possessions that you love and have a home where you can put up wallpaper because you know you'll live there long enough - I envy you.  It's always been a part of my life and I've coped with it in different ways.  And I know there are people who envy me - for my "freedom" or my ability to create or, I don't know what, but they do. So I'm not alone with this emotion, but it is backed with some pretty sharp anger and resentment now.... and that... is not good.

At least I'm not some lost, crazy bitch who only has that emotion. Floating around in all of this is... I like you. It would be so much fun to spend time together, laugh, have those stream of consciousness talks that are soooo fun. And eat!  Eating together is the best. I can't think of a person here with whom I would not love to share a meal...and cooking, ahhh.  Martini's, or you call it!!!  I could go on and on.  I fucking envy you - but I so like you, too.  Sometimes I think the best thing to do would be to take the money and visit each and every one of you and do all those things and then fly to my beloved India, with a loooong stay over in England, and when the money runs out, just walk into the Ganges. Of course I wouldn't tell you that or it would ruin all the fun.  I contemplate this a lot, it makes sense to me.

The truth: I don't think there was one bit of simple in that - Ha!

(or like Rebecca say's .... Live ... sweet!) xx




Friday, February 10, 2017

Black and white is just not good

However, there are exceptions.
(and look, it even comes with a man!)

I hope you remember me.

I wanted to write a post today, as usual I have so many things to talk about that I know very little about.
But I just can't do it.  I've had the flu, a bad, bad case of it (hospital) and it has done a number on my eyes.  I am having a very hard time looking at black and white. I can watch a movie, because it's all colors (weird, huh?) But the black and white on things like this and reading everyone's blogs just kills my eyes.

I keep wishing that every background was grey.  And isn't that a metaphor for all the crazy that is now our world.  Everything seems to wind up on one side or the other. We either deify or demonize.

I couldn't read the news and I'm getting a headache doing this.  But now that I am crawling out from under this rock slide, I'm wondering where they all are?  Are they just not going to come out until the screaming stops, until something is solved so that they don't have to hold the heavy banner?  Have they all gone on vacation? Perhaps it's a timeshare get away thing and they all had to use up their weeks/months or they would be out a lot of $$. Must be quite a party.

Bill, Hillary, Bruce, Dylan, Barrack, Joe, Emmy Lou and Ms. Steinem (well, she is 82 so let's give her a break)?  - Seriously!? - Willie? (no matter how old he is I'm sure he has something to say). Beyonce (there, I said your name - it was easier than I thought), Prince - God rest his soul - he would have something to say, I think. This is a paltry and sad list, if I felt good I'd put some effort into it.  But geeze, not even one song, guys? Yoko???

I'll get back on the bandwagon here pretty soon and what a great job everyone is doing. I guess we don't need them after all, right?

Send me a get well card, I miss having friends xoxo

(God, I have a bitch of a headache now!)

Friday, January 6, 2017

A mysterious, magnificent, radiant, silly and graceful woman

That would be Elizabeth Grace, my dear daughter.

I wish I could be as honorable, as funny and even half as smart as this woman.

She loves animals, of course you know she's a "bee keeper",  (from my post of June 16th, titled "You said what?!") feeds the birds, longs for another dog, we are sadly renters, has the best lap for cats and they go straight to her, even though she has allergies and never minds.

Babies are drawn to her, she can make them laugh and giggle and wave when they only look at me with a "what?" look.  She's a baby sleep maker when mother's are at their wits end. She longs for one herself and holds adoption like a candle in the window.

She is funny and light hearted and finds humor in almost everything - I don't - so thank God for her and her rapier wit.

After seven hours of massages (she's a therapist) - that's seven bodies, standing for seven hours - 5 days a week, and she still comes home funny! (see below, shhh, she would kill me)  
--  She put herself through massage school, without help from anyone, broke and addicted to alcohol and has since overcome that, to go on to a helping career.  Astonishing! 
   She is fallible and hard to admit her mistakes, but that's because she holds herself to such a high standard. She is rarely ever cranky, but has started her "Cranky" business to help others  not take themselves, and this often hypocritical world, so seriously.
She is beautiful at 43, but never thinks so.
Even when she was a fresh new flower at 21.
But she is and always has been.                             

She has had defeat after defeat and failure upon failure that have almost broken her - overshadowed, thankfully, by her accomplishments and her constant ability to overcome. That's the definition of success in my book.

She cries and cries sometimes at the unfairness and lack of justice in her life, and that it is repeated in so many other lives in this world and she wants to save everyone. She has now been heartbreakingly overwhelmed with the insanity of this election and the resulting world wide chaos and, as well, what it could mean for the gay community - so here is what she is doing to overcome that.....
She has bought bag after bag of toiletries and practical survival items and just fun things to distribute to the homeless. She puts them in her car and when she encounters someone on the corner at the freeway intersections, with their signs asking for just a little bit of help, she hands them out.

Mysterious, magnificent, radiant, silly and graceful, I look up to her and hope to become more like her, ~ Elizabeth Grace.

(Don't tell her I wrote this, she would be so embarrassed, (well maybe not, as she is, and would be glad to tell you, a rock star!!) - but she is remarkable and deserves recognition.

Friday, December 23, 2016

My very best Christmas

This was my very best Christmas. In a big house on Main street in Tillamook, Oregon everything was beautiful and happy. My grandparent's house was warm and fragrant from the just cut tree and crowded with people who were glad to be there.  I'm sure my mother helped put the "rain" on the tree, she was meticulous and would have wanted to please her new mother in law. The lights were low in the kitchen except for the one over the Tom and Jerry bowl, a special one - children were not allowed but there was another one just for them with tiny cups to fit little hands, and lots of home made cookies and probably a ham. All my aunts and uncles were there. Christmas music would have been playing on the new mahogany cabinet that held the record player which had just replaced the wind up with the brass horn.  My parents were still happily married.

The carpeting in the house had muted roses on a grey background and the wall paper was a soft dove grey with a pattern of white feathers. The brocade drapes would have been drawn over the pale golden shades, the ivory pull dangling from a long string.  Soon my grandfather would have disappeared and my grandmother would say to the children, "What's that noise? I hear something on the roof.", we were sure we heard it too, then the doorbell would ring.  A wide eyed child would rush to open it, letting a burst of cold air in and stepping back in wonder because Santa was there. Little necks would strain looking up in awe and then down to the big, red bag. There were presents under the tree but the best ones were the ones given to waiting hands.

As Santa disappeared, my grandfather came back and began turning all the lights out, except the tree with the big bright bulbs that got too hot for little ones who always wanted to touch. In the too warm and cozy room 4 children would be oohing and ahhing and passing back and forth presents that were so different then.  The wrapping paper, thin and soft, would be strewn in excitement, a cloud enveloping children and baby dolls and wind up train engines. Parents, huddled together, would laugh with each other and watch carefully to see that nothing got left unwrapped, and children were sharing, as children did then. In the glow from the tree, newlyweds, they all were then, exchanged presents and tender smiles. The war had just ended and all my uncles were safely back home, a present for my grandparents.

There was love in that warm and softly lit room and there would be for several years to come.
It was 1949.  My pretty mother in her favorite dress, green with pink bows, my aunt, a late surprise to my grandparents - all my uncles grown and married - and my sister with her baby doll. My mother is carrying me, four months in, I would be born in May. There were more Christmases just like this, a few as sweet and loving and gentle and filled with tenderness. But this is the one I remember best, this was the one I loved.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Love, Liv

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The way in and the way out and then I risked my life to get these for you

This was the last hike of the year for me, I'm not a snow hiker or even walker.  But I love the smell of the forest and the quiet mystery.  It's the end of fall in these pictures and still quite warm. The scent was heavenly. At certain points I could look up and see the sky, but most of the time it was an enveloping canopy of trees.                         
                          This was the way the path looked as I entered
                              This was the path on the way out.

 I was struggling with some things that day as I walked and it struck me as I was leaving, that it seems some of the problems of life are so easy to get into and so difficult to get out of, but all through it there is an abundance of beauty and peace and wonderful things that nourish and sooth us and give us hope.  It reminded me that I tend to just see the problem that is right in front of me and not the larger picture. When I could stop for a moment and take it all in, it reminded me of how good life can be.  It's all about perspective.                                                                        
This is for you, Birdie.  This was my companion.

Here is what I had to risk my life to capture for you. I walked through the blustery, howling, windy snow to get these pictures of the creak on our property.  You can't see it very well, but that is the little water fall at the beginning of the creak.  It actually has to come down 5 little steps but they were very hard to see because I would have had to get in the creak to capture it clearly. And the sound of it? My god, it's natures music, isn't it? That tumble of water over rocks and logs. In the summer I sit by it for hours and listen to it. I've never lived by this sound and I might not ever again, so I know how lucky I am to receive a musical, watery gift like this.
Here the snow is whizzing past the camera and it looks like little comets flying through the air. 


It's amazing to know that through all this chaos and turmoil, the planet still pretty much does what it's supposed to. God how I pray that continues.

I swear to you, my pictures aren't always this bad, really.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A visit to Cuba from London

The death of Fidel Castro will enormously affect America's relationship with Cuba.   Let's hope that the progress that President Obama has made in communicating with Cuba is not completely destroyed by our resident idiot, because Cuba is so much more important to America than we actually realize.

If you want to know a bit more, from a first hand Cuban, please go read my friend,  Mario Lopez Goicoechea, over at :   https://cubaninlondon.blogspot.com    He has given a wonderful interview with the BBC World News explaining his experiences and views of his birthplace and how he sees this transition.  As he says, he is a revisionist, lets hope his vision of a Cuba without Castro is the one we all come to see.

Thank you, Mario.