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





  1. The Madonna is lovely. It doesn't matter in the end of people like your art. It's the making that's the thing.

    1. Thanks for those kind words, Ellen, they encourage me.

  2. Your honesty is astounding. I'm sorry things have been/are so complicated for you. Truly. Seeing the beautiful pieces you create are even more meaningful to me now.

  3. I agree about your astounding honesty. I would love to share a meal with you someday. Envy is perfectly rational when you have so much to deal with, but you don't let it become poison, you recognize the love. Oh Liv, I so hope you find a sweet spot to call home. The Madonna is stunning. I used to do mosaics, so I know the satisfaction of finding the piece that just fits. Swift healing dear one.

    1. A mosaic artist?! I knew we were kindred soul. From your lips to God's ears, B.
      TY xo

  4. wow. oh my god. there is so much here that i relate to. i too have been steadily getting sicker over the past few years, pain everywhere, and now i wonder if we have black mold. if we do, why am i the only one getting sick from it? how would i tell if we have it? and the envy. oh my. i relate to that too, although in my case it's not so clearly envy as loneliness, the kind that is absolutely convinced that everyone else in the world is more connected, more busy, more accompanied, more loved, more sheltered, than I am. also: my house is falling apart--this is how it feels to me, and while this seems to bother no one else, it is really fucking with my mental health. No one seems to think this is reasonable, and I have given up trying to explain it, but clearly you understand it, and just that, knowing someone out there gets its, makes me feel less alone and crazy. and your art is beautiful in itself and all the more so because it makes your heart happy to do it. i have been feeling so alone out here, and right now, i feel a little bit less so. thank you for that.

  5. You made my heart beat faster.

    When there is black mold in the house and only one person gets sick (and that's what happened here)it is most likely because that person is acutely allergic and may already have a compromised immune system. (stress and loneliness can do that to you). I had to get a company who specializes in mold detection. They do air samples where ever you think you might have it, it's air born too, so you might not see it and it happens where ever there is dampness. You can find them in your area on Google.

    I'm in awe that you understand and sad that you go through similar mental health pain. And it is reasonable, you know that, don't doubt yourself. You are not alone and now neither am I. Thank you so much for your empathy and kind words, they give me warmth.

  6. I *LOVE* your Maddona. She is so beautiful it takes my breath away.

    Envy. Oh, I know that emotion. Where do I start? I am ashamed of the things I envy. For starters, I envy women who don't have to work and have wealthy spouses. It feels like working is going to kill me. Strangely, I love my job but I wish I could do it as a volunteer and not *have* to do it. Yes. Ashamed. On so many levels.

    I would write a longer comment but my shoulder is sore and Norbert is on my lap and I have nowhere to put my computer.

    1. Gosh, I've missed you. I hope you are well in every way.

      Yeah, me too, ashamed. I'm ashamed to envy. I think all the people that I envy, envy nothing which is ridiculous. Oh hey, that's one more reason that I can envy them for...hahaha.

      I really hope this far too injury could change, but it's probably the constant movement that keeps it going, so sorry. Give Norbert a pet for me.

  7. Wow-a lot on your plate. I am a landlord....well, I have a tenant in my MIL which is directly under my living room and she made me raise the rent because I hadn't for three years. So I bet I'm not typical. I try to be kind and prompt when there's a problem. I moved my TV (which I don't much watch) into the loft so she can't hear it through her ceiling. I remember what being a renter was like so I want to be good and fair. You enjoy it, it centers you and brings peace to your heart. That's all that matters.

    With kindness,


    1. Ha! That's funny - when I lived in the house that I rented (32 years!) before losing it and coming here, I raised my own rent three times - and he was a terrible landlord. You are indeed rare. I want to only remember being a renter, I have a ton of wallpaper and a bucket of paste.


  8. That artwork looks amazing. Glad to hear you're on the mend.

    Greetings from London.

    1. Thank you, that encourages me.
      Slow but steady on the mending. Looks like I am going to have to have an operation on my nose to get mold spores gross is that?!

  9. What a long and meandering and beautiful, raw post. Thank you for sharing so much of your inner life and for so gracefully accepting our presence here! Your art is gorgeous. I wish you much peace, some relief every now and then from the things that torment you. You exude grace.

  10. I'm so glad you found out about the cause of your symptoms and are having the Black Mold situation cleared up, how scary! As for the Bipolar and PTSD, I have Loved Ones who live with those diagnosis and symptoms too, it often makes me feel so helpless to ease their torment and witness their pain. Often there are no adequate words to bring comfort... So just a big sincere virtual Hug is all I can really offer... Dawn... The Bohemian

    1. Thank you very much, Dawn, for your kind words.
      Hoping for peace for your loved ones.

  11. Liv. Know you are loved and appreciated.

  12. Hope you are feeling better! At least you know the source now; I didn't realize there were companies who specifically looked for that...

    Think I've said it before but even with all your pain, you are a beautiful writer; the line "if you get hug or kisses that come from neither fear nor sorrow" is stunning.

    Take care!

  13. I love to receive a comment from you, Elle. You are always so encouraging. I am feeling a bit better. I will have an operation on my nose next week...scary! But it's the only way they can get the mold out, that's gross...
    Anyway, you take care too.