I am 53 today and I have 300K in the bank and it is the End of Time. I am 53 and freshly separated from my husband of almost 20 years. Married to each other's traumas on November 6, 1993, we are one year short of the Big Two O. The life I had is over. Actually, this is true for all of us, every day, but especially on this particular day. Today, a new great friend Quique sends me a birthday gift of a phrase (he is a word artist): ELEGANCE IS FREEDOM.
Psychology + Zen = Philosophy and methods to relieve suffering and reveal happiness.
Psychology: We project onto others what we reject in ourselves. Some call it a Shadow. Healing comes from making the unconscious conscious, taking responsibility for our projections, integrating what is split off as our own thing.
Zen: There is no separate self. When we can be at one with every aspect, then we belong everywhere and we reject no one.
We heal the world by becoming intimate with our whole selves.
Entries in Motherhood (8)
Plans collapse. Last week, I planned to write a Pedestrian Plea about high art, and then the hurricane hit. This week, I planned to participate in One Lovely Blog, and then my teenager provoked another crisis. Or maybe I provoked it. Don't even talk to me if you have not raised a smart willful teenager in recent times. Yes, it is worse than it used to be. Much, much worse. Someday I'll remove the gag order I've placed on myself, but not today.
My todo list tells me that I need to finish Pedestrian Plea today. I couldn't finish it last week because my teen was creating catastrophe and my mother was in town and my sleep molecules disintegrated completely under the onslaught of psychological collisions. Now today, Hurricane Sandy is fast approaching, and I am compulsively cooking, checking weather updates, comparing Facebook posts with my daughter, wondering when the power is going to shut down.
Pedestrian Plea is all about the accidental absence of life from well-meaning conceptual Art with a capital A. So, wouldn't it be lovely if I can work in something about how the hurricane is life itself, more art than Art? A wake-up call of the highest order.
I dozed until midnight, then adrenalin and heat fired up my body for the race, the chase, the battle in the jungle. Only I'm not in the jungle; I'm in bed trying to sleep. I'm having a major argument with my body: What is wrong with you?! Can't you feel the fatigue? Why are you flooding me with all this energy? Body: Hey, it's not my problem; you're the one with all the worries and ISSUES that keep me up. Mind: You have a lot of nerve calling me out on ISSUES when these things wouldn't even bother me if I weren't flooded with adrenalin and cortisol and whatever else you're doing to me.
Most functional people would have grabbed a cab straight to a psychiatrist for Ambien.
Sure I thought the release was happening as I turned 40. I don't care what people think, said I, boldly striding into the decade. So I unleashed my creativity upon the world. And then, after making the autobiographical Martyred Moms, I proceeded to suck up praise and criticism like a baby starving for milk. Don't care? my ass! Narcissism roared its head and I, helplessly it seemed, inflated and deflated according to the circumstances. It wore me out. Like a stone on a beach being polished by smashing up against the rocks. Smash! ahhh… Smash! ahhh…
50 is Smash. 40 was playing around. At 50, my life shows on my face. At the movies, they ask me: Senior or regular? I can laugh but I tell you it feels like a punch. I'm in another category.
Not that I was ever beautiful, but I certainly knew how to be eye-catching. Now They don't look at me that way. If They look at me or talk to me at all, it's often because They need something from Mother--or even Granny. geez!
Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:44PM by Elena TaJo
Maybe it was on the millenium or maybe it was 9/11, but on some momentous mark, I resolved to Stop Rushing. Years passed, charged by, actually, as I watched, bewildered, my resolution crushed by the stampede of moments. Resolution wasn't enough. I had to ask:
What's the Rush? No, Really. What is it?
First of all, I don't have time to stop rushing--too many other things to do. The Tyranny of ToDos, I call it. Except who put the damn things on the list?
Don't start with me! I've tried dropping the list. If I don't have a list, the world runs me down. My daughter's needs and the bits and pieces of life fill the entire container and I'm still rushing to keep up.
Ripe1: Mommy Doll Gets Old, an amalgam of documentary and performance art, skewers ideas about aging. What do you think of when you think of Old? Does it mean it’s time to give up? Does it mean we lose our minds? Does it mean it’s time for plastic surgery? Or does it mean wisdom? Mommy Doll Gets Old evoked tears and fascinating conversation at the Garnerville Arts Festival, the Trail Dance Film Festival, the Rivertown Shorts Festival, GIAA (3rd prize), and Digifestival.net 2007.
Total running time: 11:14 minutes
Martyred Mom Cracks Her Shackles! arose out of deep frustration over the seeming impossibility of reconciling motherhood and self-fulfillment. Made in 2005, the video tells the story of a devoted mother’s tortured journey from martyrdom and guilt to freedom and possibility. It is an amalgam of interview, performance art, and odd experimental technique (because the mother didn't know what she was doing). The music, by Marty Beller of They Might be Giants, makes it an energizing experience.