Friday, August 29, 2008

What ifs

Right now, I am taking a deep breath.

It's the Friday of Labor Day weekend. I've got projects that have to be done in the next few days, and I've felt very blocked, unable to even start. Those terrible "what ifs" are popping up: what if everything goes wrong? What if they hate what I've done? What if I can't make it work? What if, what if, what if.

Of course, all the "what ifs" point back t0 the basic anxiety of most of my life: What if I'm not good enough? What if I am not worthy of love?

So ridiculous, when I write it out plainly. But they have nagged at my heart and soul almost as long as I can remember.

I awoke this morning, ready to work. Got going on the household tasks first -- laundry, watering the lawn, breakfast. I had gotten to checking email, when I popped back upstairs for some reason, and looked out the front window. Muddy water was flowing down our street. The electric company crew, digging a few doors down, had accidentally broken a water main in the street. Water was flowing toward my neighbors' houses, which tend to have wet basements. Oh shit, you're going to flood my neighbors! I rang the bell next door, but there was nobody there to warn.

I didn't think about losing our water until the city truck pulled up. Just enough time to get a couple gallons of water into a bucket, wet down my hair and take a sponge bath with the trickle that was still coming from our faucets. Grumble, grumble, inside my head. Cursing the workers for their stupidity, tense about the uncertainties -- how long is the water going to be out? Why today?

Then I had to smile a bit, shaking my head. The universe sends whatever we need, for our greatest good, and today it has a sense of humor. It's telling me to stand back and breathe. Things are always in flux, change is in every moment, so why is this change so awful? The workers didn't do this on purpose. The city workers will get things fixed as soon as they can. This inconvenience isn't life and death. What is really important in this moment? Is it what I consider the bad timing of a water outage?

What if I simply witness this moment and breathe and feel a little peace?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pinwheels for peace

Yesterday I helped our church kids make pinwheels for peace. Mary, one of our church members was inspired by the Pinwheels for Peace project. She's a teacher, so she ran the show; I was an extra set of hands, and an extra photographer. We're developing a slideshow to use during our International Day of Peace event on Sept. 21.

Just had to show off my own kid here:

Ross making pinwheel

I asked him what the kanji meant, and he said "peace forest." (He learned some Japanese last year in his gifted program.)

Pinwheel kanji

Growing peace, one vision at a time . . .

Friday, August 22, 2008


Remember this egg?

"Egg" front

I've been feeling the need to FINISH one of my bazillion projects. Partly because I have several new projects that I need to launch ASAP. Partly because I leave so many things undone, and I need to finish something so that I feel a sense of accomplishment, and to prove to myself that I don't have ADD. (Insert a small smirk here.)

I've been creating body parts to complete the egg's transformation. It has now sprouted legs!

Egg with legs

Other parts are ready to sew on, and I'm still working on a few details. I'm getting excited to see what it's going to look like when it's done. I honestly don't know how it's all going to turn out. Of course, that's part of the reason to finish -- to enjoy the ending, just like a novel. The surprises keep me hooked and ready to dive in again and again.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Outdoors, late August

Black-eyed Susans

Ross and I have been doing some wandering the last couple days. Summer is winding down, and we can both feel it slipping away. I cannot, will not, regret time spent outdoors.

The city has restored a historic site near Corbin Art Center. The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens showcase old-fashioned perennials and the lovely little buildings and fountains that were built on a steep hillside by wealthy owners. We visited it for the first time yesterday.

Not much is blooming right now, but we hiked around the grounds and found our favorite spots.

White hydrangeas at fountain

Here's Ross, lost in thought:

Ross at Moore-Turner Gardens

After he spotted me and the camera:

Quick, make a face at the camera!

I'm glad he likes to tromp around gardens and parks with me. He feels his connection to the natural world. I hope that always lives in him, because I think it'll help him throughout his life. I have found so much solace and grace in the outdoors -- I don't think I'd be here without those long, long walks.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Too hot!!!

It's been 100+ degrees the last couple of days, and I think my brain is starting to melt.

Do you become absolutely lethargic in the heat, like I do? I wonder if this is how lizards feel when they sun themselves on a rock. I do know that my lizard brain is probably the only thing functioning, because the "higher" thinking skills just want to take a nap. Breathing, sweating, maybe eating now and then -- that's about my speed right now.

Yesterday, insane person that I am, I helped run our church booth at Unity in the Community, an event celebrating the diversity of Spokane.

Now, those of you that've been here, you are probably guffawing. Spokane is really, really white. Really. Yet, somehow, Riverfront Park had the most diverse crowd I've ever seen here. Pacific Islanders doing traditional dances. A boisterous, spirit-filled, racially mixed gospel choir. Girls of every hue doing the Electric Slide together. In 100 degree heat! Oh, man.

I drank a ton of water and sweated it all out. I was exhausted the rest of the day. But I got to watch kids play in our bubble pool and smile as they chose Skittles or Rice Crispie Treats for a snack. I got to invite folks to come visit our church, and I got to hand out flyers about September peace events. And I got to watch those girls dance.

Totally worth it.

Girl making bubbles

Friday, August 15, 2008

Jumper progress

I've added all the heart appliques to the denim jumper. Here's the front:

Front of denim jumper, 8/14/08

And the back:

Back of denim jumper, 8/14/08

I'm not so sure I should have put that large heart on the lower right -- it's sort of a target for my butt, you know?!? Oh well.

I really like how the appliques came out. The splatters and writing and doodles catch my eye, and make me want to look closer. The cut-up writing also seems a little mysterious. You can figure out what some of it says, but the holes are a barrier that create some privacy. I can feel safe, writing openly, yet hide parts if I'm not ready to be public with all my thoughts and feelings.

Applique close-up

Not sure what's going to be next, if anything. I'm not quite satisfied -- it doesn't say "finished" to me yet. Embroidery? More paint? I feel like it needs something to get it to all hang together visually. Hmmm . . .

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

We're home . . .

East Channel Light

(East Channel Light, on Grand Island, near Munising, Michigan)

Hello! I'm slowly wading through the vacation photos and posting them on Flickr -- feel free to check them out.

It was great to see family! (Lots more family photos coming to my Flickr account.)

Ross and Cindy

(My sister-in-law, Cindy, with Ross.)

We also did some sightseeing. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is surrounded by three Great Lakes (Michigan, Huron, and Superior), and we spent a lot of time on Lake Superior this time. I loved visiting the lighthouses: Point Iroquois, Whitefish Point, and Grand Island East Channel. Who could ask for better subject matter?!

Whitefish Point Light

(Whitefish Point Light, near Paradise, Michigan)

Point Iroquois Light

(Point Iroquois Light, near Brimley, Michigan)

We spent lots of time at the family camp, playing badminton and croquet, eating (I ate my yearly quota of s'mores), stargazing, and watching the campfire. We watched a small-town parade, played on a Lake Huron beach, and helped my in-laws buy a new t.v. And I worked on my vacation sketchbook/journal almost every day. It's not quite done yet, but I promise I'll let you look at some of the pages soon!