Wednesday, March 8, 2017

tempest in a teacup

Have you ever had the feeling that just too darn much was going on in your life? Not just in your personal life, but things happening in the space surrounding your life were making you anxious? Kind of like trying to stay upright while standing in quicksand, when you think you are doing a good job, then look down and notice that you are up to your ankles and sinking? Sound familiar? I guess it is just life, but when too much starts happening, I find myself getting anxious. And I turn to art, as I always have, as a way of focusing, calming myself, and finding my way past the anxiety and into a healthier place for my mood, mind and mental health.

Mental health in these tumultuous times is not always an easy thing to achieve. I found myself thinking a few months ago about how I got through other times like this in my life, and then I remembered. I painted and sketched my way through. It was calming and was a way of expressing a message. Sometimes only I knew the message, but it was there.

About a year ago, I started drawing portraits. I drew what mattered to me. I spent hours sketching, using digital art as my medium, eventually finding my groove. Drawing dead people was a way to connect to how I felt about loss, whether it was a talented celebrity, or a family member. Music also moved me to draw. Most recently I have been finishing some work that I started last summer. I was in a patch of worry and needed to soothe myself. So I chose to finish this.

 There is a simple story here. In my hand is a teacup, just a cheap glass cup, but it is like the one I used to drink tea from at my Mum's house, when I was travel nursing and staying with her. On my thumb is my husband's wedding ring. He stopped wearing it years ago because he couldn't wear it on the job, for safety reasons (he was an electrician in an underground coal mine). By the time he tried it on again, his finger was too large for it, so I slid it on my thumb. Also on that hand, out of sight in the drawing, is my wedding ring, and my dad's wedding ring, which I wear on my middle finger. My hand rests on a beautiful turquoise and white quilt, made for me by a dear friend from my high school days, who was also responsible for setting me up on a blind date with my husband. She made and sent the quilt when I was going through some rough times with breast cancer treatment. There were many days I spent covered in that quilt, and feeling connected to Barb, and my past, and thinking about the present and future.

The day I took the photo I drew the picture from, I felt surrounded by love past and present, by those gone from my life, and those still a part of it. Past and present intermingled, and I drew strength from the thread of life, the continuity that was there even when I didn't realize it was. And as I sorted through the emotions, the tempest in my teacup settled, and I sighed, took a deep breath...and relaxed.

Life is good, even when you don't realize it is...
I am @jonesbabie on Twitter and Instagram

Sunday, November 6, 2016

toasted

Sometimes, you find that sweet spot. The place where memories past and present collide. It can be bittersweet, but oh what a marvelous feeling. A connection, proof that we go on, threaded together in ways we can't anticipate. This morning was like that for me. A brief moment when I felt so connected to the past that I felt like a bridge between generations.

Maddie stayed over last night. Dunc stayed with the boys at Jim's house next door. This morning I told the kids we were going to have scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. Maddie chirped in "I know how to scramble eggs!" I told her I was glad, that it would be fun to cook breakfast together. We counted heads and realized it was going to take a lot of eggs and bread. The eggs were no problem, a huge skillet fixed that. Maddie helped me break eggs into the bowl, and I finally turned the eggs over to her. She broke, beat and I chunked some butter in a skillet. We discussed adding cheese, decided that was a go, and then I faced the toast. I had a problem. The butter was hard because Jen had put my butter dish in the fridge (we always leave it out to keep it spreadable), and my dilemma was how to get the butter to melt on the toast when it was hard as a rock.

Then I remembered that little Revere pan I had inherited when I got married. Mom had given me the whole set and I had been cooking with them for 46 years. With the set was a little pot, which would hold about 1 cup liquid at most. It had been used for one thing when I was growing up.

Melting butter.

I got it out of the cabinet, added a chunk of butter and melted it, then grabbed a brush out of the drawer. By the time I was ready, Maddie had several slices of toast waiting for butter on a paper plate. I started brushing the butter across the toast, thinking about how Dad used to do the same thing.

I closed my eyed briefly and could see Dad in my mind, standing there smiling at me and his great granddaughter making toast the way he used to when I was her age. The funny thing was, I didn't appreciate that moment back then, but now I savored it. I smiled as I told Maddie the story of Grandpa and the buttered toast.

Memories past, memories present. Threaded together by a small pot and buttered toast.



...life is good... i am @jonesbabie on twitter and Instagram