A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Blessings Undisguised

Today at 2pm I handed over my Applause acoustic guitar, which I bought 20 years ago after I left my boyfriend, to a friend of mine.  Last time I saw her she mentioned that she had played a little guitar, "Stairway To Heaven" to be exact, and the thought crossed my mind that I had an extra guitar at home that I had stopped playing.  A few months ago I bought an acoustic/electric guitar, my first acoustic/electric guitar.  Cheap, but good and I've been enjoying playing it since then.  My friend is a music lover and I think it would be great if she had some live music in her home.  She has a friend who plays and is willing to teach her the basics.  Strangely, I don't feel sentimentally attached to the Applause guitar.  I just wasn't enjoying it the way I used to and I like the idea of my friend enjoying it.

Early tomorrow morning I'm going to transport the first load of stuff over to the studio space.  The space will be mine and I will be alone in it.  I'll bring my digital recorder and do some audio journaling recording my first impressions.  I'd like to stay for an hour or two.  My brother mentioned to the small group we were eating Thanksgiving dinner with that I was leasing the store space.  When I said I might start a tie dye business there in 6 months or so, one woman groaned and said it was a bad idea, but then, she was young during the 1960s, early 70s, and appeared to hate that time, especially rock and roll.  My brother was supportive.  The rest of the group was silent.  Not a good sign.  That depressed me a bit, but not for long.  I noticed at Walmart in the crafts' section that there were quite a few tie dye kits, really stripped down ones, and I thought that was a good sign.  If there was no market for it then they would not be selling them.  And I am determined to make unusually good ones and not too expensive.

I have almost all the supplies I need to make the tie dyes and an assortment of clothes from onesies, children's t-shirts and a couple of girls dresses to a couple of women's dresses and larger t-shirts and a few handkerchiefs.  I'm going to continue to study the instructional DVDs before I start.  I'll start maybe sometime next week after I get my washing machine checked out.  And then I will live and learn from my mistakes.  I'd like to give a few away as presents for Christmas and New Years.  My brother is going down to Florida for Christmas and New Years with a friend, so I'll be on my own this year, as I was last year.  For December I'm aiming at spending around four hours a day at least five days a week in the studio painting and/or doing yoga/dance.

Both the painting and the yoga and dance will be a challenging practice for me to return to.  I'm curious to see what I come up with in such a nice, open space.  Maybe I'll even bring over my acoustic guitar and hear what it sounds and feels like in a different place.  Music, whether I play it or listen to it, will help me adjust to being there.  And it will help a great deal to get me stretching and dancing.  It will be a luxury that open space.  Most of my life I've danced in not very large spaces with furniture and cats around.  One of the reasons why I plan to paint and dance with abandon is because there will be no cats there and I'll have no worries of hurting them.  But after pulling a ligament in one of my legs, I know that I really shouldn't overdo it to start, but go slowly.  As my Nana used to say, I'm no spring chicken, i.e. I am 53 years old returning to dance after not dancing much for a long time.  Work hard, yes, but be smart.

Otherwise, though I do see a few people each week and I did go out to a friend's house for Thanksgiving yesterday, I continue to live an isolated life, and, as we move towards Winter, I just feel it more.  It will take me about a month to get used to using the studio regularly.  Once we enter into 2016, I will be ready to start up some kind of sketching group.  Even if it is just a couple of people meeting once a week to work from a model, that will be an amazing step forward for me in connecting with a few new people and pursing my interest in visual arts.  But for now,  I have myself for company and the voice in my mind which has been with me for seventeen years.  And this creative voice, which I do not write about, but which is with me all the time, is my true companion.  We are friends.  And no matter how isolated I let myself be from others, this spirit, this being helps me to know that I am never really alone.  Once that was painful, but now, it is a blessing.
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