This is one of those mornings I find myself wanting to write without having anything specific to say, so I think I’ll just tell you a little of what’s on my mind and some of the things that are drawing me right now.
First off, it’s a lovely morning. After a few uncharacteristically warm days, it’s snapped cold. Sunday, Scott’s day off, was windy all day–as in, ‘comin’ up a storm’ kind of windy–so we took a trip to Redbox and got three movies to hunker down around while the weather howled outside. I always love movies but this time of year, when darkness falls early, it’s extra satisfying to cozy in and enjoy them. Only one of the three we rented was truly notable: The Way Way Back–very moving, a real heartwarmer. The others were Mud, very good (Matthew McConaughey just keeps getting better), and The Internship, pretty much what you’d expect from a Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson movie.
I’ve abandoned my novel-writing for awhile to pursue visual arts instead. I think it’s a way to keep bursts of color in my life on these gray, rainy days. I had started a painting last year and tucked it away after I’d lost inspiration for it, but began thinking about it again a couple weeks ago, and pulled it out. I leaned it against a chair on the floor, then stretched out beside it, peering at it to find any emerging images.
This is my favorite thing to do with paintings. Whatever comes out–whatever shapes I see–those are the ones I emphasize, penciling them in, bringing them out of the background and into life. In this one, I saw a predatory shape that turned into a puma, and a batlike creature that ended up being a wolf. The painting is finished now and I’m adding something different to it that I’d never done before, a papier-mache frame. There are Viking runes barely visible in the painting, and I’ll echo those on the edges of the frame. I plan to finish that today.
I was thinking last night about the things that make me happy. It’s an ever-revolving list, kind of, but there are two things in particular lately that I look forward to every day. One seems a little crazy, but it’s very meditative. Each afternoon I don my yellow rubber gloves and do the dishes while I watch some forensic/detective show such as Sins & Secrets, Disappeared, or Cold Case Files. I love detective shows; am, in fact, completely obsessed with them right now. More on that in a minute.
After the dishes are done, I take off the gloves and make dinner. I’ve changed my diet considerably over the past few months and am feeling I-can’t-even-tell-you-how-much better. It’s a joy to cook now, and I essentially do it for myself since Scott’s schedule has him getting home at midnight, long after dinner is over. My latest favorite meal has been cauliflower soup. There have been so many benefits to eating healthfully: I feel better; I’ve lost some weight–when I look in the mirror I recognize my face again, and I’m not stuffed into my clothes; my stomach doesn’t bloat and hurt the way it used to. I feel as if I’ve come back to myself.
As an aside, doing things for and by myself has been a triumph of evolution for me. This year, on Halloween, I made chili and cornbread and spicy chocolate almonds to eat while watching scary movies, and I did it all for me. In the past I might have moped and fretted because I didn’t have anyone to hang out with, but this year I was delighted with the prospect of hanging out with myself. (As it turned out, Torie ended up coming home early so that was an added pleasure. We girls had fun.)
The second thing that’s currently making me happy is watching an episode of The Killing every morning while I eat breakfast, and then reading the brilliant Jacob Clifton’s recap of that episode on the website Television Without Pity. The Killing is a show whose main appeal to me is the relationship between the two leads, Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder, and their individual, personal evolution. These characters have caught my imagination in the hugest way possible over the past few weeks, and I love reading Clifton’s recaps because he insightfully and hilariously gets straight to the heart of why I love them so. He loves them, too. He is epic in his expression. I have cried and laughed while reading his recaps.
Listen up, because this is important. If anyone, anyone, mocks you for feeling passionately about something–if they try to make you feel like a fool because you don’t think the way they do–you MUST tell them to fuck off, even if you only say it in your mind. BE YOUR BEAUTIFUL, UNIQUE SELF. There is nobody like you in all the world and the world needs you. Don’t be a clone.
I consider everything I’m into–EVERYTHING–a mirror or shadow of internal growth. I pay attention to what’s going on and because of that am always finding out something new. From my perspective, life is about learning, about exploring the many angles of each experience and enjoying the process. THIS is why I love detective shows so much: it’s because I’m constantly rooting around forensically in my psyche, searching for clues, sorting through old bones, long-buried in the basement, whenever they’re unearthed and rise to the surface. The nice thing is, I don’t have to dig them out myself. This shit comes up whether I want it to or not, and simply looking at it instead of turning away is a huge step toward healing. I don’t have to wallow in the past at ALL–something I detest doing. All’s I have to do is pick up whatever skeleton I’ve stumbled on, set it on the table, and examine it for awhile. The healing happens all on its own after that. Then I can toss it on the pile in the corner with the other old bones.
I am also passionately in love with stories about soul mates–all kinds of soul mates, not just romantic ones. This is probably the main reason stories are so important to me: they demonstrate how, when we find each other–sometimes in the strangest, craziest, most unexpected ways–we help each other grow. I am passionately in love with my own soul mates, and am sparked whenever a new one comes into the fold–for example, I’m so excited to once again see the person being born into our family next June (Little Pamplemousse, who were we to each other before? I am definitely going to ask you as soon as you can talk).
Oh man. Life is so incredible, you guys. May you see it for yourself today. I’m off to check out what Sarah and Stephen are up to next. Love.