my . artist run website

Day 41

 

a.m. 

Feeling very exposed in this blog. The past few days feel to touch on very deeply personal Fear issues. Too Ihave to admit, I have not proof-read my blogs until last night (as you quite likely have noticed, haha, lots of errors) because I was afraid to. I have an aversion to proof-reading my own writing, always have. Not that I don't EVER do it, but when it is something particularly exposing, it is hard for me to go back through it and catch grammatical errors as well. It feels like sprinkling salt on flayed skin. Anyway, now that I have humbly admitted this folly (Fear) and have last night (after 40 days!) moved through it. I promise I will proof-read. Not saying it will be perfect; but I will try to make it more articulate and hopefully pleasant to read.


Omigod, you poor readers, I just proofed that paragraph and found SO many errors! What a fool Fear makes one out to be!


p.m.

Had some time to just sit and look at my Fear Chair in a coffeshop today. Yeah, it'll do. I ended up not painting on it today as I'd thought I would. I was so tired from the week that I just gave myself a leisurely time in the studio working on day 7 of 30 for the painting challenge. I will likely paint the chair one day this week as my piece for one of the 30 in 30; but today I did just have a hankering to paint water. So, water it was. 

 

I am noticing fearS surrounding my artwork are coming up because of this challenge. Right now I am afraid I will never find my niche as an artist. My techniques are moving toward impressionist but I still so love the occasional representational painting. I am thinking I need to apply what I know in representational to what I want to be able to do in impressionism such as blending. Yet do I really want to blend in my impressionist renderings? Or do I just want to improve my strokes? Who am I as a painter? I used to just be a painter, now I feel a need to identify with a specific technique or motif. I feel so all over the place. My 7 paintings this week reflect that. 

 

For now I'll just keep painting each day and see where I go and what I learn. Like the FCP, among other things, this is a one day at a time thing for now and to expect anything else is just "interest on borrowed trouble." Gotta let go and just move forward.

 


Day 40

 

Saturday, and another 8 hours of house painting at a client's but the trim-work is ALL done! scraping, bondo, sanding, primer, two coats of color. Whew! Monday we begin cutting in on the body of the house. It is 10:39 and I am wiped out.


Came home and painted my 6th painting for the 30 in 30 challenge. Somewhere in the middle of painting, just when I thought I might be close to finished, I realized I hated it. I've given myself permission to not love or even like everything I paint but I really want to at least not hate the paintings I do for this challenge. So, I had a talk with the Universe (basically, "How do YOU make clouds look so great?" then listened. lol) Turns out the Universe is not afraid to use white in clouds AND, it's not afraid to "paint" BIG shapes. This is what I learned. My offering misses the mark a bit I think but it's not terrible. Perhaps worthy of further work in future. It's day 6 and finally I am beginning to listen to lessons in the painting of these pieces. I am afraid to use white AND I am afraid of big solid-color shapes. Hmmmm.... We'll see where that realization leads me. I'll have to practice perhaps making big white shapes. lol.


Anyway, Fear, Fear, Fear,... Today for some reason, Fear seems closer. Or bigger. I realized today that my Fear is SO much more difficult to bear when it involves people I love than when it seems to be mine alone or seems to be in response to people who I am not particularly (or at all) close to. Sometimes I trip over my Fear, bump into things/people, with it, hurt myself or others whom I love; simply because I bear great Fear  or fearS in my relationships with them. Is this because I have expectations about what those relationships should look like? Hmmm, probably that is exactly it. With people I am not close to, relationships can be much more fluid and flexible. Stick a relationship with a name closer to home and suddenly, even though I really really try not to have expectations ("expectations are interest on borrowed troubles" my then 80 year-old mentor used to tell me) I can't help feel ing a tensing in my psyche when the person makes a choice that doesn't fit with what would work best for me in a given situation. 


How would I identify that "tensing"? I'd say it's Fear that someone isn't behaving in a way that fits my expectations. Crap. No wonder Fear feels closer or bigger. I think I need to reflect on this a bit. I haven't painted on the chair in a number of weeks. I've been thinking about adding something but just haven't gotten around to it. I think I haven't painted it yet because it isn't yet true. However, I do think I need to paint something on it about expectations. Hm... Not sure what that will be; but I need to carry  on the chair an image of the burden of my expectations and the Fear/S that drive/s them. 


So, what IS the Fear/S that drive/s them? Hmmm,....yikes. Loss of control comes to mind immediately. And what is Fear of loss of control REALLY about? Wellllllllll,....perhaps about a fear of descent into chaos. And,....what would happen if I descended into chaos? My first thought is, "I'd turn it into an art lesson," I love creative chaos and love to teach people how to embrace it. So, why do I Fear chaos? I guess it has to do with a lack of a basic belief in myself. I am afraid "this time" I won't come up with the creative solution and all hell will break loose. All hell basically meaning ultimately that I will be alone. Unloved and unloveable because I couldn't do the thing I needed to do to keep things in control and moving in a way that makes sense according to whatever nebulous design created by who knows.

 

The origins of the creation of expectations really are that goofy.  "Whatever nebulous design created by who knows." I mean, who decides what a partnership or a parent/child or child/parent or grandchild/grandparent or marriage relationship involves? Sure, sociologically there are trends but, really, those are pretty broad. My expectations tend to be p r e t t y specific. Specific, I suppose due to many things, role models in my childhood, what I see in media, whom I admire, how I feel about myself. Yeah. Bingo. How I feel about myself.

 

So, earlier in the week, as I mentioned I think in my 30 in 30 challenge post from last night, someone suggested I do a painting series based on what makes me loveable. I tried it last night and tonight, I tried NOT to do it, but as it turns out (read tonight's 30 in 30 description) I did anyway. I am thinking perhaps one way around this Fear thing is to better know my strengths. I mean, carrying the chair IS physically strengthening, I need to explore the specifics of the strengthening that is going on inside too. And name it.

SO, on one side of the balance, I have Fear (spiders, visibility, of being unloved and unloveable and alone). On the other, I am beginning to build my list. I also (I learned from the past 2 nights of painting) contain at least 2 qualities that make me loveable: I am earnest; and I am turbulent-and-beautiful. Ok. An idea for what will be painted on the chair next is beginning to take shape....

 

 


Day 39

 

Someone requested I post a pic of the Fear-Chair and I said I would "very first thing" tonight. So, while I am not going to write anything until later, I DO have time to post this:


 

Back again, it's about an hour later than when I posted the photo. Sitting in bed. Thoroughly exhausted from another full day of painting prep-work and actual painting on the house we are working on getting all painted by September 25th. I've been posting some about this on my "30 in 30 challenge" in the daily descriptions of each painting I'm doing. I didn't post there however, something I told my husband tonight. I realized that, yes, I AM thoroughly and bone tired with the days of painting and prep-work, still keeping up with what I can get done at home, catering every other weekend, painting one piece every day for 30 days (a friend is keeping up with the percentages and today I am 17.5% finished with this challenge!!!), while also carrying a Fear-Chair every freaking place I go! YES, I am tired. The big BUT though is that I haven't felt so fully alive in many many years. And for this I am deeply grateful. This fact has been niggling at my consciousness for the past couple of days and finally I can articulate it. So too I can see that this is what carries me through the days of relentless added prep-tasks (if you've ever painted an old house you'll know that the more you fix, the more fixin' that shows itself needing to be done), early mornings (to get started early, when it's cool so the paint doesn't coagulate on the brush or board), long days (take care of animals, head to work, head home, take care of animals & family & home, paint a painting, post painting, blog), hauling of the Fear Chair (insert in every one of previous parentheses items "carry Fear-Chair) and the fear brought up by waking to another round of the same until September 25th when this house is due to be completed. Oh,... yeah, and I heard today that rain is on the way next week, which we badly need and for which I am grateful yet, oy....

 

Anyway, the feeling of truly and fully living life is a wonderful gift, and it does carry one through quite a lot of what, really goes into making it a time of fully living. That is, the effort it takes to experience as fully as possible the opportunities that show up in life. So, to identify the experience related to living life fully, I'd say, I am feeling gratitude, joy, peace, harmony, love, compassion, abundance, exaustion, fear, sorrow, a pinch of anger. So, really, what I am experiencing is really the total NOW. (I haven't any einergy to feel beyond now in either direction - past or future) Wow, cool. Again, I feel grateful....

 

I've been clinically depressed a total of 3 times in life. The last time was over 20 years ago, but one never forgets. I don't dwell on those episodes, nor really like to think too much about them; but I don't hesitate to draw upon them when the opportunity arises. Tonight, I must say, coming from what seemed years ago to be a destiny of chronic depression to seeing that G.U.S.S. (someone asked me to explain this today - G.U.S.S. is what, years ago I found myself realizing my God's name is -- "God, Universe ,Spirit ,Source") and I can collaborate to create a present that fills me with a sense of living fully astounds me.

 

So, the Fear-Chair? It stays. I am not done with it. It is a big part of this now that I am living. A big part of this full-living. I still have much to learn about Fear, about my Fear. Living fully does not cure one of Fear. Nor does carrying a Fear-Chair for that matter. "Cure" isn't really the right word anyway. I am not after a "cure," or an eradication. I really am simply on a journey. As I mentioned in an earlier post, a pilgrimage. Now is a good time in the journey. A hard time; but a good time. I am seeing a lot of beautiful sites/sights that feed my soul along the long arduous path. And, I know there is more. around the bend, over the next hill, in the next challenging place the chair must go. Or simply in the act of carrying the chair. I must say, on these full and exhausting days, the physical act of loading and unloading the chair in and out of the car and the act of carrying it along with all that I often need to carry is in itself quite a task. Sometimes I really would very much rather just not have to physically pick the thing up. I am SO tired. But, I harken back in my head to the notion of the strengthening. Even when I don't understand a challenging task, to meet it is strengthening and that sometimes is enough to carry me until enlightenment comes along.


Day 38

 

All day I've been telling people it's been 37 days that I have been carrying the chair. Hmmm. Also today I forgot the chair for the second time. I met my husband for a quick cup of coffee before going on to meet up with a friend and I forgot to take the chair out of the car! Wow.... Hmm...

 

Anyway, had a great conversation with my gastroenterologist about the chair. I was afraid to take it into the Dr.'s office because they can sometimes be a bit intimidating anyway but I took it in and he was great. He had lots of questions, got the whole story and was very enthusiastic about the project. Also impressed that it'd been "37" days. (I am having a follow up check on an adenoma that was removed in my duodenum - ie. upper endoscopy).

 

I don't really have much to note tonight. I am very tired. It's been an exhausting couple of weeks and today was a busy day off. I did a lot off the stuff around the house that I've been putting off and then painted my day 4 of the 30 in 30 challenge. Well, first I painted a crap painting I just needed to get out of my system. Then I painted the real painting. It's of the old woodshed on my parent's farm. I love that old building but like many of the old farm buildings, it has been left to the Minnesota elements without repair and so is falling down. Felt good to painted it. Respectful of it's history. It's probably 100 years old.

 

I met with my friend Carol today. As always, we had a great time exploring life. The part I want to note here was when I talked about carrying the chair up the hill walking the dog and seeing my shadow. I told Carol this was very humbling then I mixed in the word "humiliation" as I talked about it. She is a master word-smith. Very few people I have met can consistently use the precise word every utterance to express what it is they are trying to express. Carol is one of those people (my daughter is too). It strikes me often-times how delightful it is to hear people like Carol speak. Well today she explored and took me along with her, the words Humility and Humiliation. And in the end we both agreed they really have nothing to do with eachother in terms of meaning. Humility, she said is a word of gratitude. It's a beautiful word. While Humiliation is painful and tragic, shame-based. The word Humiliation really should not be from the root Humility at all. 

 

I liked that. I have always loved the word Humility. It is a deeply spiritual word in my mind; and it does relate to gratitude. While, yes, humiliation is judgement, ridicule, shame. 

 

The Fear Chair is about humility, not humiliation. It is about gratitude too really. Someone today assured me she is making a change in life "without fear." She emphasized this as she looked at my chair. I know people still look at the chair and at me as if I have all this tremendous amount of Fear and just need to let it go or something. But the Chair, again, is not just about letting go of Fear. It is about doing what artists do, we take what is inside and we get it out. We make it seen. I am taking the burden of Fear that I carry inside (and have all my life) and express it through the chair. And really, I LOVE the chair. Does that mean I LOVE my Fear? Perhaps I do. Perhaps I am learning to have compassion for myself, for my Fear and am finding that I can love that part of me too. I've never felt that before. I've pitied myself in my fearS and in my Fearfulness; but I have never held Fearful self in Love and simply allowed it to be. I have never cared for my Fear. Carried it with care, like I carry the Chair. 

 

Does this mean I am "In Love" with my Fear or that I want to cuddle and coddle my Fear? No, of course not. It simply means I - am - allowing  me to be more whole. I am not running or hiding or stuffing a part of myself I used to feel humiliated (shame) about. I think it will become a much smaller monster because I have befriended it. It already has.


Day 37

 

The Chair was well-travelled today again and well noticed also. In the paint store one of the counter people asked why I always bring it with me. In a Starbucks I sometimes stop in for a work break, the three baristas gathered when the woman waiting on me finally asked why I bring the chair. They were lovely (I should draw them actually) all crowded behind the one register, eyes widening, smiles appearing when they got it. They were sweet. They encouraged me and said I was very brave. When two of them went back to work, the woman waiting on me asked if I'd heard about the woman at a university who carries her bed with her every day until the man who raped her on it is expelled or quits. Wow. We agreed this was a powerful image and seems like it would help the woman feel her own power and courage in the wake of devastation.

 

As I'd walked into the Starbucks, I had heard the 5 or six people who were sitting outside. I didn't really listen but it's hard not to hear the word "Chair" when I walk by. I heard it muttered several times as I passed. I was on a quick work break so I didn't pause but went quickly about my business. I did however meet several eyes inside as is my new practice. People do look at me, or at my chair. Perhaps this had something to do with the barista's comfort level in finally asking about it. was comfortable with it, so they became a bit more-so as well. Anyway, after I got my coffee (plus one for our worker, that was a trick, figuring out how to carry it all -- easy, put them on the seat and carry it like a gift!), I headed out the door. I passed the table of whisperers quickly again, thoughts on work (and not spilling). A gentleman spoke up and asked if I'd made the chair. I stopped. They were curious about the chair because as I'd passed they all had thought of a fundraiser in Portland called "The Chair Affair," at which chairs which have been created by artists (built or painted or whatever) are auctioned off for a non-profit called The Community Warehouse that helps families in need. After hearing my story they wondered if I would consider donating the chair for the auction. Wow! I was honored and delighted! I have since visited the website and am very excited by this idea! Just today I had an idea about what will be painted on the chair next and ultimately how the chair will look. If I donate it however, I am thinking I may paint a twin with a different word on the seat (I'm not telling).

 

As I excused myself and thanked the people at the table, the woman closest to me said, "You are very courageous. " Omigosh! I bowed to her and said  "Thank you, I am working on it." Then she added, "You are an inspiration." "Wow," I said, "Thank you again," I said, and "You all take care!" Then headed off to finish up the 8 hours of painting prep on a house my husband and I and a friend are going to have finished by the 25th of September. Those encounters were just the vitamin I needed to bolster me through a day of added tasks we hadn't counted on that the owner wanted done. My schedule was thrown out the window for the day; but all was well.

 

Got home and practiced process-painting for my third day of the 30 in 30 challenge. I was so exhausted it was the best way to let G.U.S.S. take over most of the work, :) while I just squeezed tubes, dipped and brushed. I am happy with it. Process-painting is actually VERY difficult for me. I am a thinker and a judger when it comes to my own painting process so the "paint whatever you want to paint, no judgements, no expectations" of process-painting is super hard. The only two process-painting workshops I've attended, I've sobbed within 15 minutes of starting. Not because I'd judged my painting and found it lacking but because the prospect of allowing when it comes to art has been so squelched in me (by others or myself it really matters not) that finally allowing myself to allow makes me break down in public. 

 

So tonight I did finish the painting and I like it but I see that it is really only a beginning. It is a fun concept. The title is "Sunshine Struggling to Organize a Rainbow." Something in the struggle, eh?


Day 36

 

I want to post today's 30 in 30 painting because it's relavant to the FCP:



It'a called "Fearful Heart." Yes, I had therapy today. lol.... This was not my therapy assignment. My assignment was actually to think about painting a series based on what I need in dealing with my fear. A good idea. And perhaps I will do that. But this is what came out today.

 

Another assignment came after my therapist asked, "so, with the chair project, tell me about the fear that's been coming up for you." I paused feeling very deer in the headlights, noticing a desire to judge myself  for not having an easy 10 point list to tick off. I laughed to buy myself a little time, said, "Well, spiders,...hahaha..." Then remembered, ah yes, visibility. That was good for about 10 seconds. Then she said, "what about visibility makes you afraid?" Shit,....pause, think think think listen listen,... crap, I skrew up my face and say, it's the bigness. I'm afraid of being big. Then go on to elaborate just a bit. Then pause. Just enough time for her to ask, "So, what are you afraid would happen if you are big?" Shit...This is why I love my therapist. She doesn't stop at the first or second answers. She knows those are just easy answers. It's the questions those answers bring up that I really need to think about.

 

So one of my assignments is to list what I am afraid of about being big. I haven't done this yet. I may share a bit of it tomorrow. It's been a long day. A good day. And a long day. Another 6 hours of house painting before the above was begun and completed.

 

I do want to share an encounter with the Fear-Chair in a pharmacy today. A man sporting a ZZ-Top beard and about as old started, as we both waited in line, "that chair is very easy to see."  

"yes it is," I said, waiting and allowing... then "that's the idea." 

"I bet it is." he said dead-pan...waiting.....then, "did it come like that?"

"No, I painted it," waiting....

"Did you build it too?"

"No, just painted it."

"Well, it's not a bad paint job," 

"Well, thank you..."

"It's good to have a chair if you need it I suppose." 

"It's actually a project, I have to carry it everywhere I go. Today is the 36th day I've carried it."

"Is that right? Why do you do that?"

"Well, it's a way to externalize my Fear. I carry the chair around everywhere because I carry Fear inside me. Someday I'll not need to carry Fear. So someday I'll stop carrying the chair."

Pause. My name is called. He's thought a bit, "Say, I bet that's a real good idea,"

"Seems to be." I smille and say, "Take care!"

"You too!"

 

I loved that encounter. 


Day 35

 

On Friday the artists FB page I belong to issued a challenge: 30 paintings in 30 days. It struck an immediate chord with me,... excitement first, then Fear. It's a familiar chord. Ever since, in 1985, when I was working for a non-profit in Kentucky at a youth center, I saw the little sign above the microwave (a big deal in 1985, purchased with funds from the haunted house we volunteers and staff put on) that read "Excitement is Fear turned inside out," this chord has shown up regularly in my life. Usually it's Fear then through some effort and letting go, the Excitement rings in. But this challenge struck the tone a bit differently. Fear took the second seat. So I had to do it.

 

Today was day one. I was coming off a weekend catering after a full week of prepping and painting a house, a cold that came at me with a vengeance and then this morning a wakening at 4 a.m. Yesterday due to the cold, I thought I'd get some rest, took half a Benadryl and napped for three hours. I am not really a napper. If bone-tired, I can do it and will. But not after noon. If I nap after noon, I can't get to sleep for equal number of hours napped after my usual bedtime. Just can't. But yesterday my head was so full of cotton (read snot) that I wasn't thinking clearly. I napped from 1-4. When I woke and realized what I'd done, I determined that another Benadryl would knock me out at my usual bedtime and tada. All would be good. Well, I was knocked out by 11 which was fine. But awoke at 4, WIDE awake and achy, three hours before my alarm would go off. Sigh.

 

ANYWAY,.... today was day one of the challenge. All of the above. Then went to work for 6 hours. Painted trim. Balanced with plugged ears on ladders. This was interesting. 3 Foot ladders, so, not too risky. Came home and stood before the easel. When I was in college (30 years ago) I heard a story about J.S. Bach. He apparently was asked once how he was so prolific in his writing. His answer was that every day before he put pen to paper or touched the keyboard, he said a prayer of thanksgiving for what was yet to be created. At that time I'd never heard of such a notion as gratitude for what was to be. My upbringing had taught me to petition God. Requests. Pleas for what was desired. This notion of premature thanksgiving was exciting. So today I stood before the easel and canvas and said my prayer of thanks to G.U.S.S. and began. That simple. I began. Then? I continued. It was wonderful and exciting and scary but while noticing the Fear, I listened to the Excitement. And out it came. The chord. The music of Fear and Excitement flowing outward. A beautiful song. 

 

The painting is not a masterpiece but I like it. I try to make a practice of painting crap from time to time just to keep the paints flowing. So, I had no expectations for this piece; and, happily, I like it. It is called, "Underneath it all" Oh, when we share these with the FB group we are supposed to say what we learned. Since this challenge is SO challenging and does relate to (multiple) fearS, I may post here some of what I learn for the next 30 days.. Today's lesson: to let go and to stop thinking so much.

 

As for the Fear Chair. I suddenly notice the motif on the seat is very similar to this painting. Hmmmm..... the chair is from above, a sunflower. This painting is from below, a field of sunflowers. Hmmmm. I've never painted sunflowers before. Hmmm..... What could this mean? Will have to ponder.

 

The other Fear Chair piece from today was a moment when I found myself encountering someone with much Fear. It was a challenging conversation and I found myself thinking, it'd be nice to be able to give the chair to someone who seems (IMO) to need it more than me. I don't mean it in a snarky way. I told a friend about this and I think she saw it as snarky. What I mean is that this Fear Chair is really sensitizing me to Fear and holicow am I seeing a lot of it around. Also, carrying it has helped me not be weighed down so much by my Fear(S) and I wish I could help people find ways to do this for themselves too. As I typed that last sentence, I realize it is odd that a Fear Chair does physically weigh me down but not nearly as much as Fear internalized used to (and still in many ways does, but am working on it). Could this also be a "excitement is fear turned inside out" moment? Wow. Who saw that coming?  So, by creating a physical symbol of my Fear, I've moved a portion at least or a perception of my Fear to outside of me. Inside to out. Hmmm....It works for me! How Exciting!





Day 34

 

a.m.

 

Got home from my catering last night around 11:30 and was way to exhausted to blog. 

 

Yesterday a funny thing happenend. My husband and I went to Starbucks for a breakfast date. I of course brought the chair. Had a lovely time. Got up, went out the door, and it hit me, I had left the chair next to our table! Omigosh! I had forgotten the chair! This had never happened before. I of course returned and picked it up and left. Without a word to anyone but my husband. 


We joked then that perhaps that will be what happens eventually to the chair, when I no longer need to carry my burden of Fear, I will just leave the chair behind somewhere. There is something very poetic in that conclusion to the FCP. So, I have to ask myself, is this what is happening? Did I forget it now because I am finished with it? 


Every day, I realize now, I do this assessment. Am I finished with the chair? Today, am I done? Then I run through a check of my internal baggage. Like a K9 sniffing for drugs, I hunt myself for concealed Fear. I did this yesterday and am again doing so right now. And, yes, there is still a significant amount of Fear holding me back in life. Determining decisions about relationships, hindering my forward movement with my art. These are the two main areas still holding Fear.


I've come a long way since starting the project in terms of my courage and clarity in general and I am very grateful for the new strength. Also, I feel proud of myself. This has been no easy task. While it seems some people can unquestioningly carry around an assault weapon everywhere they go in this country, someone carrying a chair still stands out. How odd. It makes me feel like the court jester in the kingdom. All these silly self-important pumped up gun carriers pushing their interpretation of the Bill of Rights strut like knights in their armor, sword at their side. Because they can. Then, by walks the fool carrying her chair. Carrying her humiliation. The Quasimoto carrying the hunch upon his back.


Wow, that makes me tear up. I can see the image so well, and, that IS how I look. Or, might look to people. And, really, that is what is happening. Carrying my Fear is visibly showing the world that I am weighed down by Fear. This is not something to flaunt or feel proud of. It is a humbling act. It is in  recognizing this that perhaps the real strength will come. For now, I will go through my days feeling the fool that I am. I will greet her in the morning as she takes up her chair. And I will look people in the face who look upon me. I noticed in the past few days, I tend to avert my eyes from people when I enter places or whalk anywhere with the chair. I focus on the internal goings on regarding what it is like to carry the Chair. I think I need to feel what happens when I stop averting my eyes and have the courage to meet the faces of people who would react to my humiliation. 


Deep breath.


p.m. post:


Tomorrow starts the 30/30 adventure. That is the 30 paintings in 30 days adventure I am doing with about 200 people in a FB group I belong to. Holycow. Daunting partly because we are also still working on painting a clients house by the 25th of September. That means 6 hours of painting a house followed by starting and completing a painting in the afternoon. I've got a total 2 hours of commuting in there. My house is already a mess. It'll be quite a month.


I stayed home, in my pjs all day today because the cold I was nearly over regained strength due quite likely to the late-night catering outside. Catering is hard hard work especially out of doors and at a large venue (LOTS of fast walking with heavy dishes) and the afternoon was very hot, slipping into a chilly evening. All rather taxing on a body under the best circumstances. So I didn't go out with the Fear-Chair at all. Got lots of rest before the big month starts tomorrow. I suppose I could have started the painting early but that to me feels like cheating. Besides, I needed a day off. 


One of my fearS is that I am lazy. So taking a day off is very hard. Taking a day off even from cleaning house is hardest. So, I needed to do this today. To be kind to me. Fear and fearS really are at root an unkindness to ones self I think. It is a not trusting of ones self. Although I've said before that Fear can be life-saving and I still believe it CAN be good at times, Fear or fearS that have been allowed to take root and stay, I think really are insidious forms of self abuse. 


For me the lack of self-trust points to worthiness issues. The case of laziness strikes at the core of this. My Fears tell me I am not worthy of rest or trust-worthy with my own need for rest. I Fear that one day of stopping on the treadmill of life and everything will fall down around my ears and I won't be able to pick it all up again. I won't start moving again. It's painful to examine this pattern. Easier to just keep running on the treadmill until I am worn down, falling down and have no choice but total collapse. Because someone with a physical health related hinderance has reason to not work. Whereas there is no room for idleness in a healthy person. This is the dark edge of the midwestern work ethic I was brought up with. 


So we work work work and wear out our bodies or die. My grandfather died in his sixties. He collapsed in the middle of a meeting at work. My father just retired at 79. He was a banker AND a farmer. We children grew up waking before dawn to go out and feed the livestock. I started to help when I started going to school. Kindergarten. Before I could lift hay bales, I was dragging them uphill in the cowyard for morning feedings. I'm not complaining, I feel proud of being able to work hard and of having had the experiences to teach me a solid work ethic. I do feel however the side-effect Fear that goes with such an ethic. That all my value comes from work, production. It is a seductive Fear because of the same value societally. There is a lot of support to feel production is equal to value in this country. "Hard work is what built this country," haven't we all heard one or another version of that statement as people argue about our present troubles.

 

So I took the day off. It's a Sunday. My house is a mess. I didn't even shower. I'm a mess. But the cold is subsiding once again. And, tomorrow is another day.... and I'll bring my Chair to work.