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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Getting Up to Speed


I've taken a lot of time off to adjust myself to a changing landscape. My friend points out to me that I live inside my head; she is right of course. I suppose that is an essential part of my nature and something I noticed about my youngest daughter too from an early age. I would hear her in the bath tub singing into a hairbrush microphone and telling stories to herself, living entirely in her little dreamworld.

When life's vagaries intrude on this idyll we have to take time to reposition the mental furniture so to speak. Admit we are not in control of everything. Admit we are subject to to time, luck, deterioration and fate.


I am coming up on an important Birthday in the coming week; one I share with Beatrice Wood, a woman who I count as a friend (though I never met her) and a member of my tribe. Beatrice is mentoring me through this important passage, holding my hand and encouraging me that old age will be grand. She lived to see 105 and told her friends that she didn't believe in time. She presented herself as 32 years old and encouraged her friends to do the same. She loved to flirt. To touch people. I sure do like her.


One thing I'm getting better at is sorting out what is genuine, nurturing and uplifting from what is not. I'm getting better at focusing on what helps and letting go of what ruffles my feathers. Some friends are coming to visit in a few days who always hold up a mirror to me that makes me feel like I've done well in life. We need friends like that. Who encourage us, really listen to us, find us to be excellent. (not perfect. But still excellent.)


If I sound preachy on my blog it is because I am preaching to myself. You are just reading my mind. These are words I need to hear. You are welcome to diverge, to agree or not, to suss out your own path. That's the fun of it. We are each the boss of us. I am not the boss of you.


This is the deplorable state of my studio this morning. The Daphne, Forsythia, Daffodils, Plum Blossoms and Azaleas are blooming gorgeously in my yard and yet this is what I will tackle today. Clean house for company. Renewed optimism. Grateful restoration of my vision. Feeling blessed in so many ways. Eager, excited, thrilled to return to my studio now and bring new revelations to life in my journal and on paper. My canoe is back in the sunshine and the water is calm except for the flicker of an occasional mayfly.

PS If you have time to watch a beautiful video and reflect on body image and our culture's disturbing anti-female messages, go here and scroll down to Jenette Williams's video entitled "The Bathers". I think so much of what makes a woman beautiful is her acceptance of her body, her entire fabulous manifestation. But just watch it and have your own thoughts. Women, we are beautiful.

45 comments:

Lynn said...

thanks for sharing the Bathers video. I will hopefully love my fat more because of this, be more accepting of my body...what a sense of peace and comfort they ALL had on their beautiful faces.

thanks too for sharing your beautiful journal pages...the art...the words...(I wish I could see/read more of it than I am able) but I like the way the words look on the pages...

and thanks for showing your cluttered busy work space. It makes me less ashamed of mine piled high with fabrics, tools, books etc. With very little pace for actually working.

I love seeing your dolls perched all over the place as overseers! Did you decide not to teach the doll workshop at Portland A & S?

dosfishes said...

I love the state of your studio, who says overflowing is not beautiful.

Happy milestone birthday coming, my official 54 next Sunday. Or is that 34?

Glad you are mending and as always causing me to go inward and think about what you have said. Pages are beautiful.

xo

Judy said...

Judy Judy Judy, I am so devastated I wont be seeing you in OZ but I am happy you are healing.
Isnt it funny how we have large tables on which to work and surround ourselves with the tools of the trade only to keep a tiny free space on which to work - I do the same???????

Laura said...

Judy, I have missed your last few posts due to art busy-ness.

You have seemingly been put through the ringer as they say, lately. My saying for this sort of thing to get me through lots (ie year +)of therapy after my brain tumor years ago was: "Everything is a test, every test makes me stronger".

You must be a very strong woman by that measure!Still in my thoughts.

Sarah said...

You didn't come across as preachy actually-just wise(ha ha) as usual. I like the thing you said about friends who find us excellent. I have just finished clearing up after myself after two weeks of a variety of different unfinished things and my table looked much like yours(bit smaller) but now looks great! Have fun with your friends.

dewatobay said...

Thank you for the "preaching". Aging process is a difficult one for me - no options, eh! :)

dewatobay said...

And Judy the Quan Yin image is my favorite. I finally located a place that still sells that napkin, particularly the long, slender guest towel size.

Kim Mailhot said...

You are so beautiful, my thinker/artist friend. I love that you have found a mentor for entering your new age. It might scare you (but I think flatter you at the same time ;) ) that I consider you a mentor for living myself. I see you as excellent at this journey of life and am glad we are in this world at the same time...
Stay well, enjoy the clean slate clean-up, and the sweet friends coming to you...oh, and remember to take the time to smell those blooms as well.
Big Love to you !

Christy said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time. I don't comment much, tending to enjoy your words more than mine ;) but I really had to post on this today. I too felt more advised or mentored by this than preached at and when I got to the picture of your studio space I called my husband in to the room, pointed at the photo, and said see honey... I am not alone! Thank you for that and much more.

Bren said...

Profound and powerful insights and ones I am so glad you had the courage to share with all of us. I can see your line about good friends showing up on journal pages everywhere, "people who encourage us, really listen and find us to be excellent.." perfect.

Ro Bruhn said...

So glad you're on the mend Judy, it's always my fear that my eyes will deteriorate, they aren't brilliant as it is. I'm always affirming that I have 'perfect health and perfect eye site', I hope my brain's listening.
I must check out Beatrice Wood she sounds like one special lady, happy upcoming birthday too.

Kelly Kilmer said...

I hope that you have many many more wonderful years to preach to us!!! The Bathers Video makes me want to run and put on a bathing suit and not to worry about what others may thing and to get in the water and RELISH it. :) *Thank you*

We missed you in blog land. Take care of yourself. Rest. Love love love the journal pages and studio space and all of this awe inspiring loveliness!

Ruostevilla said...

It's only some weeks ago that I found your blog and fell in love with your beautiful pages. I've never seen anything like it before! Ever since I've been checking if you've come back writing. I'm truly happy you are better. I share your thought that we are our own bosses, we have the choice, always.

Desert Mermaid said...

Judy,
Although there is inspiration to be found aplenty, when I'm in the deepest of droughts, it is always E.B. Bunsen and you to whom I return. It seems that just seeing the two of your pages is some kind of ... ? ... cleansing. I cry, sometimes hard, sometimes slow tears running down, but then I feel renewed. I appreciate that inordinately. Today, unbelievably, fabulously, I am meeting EB for tea and journaling - she and her son are in Scottsdale to see her parents, and she invited me to meet in person. My heart shimmers.

My heart also shimmers at your studio photo -- I ever prefer the genuine studio photos to the staged ones ...

and The Bathers video? A gift, to all women, to all men if they can open to it. I posted the link on my Facebook page, with a thanks to you for turning me onto it!

Enjoy your blooms, your company, and know that you are loved!

Toni Brown

misty said...

i love beatrice wood... such a passionate soul!
love your pages, love your passion, your gratitude, you!
happy birthday dear judy! xoxoox

Sharyn said...

As always,all I can do is whisper a quiet "thank you"-from someone who far too often is told they live in their head.

See you in September :)

La Dolce Vita said...

I completely agree, time does not exist, but, I believe that as an eternal being, I can choose to delight in the patina of age...

peggy said...

Happy Birthday and good luck with your mental rearranging, we all need to do that as we get more "seasoned". How about those little ole floaters, you kind of get used to them and some even pack their bags and go away. I painted my studio pale yellow and put nothing on the walls. Now my walls have painted fabric and "stuff" all over them so I don't notice my new friends (the floaters". enjoy and thanks for the beautiful words and artwork. We are all in this together. Peggy

Karen Cole said...

So many people missed seeing you. I hope that all of those "thinking of Judy" moments sent much positive energy your way.

Much art play.....seeing Love....running into Katie for a brief moment in time.....canceled flight...extra days to play with dolls....

Still thinking of you healing.

doris said...

oh, dear one, I hadn't read your blog for a while and so I had to back track to learn of your eye problems. I am so glad that you are on the mend. To not have our eyes, much mcuh worse than our not having voices, eh? At least that is so for me. My bad eyes are all I have to see all the beauty around. My voice only says what can be conveyed other ways.
Anyhow, thank you for sharing Bathing Women with us. Such a thing of beauty. As is your women with the covered eye sculpture. I love her.
Glad you are feeling better,
xoxo,
doris

Adrienne Berry said...

Judy,

I love your journals, I wish I was as diligent to work in mine every day.

Paula Phillips said...

Stunning pages! Thank you so much for the inspiration!
BTW, my desk looks worse than that. ;)
Much Love

rebecca said...

as always you have an easy way of saying the profound.
i come here to sit quietly and drink you in, and always leave deeply satisfied.

xoxoxoxox,
rebecca

Kelly Snelling_Soulhumming.typepad.com said...

Here's to being most Excellent and to hell with Perfect! These are the people a girl needs. What wonderful friends. I love you, Judy Wise! Keep working it out and growing and feeling better.

Carmen said...

bless your beautiful soul

Tyggereye said...

I want to come create with you. I'll make sure to be wearing paint stained clothes already! Love those pages. Especially the head with the drawn dress. SO GOOD.

PaperPumpkin said...

You are truly beautiful. Thank you for your inspirational words. I really like your mind! I'm struggling with my own body image since turning 49 and gaining some weight...I think you read my mind and wrote what I needed to hear. I am getting through my own fear and loathing to look beyond the physical part of me that is furthest from perfect...to know I try to be excellent...in my heart! Hugs, Kathy

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Judy, I've been checking on your progress regularly. I think you are getting back to Judy, whatever she may be.

I knew Beatrice Wood when I lived in Santa Barbara. At age 80 plus she was elegant, engaged, beautiful, alluring, brilliant, a great MAN ipulator, and wonderful. She would breeze into the Santa Barbara Museum of Art with her brilliant Indian clothing billowing around her, decked out in incredible jewelry and she looked like she should have an entourage following her.

I love her work and have visited her studio-gallery, and grounds. More inspirational than I could convey in words, but you would feel the electricity too.

All best to you,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Laura Bray said...

Thank you for a much needed reminder.

taylor said...

Happy Birthday Judy. Wise words from the Wise. Lovely journal pages. Better than a 12 scoop ice cream sundae. cheers Taylor

Chris said...

Judy, So often when I visit your blog, your words are meant just for me, they resonate, they encourage, they instruct, they help me to see things differently. How dull we would all be if we didn't pass through storms from time to time. Hugs and Happy Birthday!!

Chris said...

So good to see you.
Your studio is perfect.
xo

Anonymous said...

Judy, your pictures are wonderfull. you have a great feeling for colours and plastic

linus

Laura Bray said...

Please stop by my blog today and see how much you inspired me with this post: http://katydiddys.blogspot.com/2010/03/on-being-old-and-fat.html

Carla Sonheim said...

Still thinking of you and hoping you are well!! xoxoxo

Kristeena Crabb said...

Wonderful, wonderful! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Sharon Furner said...

Dear Judy, I have never written to you. But have so enjoyed your blog over the years. You are so positive, sharing and caring. You would be an inspirational friend to have. So I shall think of you as my blog-friend! I hope your eye is healing quickly and perfectly. I just found out that I have a tumor on my optic nerve, only I havee some preparation, you perhaps had none. I am positive about it...why not. Thank you for all your sharing of your talents! There must be many followers who feel very badly about your health situation. It is nice to be surrounded by such friends near and far. Smiles: sharon

Laura said...

Happy Birthday to you. And thanks for giving all of us such a wonderful gift on your day.

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

Happy Birthday Judy... will Miss you at Artfest this year!

Stephanie Lee said...

I've been digesting this post for days. Each thought, separated by a beautiful, telling photograph, occupies a large space in my mind. I think of how so much of it rings true and how so much of it is still coming - slowly - into my understanding. Our odd emotional furniture and our our lives are draped over it - revealing each bend and tuft and wooden leg under the silk. It is beautiful to see the shape of our lives - to lift a corner and find gorgeous velvet where we thought we'd find worn, rough burlap. And the burlap is beautiful too.

I've often compared my studio to my life. Filled to the brim with useful and wonderful things - with only one tiny little square to maneuver around it. I do that to my life sometimes.

I want to see the azaleas and daphne. I want to breathe them in. Spring is coming....we are waking up.

I look forward to seeing you soon. I wonder if you'll be the same as I remember....or will you have an obvious new layer of beauty and wisdom adding to your luminoscity? I can guess....
ooxxxooxx

pookieville said...

JUDY!! I just got caught up... oh my, I am glad to hear you are doing better. Be well my friend-xoxo

Julie Branch said...

Thank you for sharing your workspace and thoughts. I love Beatrice and her attitude about life!

somepinkflowers said...

listen,


when i stumbled here
from karen C.
{{ i think }}
i saw this hand over one eye
art*work
and thought of myself...


last fall
i had a gas bubble put
into my eye
to repair a hole in my retina
and
i had to B facedown for 3 weeks...
i went inside myself
and am better 4 it...

anyway,
this is about You
and your art*work
and not Me...

:-)

thank you for this posting
as it went right into my heart...

i am scheduled for more surgery
on my wonky eye next week
to make it better
but
if it does not,

i have the world in my head,
don't you?

{{ i just loved this,
your observation about life }}


Marit said...

Hope you had a lovely 32 birthday Judy! Congratulations! And with tomorrow being "International womans day" (but we must celebrate each day...!) I cheer with you, WE WOMAN ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Deryn Mentock said...

Hey Judy,
I hope you are doing well and am glad to hear you say you are back into calm waters. We would all do well to try our best to avoid the rapids but those mayflies sure can be pesky! Heal well...