daily painting | windy beets

I’m giggling a bit — March Madness begins this week while at the same time parts of me feel a bit unhinged. My marbles are probably intact, if a bit loose, but lately I’ve felt on the outer fringes of sanity (see Saturday’s blog). Friends tell me it’s pretty understandable, with all that has happened, and I figure if I was going to lose my sanity it would have happened by now (but, hey, there’s still time). And, recovery and healing is underway — I decided a few days off were in order, where I will, if possible, avoid anything that looks like responsible adult activity. Already my body is more relaxed, and I was completely delighted earlier today to hear that last week’s blood work, taken after I had some mysterious physical symptoms (now gone), indicate “results of a much younger person.” Bring the champagne! Anyways, since I’m now on staycation, the first thing was to 1) Make a chai latte, 2) Watch a fascinating documentary about singer Marian Anderson, and 3) Get out my paints. I did one beets painting that was irredeemable, even with the addition of acrylic pens. So then I started this one, wanting it to be a bit rougher, using sticks and ink and watercolor. It was a bit ambitious, painting at home today, as it’s very windy, which makes my houseboat wobbly. Careful artwork not possible. A bit later, after a phone appt with my therapist, I will bundle up and head to a beach on the other side of my island. Vacation time, folks. I don’t give a damn what doesn’t get done this week and thanks for understanding if I promised you something and didn’t deliver. Foo.

10″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90




daily painting | blood tangerines

I’m a little nervous about this, but I think I’ll just jump in the deep end and hope I float. It feels important to post this today and let me add here that I worked on these darling little “blood tangerines” today and enjoyed the process very much.

I’ve been looking up symptoms of PTSD online, wondering if I can better understand my psyche these days. Then I heard a snippet of an interview on NPR with an author who wrote an essay about what is ahead for us as we emerge from the pandemic. She spoke of the deep trauma and grief we have experienced these past 12 months even if we haven’t seen a loved one die from Covid or lost our jobs, and that pain and upset are appropriate and common and normal. We are all bloodied and roughed up. That radio conversation helped me give myself permission to admit, mostly to myself, that these upsetting manifestations of loss and suffering are OK — for the first time in over 30 years, I have been experiencing what feels like PTSD. Those decades ago my frequent nightmares, inability to stop crying, panic attacks, lack of focus and general failure at normal functioning pushed me to seek professional help, and in those moments I began my journey of emotional and psychic healing from childhood abuse. It’s been a long and winding path but very fruitful and surprising — I have discovered that there are no limits to my ability to mend. So these past few days have been worrisome, when I have watched the same symptoms re-emerge for the first time since I was in my 30s. Until I turned on the radio.

I don’t think the term “psychic assault” is overly dramatic. I will get more help and will slowly reassemble my body parts; this has been a brutal time in the world, in my family, in my heart; even my body is expressing strange and mysterious reactions. Perhaps my writing of my experiences will be helpful to someone else worried that their sanity is wobbly. We’ll get there. And I know I will find the help I need to recover. You will too.

10″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90