watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | january blooms

So today is about accepting limitations with as much grace as I can muster. OK I’m going to try not to be hideously boring here. My floating home (or “flouse”, a term I like) only has so much electricity feeding into it from the dock. I have no way of upping the amperage. Which means the tankless water heater Jonathan installed uses too much juice (we both researched it ahead of time but we missed the fine print). So we are going to try a different water heater, but it hasn’t arrived yet (today I hope). To make a short story long, this morning I ran out of hot water mid-shower while my head was full of shampoo and it was 45° outside. I grabbed a bathrobe and did a quick rinse of my hair in the kitchen sink with cold water, then ran out to switch the breakers back on out on the dock. Then I unplugged everything electrical in my house and tried again. Hot water in the shower! Yay! Which ran cold again while my drippy locks were full of conditioner (literally rinse and repeat! ha!). And yes it was sunny and not -3° as is forecast this weekend in Iowa. So there’s that.

This is not a life-threatening problem. These are first-world challenges, however unpleasant. One thing I’ve learned from years of therapy and support groups is that there are always solutions to problems — I might not like the answers, but I’ve been around long enough to know that I can trust myself (and trusted helpers) to resolve things one way or t’other. 

Which reminds me of going to a 12-step meeting in San Francisco eons ago and laughing my butt off when a woman talked about how, as a child of an alcoholic, if she gets a flat tire she doesn’t call AAA but suicide prevention hotline. Today I follow a therapist’s directive from long ago: Dial 911, step over the body and do the dishes (even if in cold water). 

[I did this painting in our Brushes by the Bay group yesterday, referring to a crisp, brightly-colored Trader Joe bouquet in my cute fiesta-ware teapot. I wasn’t thrilled with the piece, but it improved some after I cropped it. It was a blustery, chilly and wet January day. I like real weather.]

8″ x 6″ ink, watercolor on paper

 

 

 

watercolor of flowers by emily weil

daily painting | february bouquet

There was a promo on the other day for an upcoming show; something about a TV personality having a bout with cancer and recovering. The celeb said, “My mom said to ‘make my mess my message.’ ” So clever! On the outside chance you are not bored to tears with my current posts about loss, here’s my mess today: I’m still showing up, and have come to accept — maybe even make friends with — my boiling brain that bounces around in the early mornings. So I just say Good Morning to my scary thoughts, do my meditation and get up and make tea. I often wonder what the insides of other folks’ brains are like. Calm? Serene? Adult-like? Confident? Am I the only one who feels wobbly? Unlikely. 

I’m 70. Does everyone who makes it into these later years review their lives and have regrets and ponder the crazy side trips and wonder What-The-Hell-Was-I-Thinking? That’s why I love books and poetry. Literature is a reveal into a writer’s thoughts and feelings. I’m not so peculiar. So today’s commitment to myself is to sing my song. It doesn’t matter if it is harmonious with other folks’ songs. I don’t care if it’s pretty. It’s mine. It belongs to me. Grab your earplugs — I’m getting ready to belt.

[Painting is of a Trader Joe’s bouquet; the way the sun flowed into my living room and lit the sunflowers was lovely.]

7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor on paper = $90

 

 

 

watercolor and ink painting of bouquet by emily weil

daily painting | TJ bouquet

I feel like I don’t know how to gather my thoughts and feelings today in this world of war and aggression and tumult. So I’ll do what I do — bounce along and hang on. Can’t seem to get my bearings so practicing self-compassion is in order (I get a lot out of Kristin Neff’s website, https://self-compassion.org, which has comforting meditations). When everything is blowing up, how do we find our feet under us? On some days it’s OK not to. It’s just not possible. I put my hand on my heart and do Neff’s mantra: May I be safe, may I be peaceful, may I be happy, may I be kind to myself, may I accept myself as I am. And I call on the angels and gods and medicine animals to bring succor and support to those amazing, brave Ukrainians.

And making a gooey chocolate dessert today is definitely in order.

(If you need a good cry look up SNL’s Feb 26 show on YouTube; they opened with the Ukrainian New York chorus.)

Peace out.

9″ x12″ ink, watercolor on paper