Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Growling at the bears

My littlest niece is growling at the bears, 
fearless and unaware of anything except that she knows the sound that bears can make. 
I will be taking my ques from her as the year begins.

I had my blood taken again to see if the eating shifts and all have made an impact on my numbers.
Keeping me well away from medications and allowing me to be in control.
Sadly, no movement in the numbers.
only a handwritten note from my doctor:
" keep up the diet and exercise"

So I binged on three days that week....I ate food I would normally not.
I ate a piece of a butter ring on Christmas day.

I ate a some pizza after christmas:

 We made latkes and hosted a party for our nieces and nephews, 
so I has a few of those and had to have sour cream on them:

I was also introduced to Kahlua and cream/White russian

When the three days were up, I felt like lead...heavy and tired and oily.
I was only able to practice once the week of xmas and that made me feel bloated too.
As I walked to class yesterday, I wondered how my relationship with food had changed.
How it had changed with my own vision or reflection of my body...

In reflection, all the foods I binged on gave me only a moment of pleasure, and that mostly came from the feeling that I was "getting away" with something....like I was sneaking a treat in, but it never felt like a treat....it felt more like defeat.

I decided that I had crossed a bridge of sorts, the guilt from eating these foods had me frantically researching how to "detox", how to loose weight, 
how to do better, be better be perfect do perfect....
I caught myself spiraling and then I stopped.
Did I have a disorder with food? Did I see food as a reward, 
and a way to get back at myself or others? 
I got scared and living in the state I do, vanity and body image are distorted all around me...
it is a daily fight to make decisions that embrace who I am, and what I look like.
No plastic surgery, no tanning, no botox and no starving please.

Finally after seeing where all these destructive roads could lead I said out loud:
 I will eat the cleanest I can, I will keep up with my practice: because it makes me feel good. 
end of story. 
Selfish? Yes
Self preservation? Yes

I am no skinny Minnie, but I am stronger than I have ever been.
As much as I would like to make a voodoo doll of my doctor, I understand now, that her prompting brought me enough fear of death that I returned to a way of living that makes me feel better.
Food is not a comfort, not anymore.
I need to find comfort in my own strength, weaknesses, loves and fears.
I need to find what my littlest niece already knows about the world around her.

I will be stronger than I think I am,
 I will be happier than I think I can be
and my body will carry me for many more years.

I have shared this with no one, and now I share it here.
This is the start and the current of my body.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

And to all a good night

Thank you everyone for your lovely notes for The Barren....he was most touched.

Sometimes this is a TALL order,
but worth aiming for over and over again.

It has been a whirlwind of changes and stress and work, which is why I have been MIA from this beautiful wonderful place of love and personal growth.

I referred to it as my mourning dress,
as my relationship with ice cream has forever changed

To start with I made it through my gallery shows and this year for the big Warhol-ian event I wore this lovely number, along side new gallery shoes that didn't make my feet hurt at all...strait out of the box even! I sold work for the 5th year in a row...which in itself was a personal goal I gladly met.

I had a funny thing happen to me that has happened every time I met someone of noteworthy status...It gets interrupted or goes amok at that exact moment of introduction. 
Like the universe thinks, nope she doesn't really need to meet this person.

It has happened when I was introducing myself to this personal idol, that I had see give a talk. She actually walked away while I was shaking her hand and introducing myself to her...I finished my introduction by yelling my name across the crowded gallery to her....it was mortifying and I left in a pool of tears...vowing to never mention her name again. 
That was over 10 years ago...clearly I am making slow steps back to saying her name.

It happened again when I worked at a bookstore and I walked up to ask this person if he needed help or had any questions about inventory...except no actual words came out of my mouth instead it was a lovely line of gibberish that made him smirk and I walked away mortified.

Alas, it happened at this last event, except I laughed when I realized what was happening...
As a friend was introducing me to this person, and my hand was extended someone next me put two hands on my arm and physically pushed me out of the way....in such a way that when the friend and person turned back towards me (after motioning to my work on the gallery wall) I had literally disappeared into the sea of people in the gallery...swallowed up. 

I am trying to figure out what the universe is trying to tell me...or if I am just really bad at introductions and I purposefully stumble. 
I'll get back to you on that.

As for changes, The Barren and myself took the week of turkey to turn our whole house upside down!  The motivation started with me having a severe night terror that woke The Barren because I was screaming that someone was at the end of the bed...in his half awaken state he started thrashing and because I can not see without my glasses it made me even more frightened as I was waking and we were both screaming and hitting the air until we were both awake enough to realize nothing was there. None the less it made us think...we need to change shit around and get rid of this. So we burned sage, and hex remover (yep The Barren picked up a jar of the stuff when he was in 
Memphis) We had made a huge list of things we wanted to do in the house and felt that it was monumental to try and do half of the things...turns out we did almost all of them!
It started with repairing the garbage disposal, and then getting rid of a bunch of furniture, and then hacking some ikea stuff and making it into other things and then getting rid of clothes and extra things that we just never thought too much about.
I got rid of childhood things and came to realize that many of the things I was holding onto were for the invisible child we can't share it with...it was a hard real reality but I came to the understanding calmly and consoled myself by say "there is some other child that would love this, I am going to give it to them"
The end result is that our home feels totally different....like a new place.
It doesn't feel sad anymore.

I guess I didn't realize that it felt sad in our house...
in the absence I became aware of the presence.

Now as we slide into the holidays...we are working strait on through them. I have to work on xmas eve and the day after xmas as does The Barren. We have decorated the house and got a little 2ft tree that we placed little resin birds and straw ornaments I got in eastern Europe a decade ago.
We have our menorahs out as well as a Krampus and some Buddhas for good measure.
It feels festive and today a new couch arrived...another on our huge list of things to make us happier.

As the night comes to you, know that I am wishing you a wonderful holiday
I send hugs and love to each of you and wish you a serene, and divine celebration.
The Barreness

Monday, December 01, 2014

Thoughts from The Barren

I have invited The Barren to post as often as he would like,
as he is an amazing wordsmith and I love to hear inside his head, 
no matter how painful or sad. As we know, writing can help...so below is a piece he has been working on/through.

I fear I may be hiding within the empty lattice of a working life, focused on getting by each day instead of making this childless life my own. One way I see this is with how I react to questions about our childlessness - specifically that I'm left out of them. The cuts and calloused comments question only the woman I share this burden with, and in being ignored or feared by those careless questioners, the vacuum of any engagement leaves me feeling more alone than I would have expected. That part of me that wants to get angry at someone for the morning-news interrogations merely aches and folds back in on itself, without satisfaction or even the shame of an outburst. Does it rot there, stuck in the folds of itself? Or is it potential energy, waiting to be unlocked with the turning key of a kind or cruel thought?
Irrespective of my anxieties about folded emotions, I like to think it is the panoply of what each of us holds dear in that dream of having a child which gives rise to so many critiques - to the apparently obvious solutions and the baffled, furrowed, even scornful faces that accompany them.
A particularly painful accusation that is made by friends, family, and acquaintances with equal casualness is the "You haven't tried hard enough" comment, though it is never spoken so directly. It can be variously rephrased as a peppy "Don't give up" or the more bard-like rendition of "I had a friend in your situation, and they just kept at it and it was years later but you know what she got pregnant and now they have three kids and they are so happy I mean it's a miracle don't you think..."
There are many tangential lines to that initial focus on work-rate that expand the theme of not trying hard enough - not exhausting all options: "I'll have your baby, use my womb!"; "You should try IVF..."; Have you used egg-whites as a lubricant?"; "my sisters best-friend got pregnant after she went to an acupuncturist...", "I read on CNN that supplement X has gotten lots of infertile women pregnant, you should try that!"
Each solution caters to one or another price to be paid, but what they all hold in common is the end-goal: the acquisition of a child. This focus on the goal warps into pathology for many couples, with the result often being broken bodies, hearts, and unfortunately, many marriages. The goal is achieved! The couple acquires a child - success! And then divorces because of the immense stress and suffering caused by the process. Really? Goal achieved?
Inevitably the conversation turns to Adoption. Why don't we adopt? This question nags at me more than any other that I hear, because it assumes that the end-result is really what matters and moreover for the fact that it derives that end-result through commerce. Our desire was to create through the union of our mind and bodies a progeny, a physical manifestation of our love for one another and an expression of the universal mystery of life. In our case the end-result we were dreaming of was not just the child - it was the child created as a result of our union.
No path exists for us to achieve that end that does not compromise some essence of what is ultimately a matter of spiritual conviction.
The popular counters do little to answer or support this conviction. For example, the standard "...you will come to love them as your own...". A painful twist on this is promoted with heart-felt and honest emotion by the adopted themselves; after all, they can attest to the love and meaning that their parents brought to their life! See? The goal is achieved!
I do not doubt that I would love an adopted child with all my heart; that they would be my child and I their parent with all the associated joy, sacrifice, tears, and elation that any other child brings to the world they inhabit. My wife and I have spoken of our willingness to let such a child into our lives; our willingness to commit with our entire being to such a journey. But to buy into that experience? To go shopping for a child - a human life? To visit orphanages and adoption agencies with the same commercial details you would find in the purchase of a new car? To negotiate on a price? The dark-skinned children cost less. Older children cost less. They have been valued by the market and found to be...less?
I do not pretend to know a better way! The stories of Russian and Chinese state-run orphanages are stomach-churning and convincing enough to avoid any kind of centralized government method for finding good homes for the parent-less. All I know is that I can't participate in the current system. I don't begrudge anyone their participation! I just can't do it myself. This is a price I'm not willing to pay, to put it in the context of that most-common of underlying themes: "how badly do you really want a child?"
So this is the syllogistic critique of the infertile couple: "you haven't tried hard enough / you must not really want a child". It hits at the core pain experienced by an infertile couple - that they are to blame for the infertility - while at the same time trivializing that pain - it's just a decision to really want it, after all...what's so hard about that?
What's so hard, indeed...