Some Things In My Study — Part 1
(Because At Some Point There Will Probably Be a Part 2)
Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve always had a study, a room of my own, where I can create, process my anger and sadness and rage, contemplate life’s mysteries, read, write, and simply be with myself.
Here are some of the things in my study that wanted to be written about today and what they mean to me.
Red Paint and Canvases
When you’re angry (like when Roe v Wade was overturned or when a life situation or a relationship problem gets to you), take a 5x7 canvas panel (although any size will work) and paint it red. Or get 4 or 400 of them and do the same.
Put your all into it. Buy more canvases (or paper if you’re really, really angry and want to go through a huge stack, one sheet at a time). Then buy more tubes of red paint because you’re going to run out. Cadmium red is good, although any red will work. You may consider using red craft paint instead of artist acrylics because it’ll be cheaper, and the idea is to emancipate your anger by painting red.
When you feel better, then throw away those canvases and papers you’ve painted. No need to wait for them to dry. You don’t want that anger hanging around. It’s bad for you. Gather up those canvases and paper and put them all in the trash. Don’t decide to be thrifty and paint over them. Get rid of that stuff.
You may notice that the release of your anger opened up some space. Fantastic! So now would be a great time to do something good to fill up that space. This can be sitting quietly and meditating, baking cookies, taking a walk, or doing anything sweet that appeals to you and makes you smile.
Native American Flute in the Key of “A” Minor
It’s made from domestic walnut and has turquoise cabochon inlays, watched over by a sparrow hawk.
It’s a six-hole flute, but the fourth hole from the bottom is covered with a leather strap with thin leather strips hanging from it, making it essentially a five-hole flute, which is easier for a beginner like me. Maybe one day I’ll remove the cover, but I’m happy with the sounds I can get out of it.
Thin strips of leather hold the sparrow hawk in place. The sparrow hawk is a tiny but fierce bird of prey, and this little one on my flute reminds me that than I think although I, too, am small, I’m still mighty.
I splurged with cost and bought the flute with the turquoise inlays. I like the look of it — and the energy — oh wow! The energy emanating from the turquoise ebbs and flows, always moving — just like life and the notes played on the flute.
I play the flute for me. I purposefully have it in easy reach of my desk, where I spend much of my time, so I can pick it up and play throughout the day for a minute or two, sometimes longer, when the mood strikes me. I’m proud to say that I’ve even gotten pretty good at keeping the squeaks at bay.
A Library Book In Need Of Repair
Finding the Mother Tree, by Suzanne Simard. Hardcover. The first 115 pages or so have come loose from the spine. I’ll bring it to the attention of the nice folks at the library front desk when I return it.
During my time managing the research and development library at a Fortune 500 telecommunications company, I routinely handled this type of book repair. I know how to do it. Although it’s tempting to fix this one myself, I’m pulling back my book caregiver reins to let the people who are actually in charge of this at my town’s library do their job. The librarian within me is fulfilled with giving them the heads up on it. And I’m patting myself on the back for not taking charge of something that really isn’t mine to take charge of.
Cameo Silhouette Portrait Of My Daughter and Me
This is one of my most prized images of the two of us. At the time of the portrait, we lived in Southern California, and it was done during one of our many visits to Disneyland. The talented artist doing the cutting managed to render us beautifully, even though Dani was asleep and I had to hold her head in a somewhat normal position. She slept through the entire sitting.
She was 3, I was 27. Of course, she’s all grown up now with a family of her own, but I often think of that day and how she slept through the making of this portrait, how we’re embedded in the flow of time and the rhythm of the cosmos which surrounds and cradles us.
A Hoard of Journals and Notebooks
I absolutely, positively write in my journals and notebooks!
I do *NOT* go by this rule:
Writing in my journal is a therapeutic part of my self-care routine. Why wouldn’t any of us deserve to pick up an elegant and attractive book to record our ideas, thoughts, and rants? Writing them down *in longhand* and *letting our emotions pour forth as we do so* helps us work out feelings and opinions and heal our traumas. So what if we ramble or cross out words or produce angry scribbles in our notebooks? It’s a beautiful process. And it’s even easier when you remember that our journals are for no one else’s eyes but our own.
It took me several decades to be okay with writing in the expensive, high quality, gorgeous Paperblanks journals I love so much. But I finally got over it, and it’s uplifting to write my most private and inner thoughts in an elegant book. If my words don’t come out gracefully, at least the book I write them in is elegant. That in itself gives even more credibility to my ramblings and reminds me that *all* of our emotions are valuable and meaningful.
That’s it for now. I’ll probably highlight more of the stuff in my study at some point.
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