Monday, May 31, 2010

I have no idea why I'm doing this to myself...

Last night I dreamed. I dreamed that I had gone to visit a friend at the Cornell vet school. I dreamed that I had impressed the professors so much that they spoke to the admissions board. And the admissions board let me take the spot of a student who had failed the previous year. I dreamed I sat in classes. I dreamed I was learning about anatomy and histology...

It was all a dream. And this dream scared me because it's the first one of its kind.

I keep trying to live with it. This colossal disappointment in my life. I've tried to move on. I've tried to keep going. The more and more I try, the worse it gets. It's like I'm slowly going insane. It's like a small shard of glass under your skin that you can't see but you know it's there. And every time you brush your hand across something you feel the shard slip deeper into your skin jabbing you with an annoying pain.

I've been telling myself over and over again. Get over it, Kelly. It's over. The fat lady's sung. it's over. Gone. Done. It's time to deal with the fact that it's done and move on with your life. Get going. C'mon. Have some kids. Raise them. Grow old and die like the rest of the world. Move. The Fuck. ON. DAMMIT!

I keep trying. I really do. I keep reaching towards acceptance and all I seem to be doing is falling backwards into despair and anger. I hear her. I hear myself in the back of my mind screaming over and over and over again.


This is usually followed by a giant stream of:


And these cries have lost none of the vehemence. They've lost none of their venom in the year and a half that I've been screaming them in the back of my brain.

The tears are still just as bitter. The self-loating and self-pity and self-disgust I feel just seems to be getting worse. I pop drug after drug trying to sleep. I pop drug after drug trying to stave off depression and panic attacks.

I'm still in the same situation I was in back in June when I was laying on my couch unable to move and thinking that all I wanted to do was die. I'm just more functional right now.

Because I sit around and look at my life... and I hate it. I hate my life. I hate where it is. I hate where it's going. And that's exactly the spot I was in when I decided to go to veterinary school. I'm back where I started. I just wasted a quarter of my life. For nothing. To put me back where I was.

I keep praying to Allah. I keep asking him to send me some sort of message... some sort of sign... something that the decision that I've made is right. Should I accept my current situation as the will of God? Is this what my life is supposed to be now? Is this His great plan for me? I don't know. Or am I ignoring my path because I don't want the trouble that goes it it. I want Allah to guide me. I want answers.

I'm so sick of all of this.

I'm sick of being angry all the time.
I'm sick of thinking about death all the time.
I'm sick of being so bitter.
I'm sick of walking around on autopilot.
I'm sick of faking excitement about babies and pool chemicals.
And most of all... I'm sick of seeing all the amazing picture of my cornell friends in their vet school classes having the time of their lives.

Every time I see one I think to myself... "that should be me..."

Every time I see a status update about how bad they've got it or how horrible things are now with vet school in some way or another... I always comment... "I'd give both my arms to be there... don't take it for granted."

I'm afraid I can't go on like this. I'm afraid that losing this isn't going to be something I can get over. I'm afraid this isn't something that I can just move through the natural grief process and come out fine on the other end feeling dandy. I'm afraid that I'm going to end up feeling like this for the rest of my life and I keep wondering if that's worse that the alternative.

Am I going to be haunted by this regret for the rest of my life? When I'm 45 am I still not going to be able to sleep because I don't want to go dreaming about what might have been? How long can this fester inside me before it starts to destroy me?


In my haste and insanity, I ordered pamphlets from Ross University and St. George. It was a stupid move.

I'm half pondering calling in sick tomorrow to work. I need to think this over... big time.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm too young to have dead friends...

Today was Anthony's wake. It was the second day. I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in a long time. Italians seem to love only one thing more than good food.... a good funeral.

It was deeply sad and incredibly depressing to see my childhood friend laying in a coffin. 15 layers of make-up on his face... his body cold and stiff, a black rosary clasped in his hands. Beside the dark wooden coffin, was a display of his school pictures lovingly put together by his family. That was the Anthony I remembered. The one who would eat cherry tomatoes whole while the juice and seeds ran down his chin.

The bald man with a goatee and glasses, laying inside of a coffin looked nothing like the Anthony I remembered. But, then again, what was I to expect after 16 years?

His family was, of course, devastated. There was lots of wailing. There were lots of tears and waste baskets full of crumpled tissues. The sense of loss in the room was tangible. The air hung heavy as if the weight of everyone's grief was thickening it, making it hard to breathe.

The first story I had heard was that someone had run a red light and hit the side of his car. The second story I heard was that he was rear-ended and that drove him into the intersection where he was hit by two cars, one on the driver's side and one on the passenger side. It was an accident. It was a tragedy of happenstance. Wrong fucking place... wrong fucking time.

But neither of those stories was the truth. I learned from his family the details of the accident. Anthony, on his way home from work, was sitting in the middle of an intersection waiting to make a left turn... without his seat belt fastened. A car slammed into the driver side of his car, causing him to spin into the traffic. Another car slammed into the passenger side causing his unrestrained body to fly out of the driver's seat and through the passenger door window knocking him unconscious and doing massive internal damage. He died at the hospital one hour later.

Once I heard that story, the anger started to rise in my heart. Not only was this a horrible tragedy... it had now turned into a needless horrible tragedy. The angry phrase keeps running through my head like a shouted mantra, "WHO THE FUCK DOESN'T WEAR A SEATBELT?!" It's generally followed by two or three interjections of, "SERIOUSLY?!" ala Grey's Anatomy style.

I guess you tell yourself, "Nah, not going to bother with the seatbelt. I'm just going around the block." We get to comfortable. We forget that we don't just wander along through life so we can die in our beds at the ripe old age of 90. We don't think a quick trip is enough time for an accident; a death. But death comes on swift wings. It only takes as much time as one breath. You breath in and you're alive. You breath out and you're gone.

I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve?
I made the light to shed on thee its splendor.
Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?

- Bahá’u’lláh, Hidden Words, No.32

I remember when that crazy scientist lady from Deep Blue Sea said that she wanted to wander off and get her research data because "without that data, everyone dying isn't just tragic, it's useless." And LL Cool J responded, "Death is always useless, Doctor."

I try very hard to understand things like this. I never feel sorry for the person who's dead. Oddly, now that I look back on all the funerals and wakes I've been to, I have never felt sad for the deceased. It's the grief of those of us left behind that devastates my heart and causes my soul to wail. Anthony is beyond pain now. According to what I understand about the Baha'i teachinges, the next world is like a paradise where we manifest all the divine attributes of God in an effort to bring us nearer to God. It is an existence of true felicity and joy. If that is truly what the next world is like, then I do not mourn Anthony. But I feel such empathy for his family.

The melancholy sound of the weeping and sobbing rose and fell in the room like some sort of bizarre symphony. It pushed its way into my ears and made me want to weep along side them.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Filled with Sadness...

I heard the horrible news today that a childhood friend of mine, Anthony Bonavoglia, was killed in a car crash. Another driver ran a red light and collided with his car.

Anthony lived one street over from me my entire childhood. He would come over all the time. He and I and my brother would hang out all the time. He'd play ball with us. We'd pretend we were the Dukes of Hazard. He'd help my father in his vegetable garden and eat the tomatoes. Every time my father would eat a hot pepper he'd trick Anthony into thinking it wasn't a hot pepper and he'd burn his mouth. Year after year, Anthony fell for this. We'd watched the original Nightmare on Elm Street together. We'd run all over the neighborhood playing "manhunt" and raising hell on mischief night. We'd trick or treat together.

I struggle to understand something like this. In fact, I've been on the edge of a panic attack every since I found out about it.

I can barely breathe.


O my God! O Thou forgiver of sins, bestower of gifts, dispeller of afflictions!
Verily, I beseech Thee to forgive the sins of such as have abandoned the physical garment and have ascended to the spiritual world.
O my Lord! Purify them from trespasses, dispel their sorrows, and change their darkness into light. Cause them to enter the garden of happiness, cleanse them with the most pure water, and grant them to behold Thy splendors on the loftiest mount.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jewels from the words of 'Abdu'l-Baha

The Baha'i Distribution Service has so many wonderful and amazing books about the Baha'i faith with such a range from sacred texts to self-help and parenting books. I have spent a great deal of money on books from them and every single one of them is an absolute fountain of spiritual fulfillment.

There are six books they sell in a series. Each book has a theme such as love or unity and they are entitled "Jewels from the words of 'Abdu'l-Baha"

There are four kinds of love. The first is the love that flows from God to man; it consists of the inexhaustible graces, the Divine effulgence and heavenly illumination. Through this love the world of being receives life. Through this love man is endowed with physical existence, untill, through the breath of the Holy Spirit - this same love - he receives eternal life and becomes the image of the Living God. This love is the origin of all the love in the world of creation

The second is the love that flows from man to God. This is faith, attraction to the Divine, enkindlement, progress, entrance into the Kingdom of God, receiving the Bounties of God, illumination with the lights of the Kingdom. This love is the origin of all philanthropy; this love causes the hearts of men to reflect the rays of the Sun of Reality.

The third is the love of God towards the Self or Identity of God. This is the transfiguration of His Beauty, the reflection of himself in the mirror of His Creation. This is the reality of love, the Ancient Love, the Eternal Love. Through one ray of this Love all other love exists.

The fourth is the love of man for man. The love which exists between the hearts of believers is prompted by the ideal of the unity of spirits. This love is attained through the knowledge of God, so that men see the Divine Love reflected in the heart. Each sees in the other the Beauty of God reflected in the soul, and finding this point of similarity, thy are attracted to one another in love. This love will make all men the waves of one sea, this love will make them all the stars of one heaven and the fruits of one tree. This love will bring the realization of true accord, the foundation of real unity.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

More experiments....

So I spent the day typing and cutting up words on tracing paper. And then I quickly painted a piece of canvas paper and carefully put the words onto the wet paint.

I admit that it seemed like a good idea at first but the typewriter letters have this horrible moronic ransom note look to them. The handwritten stuff seems better. But I completely dislike the look of the tracing paper over the painting. The paper is not warping but the edges seem to be peeling up. The paper isn't washing out the underpainting the way I thought it would at all which is really good. I was trying to do this whole paper thing to add interest and to keep my lazy ass from having to paint the words onto the canvas... but now that I'm thinking about it I think I'm going to have to just bite the bullet and paint the words in. I probably will have to thin down ivory black with some linseed oil to get the flow just right. Writing with oil paint is a pain in the ass. I could use a permanent marker and write out the letters over dry paint but that would leave absolutely ZERO room for error and that would just not be good. I guess I could do some experiments with the canvas paper and some rubbing alcohol. I think rubbing alcohol will even remove permanent sharpie marker but I don't know how it will do on dry oil paint. Again... more experiments mean more drying time and more waiting. As Indigo Montoya once said... I hate waiting.

I also dislike the background pastel-like colors. Well I don't dislike it. There's something wrong there. I think there is a fine line between a mildly tinted white and something that belongs in a baby nursery. And right now? I think some of the colors are in that baby nursery area. One of the main problems I think is happening is that some lines are standing out more than others and that's because the paints are of different values than each other. In order for this sort of flat look to work, all of the tinted whites need to be of exactly the same value. Otherwise some lines will be more prominent than others and that is not what I'm looking for.

I hate to say I used to go to the modern art museums and see a striped painting and think, "Yeesh, a four year old could do that..." and now that I'm putting my hand in it? Okay a four year old could not do this. This does require some larger artistic knowledge of value vs color and when dealing with such light colors, it requires an extremely delicate hand. When I glanced quickly at Agnes Martin's work, I saw lightly tinted stripes... I didn't notice that those stripes are of the same value until I experienced this problem and looked again.

I'm wondering if the colored plexiglass samples I bought for my quilting will be of any use here. When doing scrap quilts, you primarily need to be concerned with the overall value of a fabric rather than its predominant color. Have you ever stood under one of those awful orange sodium street lamps? Well the next time you do, notice how the orange light completely washes out any color beneath it. So take a piece of amber plexiglass and look through it. It will have the same effect making it easier for you to evaluate the value of a fabric and ignore the color aspect.

it is possible that these tints will be so light that the plexiglass will not be useful at all. I'll have to see in the morning in the sunlight.

A Happy Family

Maybe it's the severe lack of furniture that has our cats being so friendly towards each other. They would never all be in the same room at the same time or all on the couch at the same time. I have no idea what is up with them lately but these days? I'm bound to walk into the living room to find every single one of them on the couch like this or even find every single one of them sleeping on the bed. I'd never find them all on the bed in the old house. I mean, don't get me wrong. It's great to see them all hanging out together and being friendly with each other but this whole togetherness thing they've got going lately is just flat out odd.

This is Hannah. She's 8. Aren't her ears adorable? They've been the same size all her life. She's my oldest. She's also my most temperamental. She dislikes loud noises and people she doesn't know. She often hears something that will startle her away from her food bowl or out of the litter box. I feel bad for her in that way. Since she's so skittish, she's also my thinnest cat. It's hard to keep weight on her. Every time I put all the other cats on a diet she gets positively skeletal. She's the one I worry about the most should Chris and I decide to bring Chewie home. Hannah's a man hater. Her and other male cats just do not get along.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another project...?

I am currently waiting for my color test swatches and my background boards to dry. Unfortunately, I did them in oils so they will take days. And this pause is frustrating me.

In the meantime, I thought I would attempt my library project. The library project is also frustrating me. I know all the different materials I want to use but I have no idea how I want to combine them all. I have no idea what I want the pieces to say. I'm thinking that I should just shelve this project completely until I come up with something down the road. Yes I think I may just do that. Sometimes if you step away from something it will clarify later.

I don't think I should start another art project to do in the middle of the drying times. I should really work on my father's painting. It's going no where fast. The petals are just giving me such a damned hard time and I have absolutely no idea why. It doesn't help that I also just ruined my wooden palate and three of my brushes. I forgot to clean them off after my last painting session and left them for three days in my studio. I didn't even try to salvage them. I just tossed everything.

I know that I should really work on my quilt but a lot of what needs to be done with that is correction and seam ripping which is basically like having my fingernails ripped out slowly. It's long. It's boring. It's tedious. And I seem to be making the same mistakes over and over again and that makes it even worse.

I think I need to step back in general to keep from letting all my ideas overflow and end up making me manic.

Baha'i Series tests

The type held up surprisingly well against the elmer's glue and water mixture I used to a-fix the tracing paper to the canvas paper. The canvas paper did not at all like the copious amounts of water. It warped a lot and that warping did not go away. I'm probably going to end up using the canvas boards instead to avoid the warping issue. I still need to experiment more with the glue issue because I'm not sure how well the glue will stick to an oil based paint. I also want to see if it will be possible to glaze over the tracing paper afterwards. I'm also not sure about whether or not that will work out. I also need to research glazing techniques because I don't know anything about it.

I was really inspired by the work of Agnes Martin. I saw her work featured in a documentary and her paintings were incredibly simplistic. I was really moved by the fact that she said she was trying to paint tranquility and peacefulness. I was really inspired by her delicate hues. She uses very faintly tinted whites for a lot of her paintings and those colors are incredibly difficult to reproduce without taking it too far. I may need to paint larger swatches. I'm looking for luminosity and colors that are glowing a little. So far my favorite is the cadmium red light tint. It has this great warm glow to it.

Forgotten Felines continued...

Years ago I started taking pictures of all the stray cats that came across my path in my work as a veterinary nurse. There were many cats.

This is Mama. I'm guessing she's called Mama because she had kittens at some point. She is the typical hospital cat. Yes, I include hospital cats in this list because living in an animal hospital is not a home.

This is Chewie. He was bought in as a boarder when his owner went into the hospital. Unfortunately, she passed away and now Chewie is in the limbo of the hospital. He is an older cat and most likely unadoptable as he tends to have chronic upper respiratory problems. I am seriously considering taking Chewie home actually.

the process

I think what I'm getting the most out of these art television shows is that art is not spontaneous. Every artist has their own process. Every artist has their own method of doing things. I also seem to be learning that art doesn't just pop into being perfect and beautiful. Creation is a process. You make mistakes and you experiment and you figure it out.

And I think the most important lesson is the lesson of patience. Creation takes time. Creation cannot be spontaneous if you want it to be right and up to a standard.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Baha'i Series

I have laid aside my library project. I'm finding it far too frustrating right now. I have also laid aside my father's painting because I am also finding it incredibly frustrating right now.

I have started a series of works that will be based on Baha'i sacred texts. These specifically will be focused on the writings of Abdu'l-Baha. I am going to create a series of geometric abstract paintings to serve as backgrounds for some quotes from Abdu'l-Baha's writings. I'm unsure as of yet whether or not I will be putting many quotes involving a single theme on one canvas or if I will put a single quote onto a canvas and do a bunch of one theme. I also haven't decided if I'm going to use canvas paper or if I'm going to use canvas boards. I'm also experimenting with tracing paper overlays. The tracing paper will lay over the painting.

If I do many quotes on a single canvas I'm not sure if they will all be on a single overlay or if I will separate them. Also I have yet to decide how I am going to fix the overlays onto the canvas. I may try to experiment with some sort of decoupage method but that may also depend on whether or not the way I print the quotes onto the tracing paper will hold up to something like that or not. Right now I've tried three methods. The first was using an old fashioned typewriter that my uncle had refurbished and repaired and given to me as a gift. I doubt the ink from the typewriter will hold up to some sort of decoupage method but it may if I'm careful about it or if I use some sort of fixative over the text. The other method which I'm fairly positive will hold up to decoupage is a sharpie marker. I hand wrote the quote onto the tracing paper with a sharpie. I only had a broad tip I may try again with a fine tip. I also bought some calligraphy pens from the art supply store today. Even using the finest tip I will have to write incredibly big for it to look right. I doubt I'll use it. I have completely omitted the idea of printing the quotes onto paper. I want the look to be very hand done.

Right now I'm waiting for the canvas boards to dry. It will probably take a few days.

I've been watching a lot of art shows on TV. They feature prominent modern artists. A lot of them seem to have a common thread in their work. They find things in life and the world that they find beautiful and that speak to them personally and then find ways to express that in their work in unique and different ways. I think I need to do that to give cohesion to my artwork and my vision for my artwork. I think figuring that out will help my creative process.


My poor male tuxedo cat, Basil, has developed what I hope is a tooth abscess on his left canine. I have to take him in tomorrow. I tried to hot compress his face which, of course, was a complete and utter failure.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Four cats... five cats...

You know when you work in a veterinary hospital, you never have to look for a pet. There's no "Oh let's go to the pound and find a cat/dog" animals always just sort of fall into your lap. And you always regret that trip to the shelter because, inevitably, after you bring something home, something else falls in front of you. Well.

I just started a new job and there is a cat in the hospital. His owner passed away and he is really old. He is incredibly sweet and it is my great desire to bring him home and give him some happy golden years.

Convincing my husband? That's the hard part.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


So I've made it a new goal (yes I know I seem to have a great many goals lately) of memorizing a bunch of Baha'i prayers. The first of which is going to be the Long Obligatory Prayer. Yes, this will be a very big undertaking. I have the standard few Catholic prayers contributed to my memory that have been engrained there due to years of repetition. I have yet to encounter a Catholic prayer that is as long as the Long Obligatory Prayer. I've chosen this one since it seems to be the daily obligatory prayer that I seem to recite the most.

I did a little poking around on the web and found several websites about memory tips and techniques for actors very useful. Most of the other memory technique pages were, well, for students attempting to memorize facts and terms and other things. And while I did find those techniques valuable in school, it's not really applicable to something like memorizing an entire passage. I'm hoping that I will one day be able to do a Fahrenheit 451 and memorize something in its entirety like a book or something since it's on my bucket list. Yes, I know... most people want to go sky diving or see the pyramids or something like that. Yes, I want to memorize an entire book or long ass poem. I'm weird I know. There are also some Shakespearean monologues that I want to be able to recite from memory as well.

I found some great ideas... typing out the sentences... reading the sentence and then attempting to repeat the sentence from memory and doing this one sentence at a time... I'm sure I'll give them all a go.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Some more notes...

Black and white oils...? still life... portrait... maybe use wedding photos?

Need to visit St. Vincent de Paul store on Jericho turnpike to find some new things for still life.


The new job is going great. I really like everyone there so far. It seems to have the usual issues of any workplace. There is a great deal of what I've come to call "caty-ness" that I tend to see in a lot of workplaces. It's been difficult to separate myself from the backbiting and gossip. I know that I am supposed to not participate in such talk and not even listen to it but the most I seem to be able to manage is not participating... although that doesn't seem to be going as well as I'd like. This lack of gossip seems to be the worst thing for me to avoid participating in and avoiding in my daily life. Gossip and backbiting are very commonplace in our lives. It's been difficult, also, for me to distinguish between gossip and backbiting vs complaining. I must work harder.

I didn't expect to be faced with the aspects of veterinary medicine that I hate so quickly. I am experiencing frustrations with owners already. Several have made extremely rude and flat out offensive comments to me that I have had difficulty coping with at the particular moment. I must further develop my brain mouth filter. One particular owner has decided to prolong the life of his dog that has been unable to walk for nearly two years; a decision that I do not agree with but, of course, must respect. It is my job to care for the dog and provide it with care in compliance with the owner's wishes. Even though my personal decision is that continuing this dog's life is, in fact, inhumane, I must continue to respect the owner's decision. The dog is, after all, his pet and his responsibility but I feel compelled to be an advocate for the animal and while I have voiced my concerns to a few of the veterinarians, I have been repeatedly told that voicing these concerns to the vet responsible for this dog's case will be not only futile but viewed as confrontational and offensive.

It's not the sort of line I want to take because I know from experience that these sorts of unvoiced feelings and opinions tend to fester and contribute to the gossip and backbiting in a workplace. I think it build resentment and makes for a lot of unnecessary tension.

What is disappointing is that this job, being full time, has completely obliterated the blissful amounts of free time I used to have. It leaves me physically and emotionally exhausted. When I get home, all I want to do is sleep. Of course, I don't feel like cleaning the house or doing other chores. What is more disappointing is that it also leaves me little time for my crafts and artwork.

I haven't even started on my collage projects and the painting for my father is sitting in a room completely untouched. Although I did get to work on it Friday, I quickly got frustrated and set it aside. It's a painting of a single rose of sharon. I decided to work the background in a very impressionistic style since the background of the original photograph is very blurry. The photograph was one actually taken by my father and submitted for some sort of photograph contest. It's a great picture. Now that the background is done I've moved on to the flower itself and it is giving me all sorts of trouble. The two petals I've attempted look terrible. Since the flower is largely white, my main problem seems to be value. The dark sections are not dark enough... the light sections aren't white enough and I'm not sure how to solve the problem.

I haven't even touched my planned collage project. Although I have pieces of the concept worked out, I am not sure what I want to do to put it together. I want the collage pieces to encompass date due cards and/or card catalog library cards. I also want them to include print block letters of various fonts and sizes. But I'm completely unsure of how to put the whole thing together. Do I do a freeform? Just laying elements out? Or do I attempt to use the cards as a medium and create? Do I print on or over the cards? Do I cut the cards up? Do I attempt to keep them whole? I'm hesitant to just experiment because the card catalog and date due cards are a limited resource. I'm even unsure about the base surface for the collages... Wood? Paper? I have no real idea about the scale or size either. This kind of out of the blue art has always been difficult for me. I'm used to guidelines and restrictions like the kind you get in assignments.

One of my new goals is to improve my pencil skills and get better at portraits (pencil and painting). I would like to be able to paint portraits later on.

I think I have way too many ideas swimming in my head.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Faith or lack there of...

It's been a long time since I had belief in God. You know how you're a little kid and you believe with all your heart that there is a God and that that God is in heaven watching over you and protecting you. Maybe it's because your parents tell you these things and when we're little we believe whatever our parent's tell us as absolute concrete fact but I like to think that childhood is a pure existence before the world tells us what we should think and do.

I believed in God once. When I was little, I believed with all my heart there was a God. I didn't just believe it. I knew it. You ever have a helium balloon? When you first get, it's straining to reach the sky and escape. And then slowly, as the helium leaks out, the balloon just sort of floats just below the ceiling. And then it's down at eye level and it keeps going like this until finally it's just laying on the floor. Well, that is my faith.

I had such an overabundance of it as a child and it slowly leaked away as I grew up. By the time I'd reached my late teens, I wanted nothing to do with anything spiritual. At that point it wasn't so much a rejection as it was ambivalence. I had other things I cared more of and wanted to spend my time doing. By the time I'd reached my mid-20's, science had gripped me and changed my mind into one that thinks and logically I couldn't work out the existence of God. I couldn't wrap my head around the concept of something existing that I couldn't test for, see in a microscope or measure in a machine.

To be honest, I was fine with it. There is no God. There is no great spiritual point to life. We are just a happy accident of the universe. We must exist to better our lives and those around us not for the promise of heaven. I was fine with all this. Really. I also developed a disdain for the religious. I viewed God's plan as a way for deluded people to find an explanation for the evil of the world. I viewed religion as a crutch for those who are too afraid of the empty void of unending non-existence that lays in wait for us after death.

I suppose there is great irony and not a little hint of karma in the fact that after my life's dreams were destroyed and I developed an irrational fear of my own demise that I, like so many lost souls, turned my face towards God.

For nearly 8 months now, I have drowned myself in the Baha'i faith; it's practices and beliefs.

I used to laugh at my mother for saying that going to church every Sunday meant that she believed in God. This idea seemed absurd. To me, you go to church because you believe in God and going to church is an act of that belief. It's not the other way around.

Again, some irony and probably a little more karma, I am now throwing myself into religion in the hopes of conjuring faith. Is it working? I don't know. I always thought of faith as a constant thing. It is either absent or it is present. You either have it. Or you don't. Some days I feel full of faith and belief... and then other days I feel nothing. It's been a process, accepting that faith seems to wax and wane like the moon. I just keep reading Baha'i texts. I keep praying feeling like a hypocrite.

I would give just about anything to have the rock solid concrete faith I had as a child again.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

quick list

I found the documentary section of Netflix streaming and I am so totally hooked. There was an amazing documentary on body modification that was absolutely fascinating. There was also a great documentary on Hasidic Judaism. Now I'm watching a documentary called Art City which chronicles artists and their process. While all the artists are really interesting, beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. I can't say that I understand a lot of their works. They featured Amy Adler who's pastel drawings I found absolutely incredible. I just don't understand her process of photographing her drawings, printing them and then destroying the originals. I was in group therapy when I was around 15 years old and one of the girls in the group, her sister was a fantastic artist. She made this incredible collage using newspaper and magazine pictures and words and then painted american flags over it. She said it was an incredible piece of political artwork. She was appalled when her sister took this beautiful collage, sprayed it with lighter fluid and lit it on fire and proceeded to take pictures of the piece as it burned. I suppose I always look at art as creating and not destroying.

Anyway. I wanted to make quick note of some of the artists whos' works that I have really liked and would like take some of their elements and move them into my own art.

So far I have:

Chuck Close - breaks down photographs into grids and seurat-like creates donut shaped areas of color within the grid space that will form the picture when you step back from it; utilizes HUGE canvases.
Richard Tuttle - minimal approach of form and line with wire, wood and paint ie one inch rope nailed to a wall
Agnes Martin - acrylic paintings of soft stripes of varying pale colors to represent happiness and tranquility
Carolyn Martin -free form pencil and charcoal abstract drawings with movement

Other notes:
Cardboard end pieces could be arranged to simulate balls of yarn
Look into different wire, not just limit to copper
Must obtain broken bottles (or whole bottles that I can break myself) for still life

collage in my future...

When I was younger, I was always very preoccupied with how things were supposed to be. I'd draw animals that were always brown. Skies and oceans were always blue. Houses were always white. That's how they're supposed to be. My parents encouraged that sort of thinking. Rigid and strict definitions help children to learn the world slowly and are easier to comprehend at a young age. Sometimes I think that it took me a really long time to break out of that and to see the world differently with my own vision and my own self. Then again, it takes time to develop one's sense of self and that development never really stops. I'm 32 and while I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin these days, I think who I am will always be constantly evolving.

A long time ago, I stopped creating art out of frustration. None of the drawings or paintings looked the way I thought they were supposed to look. I found the creative process frustrating because always burning in the back of my head was the constant question of, "Is this the right way?" or "Is this how it's supposed to look?" The concept of the fact that no art is "wrong" art was completely lost on me when I was a teenager. So I ceased painting and attempting to create art.

Ever since my rejection from veterinary school, I've really been digging deep into my life to find some meaning. The dream of vet school consumed my life for 7 years. I lived it. I breathed it. I poured so much of myself into it that when I lost it, I lost myself. Ever since that day in January 2009, I have felt a hole building in me. It's like a black hole that is suddenly there but slowly pulls in everything around it leaving destruction behind. There's no real description for how empty I have felt in the past year. I've been slowly trying to fill that hole. Baha'u'llah stated in the Kitab-i-Aqdas, "Waste not your hours in idleness and sloth, but occupy yourselves with what will profit you and others." Too much free time is so not good for the spirit.

I need to reinvent myself again. I need to start refilling the void that this great disappointment has left in my life. I see art forming on canvases and paper. I've started oil painting again. I've started sketching again. I want to move into collage art. I see something forming in my mind now. I see copper wire and large print block letters and cards from library card catalogs. I want to make the blocks myself, carved from wood. I want really large block fonts in odd proportions like tall and skinny letters and short fat ones. I would love to use cardboard too. I can see swirls of cardboard glued together on end or cardboard glued together on end and cut into different shapes. Maybe some cut wood pieces would be an interesting addition as well.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cold and wet....

The flower beds in the upstate house are starting to grow over with weeds. I tried weeding as much as I could buy after over an hour outside in the rain I couldn't take anymore. My clothes were soaked and my hair was dripping wet. I was starting to shiver so I went back inside. I have no idea what to do. The flower beds need to be weeded. I guess I'll stay in here, warm up and head back out. Maybe it will stop raining later although considering this is Ithaca I doubt it.

I'm really sad that the house isn't selling. It's been up for a few weeks now and was really doing well in the beginning.

3AM and I'm drowning slowly.....

So, as usual I am unable to sleep. 10mg of ambien later and, yes, I am still unable to sleep. I don't understand what happened. That stuff used to be magical for me. I'd take one pill and I'd be asleep within minutes and I'd wake up refreshed and ready to go. Now I take it and all I get is a little dizzy and unsteady on my feet.

Right now I'm in the house upstate. There are no cats here. There is no dog. There is no husband. It's just me... in a house in the country all alone. I think this is the most alone I've been in a very long time. I was expecting it to be serene and tranquil. It's more boring and vacuous. I keep remembering what I read in a Baha'i book about how idle fancies and trifle activities don't create fulfillment or purpose and that they lead to boredom and pointlessness and emptiness. I try to fill my life with a lot of things... knitting... quilting... and most recently oil painting. I suppose those are things that fill time under the guise of being productive.

I'm sure all this lack of purpose will melt away when I start working next week. I'm excited about the job, don't get me wrong. It will be nice to have some structure and something to do with my time again. I mean, oodles of free time sounds great but, honestly? After a few months you really start freaking out and it isn't healthy.

I know I can create a few different blogs and separate them... like make one for my personal rants and raves... another one for my art... another one for my knitting... another one for my quilting... another one for when the moon's full and there's a rabbit on my deck... but, well, all these things are me so I don't really see the point in draw and quartering myself.

I will try to update this thing often. My therapist said that journaling/keeping a diary would help me to get my feelings out. Funny though, when I did journal and keep a diary regularly it never felt like that. I always felt like I was making some sort of personal keepsake.... like something that I'd read later in life and go "wow I'm in so much better shape now than I was then..." or other such things.

Now it's 3:15 and I still don't feel tired. I always did hate sleeping alone and Chris isn't here and neither are any of the cats. I think that was the weirdest part about coming up here.... there was no small flock of cats to greet me at the door when I got here. It's cemented one thought into my head very clearly. I will never be able to live my life without at least one pet in the house.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let's begin a new...

I tried the old fashioned paper journals again. And while I really love the visceral feel of putting pen to paper, it just wasn't able to get my thoughts out fast enough. I pondered for a little while trying to use the old typewriter my Uncle gave me but, again, I probably wouldn't be able to get my thoughts out fast enough. I figure I'd give this whole online blogging thing another try.