I watched this amaZing segment on buzz feed. Thank you for the honesty!
I watched this amaZing segment on buzz feed. Thank you for the honesty!
I've been a mom for almost 90 days. No, I'm not counting, but my motherhood apps are.
So, how has it been?
Have things improved from the last entry? Have they gotten worse?
Tell the world, Winnie....and be honest, how are you?
I'm ok :)
It's been good.
I've started to learn how to balance on forever shifting plains.
The moment I think I've "got it" there's always a slight and, occasionally, abrupt shift. Thankfully though, I'm not really hitting the floor and crying, and I don't take as long to find my footing to try and stand back up as much as I was at first.
I'm learning the delicate art of adjusting my balance and shifting my priorities to keep on my feet.
In the 7th grade my English teacher told our class, "one way to get through life is to be like limu (seaweed) just sway with the current, and you'll make it."
At the time, I thought it was pretty good advice, but now, I want to get a tattoo of seaweed on my hand as a constant reminder to sway with the current instead of fight it...
That leads into the second thing I'm learning, which is the concept of: Control, and that I basically have none. Well, at least, almost none.
No matter how much I want Yume to do something, whether it be sticking to a schedule, or liking tummy-time, or sleeping for an extra 10 mins so I can finish up making dinner... i don't have the power or control over it. She wakes when she wakes, and she'll hit her milestones when she is ready to. I am a bystander and supporter to her growth, and I can't control when or how it happens.
Of course, as a former early education worker I know I can set her up for success, and I can create the environments for things to eventually happen, but...again, the when and how's (those things that sometimes feel so pressing, and like they matter so much) are up to her and not me.
These are all facts that roll off people's tongues, including my own--But giving someone a lesson, and learning it yourself are two very--very--different things.
you know, Within these 3 months I've really started to understand how important confidence is.
In the overwhelming moments when we're faced with "I don't know what's wrong, I don't know why she won't stop crying..." Just being confident (or faking it) wins half the battle--Constantly second guessing and feeling inept wastes so much time and wastes so much mind space, and it is frustrating for not just myself, but for Yume too.
Taking a confident breath and thinking "ok, I got this...we can figure this out, let's try/do this" is one of the answers in a two-part question.
And, if I'm wrong with the first solution, having the confidence to go back to step one and take another breath and try again gets me to the right answer faster than going back and forth in my mind with "is this right, well, I don't know..,maybe it's this, no maybe that....welllllllllll?"
I think that that is a simple fact which most adults know, but I feel that people with children know it on some type of deeper level--because it's realllllllly easy to feel like a fuck-up when you can't seem to console your baby, or have no clue why your baby is freaking out--
Having confidence--or even just faking the confidence to simply make a decision to do something is pretty huge. You may think it's instinctual, but if that's so, maybe we're not the same species, because my instinctual nature tells me "gurrrrrrrrrrrrl, you don't know what you're doing..."
So, for me to just go with what I think is best and do it, is a reallllllly big step.
As you can see, all of the lessons are interconnected in this constant cycle. The confidence leads to the adjusting of my balance, and that leads into me learning more about what I can and can't control--and the gentle pushes and pulls of control throw me off balance, and forces me to be confident to stand back up again--whether I'm crying about it or rejoicing it.
Looking at Yume is like watching myself in a microscope. I see how she is when she's overwhelmed, how she tries to enjoy herself for awhile and then starts crying when she can't take it anymore.
I see how she smiles when she sees Dean, and how happy she gets...and if you could see inside my heart, you'd see the same delight. (Even though sometimes after a long trying day, my face doesn't show it)
I see her patience and impatience as we all stroll along this sometimes bumpy road together, and so far, when we look at each other, I think we're on the same page. We're trying our best to be the best.
Oh my, my, my
ive been a mommy for two full weeks...
I can't even wrap my head around it.
There is this strange feeling of things being intensely real-- so real that it feels like a dream.
It's almost like I've been handed a mixed drink, with strong hits of hards--but instead of gin and rum, it's a mix of sleep deprivation, love, fear, anxiety, and happiness.
my soul is drunk, almost hung over, on these emotions.
and yet, this is reality.
this is not a poetic fiction I've made up with words. No, there is a real living, breathing human being in my life--and it's all so wonderful and scary at the same time.
love has never been so powerful. My heart has expanded to match the endlessness of the night time sky. And in my horizon is Dean and Yume, my sun and moon if you will--and my family and friends twinkle in the sky around me at all times of the day. Whether I see them or not, I know they are there.
The birthing experience was the first crescendo of this kind of symphonic journey to motherhood.
--And when asked, why I chose to do the birth natural (no epidural)
i couldn't formulate a clear answer--there were too many reasons for me to give just a definitive answer...
but after two weeks time of analyzing my thoughts Over and over again, I know why:
for several clear reasons really--and let me preface my response with this, this is my truth--and mine alone. It is in absolutely no reflection on how I feel about other people's birthing experience. I do not pass judgement on those who have had medicated births, nor do I feel I have one-upped anyone with my experience. This is all me...
so now, to my reasons:
the first, of course, was because I didn't want it to be easy. I didn't want to take this huge moment in my life for granted. I wanted to feel every single part of it. I've asked myself over and over again before and after giving birth, "How many times in life do you really get the opportunity to FEEL something?"
when you first fall in love, you feel it in every hair on your body. Every blood vessel tingles with the pulse of another persons. your body feels magnetic and electrified--and that feeling is what causes the chain reaction of the rest of your life to start moving along...
The same goes for when someone you love passes, you feel the exact same sensation, but instead of the tingles of love and happiness, you feel it with pangs of sadness. You feel the pain everywhere--Inhaling, exhaling...everything hurts...
So, with that said, i wanted to feel this birth throughout my entire body. This transition from one reality to the next. I wanted to feel it--and feel it, I did. I breathed through every contraction with my eyes closed and barely made a sound until I had to push. That's when i vocalized the physically intense pain...
there were definitely moments when I wanted to say "ok, hold up, I've changed my mind..give me the drugs. I can't do it anymore..."
but, I would always be faced with this wall of "you made your decision, now just do it winnie..."
so I did. No requests to stop. No requests for pain relievers.
In the last and final stretch of pushing--when I thought I might actually die from the pain..., I thought of Ensō.
I thought about how after he passed, I would repeat to myself as a mantra "your mommy is not a loser" everyday.
Enso tried so hard every single day of his short life, and from watching that I decided that every single day, I would try hard with mine.
After Ensō passed, As I worked at my job, or drove to and from appointments, while I sat in long ridiculous meetings at work, I repeated to myself, Ensō, your mommy's not a loser"--and even though the place I worked at times seemed like a joke, my work was not. Not one person from my department can say that I didn't work hard, and from the moment I left that job, I know--with confidence--that pieces of it crumbled without my presence. Because I'm not a loser, but people will lose without me.
So when Dean was saying "come on winnie, just a little more--push, push" I repeated internally, "Ensō, your mommy's not a loser" and I pushed , and pushed with all my might--it was like White pain. The lights from the birthing room and the lights from all of the pressure...white light everywhere
and then came Yume.
My dream. My reality.
Its been quite a two weeks...
and im not going to over glamourize it. It has been really hard. I have had crying spells, and have felt frustration so deep that it has made me question everything, including this journey.
There are moments when I miss Dean so much while he's sitting right next to me. Our life has turned over completely and sometimes it feels like we're strangers who knew each other from some other time... sleep deprivation mixed with non-stop "on-the-job" training will turn even the most familiar things into something you're constantly being re-introduced to like it's the first time around.
i see him like he's a new person, because he is a new person--in the same way he sees me as a new person. We are no longer just lovers, we are parents. a whole new dimension of ourselves is in each other's face. I can see his coping skills, and I hope, he can see mine.
and yet, we are not strangers. There are tiny moments in the day when we look at each other and smile, and I see him and he sees me--and we're back on the same page, same chapter, same book.
There are also times when trying to decipher the meaning of Yume's cries drives me to near insanity. I'm so uptight, and unsure...and don't have the answers, and don't know what to do...but I feel that I should. i sleep at like 9:00pm now because I'm exhausted. Not from just waking up every 3 hours for feedings, but because I am just emotionally and mentally drained. I used to hate people who response to everything is "I don't know"... but I find myself saying "I don't know" all day long.
But then there is this
When Yume falls asleep in my arms, and I can see the trust in her face. She believes in me, and is able to completely fall asleep with contentment in her little body. And that is enough of a pat on the shoulder for me, and the best words of encouragement for me to keep pushing through.
my mom, whoes hero status has steadily risen during my entire pregnancy, and now is at stellar heights during my first weeks of motherhood, offered me some really good advice about parenting.
She said "nothing about being a parent is easy, winnie. if you find that something works out well and is easy, good for you--maybe that time you were lucky, but for the most part, everything is difficult. Look at it as a challenge, and try hard. But if you are expecting things to be easy, you will find yourself always upset and crying. Prepare yourself!"
--best advice ever. You know, if I could even be an 1/8 like my mom for Yume, she will be a lucky child. I cannot even begin to give enough praise to my mom...I see her greatness so much more now than ever before. It's sad that it's taken motherhood for me to be able to truly thank my mom for being incredible--but, better late than never, I suppose. Haha
Anyway, Right now it's 5am, I have been sitting with my electronic breast pump for the past 30 mins, the rhythmic "eee-ahh"'sound from each pump is kind of like a mechanical lullaby.
So goodnight moon.
mama is tired.
Today is the first day I'm listening to the newest Radiohead album "Moon Shaped Pool" in its entirety.
Yes. It's true. Can you believe It's taken me this long to do so.
I'm in shock too.
You see, I'm one of those--especially when it comes to bands such as Radiohead, where the day the album is released, it's in my hands and/or downloaded for 24 hour repeat play over and over again for at least 2 weeks. In the past, the longest time (normally) between a new release and my headphones, was about a week's time--and even then, that seemed as an eternity.
Maybe it's because there were so many things to sort through this year, so many things to listen to, so many things to do, that I haven't had a chance to sit down--alone--and just listen to the album and give it the undivided attention it deserves. I don't know. the laundry list of excuses grows and shortens with each reasoning....
And yes, I take it that seriously. I see music as one of those art forms that need devotion, in the same way literature deserves more than just a year long casual reading. Books deserve a quite space, perfect lighting, and a nice space next to the bed to place for easy access to the perfect moments to divulge into--and in an ideal world, the moments in between each reading are few and short-lived.
Visual art, on the other hand, sometimes benefits from stepping away, and/or viewing multiple times with years in between--even the practice of doing visual art can (although disputed by "working artists") can be refreshing and renewing after space is put between you and your work... (**Im sure if I were a musician or writer, I would use the same justification to feel better about myself in *not* writing/creating music regularly...but whatever)
Now that I'm spending one on one time with the album, I realize how much I've missed long intervals of time with my headphones.
For awhile it seemed like a secret love-affair that I shared with my headphones. We would go to coffee shops together, sit on the bus to and from work, be together in the art-department and in my make-shift art studio space in the tiny confines of my bedroom. I would sleep together nightly with my headphones, and share secrets, play games, and have wild conversations together--me asking questions about life, my iPod whispering song titles into my headphones to answer them... it was a wonderful love.
You may say it was one-sided, but I think my old sony headphones would beg to disagree. The places we went together... always in a special place in my bag, wrapped as nicely as I could (because I"m a pack-rat purse lady) together, for what seemed like forever. sigh.
As I listen closely to Thom Yorke's heart break and heal through each song of this album, I can't wait to hit repeat and push the + volume button once more to hear the music even louder in my brain. Maybe it sounds crazy, but when I listen to an album, I start off mid volume and with each listen, I turn up the volume just a little bit louder each time. By the 5th listen, it's normally at full volume. I play the music so loud that I can see it in my eyes. it transcends just my ears--and now enters my each crevice of my brain--that's where the ideas come from.
The Radiohead album "in Rainbows" helped me create an entire series of 50+ drawings, because I would listen to the music so loud that I could start to see patterns in my head--(hello bird series) Other albums helped me do all of the hair designs in my fashion drawings.
Bet you didn't know that. :)
So, as you can see... less time with my music, less artwork pumping out of winnie.
In college, I barely even listened to my professors, my headphones were plugged into my head, and my brush was on my canvas...and on all the rides home, music that played so loudly that most people wouldn't even sit next to me on the bus, helped me think of the next thing to draw or write about.. my prolific creative phase--if you can even remember that far back to when I was in college--you will remember I had 1-3 blogs written almost nightly. All thanks to my original lover, my headphones.
But, as mentioned above--and not with any complaints in my heart, or any tone of dismay.... I say, that now I'm spending my time listening to different things, like heartbeats... and feeling shapes moving in my body, doctors orders, and hushed soft breathing of my husband...
I suppose a whole new art form is taking place. A new creation of sorts--better than 3D printing (haha)... I'm creating a life. Not just my baby's...but my own. Creating a world of my own...so I guess, right now, I'm no longer able to spend 5 days straight tuning out the people around me playing radiohead on full volume, because there are many other things playing at full volume in my life.
nevertheless, right now, while listening to the Radiohead album on level 7, three points away from full volume, I'm looking forward to starting the album over again, one notch higher...
I've looked back on years of photographs and have noticed that I have the most pictures of the world surrounding (sky, plants...things) during the month of October.
It's because I love the way everything looks in October.
The sky and the colors look a certain way (warmer, maybe?)
It doesn't matter if it's 10am, 3pm, or 11pm...I love the way October looks.
October is the transitional month where the winds finally pick up a little, but do not blow as hard as they do from November on. It's like the first taste of change, and the last opportunity for the stillness to keep things the same.
There is a glow in October that doesn't exist in January, and a cool-warmth that doesn't touch July. It is the color that I love the most. I could make a Crayola box of crayons just dedicated to this month.
Yay for October.
Sometimes I feel a little down. Depressed if you will.
The feeling comes on out of nowhere and hits at varying degrees of intensity.
Today, I felt like looking at the ocean. So i knew the feeling was a little worse than usual. Normally I can shake the feeling off without having to leave the house.
but, my emotionally-wrecked- self, tears and all, got into the car for a drive. Listening to "Dreamboat Annie"
i headed out.
The weather on the way to the ocean kind of matched what was inside of me. But surprisingly, I actually felt better before I got to the ocean.
Somehow, just being in the car alone in the drivers seat was enough. It's like the metaphor was good enough to cleanse the soul.
I was about to just turn around, thinking I've already cured what was unsettled. All the tears were already gone... but since I was only 5 mins away from the ocean, I decided to press on.
I'm happy I did. The ocean view of choice is always the same for me. I like going to kewalo basin/ kakaako.
I like the panoramic view of the ocean
The ocean and location help to remind me that, whatever I'm feeling at moment is nothing compared to the vastness of blue surrounding. No matter now sad I may momentarily feel, my emotions are like small crystals of sand.
And so I walked along the sidewalk, the endless ocean to my right, my healed self on the left.
While walking I also had a little reminder that happiness is in the small things
And after seeing that, my heart was officially settled.
Be kind. The theme for moment?
i walked all the way to the end of the sidewalk to my favorite view
And saw what I needed to see...
And I realized, everything right now really IS too beautiful to be feeling down, and to continue with the doom-and-gloom would be an affront to all that was around me.
I turned around and walked back toward my car feeling better that I was able to get out and feel the sun on my skin--and I guess, also that I could do this for myself.
i am in the drivers seat to my happiness, and If so willing can get there if I take the keys into my hands and go.
So I'm going back home
So, I've managed to (somehow) keep relatively busy during my first two weeks of unemployment. I don't think I'm quite used to not having to stress about stupid shit, so I'm like frantically trying to fill my time with all types of activities and projects...
I wonder if my last job gave me very mild PTSD, because I feel like I'll be punished if I"m not insanely busy? hmm...can I claim that with the state?
It kind of dawned on me, like total-epiphany-style, that I should be using my skills to make things for my offspring. Like, I was in mid-conversation with Dean about the baby's room when all of a sudden I exclaimed "Oh my god... I can make things!" and my husband, sweetly, looked at me like "um..ya?"
So I've started to make baby items (bibs, burpees, and baby birdies) I have also cleaned out my painting inventory... so that I have fresh canvas to begin working on the baby's room. So many things that begin with the letter "B" : baby, bibs, burpees, birdies...beginnings...
Anyway, it's all been kinda fun :)
This whole transition to baby-mode has been....interesting, different from the first time around. Everything is now focused on the baby, and making sure the room and things are all wonderful. I like it, it's neat.
Well, to be completely honest, it's strange, but neat.
I guess the last time I was pregnant, i think the whole experience (even before the craziness) was too new and surreal--and for some reason I was kind of ashamed and rejected the whole notion of motherhood... but, this time I'm embracing it. Partly because of past experiences, but mostly because...I"m in a different stage of my relationship with everything.
It's kinda crazy, because I keep waiting for my "old flame" for creating to come back, but clearly, I'm still failing to realize that what I'm doing right now IS creating things (i.e crocheting, sewing, and soon to be painting a mural in the baby's room...)
Sad realization... I guess because it's not for me, and like because I'm not putting it on etsy for sale, it just doesn't equate to being creative.
I guess I should also take this time off from work to re-evaluate what it means to be an artist, creator, and whatnot. I mean, why does being an artist always have to equate to money? Why can't being creative just be a trait in myself?
I take notice of it in other people who are creative, and often preach it to others "You're an artist, through and through...and mass (or lack-of) production has little to do with the fact that you are an Artist!" But, when it comes down to myself, I feel like If I'm not making a living off of my craft then somehow I'm less than and totally inadequate. ...kind of a hypocrite, huh winnie-chan?
Anyway, I have pictures to post of my creations, but. I'll add them in at another time, because I"m working off of a brand new computer and none of my images are saved onto the drive yet (YAY! thanks to the excellent Husband for getting us a new and beautiful Mac desktop for our office space~~~)
Love to you, you and, you too..
I'll write and post more soon since, as the Rolling Stones soulfully sing, "Tiiiiiiiiiiime is on my side, yes it is..."
im writing this blog from my phone, so I'm not totally in my element here.
anyway, I wanted to post some process work
But, the real question is: where is it going? I've taken a break from the piece because I don't know exactly what I want to say anymore. I feel like the image is too "pretty" and no longer poetic.
Like all things, it needs some space and time~
thats all for now. I should be writing more this week.
What's new Winnie?
Well, I've worked on another Kalaupapa painting. This time I used palette knives instead of paint brushes. It gives this kind of unclear fuzzy feel to the image--kind of like how memories are. You can see them, but some of the smaller (maybe...lesser important) details just blend into the background. I need to work on it for about a day or two more, and then...I think it's done.
Then I'm on to my next project.
ugh...I'm listening to Ringo Starr's "Octopus's Garden"(my iphone is on shuffle...and it just came on, in case you're wondering) --it's so distracting.
Anyway, there have been some changes in my life. Big ones. Ones that I'm not ready to disclose just yet...but ya, changes. Good changes. I'll share in about a month, If I'm ready to. :)
Well, as mentioned I'm thinking about a new project (again)
With the recent success (I have sold 3 of the 5 paintings) of my black and white background series, I'm thinking of taking the idea to a large scale. Right now those paintings are about 11"x 14", but I"m looking at possibly paintings in the 22"x 28" range or perhaps even 24"x 36...or largerPieces which are actual wall-art pieces rather than small accent paintings.
I'm going to stick with a geometric black and white background--maybe making it a little more "exact" and using a ruler or something??? (who would've ever imagined I'd ever use a ruler?!)
But I want the subject matter to be loose and kind of shapeless. This concept, in a strange way, represents a self-portrait. I feel like things around me are well defined andare pretty clear. Facts are facts and reality couldn't be more real right now...but I kind of feel like this shapeless figure floating, some parts of me fairly defined, but other parts just feel like a sketch--or at most a loose under-painting.
I bet you didn't know that this much thought goes into my paintings, huh? They just seem like pretty girls or mermaids and crazy lines everywhere,..but if you asked me to explain the reasoning behind the things I do--you'd be surprised :)
oh gosh, Ringo's "Octopus Garden" is on again...what the hell? do I only have like 30 songs on shuffle right now?
Much better, I'm listening to John Lennon.
I had a moment last night.
I was at Times Supermarket with a cart full of groceries--boring healthy things like Kale, Watercress, Spinach, tomatoes... whole wheat tortillas, lean cuts of meat... yogurt and Davidson's cage-free, organic, pasteurizedeggs...and I'm waiting to pay, and I look at the couple right next to me.
2 twenty something year old's probably sophomores in college (a guy and a girl) buying one bottle of Jack Daniels.
A tiny itty bitty part of my heart cracked.
It's not like I want to repeat the days of my youth, or anything like that. I've totally subscribed to the "been there done that" mentality... but, there are moments when you feel the heaviness of "oh my god...oh my god... o h m y g o d--- I'm __ (you fill in the rest)___"
When I was 20-something and pretty much living the paycheck-to-party lifestyle, I would have NEVER-EVER even considered filling an entire grocery cart full of vegetables.
The most I would have bought at 10:30pm at night from grocery store was maybe a lime for the shots of tequila I would throw down.
But now, right smack in the center of my ripe middle-aged crisis, there I was standing in line buying a cart full of health food..
I kind of wanted to die.
And it's not like the 20-something year old's even cared about me or my purchase. But, maybe that was exactly the point. There was no concern going from their direction to mine, but full attention going the other way.
I try to look at life like an avocado--and right now--and probably through the next 15 years, I'm just right. I'm not useless and tasteless.... and I'm not too old where I'm just bruised and stink... I'm at that creamy age where I can go on top of just about anything and make it better.... (yay avocados!)
But, my avocado analogy just wasn't happening as I finished my transaction, paid, and slowly walked in the distance to my husband's truck.
I sat in the car for awhile without the engine on. Just looking out of the front windshield. Hands on the wheel, but no key in the ignition.
you know...back then, being so plastered that I could barely walk, making out with strangers, and driving home crazy drunk....was I really having that good of time?
were the jokes really as funny to match the strength of my laugh?
did I really want to get that fucked up back then?
My mind knows the real answer is "no." (except my karaoke days...then the answer is yes..haha)
But, I mean I know so much of it was forced because there was this feeling that I had to be having a good time. it was something that expected of me and every other 20-something, probably including the two people next to me in line.
And it's not like, even for a second of my life, I would want to go to a club now. oh god no.
I mean, seriously, no one shed's a faster tear than the crowd looking at the middle-aged grandma breaking a crazy sweat on the dance floor pop-locking-and dropping-it when no one else is.
I mean...there are classes for that kind of sad display, and as we all know, it's zumba.
...but the nostalgia--the blurred fuzziness--the palette-knife rendition of my "how it used to be" made it all look so desirable.
I started the car, made a right onto the main road, and slowly drove off
The windshield wipers slowly wiped away the drizzle...
I carefully drove around all of the bumps on the road so that I wouldn't accidentally disturb my cage-free, organic, pasteurizedeggs that i carefully spent 5 minutes inspecting one by one.
I parked and saw my husband. I smiled as he walked to the car to help me with the groceries.
and then, everything was ok.
Love to you and you and you, and sometimes you too.
April was such a long, long month.
As Mr. Eliot said,
"APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
I have too much on my mind, and my filters aren't working tonight--so I'm not able to translate thoughts into words
I have this picture posted on my studio wall. Every time I look up from my painting table I see it.
I took the picture of the windows (at Las Vegas) because the last time I had a full view of the sky was when I was in high school (while It was just my mom, reimi, and I.)
All of the other places I've lived before and after that have always had obstructions from the view--jalousie windows put horizontal lines in front of the view and I...
It was just that short but special time in my life when the sky seemed so close--right outside my window.
That's all for tonight.
I cried on my way to work.
Purple Rain was playing on the radio and my heart jumped and I excitedly turned the radio up!
"Ahhhhhhhhhh~~~Oh my god!! They're playing Purple Rain!!!!"
After singing a couple of lines, I picked up my phone to try and open up itunes to play the entire album.
That's why I saw the 2 text messages on my phone
One from my best friend, Alyson. The other from my sister. "Did you hear about Prince?", "Omg. Prince. He's dead."
It was surreal. Purple Rain was still playing so loudly on my speakers, and my happiness turned, in an instant to deep--deep sadness. my heart hurt. "nooooooooooooooooo~ nooooooo...." I sobbed.
I'm spending tonight listening to Prince, which isn't something unfamiliar to me--there have been days, and in the past, weeks were I would just play prince over and over again.... But, tonight it's different. I'm listening to it as a way to say goodbye--goodbye to a friend I would spend time in my car with, to a friend I would spend nights painting with, to a friend who would help me get over some lonesome heartbreak--- goodbyeto the potential of something new and fantastic from a music innovator. just goodbye.
I'm listening to his music and hearing things I didn't hear before, I'm listening to his music and thinking back to how much a certain song meant to me a certain point in my life... I"m listening to his music and thinking... 'Wow, it's over."
When an extraordinary presence leaves the room, you are left to look around at just how ordinary everyone is. Prince has left the room, and the absence of his presence is greater than the rest of the music industry that is still in the room.
sigh. In the same way I"m still getting over the death of Michael, this will take some time.
"Love is too weak to define just what you mean to me..."
I have been working on a couple of different things, trying to keep busy :)
This is the first series. I'm still unsure if I will transfer these sketches to paint on canvas, or if I'll use another medium.
I've also worked on another Kalaupapa piece...
But, right as I type, I"m looking through old sketches I did years ago...and I think I may develop them as well.
I can kind of feel myself walking though my wall (artist block)
Sometimes my wall is really thick and it takes me a long time to get to the other side, other times, it's like paper thin. I'll only know the depth after I've come out from the other side.
But, I'm almost out-i think.
On a completely separate note:
I've spent some time reflecting on my upbringing.
And, if you know me at all, you know that I have nothing but amazing things to say about the way I was raised. Some people think I"m bragging, and you know what...I am.
I was fortunate to have really educated, classy, artistic parents. My sister and I were raised with parents who played chess, read books, and pursued their dreams.
Although they weren't full-on hippies, my parents found each other during the era of free-love and free thought. They chose to live away from their family to start their life out living it the way they wanted to.
Now, things weren't always rosy and perfect. Their life decision caused us to live, many, many times, in that scary paycheck-to-paycheck one-day-at-a-time reality. And although both of my parents came from upper-middle class families, they distanced themselves both physically and financially from their upbringing.
Some people look at the decision a foolish because for the most part, they struggled--and struggled HARD. In many ways, my sister and I continue to struggle because of the choices my parents made...
But, no matter which way I look at it, my heart is still filled with complete and total pride. It took a lot of guts for my parents--an inter-racial, international couple to take the chance on each other, to detach themselves from their families forever, and raise their own family in a place neither of them were familiar with--that takes fucking balls.
I come from a family of risk takers, and people who are willing to gamble their life on something as pure (and whimsical) as love. And you know what, i look up to the night sky and say thank you to my father for that, and I talk to my mom often and tell her how thankful i am that she is my mom.
My sister and I are filled with character, class, brains, and discipline --although my sister has more of it than I :) So... 3 cheers for being proud of who you are.
If you liked this, go call your parents and tell them how thankful you are for all that they have done to make you, you.
Sometimes it's fun to get away. We spent our (belated) honeymoon in Vegas last week. Everything there is so huge, so extreme... The hotels, the lights all of it... it was, at moments, surreal. I absolutely loved it. I loved spending time with my husband, and in coming back...I have new ideas to expand upon--so I'm refreshed and excited :)
I think that's all for tonight. Just something light and sweet. I will have more coming very, very soon!
During my second year of community college, I signed up for some two hundred level English class--and was at the bookstore buying my required reading for the semester. I remember it was still summer, before the fall semester started. I didn’t want to get caught up in the college crowd of losers buying their books the first day of school.
One of the required books was “The Stranger” from Albert Camus. It was the shortest book in the pile of books I had to buy that day, so I thought I would tackle that one first. My plan was to read all of the books that week so I could just kind of whiz by. English was always an easier class for me, so if I could finish all of my books in summer, I could pay more attention to the discussions in class… ya, I was nerdy like that.
The opening lines of the book are “Maman died today.” I still remember it, almost 15 years after reading it. I remember we had long cliché college-English-class conversations about it. In those 3 words, the protagonist was painted—the silhouette image of an emotionless nihilist. The class pondered over how someone (Meursault, the main character) could be so nonchalant about an event like his mother passing.
I won’t lie or pretend to be above it all, I wondered about it too. That opening moment in the novella, along with many other (beautiful) moments, continue to stay with me. My mind glances over those moments the way I glance over a ring on my finger that I never remove (even when I am making hamburger patties…)
Those thoughts (and my ring) are always in my view, even though I may not examine them closely (unless, I’m picking tiny pieces of smashed food out of the crevices) I see them daily...
Anyway, my twenty-year old heart wondered what it must feel like to be so detached from life/reality/love to be able to speak so frankly about a life-changing event. In that first opening chapter, after it is mentioned that the main character’s mother passed that day, the story opens to a scene of Meursault making love to his girlfriend and then going to the beach (I forget which happens first, the beach or sex?) It was as if it was just a normal day for Meursault. A normal day...that notion is the jewel in my metaphoric ring that I never take off…
“What is it like to be so detached?” I scribbled in my notebook...
Life has a way of answering the questions you ask yourself softly every day.
I never told anyone this until now, but the day Ensō passed, my husband and I went to the movies. We watched “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
It was the first time we smiled—not a fake “smile for the camera” smile, but a real…real smile. For two months of being in the NICU I fake smiled to everyone. I faked it and pretended to be strong. I put a front up for myself so I could get through the terror that was my life. I don’t think I saw any of my friends during the entire 2 months. I couldn’t let anyone who knew me see me faking it so hard—because they would call me on it.
I know my family could see it, but they smiled along with me…they pushed through with me. But that night, when we decided to go the movie, I found both my husband and I smiling—on the saddest day of our life.
Meursault, my jewel in my ring, seemed so bright and polished—probably because after weeks of having my hands jammed in my pockets trying to walk as quickly as could to being the strongest mom in the world—the friction from my pockets cleaned the surface of my ring.
“He’s a heartless killer, that’s why he could kill the Arab without feeling anything.” “—You can’t ignore the opening lines of the story…he went to the BEACH on the day his mother died...who does that?”
I would write down things my fellow classmates would say and ask myself those same questions. And then, almost 15 years later, someone so strange started to stare back at me in the mirror—and didn’t seem so strange after all.
No one entertained the idea that perhaps Meursault really loved his mother. Truly loved her. No one entertained that idea that maybe he went through his own ordeal with her. No one mentioned that maybe death doesn’t have to be the end—or that perhaps Meursault was so connected to his mother that it was his idea to let her go? I believe in the ending of the novel, there is a monologue of sorts where he speaks out (maybe in his mind) to her.
Something about the indifference of the world…
But, we, the reader are left to wonder how someone could be so detached.
I look at myself as I write this, and I think of the twenty-year old Winnie and realize this: to detach means that, at some point, you were connected. So connected. One body. One solid piece. You were ONE. I find myself detached from that twenty-year-old self, and yet, I am still Winnie. I am still Ensō’s mother, and will always be. I am still that girl/lady/women who looks at her ring and wonders… and Meursault was more connected to his mother than the reader ever allowed him to be.
It’s still in my top 10 books, maybe in the top 3… I may just re-read it again tonight.
we held hands
glitter flickered in the blinding darkness
searching for shooting stars
I used to listen to really depressing love songs…
Like, that was the main source of music in my late teens and 20’s…depressing love songs.
Songs about longing, songs about loss…songs about love—
I used it as a sort of motivation for my blogs and art.
One of my favorite tearjerkers was from John Lennon.. ‘Nobody loves you when you’re down and out” (the walls and bridges version) I would listen to it over and over…I loved the music arrangement, but I even more so, I loved the lyrics. “Every time I put my finger on it, it’ slips away…”
I thought I understood the lyrics then, and I did.., in my 22 year old body, I really did get it—But now when I hear John say “when I get up in the morning and I’m lookin in the mirror to see…oooohweee…then I’m laying in the darkness and I know I can’t get to sleep…”
these lyrics have taken on a completely new life in my 30’s . These lyrics, the music composition, everything about it… feels like a brand new song and I feel my bones when I hear it now, whereas before, I would hear my itty-bitty-lovey-dovey heart.
In fact, the entire “Walls and Bridges” album deserves a write up. Spotify doesn’t have Menlove Ave.
"Menlove Ave" has the original "stripped down" version of all(most) of the songs on Walls and Bridges…. when I was like 8 years old (thanks to Reimi)… I listened to Menlove Ave all the time. My sister likes the Menlove Ave. version of these songs, I prefer the Walls and Bridges one… Not really an important fact worth mentioning, but…whatever.
Anyway… I can’t do a comparative essay on one version of the songs verses the other… but wait--- wait, what’s my point again?
This happens to me more nowadays, I get sidetracked from a point/conversation and never get to finish my thought. My brain feels like a bunch of scribbled notes all half-way complete. Ending mid senten---
Just like that.
In hopes of trying to stay focused, I will go back to my original point. “Nobody loves you when you’re down and out”..and the other sad love songs I would listen to mean so much more to me now—because they aren’t simply about ‘love’ anymore. I mean, even “Luna” from Smashing Pumpkins—one of my all-time favorite love songs, means a little more than just butterflies in the stomach and red cheeks, when he says “I go alone, just because I’m lazy, I go alone to be with you…” (high pitched screaming and finger twirling through hair....heart-melting….maybe it still means butterflies and red cheeks~)
Simon (a dear friend of mine which I wrote about in a couple of blog entries past) has asked me if we could start making mixed cd’s for each other again…which made me SO so so happy~
I think, maybe only Alyson and Simon truly understand how important making mixed tapes/cd’s is to me..hahaha .
I would reserve a whole day to “mixed music” making –especially if they were for gifts…because I like to make sure all the songs blend from one song to the next.
Mixed tapes were my way of having conversations with people. It was my way to give a little bit of my history, a little tiny bit of myself, that I don’t share with everyone.
And now, I’m here, selecting songs that I like, and I’m nervous!
I’m wondering, if I have I put these songs on compilations before? I’m wondering If I’m up-to-date with my music taste—I’ve kind of shunned new music for a while and/or have only really subscribed to “NPR’s all songs considered” but, have rarely went to the extent of downloading an entire album
—oh (clenching my heart) the way the music world has changed!!
Before I would be forced to buy the entire album and listen to it (and find the hidden gems that could easily be missed if I just bought the single)—and now, thanks to digital laziness, I’m just listening to singles here and there. And, I find myself just listening to my favorite music from the 80’s and 90’s verses listening to anything new (because I’m always disappointed nowadays)
See what I mean about getting side-tracked.
Anyway, I’m worried that I’m selecting songs that I’ve already selected because the same song means something entirely different to me now than it did then. I’m hearing the music differently, the words mean something entirely new....but then again, I’m sharing music and experience with a dear friend…
so maybe I should get a grip?
I mean, seriously....can I just get over the fear of being judged?
(haha) Who hit the nail on its head?
I spend so many days/hours/minutes/seconds judging other people that, could it be, I’m terrified of being judged?
~Sigh~ (cough, cough…uncomfortably clearing throat)
I don’t ever want to get to the point where my joys are no longer joys.
So with that said…I’m off to the store to buy a pack of blank cd’s.
Instead of ending this with another Winnie quote, I will end it with lyrics that have taken on a new meaning to me…
“If you want to destroy my sweater, pull this thread as I walk away.”
One thing leads to another.
Okay, so I have a confession: I haven’t too productive with my art these past few weeks. ((Sigh))
I’ll tell you why…. I kind of hate my day job, and it’s really bringing my shit down. I’m spending more of my nights contemplating how I’m going to bounce from the disorganized land of hypocrisy then I am in my lala-land of happy art creation.
I asked myself 10 million times a day: do I drop the microphone and say, “fuck it, I quit”…or do I do the more sensible thing and do a job search and then formally put my 2 weeks in.
I’ve decided to do the more “adult” thing and start the job search aaaaaaaaagain. ((Sigh))
I realize that there is no such thing as a perfect job. I mean, even being self-employed for that short time in my life wasn’t all that it was cut out to be…and I can’t just quit every time things get hard. But, this is a matter of personal principle. I can’t (and don’t want to) stay with a company that is about 2 seconds away from a full federal investigation. I mean, they may think the rest of the world is as stupid as they are, but…there are still a few people with fully functioning brains—and I’m one of them.
Maybe that’s why the turn-around rate at that organization is sky high? Hmmm?
Anyway, that’s my dilemma.
I swear, if people knew just how delicate being an artist is they would be willing to pay more for pieces. To be able to come up with something takes the perfect combination of life elements to be able to get to that “creative state” and right now, I’m a little off balance.
But then again, after typing that…I’m starting to think, and art has always been my ladder and/or my rope that I reach for when I’m trying to get out of a junky situation. Maybe instead of not creating because I’m feeling shitty, I should actually be pushing myself to make more?
Hmmm… maybe I just solved my own problem.
Alright, good night moon. Winnie’s gonna dust off her paints and create again after all…
Love you all…. especially you, dear reader.
To be in the arts, you must also enjoy them yourself...
Here is who inspires me:
I love the work of Ray Johnson. I stumbled across the documentary "How to Paint a Bunny" while I was in art school, and it forever changed my approach to art, and expanded my understanding of what it means to be an artist. When I think of how to push boundaries, I think of Ray Johnson. And..while i was compiling this list, I put stars around his name~
To me, this is the ultimate goal. I feel Da Silva's work is able to say so much without saying a word... What I love most about abstract work, and what I'm able to find so easily in Da Silva's art is this: the interpretation of her work shifts dramatically by the mood of the viewer.
I know some people firmly believe that that is simply a characteristic of abstract work, but I will argue that some abstract artists give too much of a story to their viewer, so the viewer is coerced to feeling a certain way when interacting with an art piece..
On the other hand, to me, Da Silva's work is open enough for the viewer to approach it at different stages/moods in their life, and in turn are able to experience different internal dialogues with her art. She is a true master at silent conversations...and yes, as I said to open with: it is the ultimate goal. :)
I know you can see his influence in my recent works. I adore the work of Yoshitomo Nara. Absolutely adore it~~ We have 2 framed prints of his little girls, I have 2-3 of his postcard books, a friend of mine got me his children's book... I mean, i love his work.
He has found a way to create a relationship between what is childlike and "cute" verses what I considered the disturbing realities of being an adult.
--One of those realities is that as an adult, we're not always happy. There are layers and layers to his work which one can explore while still enjoying the surface "cuteness" of his girls. I could go on for days with my love for Yoshitomo Nara's work. The only exhibition that was even remotely exciting in all my years of going to Honolulu's contemporary museum was his. Love. Love. Love.
I love the way Lempicka paints people--especially women. She makes life look luxurious. And I guess, it goes beyond just looking beautiful on the outside... she makes her subjects powerful.
After getting my fine arts degree, I started to really examine ways women were portrayed, and that's when I found (and fell in love with) Lempicka. There is only one other artist that tops my love for depicting women but, I couldn't write a blog about artists that inspire me without mentioning her...
To be honest, I never truly believed this about myself ,but a professor once told me that one of my strengths in art is portraiture and figure painting. I never believed it in myself, and (until recently) never had the space and/or opportunity to do live paintings. It was always too hard for me to commit the time involved to have a figure sit for me--and because of that, I've never moved forward in hiring a model...but, it was told to me by a professor I respected. So, it may be worth pursuing from this point forth... If I were to try again, I would like to paint women like Lempicka did. The presence of each figure is immense...and i love that.
Charley Harper's work makes my heart smile.
A dear friend of mine from Ireland (Simon!!) once sent me a calendar bookmark of Charley Harper's work. I kept each bookmark because I loved the artwork on it. In fact, I laminated each one (and still have it) because I liked the art so much.
The graphic simplicity in his depiction of insects and wildlife excites me.
I now have one of his large calendars in my bathroom and look at it everyday because it simulates my mind on the daily.
I like work that is clean.In fact, that may be the best way to describe Harper's work: Clean.
I often wish I could add that component to my own pieces, but sometimes I feel that I fall in love with certain things because they are so opposite of myself that its pure presence in my life is simply for me to admire it...that's how I feel about Charley Harpers work. I truly admire it.
As they say, save the best for last.
I have too much to say about my love for Matisse. So, I will just leave it at this:
"All things considered, there is only Matisse. "--Pablo Picasso
:) Thanks for reading!
Memories of Kalaupapa
This is my kind of year. I'm working on new pieces and trying to absorb new experiences in new ways :) I'm mixing media and kinda loving it!
This series is based on a visit to Kalaupapa. The idea was given to me by one of my husband's closest friends (who actually invited us to join the Kalaupapa one-night stay.) I want to illustrate the time there--the silent energy that surrounds the island. There is a power there that is felt but not seen, and the energy comes from all directions. sometimes striking at once, sometimes coming in waves.
The best memory, to me, was first arriving and seeing this lone lighthouse. there was no sound, and yet so much energy.
My second favorite memory was seeing the millions of stars. So many stars that the sky seemed bright, so many stars to my delight~
This is going to be an on-going long process (not a painting every night kinda deal~) but, I'm looking forward to how everything will unfold.
My, it has been awhile since I written (or even tried to write) one of these babies...
Through a conversation between my best friend and I, I happened to verbalize my new venture into mixed media...
I surprised myself by putting my previous work at my current work into context.
I will firm this up later, but:
"My day-job requires no real thought. I'm an admin assistant...so, I'm rarely ever challenged (mentally)--and while I can't say I'm totally unhappy at work, I can't say I'm happy either. I feel as though I'm always just floating. There is absolutely nothing exciting or remotely surprising to knock me off my feet. So, now more than ever, I look forward to getting to the studio to work. I think that may be why I've decided to go into a realm I've never fully immersed myself in before. The world of mixed media always seemed to experimental for me, and I've always relied on the tried and true.
In fact, because art is like my cathartic release, I believe those past years of only using black ink on paper and patterning everything was a type of therapy. Everything I drew was...predictable...I knew what the outcome would be.
Now, in retrospect, I totally see my drawings as a coping mechanism. I used to think the patterning was a way of decorating my subjects (and that still holds true...my birds, and women) were all extremely decorated to emphasize the beauty of the exterior of the women/birds, but...I constantly repeated patterns from piece to piece, and rarely ever altered the color or style... predictable patterns, the only stable to a (once) unstable girl....
The past 10 years of my life have been filled with unexpected events that caught me off guard and shook me deeply. Things, both good and bad, came out of NOWHERE, and I know you, Dear Reader, think that you can relate because in your mind "we ALL go through unexpected events...", but let me just say, in just these past 10 years I've had to deal with : someone changing genders, a suicide, someone going into an insane asylum, being the other woman, moving 5-6 times, having one of the closest people to me almost die several times, finding real love and getting married, the passing of a child...and those were just the "big" events, that doesn't even come close to the basic unexpected changes in career, and living status... so when I say using predictable patterns was one of my only sources of stability, and therefore used as a coping mechanisms, you and I both see it as clear as day~.
Clean lines, similar expressionless faces, birds that couldn't fly, all covered in a variety of striking and yet soothing repeated patterns.... I can remember sitting at a dimly lit desk and drawing each bird/face and holding my pen tightly and keeping my head close to the paper, carefully drawing in each pattern. With each completed drawing, a sigh of relief---as if I just sub-consciously tackled another problem in my mind...
I have about 100 pieces in black and white...
And now, here I am...I'm experimenting with colors, textures, and medium. What has changed? Well, for one...I've found some real stability in my life: I'm happily married, living with my husband, and even though my mundane day-job is simply that: mundane...it's stable. I have a routine. I have structure. I'm not on my toes trying to plan curriculum for 30 kindergarten aged children (only to find that what I planned won't be taught that day because my class was going crazy...) no, everyday it's the same thing. I clock in, go to my computer, check my e-mail, check the messages...and repeat...
stable predictability. I don't need to draw it because (thank god) i live it... So now, I can have fun in my art~~ so get ready world--fun, fun, fun.
I like to do this at the closing of every month: What do I want to accomplish next month:
1) another dentist appointment
2) finish 2-4 more art pieces
3) finish reading a book
4) start listening to the serial podcast.
5) jog at least 1/2 of the month (it's the shortest month of the year ^_^)
Sounds like a fun February!
love to you all,
Don’t say it’s cute
I’m really excited about my new pieces (which are now also on sale here.)
In this new series I titled “Whimsical Wisdom,” I’m challenging myself to mix media: pastels, wax, glue, paints, collage, eventually: sand~(it’s something I haven’t done since college)
It’s fun! And…I ‘m having fun doing it. Hopefully that’s showing through the pieces. But, I have to be able to find a balance to make the work still seem…serious.
I’ve been looking at the work of a lot of artists, and I think what I want to tap into is the relationship between cute vs conscientious work, and have both elements work for me instead of having one over-power the other.
I believe I’ve said this in this blog, but if not, I’ll say it now… I hate it when people say my art is cute… Even though, I KNOW this particular series of work is cute… my goal is to have the first adjectives that describe this series NOT to be cute. I still remember, quite vividly, someone always referring to my art, the fact that I did art, and my life as an artist as “cute.” How demeaning.
“Oh, you went to art school? Cute…” “Wow…you do art? Cute.” pointing to my painting set “is that yours? cute”
If I could’ve punched those jerks in the mouth I would have.
I now realize that many times people just don’t have the vocabulary…so I’ve lightened up and put my boxing gloves down… but still, I want to keep elements of this series as light-hearted, whimsical, and…ahem cute, but still have something a little meaty there that adds a punch to it. So…as I continue the series I will keep that in mind.
Japanese Cultural Center Hawaii
For those of you who know me, you know what a big deal my mom is to me…but, for those of you who are just starting to get to know me, hi ☺
My mom is also an artist. I’ve recently put her blank greeting cards into the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii Gift shop. I’m wishing for excellent sales. My mom’s work is amazing. If I could be even 1/8 of the artist my mom is, I’ve accomplished something in my life.
You should check out her work. Here are some samples from my society6 page
I feel a tad bit cliché putting in a small blurb about David Bowie in my blog, but so what…
I will because so many pieces, so many thoughts, so many journal entries/blogs were done to his music in the background.
Being different seems to come with the territory when the fates choose you to be in the arts. You see the world differently, you hear songs/sounds differently, poetry hits your head with a stronger deeper thud, and many times the liveliest art is the simple beating of your own heart.
Eccentricity was something that David Bowie embodied—and I love that. It made the world a little less lonely to know that someone like him exists. And, I say exists because I truly believe that there is no past tense to someone who’s art lives forever, so with that I say:
holding invisible mic in the air
“… love’s such an old fashioned word,
and loves dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night,
and love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves,
this is our last dance, this is our last dance
this is ourselves
love you all,