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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

I notice that I have been calling the Exfactor by his regular name again and I want to stop doing that right away, because it gives the appearance of a familiarity and intimacy that is not there and that I do not want to be there, so he is the Exfactor again from now on. The dog will be the Überhund and the cats will just be the cats or the minion cats as it pleases me. The other woman shall still be named the Paramount. I am still the editor of the script and I still pull the strings.

My sister told me yesterday, that she was under the impression that I had forgiven the Exfactor and I said, “Oh, for God’s sake, no, I will never forgive him. I never forgive anybody, that’s not my job.” She equated being friendly and polite with having forgiven and she could not be more wrong. I do have a great sense of pride within myself and a sense of self worth and I don’t like for anyone to come around and seriously damage that to the point that the Exfactor did. So no, I have not forgiven him and I never will. I have a memory like an elephant.

Anyway. I pulled the same trick this morning that I did yesterday, I got up early and went back to bed to sleep some more after I let the Überhund piddle out back.

I am rereading the Memory Keeper’s Daughter and I’m pretending that I don’t remember any of it so that it will all be a surprise to me. Luckily, I fall asleep with it quickly, so I never get to the point that things start to look real familiar. It is that, or a psychological book called Illusions, which I am not in the mood for right now. It’s a self improvement book and I will become amazingly self knowledgeable after I am done with it, but it seems like too much work and I think I know so much already. Mmm…well…

I suppose I’m not really in the mood to dig too deeply right now, not on my own anyway. I am cruising along comfortably now and I don’t want to rock the proverbial boat. I think I don’t want to join the Personality Disorder Group later this year. I think that is asking for trouble. They want to do a very deep analysis of my childhood and I have done that in the past and let me tell you, that is no picnic. I think it would be a bad idea for me to do that now, especially since I don’t seem to be suffering from a personality disorder at this time. I did not before my marriage and I do not afterwards, which makes me think I don’t really have one. I think it was artificially induced and maintained.

I no longer have short rapid mood cycles. My moods are for the most part always the same, or I should say, they are as normal as anyone else’s. I don’t go from an 8 to a 3 to a 5 to an 8 all in one day anymore. I react appropriately to the circumstances and bounce back well. I am an optimistic person and see the glass half full. It’s my disastrous marriage that screwed me up royally and I didn’t know it until it was over, although at the end I started having many suspicions. Like, why did I always fall apart in the afternoons when the Exfactor came home? And why was it as though he fed my hypo manic and depressive moods?

It’s best not to think about it anymore and let it be in the past where it belongs. I am living this life now that is so much better. A quiet and meditative life with moments of busyness and great hilarity. The occasional stress I can handle too.

Well, it’s time to watch the news and be a well informed citizen. How good and well behaved of me.

Have a great day, or what’s left of it.

Ciao…

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I am sitting here listening to an MP3 player that I erased and then filled with songs that were really odds and ends that I had not used anywhere else. There is a lot of Norah Jones, nice and mellow, and Rosanna, who is an Argentinian singer. I had world music on this MP3 player and I actually wasn’t that fond of it, although I tried to be and some of it wasn’t too bad, but I could never listen to the whole thing, because it always got on my nerves after a while.Too many jungle noises and drums, I guess.It does all start to sound alike after a while. There is something other worldly about world music, hah.

I like Norah Jones, I find her so completely inoffensive and mellow that I can do any sort of job with her in the background. She doesn’t have a great voice, but that seems to be just fine too and the music is pleasant. Sometimes you need music like that, that doesn’t tax your brain too highly and just lets you get on with whatever you are doing. If I could sing and play the piano, I’d like to do it like Norah Jones.

I’ve got the Real Player full of music to pick from. There’s lots of classical there too that the Exfactor put in there, and also Johan Sebastian Bach and Mendelssohn, which are more than tolerable to me. I can put together any sort of combination MP3 player, however the mood strikes me. I gigabyte one is about 165 songs, so that is more than enough to chose from.

I have one MP3 player with French chansons, nobody famous on there, and I am thinking about erasing them and replacing them with something else. The chansons are mostly okay, but some of them are really bad and I am embarrassed to play them in company. Not exactly music to play at a cocktail party. I need somethinga little bit classier than that. You see how I never get done picking out my music. It’s an ongoing thing. A forever mind changing thing.

I prefer women performers. I just prefer women. I am always happy when women do well in the arts and get recognition. So sorry for you guys, but that’s the way it is, and I like it when women move away from typical female subjects and move into the more masculine areas of expression and make bold statements, although I do have to add that women, through whatever medium they use, can make a strong case for women and the women movement, but I don’t think they have to and that they owe it to us. An artist only owes his art to her/himself and screw what the public wants. That’s my humble opinion.

I just received a tunic this afternoon that I had ordered yesterday and it was a little big on me. Rather than send it back, I have made it smaller on the sewing machine and that worked great too. Now I’ve got all these other clothes I have to alter, which I will get around to in the shortest amount of time. Watch me zip those clothes under the needle in the fastest time possible. Records will be set.

My sister and I took the dogs for a walk this afternoon and had psychological talks. We are very good at this, being well versed in matters of the mind and what makes us tick and what makes the other person tick. I’ve suggested she use a tranquilizer, but she refuses to and is under the impression that she can somehow keep her frayed nerves under control by sheer mind power. It isn’t working very well.

It’s decided to be nice weather today. The sun has been shining all day and I have washed the windows, but because the sun is shining on them, I can see the streaks and where I need to go over them again. It’s very frustrating, but they do look a lot cleaner from the outside looking in. Next, I have to clear away some weeds. I’ll do that this weekend. It’s some sort of wild grass that grows between the tiles and the apartment and is pretty when it first comes up but turns very wild after a while. The neighbors have put out pretty pots with nice looking plants and if it weren’t for the money I would do that too, but alas.

I do love Saturdays, because I always have a holiday feeling, having done the shopping on Friday. I really enjoy the weekends and take full advantage of them and really see them as days off. I am glad that the Sundays are still sacred here and aren’t frantic shopping days and there is always very little traffic on the roads. Nice and quiet and only the cafés and restaurants are open. I hope it always stays that way.

The Überhund is very soundly asleep at my feet. I can tell he’s getting older, because he sleeps a lot. Very deep sound sleeps.

My knees have been bothering me a lot these past couple of weeks and I have a heck of a time getting out of bed in the morning. I think I may need to take some supplements. It’s been a ongoing problem that gets worse at times and then lessens again. Maybe it is wearing these different shoes that’s the cause of it. Of course, like my GP said, it’s all due to having been overweight, but you’d think it would get better now. Sometimes, I think they’ll get stuck.

Maybe I have osteoarthritis just like Jesker and I need to be taking supplements just like him.

Well, I am off doing some other little jobs now. Something to keep me pleasantly, but usefully occupied. To keep me off the streets and out of trouble.

Have a great day and a super weekend.

Ciao…

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Breaking the silence a bit.

I have a bit of a dilemma. There are some things going on in my life that I don’t want to blog about, yet, because I can’t blog about them, I find it hard to blog about anything at all and I am trying desperately to think of something to write about and I don’t know if I can do it.

It is hard when one issue is completely in the forefront of your mind and you can’t very well get around it to get to the other cozy subjects that you normally chat about, but now I must do my best anyway and make something of it.

My sister’s bike got stolen when it was briefly parked by the grocery store last week, even though it had a chain lock on it. A couple of hoodlums came and picked it up and walked away with it. It was a brand new bike that she had just gotten. Bike theft is a serious problem in all the bigger cities and towns.

She is now using my bicycle, a so called granny bike, and she likes riding it very much, because she says it is so comfortable. The only thing missing on it are the gears, but if you peddle hard enough, you get up any bridge ramp. I am not really using my bike and I can walk to my SPN in 15 minutes, as I did yesterday afternoon and I will do again this morning at nine. My sister was going to give me back the bike for that and take the bus to work herself, but that is such a bother for her, that I said for her not to be silly and that it is very easy for me to walk the short distance to my SPN.

My sister has been my support and refuge these past couple of days and she has really come through for me when I needed her and I am very grateful to her for it. She was there for me when I needed her and there was not a moment’s hesitation on her part. When I said to her that I needed help, she was right there for me. I will not easily forget that and she has grown in my appreciation for her quite a bit. She is much smarter and wiser than I have ever given her credit for.

I have felt an enormous amount of anxiety these past couple of days, but this has not caused me to increase my medication and I am hoping not to at all. My SPN says that it is important to feel all my feelings and to not cover them up or try to escape from them, if at all possible, and to only do that if they become unbearable. Sometimes, I feel so much stress, that I think I will lose my mind for a moment, but it is always something that comes and goes very quickly.

Sometimes, It is like your mind is made of a very stretchy rubber material and it twist and turns out of shape and into all sorts of different lengths, whatever the situation demands for and your mind just keeps accommodating and stretches with it. Sometimes it does warp your viewpoint on things a bit, though, and it is very important to keep staying focused on the core of the problem and to not get distracted by all sorts of side issues.

In mental health, there is a fine line between being healthy and being not healthy, depending on the circumstances.

I realize that I am a more vulnerable woman than most, at the same time I also realize that I have many strengths in spite of myself. When I am calm enough, I do have the power of reason and understanding and I do have some psychological knowledge. I am able to eventually analyze a situation and see how the mechanisms work. What makes people behave in a certain way, including myself, but it is always good to get a third party point of view and in this way my SPN is very handy and trustworthy, the same as my sister is.

Well, that’s about all I have to say now. I am not going to add any images to this today. Somehow it doesn’t seem appropriate. I will add a picture of Nouri, because she is one of our cats that you have not seen a lot of, as it has been hard to get a good picture of her.

I wish you all a good day and I hope you don’t have too many hangovers from drinking green beer.

Ciao…

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There is only good news and the good news is that I didn’t rapid cycle once yesterday. My mood was steadily around an eight or a seven and I felt good all day long! I finally got it right.

What did I do differently? I took my second dose of Topamax at noontime instead of three pm and then took the third dose at five pm and that seemed to have done the trick. I didn’t need to take the Oxazepam either, so that was really a good deal. Of course, I woke up feeling good, but then I wake up feeling good most mornings, so that can’t be it.

I am just ever so grateful that it worked out this well. I must say that I had the right attitude too. I decided from the outset that I wasn’t going to have a down shift in my moods yesterday and I was very determined about that. So, I had a positive attitude and the medication at the right time and maybe the combination of the two was enough to help me. I will assume that the same thing will happen today.

So, I had a pleasant day yesterday. I cleaned the apartment and just enjoyed doing that. I vacuumed to my heart’s contend and did laundry. It was all very nice. Whenever I sat down to have a cup of decaf, Jesker came to be petted and petted he was. Gandhi came to be petted also. Luckily I have two hands to do this with and we were all very happy, except when I wanted to drink my coffee and smoke my cigarettes. Then something had to give. True love does have its limitations, even for the animals.

I actually felt like watching TV during the daytime and I watched channel 2 where you can watch programs that were on the night before. I watched shows that I normally would not watch and I didn’t care. It was all fine with me. Imagine watching a show that is in search of the new Evita, that is a real cut throat race to the end and enjoying that! I had never seen it before and was quite amazed by the level of competitiveness of it.

Eduard came home at 2 pm and the dog went silly with happiness. He barked and moaned and groaned. I was happy to see him too, as he didn’t have to work that evening and he got to stay home for the rest of the day. Some days we are lucky like that.

I fell asleep on the sofa after dinner and that was ever so much enjoyable. I woke up while Eduard was watching a football game and took my sleep medication and went off to bed where I read for a little while and then was off to dreamland very quickly. I wore a long sleeved T-shirt and long cotton pants and socks, because I am always so cold at night and I thought this might help me sleep better and it did. It’s not very sexy, but then I wasn’t feeling very romantic, just very sleepy. It’s so nice to be toasty warm under the duvet.

This morning I have planned to clean the bedroom really well, I see some spider rag in the corners of the room and when I was looking for the back of my earring last night, I noticed a lot of dog hair in places, so it is time to take the vacuum cleaner there. The cats will have to hide someplace else. The bedroom is a dark room and only if you look very closely do you see that it needs a good cleaning. If you quickly scan it by the light of the night stand lamp, it looks okay. It is not my favorite room in the apartment. I would love to cheer it up, but can’t think of a way to do it or find the energy and motivation to. Mostly I just ignore it until I have to go to sleep and even then I don’t look too closely. The bedroom is definitely a place of cleaning and decorating denial.

It’s great to be feeling so good in the morning. I am feeling an eight again and I can only think that it must be the most excellent coffee I am drinking. The drug smuggler coffee. And those very good cigarettes! No, really, it is a real pleasure to sit here and type non important things that contain absolutely no drama. It’s a little boring perhaps, but ever so much pleasant to me.

I sure do appreciate some of the suggestions people made to me in the comments on my last post. Offsetting negative thoughts with positive ones. For every negative thought add a positive one. I am going to do that today and see if it works. It will take a little bit of practice, but it is worth a try. God only knows how many negative thoughts I have during the day that are subconscious. It will be good to try and be aware of that, besides being aware of the very conscious ones. It is always good to get feedback from people who are outside your immediate circle of influence. People who can look at things with a fresh point of view.

I am limiting myself to four cups of regular Senseo in the morning, then I switch to decaf. I have another cup of regular Senseo in the evening as a reward for all the decaf I drank. It is working out well and that fifth cup of regular Senseo sure tastes great. Eduard has started drinking Senseo too, he is tasting the merits of it. You can really get hooked on the flavor. It’s that creamy foamy layer on top that makes it so special and the strength of it and every cup is freshly made. That makes a difference too.

Well, that’s all I have to report for right now. You can see that there isn’t anything of real importance, but that is good. It makes for a boring post, but not for a boring life. I like my life with the least amount of upheavals.

So, I all wish you a very good day, or a very good night, whichever comes first, ciao…

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It’s 1:30 in the morning and I can think clearly now. After I wrote my last entry, I laid down on the sofa and, because of the extra Oxazepam and the lack of sleep I had experienced, I promptly fell asleep. When I woke up, it was 11:30 pm and Eduard was home, sitting behind the computer, visiting his forums.

I asked him if he had read my blog, because he normally does at work at night, and he said he had, after which a discussion ensued about my present mood. It was all very unsatisfactory at first, with Eduard saying that it happens to people sometimes, that they suddenly get a bad mood out of the blue and that there was not always an explanation for it.

I could not accept this. I said, “You can’t go from being completely happy to complete despair in a matter of an hour without there being some solid reason for it.” Eduard insisted that you could and I felt very frustrated, because I thought he didn’t understand the measure of my despair. I said to him, “You mean that you have these feelings sometimes and you never tell me about them?” And he insisted he did.

I thought we were talking about two very different things and that we were two ships passing in the night. I thought, “There is no way that he is walking around with these kind of feelings without me noticing some of them ever and he must mean something else. He must mean a minor dip and not a major feeling of despair and hopelessness.”

Then Eduard opened my weblog and read the entry again and he said, “I thought what you wrote about Luke was very touching.” Luke is the person who is going to commit suicide. Then something started to dawn on him and he asked me,”Do you think that maybe you feel this upset because Luke is going to commit suicide?”

The minute he said that, I knew it was true. That’s where my feelings of despair where coming from. I was identifying very strongly with Luke and his strong desire to stop living and his determined plan to end his life. It was all coming a little bit too close to home, as they say. Eduard had told me about it in the afternoon and the thought had not left my head since he had told me and I was reminded very much of my own suicide attempts.

I took an overdoses of pills five times. Three of those times, I ended up in the hospital being reanimated. I had taken three months worth of pills those three times. I knew how hard it was to kill yourself, how much there could go wrong. I knew what it was like to wake up in the intensive care and to know that you had failed and what a fool you felt for having botched that job.

Subconsciously, all of those feelings and memories had come to the surface again and I had started thinking about ways that he could make sure that he would succeed. I felt that maybe I should go talk to him, because when I was serious about ending my life, I did some research on how to best do it and found some information on it and I wanted to share that with him. So, subconsciously, the subject was keeping me very busy indeed.

That’s where Scary Hairy came in. He is a character I called into being to personalize my utter feelings of despair and hopelessness when I saw no other way out than suicide. When I was fighting my demon, sort to say. And tonight he came back, because of all my memories that were triggered, and all the emotions that went with them.

Once I understood that and I talked about it with Eduard, I felt a lot better, because I understood the mechanism. People don’t just feel despair and hopelessness out of the blue. There is always a trigger for it and the worse the feeling, the bigger the trigger. It may just not be that obvious at first what it is. Now that I know this, I feel a great deal of calmness settle over me, but I am unable to go to bed and go to sleep, because I have so much to think about.

I am not going to be able to talk Luke out of his suicide, nor should I. He is very badly ill with Lou Gehrig’s disease and he lives in Belgium and apparently they can’t do anything there for him to speed along his death. They have different rules there than they have here in the Netherlands. So, I silently pray for him that all will go well and that he will not wake up again.

I have to think about my own feelings about having wanted to be dead. At the time, things were so bad, that it seemed like the only solution. Now, of course, I am happy that I am alive, but that is after a long hard struggle that I would not wish on anybody. Nor would I ever want to go through anything like it again, it took too much out of me and it literally almost killed me, both physically and mentally.

I think that what this is all about, is me making the decision that, if I ever had to go through years of that much mental agony again, I would choose for death. I would be as determined as Luke is now. I think that this was a decision that I had not made yet and that I had to make for myself. What happens if all goes to hell again? Well, then I know what to do now. I don’t choose for endless suffering. I choose for death.

Having said that, I hope I will have many happy years left to me and I am planning on staying as healthy as I can and on being as smart about my disorder as I can be. The way things have gone for the last five years have been bearable and the last eight months have been more than bearable. I have known happiness. As long as I know that I am capable of that, I will always keep fighting. I fight not only for myself, but also for the people I love and for two of them specifically, namely my husband and my daughter. For them and for myself I will fight.

And now for something completely different. I have just been over to Frances’ weblog A Carpet Full of Holes and it seems that I have been given an award. It is very strange how things work out in life. You deal with your demons and you are given an award. Frances has created An Apple For Teacher Blog Award for “those people who spend so much time and energy teaching us how to do things on blogs, encouraging us, enabling us, instructing us and enthusing us.” She has given it to me specifically for this reason: In terms of personal determination and grit to overcome barriers and the ability to honestly address herself to the world, Irene.

Well, to say that I am bowled over would be putting it mildly. I am astounded and this came at such an opportune moment in my life too. Just when I had so many doubts about so many things and I was trying to deal with it all as honestly as I could right here on my blog. So, thank you very much, Frances. What a very nice way to end this day for me, or should I say, to start this day for me. Thank you very much! As you can see, I am proudly displaying my award on my blog and I love it.

Wait until I tell Eduard in the morning. He will be so proud of me. Now I have to find out what the requirements are to hand out this award to other people. I will have to think long and hard about who I would give it too, because all the obvious people are already getting one.

I am ending this post about my demon fighting and about my unexpected award and will probably start writing a new post soon, as it is now almost three am and I am still wide awake and ready for some more decaf Senseo and not for bed.

Thank you all for bearing with me and for being a listening ear, so to speak. I don’t know what I would do without this blog and the knowledge that there are some people out there, scattered around the world, reading me.

Ciao…

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Today’s opening sentence is, “Sleep, what is thy middle name?” I thought it as I woke up and got up out of bed, but I don’t know what dream preceded it. I know I dreamed about frames and pas par touts last night, which isn’t so strange considering what has been keeping me busy lately, but I don’t see how that ties in with the opening sentence. I know there were other dreams, but they are just beyond my reach of remembering,

Eduard doesn’t seem to be disturbed at all that I dream about him roasting cute animals, nor did he try to help me understand why I dreamed such things. If my wife had such disturbing dreams, I would want to know more about them and discuss them with her, but I get the feeling that Eduard isn’t very much interested in them at all. That’s something that never ceases to surprise me about Eduard, that he can seem so uninterested about deeply psychologically disturbing things. He always acts as if it is of no importance at all and not even worth discussing. I may as well have said, “It sure gets dark out when the sun goes down at night,” and I would have gotten an equally interested response. He is not the least bit interested in any of the things I dreamed about the night before last, it just doesn’t seem to touch him. Sometimes I find that very disturbing.

Oh yes, I dreamed about my ex and that I was at his house and that I was looking through boxes of old junk and that I found my diamond earrings in a box of trophies. And the more I looked, the more diamond earrings I fond and I realized that I could sell them all and become rich, but then some jewelers came by and tried to take the earrings away from me, because they claimed that they didn’t belong to me and that anything I found belonged to them. They had a book with rules stating that anything that was precious belonged to them, that included objects made of leather and wood, and I got very mad and said, “That’s not fair, you’ve made that up!” Then one of the jewelers, who was a woman, laid down on the ground and claimed that I had assaulted her, and I really felt like doing it too, and she said for the other jewelers to call the cops. When the cops came, they and the other jewelers raped the woman and she was like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct and she didn’t seem to mind. How’s that for a strange dream?

Yes, I know, I have a strange mind at night. Maybe I have one during the day too, but I manage to suppress it. No, during the day I am such an ordinary woman. I don’t go around having all sorts of strange fantasies. I certainly don’t wish for diamond earrings and for women to get raped. So, it seems I need Carl Jung again, or a book on dream interpretation. I would want to know who or what dwells in the nether regions of my mind to have such disturbing dreams, which I still don’t experience as nightmares, as I don’t wake up with a pounding heart and the fear of God frozen on my face. They just seem to be stories that tell me something about myself and the people I know, I just don’t always understand the meaning.

Yesterday I ironed fifteen T-shirts and one tank top. Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it? I had kept putting it off and you know that is not a good sign. Once I got to ironing, I realized it was such an easy job and that I could easily have done it much sooner, but I had forgotten that it was a fun job. It seems to be that way with some other chores right now too. I put them off, only to discover that doing them isn’t that bad at all and that I do feel satisfaction afterwards. Since we really cleaned the apartment well for the parties, I am trying to keep it this clean, but I am afraid that I will get too lackadaisical again and start putting things off.

I must vacuum today, for instance. I was going to do that yesterday afternoon, but then Eduard laid down on the bed for a nap and I didn’t want to wake him up, although he reassured me that I could. Instead, I laid down on the sofa and fell asleep myself for two hours. The best thing about that, is waking up leisurely and having a cup of Senseo and a cigarette and slowly coming to my senses while I pet the dog. The dog who thinks, “All you people do around here is take naps, you are all so boring!” The cats like it when we take naps, as they get to sleep on top of us. They think it is always better to sleep on top of a human being, you have a better view and you get body warmth.

When I walked the dog a 5 pm and we were at the field, my niece came out of her house with a package of Activia from Danonen. It was muesli flavored and she said that her mother had bought it especially for her, but that she didn’t like that flavor and if I wanted it instead. Of course, I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and took it home with me, expecting something healthy, but awful in taste, but is was actually delicious and just a right size portion for me. If the stuff weren’t so darn expensive, I would have Eduard buy it all the time, but they are tiny containers of yogurt that are gone in just a few bites. It’s supposed to be good for your intestinal flora, so we will see if things flourish. My sister says she can’t eat it because it gives her belly cramps.

I have been wearing my new hand knitted sweater outside when I walk the dog. It is perfect for this kind of weather. It buttons up the front and is very warm and it looks fashionable too. I am sure that all of the neighbors are saying, “Ooh, look at her, taking her dog out in style!” It feels very Autumn like outside. The weather is cold and crisp and the wind is chilly and the sun is watery, and I am waiting for the leaves to start changing colors. The dog doesn’t have a clue, of course, he just thinks that the world always stays the same, except for when it snows and he has lumps of snows hanging of his fur when we get home. Not that it snows that often here. I think last year it only snowed twice. Climate change!

Which reminds me that I want to buy a new pair of boots before it really becomes winter. I have already decided to get some cowboy boots and have been going around different stores downtown pricing them when I am there. Some of them are pretty expensive, but all boots are, as they are such a fashion statement. I’ll end up going to some shoe chain and buying my cowboy boots there at the cheapest price. They need to be easy to get on for when I have to take the dog for a walk and sturdy and comfortable to walk in. I still have my pointy suede boots, but I can’t wear those when the weather is bad.

The other outfit my sister got me is really cute. It is a striped brown an burgundy red tank top with a cotton button down sweater over it, that I wear unbuttoned with a necklace and matching dangly earrings. You know how your newest outfit is always your favorite? So it is with this one and I keep wearing it. But today I will wear something else, because I’ve worn it for three days in a row now. Time for a change. It’s not as if I don’t have a myriad of clothes to chose from. Ther
e is no shortage of outfits to wear. Eduard was very generous with me after I lost all the weight.

You know, my favorite birthday present is the photograph of my son? I have it sitting on the coffee table, so I can look at it often and I burn a small candle by it every day. I have such good feelings when I look at that photograph. Brion is so sweet and almost innocent on it, even though he was eighteen when it was taken. But in it I still see him as my child and I still love that child in him. He was still very healthy there and we had no idea what a long hard road he had ahead of him. It is all steeped in innocence and promises and a future to come. His hands are so big and yet so boy like still and so tender where he pets the cat.That is the true image of how I want to remember him.

I also have other photographs sitting in a group on a small bookcase of my daughter and my grandson and my son, I also burn a candle there every day. I suppose I want to emit a little bit of magic there. I have a tiny silver container with some of my son’s ashes sitting there. The rest were scattered over a lake is Alaska, like he wished it. The container is tarnished and I suppose I will have to polish it some day, but I am afraid to move the ashes out for fear of spilling them. There is also a green stone heart that my aunt Elizabeth carved for me and the little candle holder. It’s a little altar. If I burn a candle there every day, nothing bad will happen.

Oaky, it is time to end this wordy epistle. The cats are starting to show up and pretty soon the dog will be here too. I think I will eat a muesli Activia, because I am slightly hungry.

Have a terrific day, everyone. Don’t forget to let us know when you have a birthday coming up, so we can make the appropriate noises. Ciao…

P.S. The images of these barnacles aren’t the greatest as they lack color which the other barnacle images had a lot off. But still, this is my contribution for today. I am working on some with a monarch butterfly, but I am finding it hard to get a good mandala out of the images. The kaleidoscopes turn out great, so maybe I will just print those with the patterns.

The dog is still not up, because Eduard walked him very late last night. He is getting old too and likes to sleep late in the morning. As long as Eduard is in bed, Jesker stays on his pillow beside him.

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After having gone to bed at the very late hour of ten o’clock last night, I woke up this morning at 5:30, which was agreeable because I needed to catch up on some sleep. You are all thinking, “What is she talking about, 5:30 am isn’t late!” But when you know me better, you know that for me that is late in the morning. As a result, I am running behind on my schedule and now I have already fed the cats and walked the dog. I was sitting here earlier, reading blogs, when I realized that I had forgotten to make cigarettes last night, so I had to stop everything and do that first of all. I can’t sit here reading blogs, drinking Senseo, without having something to smoke. God forbid!

Before you do anything else this morning, go to Neda at Papiers Collés and look at her handsome collage. I think the one today is especially attractive. I keep going back to look at it. Her work is so delicate and tender and yet so strong and present. These are handmade collages, they are not digitally made and they are available at Maraya Galleries here. Just a plug for someone whom I think is a great artist and who deserves the recognition.

I am still plowing my way through the ‘how to do Paint Shop Pro 8’ book. Sometimes I don’t understand something and I have to ask Eduard for help. He usually figures it out for me. I can’t believe how thick headed I can be sometimes. I’ll be reading the instructions, and looking at the screen, and have no idea what they are talking about. Eduard tries a few things and presto! He’s got it the way they meant it to be. Then he can explain it to me in easy terms so that I promptly forget it and have to look it up again. I think owning the book is no added luxury. I’ll have to buy one if I am to also download Paint Shop permanently.

I am learning all these things to do and questioning how and why I am going to apply them all. Some of them are obvious, some of them I don’t see myself doing yet. I am sure it is all part of a big master plan that I don’t comprehend yet. I suppose it will all dawn on me one day, when I am actually brave enough to sit down and try to design something from scratch. I see that I need to put in lots of practice hours and that whatever I have done so far is nothing compared with what can be done. I am not looking for approval, I am just being very realistic here.

This morning I weighed 92.4 kilos and I seem to remember weighing this before some time ago. So from this point forward I only want to be losing weight. Yesterday I ate raisin crackers and cheese and Melba toast. I ate the Melba toast when I went to bed and fell asleep while eating it. Then I woke up and chewed it some more, thinking, “Mmmhhh, this tastes very good,” and promptly fell asleep again. I probably have crumbs in the bed now.

The Hero With A Thousand Faces is turning out to be a not so impelling book. It is good to fall asleep with, but I don’t hold with some of his theories. I think they are grasped from too high a place, as they say here in the Netherlands. The book was written 60 years ago and he relies a lot on the psychology of that day and age to explain the primal myths and I wonder about the wisdom of that. He relies very much on romantic Freudian and Jungian interpretations and I think there is a lot of idylic philosophic thought in it that doesn’t seem so much to rely on what I would call common sense. He does get carried away a little.

I think the most obvious interpretation is probably the correct one and I don’t think it is always necessary to look so hard for all the other reasons why ideas and stories were created and why they evolved the way they did. But then again, I see things very black and white, I am a literal interpreter and I don’t care much for poetic interpretation and philosophic deliberation. I try to see things as they are and don’t go in for long discussions about how they could also be had I been given another set of circumstances or conditions or information that could not have been available to me at the time of the creation of the myth.

Anyway, don’t let me get bogged down in a long argument about that, lest I should turn it into a philosophic discussion after all. I am not schooled in it, even though I did try to read Plato once, but unsuccessfully. I should probably read ‘Philosophy for Dummies’ first. I did read ‘Religion for Dummies’ after I read the new Dutch translation of the Bible, but I find all the patriarchs hard to keep apart and who begot who. I tried to read the Koran, thinking it was going to be a story like the Bible, but it wasn’t and I gave up on it. I understand that I need to read Karen Armstrong, an ex nun who writes about Christianity, Judaism and the Islam, who is very well known the world over as an authority on the modern religions. I know they have her books in the library as she is on one of my lists of books to read.

Some day I also want to read all the novels of Iris Murdoch. They have a lot of them in the library warehouse. I just have to make it a point to do that one day, most likely in the winter time when the days are brief and I can get a lot of reading in. But then again, there is so much reading I have left to do, because I am so curious about so many things and I always have too little time. If I had the money, I would constantly be ordering books at Bol.com. I would decorate the whole apartment with bookcases and I would never get done reading. But then I think about all the good films on the film channels and I do want to see them too, so you can see how there is too little time for everything.

Eduard is sleeping late this morning. He probably worked late last night and most likely didn’t get home until after midnight. I never hear him come home and the dog doesn’t bark, of course, when he gets home. I do like Eduard’s schedule of him being home in the afternoon. It seems that we can spend some quality time together then, although lately I have been captivated by other things and I have not been paying him the proper amount of attention and I have to make it a point to do that. I know that Eduard and I never tire of each other’s company. I am always happy to see him and I am always glad when he comes home.

Eduard and I have a good marriage. I can easily say that because I feel comfortably married. There isn’t any drama and I like that very much. I used to be in relationships with drama in them and drama is so exhausting and so unnecessary. It is something you accept if you have not had the correct illustration from your parents, but when you grow up properly and start to fit into your skin and your mind starts feeling contented, you realize that there are a whole lot of things you can do without and drama is one of them.

Eduard is a very calm and gentle down to earth person. He never looks for a fight and absolutely hates an argument and will be the first one to make up if we have a disagreement. I don’t like being angry at him and if I ever am, I get over it very quickly and immediately love him as much as I did before. There is no festering resentment. My love doesn’t become smaller. As a matter of fact, the longer I am married to him, the more I love him. Sometimes I am still in love with him now. Then I think he is an exciting man and I love to be with him. But more than anything, he is my best friend and I trust him with my very heart and soul. I was very honored when he asked me to marry him, because he had never asked anyone to marry him before, so I felt very privileged. I knew it was a big step for him and I never knew that being married could be such an excellent thing. I highly recommend it to anyone now.

I hadn’t seen many joyous marriages when I was a
kid. It seemed that most people were just unhappy being together and that they all resented each other’s company and the space each other took up. There were always disagreements and deadly silences. There seemed to be no cheer and spontaneity. Nobody impulsively kissed and embraced each other. There was always this undercurrent of animosity and annoyance. My grandparents acted as if they never heard of the term physical affection. My father sometimes needed a hug and a kiss and infrequently received them. My aunts and uncles were brittle and unyielding with each other. Physical closeness was frowned upon and scorned. Even now I forget to be physically affectionate. Eduard has to remind me to be so. I can be as brittle and unyielding as the rest of my family. So Dutch reformed and puritanical in my body language. While I really have no hang ups about the human body and its functions at all.

Well, the things you pick up when you are a child. I didn’t come from an unrestrained, emotionally happy family. We weren’t a large happy gathering of people. I mean we and all of our relatives. When we all got together, there was a lot of irritation and friction. Not for us the noise and the laughter that other families had when they got together. Circumstances and conditions like that really leave their mark on you as a child. Eduard came from a much more happy, noisy and relaxed family. They were not afraid to be a little boisterous. As a result, Eduard is much more extraverted then I am and a much more sociable person. He knows how to have a excellent time at a party and how to interact in a large group of people. I am more aloof and singular. I observe and ponder the meaning of it all.

Well, now Eduard is up and about and I am going to stop pondering and pounding on the keyboard. I am sure that he wants a nice cup of coffee also, so I will make him one. The dog is looking at him longingly as he makes his breakfast. The cats are darting around his feet.

Have a wonderful day, people. Ciao…

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