I just realized that I absolutely do not use the internet to it's full potential. I have about 5 websites I look at every day, but I rarely use it to really connect with people or learn something. I signed up for an online workshop with one of my favorite artists, Katie Kendrick...I have been waiting for her to produce one since I first saw her work in LK Ludwig's art journaling book, True Vision. There is a yahoo group for sharing artwork and other "community building" stuff, but my Inner Hermit almost always keeps me from participating in those things. That is partly because I do not want to spend lots and lots of time online, and I don't want to get overly caught up in whether anyone comments on my work, etc...I had enough of that in my past blogging days. But I am sure there is also an element of fear involved, an element of not wanting to commit to "doing something" with my creativity. I know I don't have unlimited amounts of time to dedicate to art making, because of daily tasks and duties with a big family, including a newborn - and since I tend towards all-or-nothing thinking I either just let everything else go and do some creative stuff, or else I do nothing except exercise in my art room.
For the past few weeks I was in a hormonal depression and I was wondering whether I should just give up on art altogether, because I have a hard enough time dealing with basic cooking and family interaction. I wondered if I was just kidding myself into thinking I am even supposed to be doing any of that "other stuff". Then today the hormones shifted and I felt fine and energetic, and I remembered that today was the last day to sign up for the workshop...I knew I would regret it if I didn't, and I also know that even if I don't have a lot of time to follow the lessons in the 4 week format, I can watch and learn. Even when I am entertaining The Bad Hormones, I am usually aware that they are the cause of my icky mood. That was not always the case - for many years I just thought I was depressed, but I see now that these swings have absolutely no correlation to anything in the outside world...things can be peachy keen in my life, and I still feel like (insert favorite gross substance here). The Mood manifests itself mostly in guilt, insecurity and feelings of extreme fatness. I really, really want to get to the point where I can actually do creative work during those times, either to "work through it", "document it" or just to get my mind off the stupid, sniveling, pathetic misery.
Today is September 11th, the iconic 10 year anniversary. I remember where I was and what I was doing, like everyone else, but I don't think my feelings about it are very common. The whole thing is horrifyingly horrific...the photos have the oddly beautiful, haunting quality of tragedy that does what images do best - saying things when words are impossible. But the true horror of it all has almost been lost as it has become so politicized and has stirred up so much hatred, and warfare, and has led to so many more deaths...I just can't stand that. I do happen to be a person who may be missing the patriotism gene, the gene of belonging, of school spirit, etc. To me, this terrible thing has nothing to do with the United States for good or ill, and everything to do with a fallen world, the sinful heart of man, and the foolishness of trusting in man-made edifices or earthly princes. I am so grateful that we attend a church where that was the message today. No flag-waving, no dehumanizing The Enemy...just the pure message of God's sovereignty and our utter security in Him and His never-ending Kingdom, even as the world crumbles. We think this is our world, and so we get angry and frightened when we finally see we have no control over any of it.
I drank full-strength coffee today, which I do only about once a month. I can really tell that caffeine is a drug now - that doesn't make it bad, but I appreciate it more now. These days, if I am tired, I take a nap. I am naturally more awake and alert WITHOUT caffeine, and I look back on my caffeinated days and see that I THOUGHT my natural state was more tired and sluggish, and I needed the caffeine to feel "normal". Now it's just a cool thing to use once in a while (it's only been about once a month lately, but a few times a week would be fine) to get a little extra enthusiasm going. Like, it would be cool to drink caffeine on days I plan to let the house fall apart and work in the art studio. Back when I was a pot smoker, I wish I would have known to use that in the same way.
One thing I keep feeling like I need to do before my True Inner Artist makes her debut, is to come to terms with my own outward appearance. Yes, I want to be lean and have muscles, like this awesome female specimen who is about my body type, but is not so unreasonably thin that she obviously never eats:
And that is a fine goal and deserves my time and thought, and wouldn't even take all that much work...10 or so pounds and a round of P90x or some other good strength program would do it. But despite how bad or good I actually look or have looked at any given time, I have spent almost all of my life, from even before puberty, being overly concerned about and dissatisfied with my level of beauty and fitness and all that stuff. It used to be about wanting the guys to like me, to make up for my male abandonment issues, but there is none of that motivation anymore at all...but I still spend way too much time thinking about my figure and how it falls short in the aesthetic sense. So, I want to get rid of my fat and at the same time make peace with it. I am sure that is possible, but I am unsure how to go about it. I just know that my desire to be My Authentic Self is stunted until I get at least mostly over this issue. I have thought for a few years that I need to take lots and lots of self-portraits in all kinds of flattering and not-flattering clothes (and lack thereof) poses and lightings and just make peace with it all. I want to be able to make art videos or memoir videos and not be concerned about how I look on camera...believe it or not, that is a close second to uncertainty about subject matter as to why I have not done that already.
Despite my caffeine, I am starting to get tired now, at 12;15am. I think I will read just a bit in my third Tara French novel - all of which are cool crime novels and psychological studies, totally without gratuitous sex and violence - almost unheard of - and then hit the sack.