jvar: (<3)
Woke up around 6 this morning and after coffee was made, I decided to listen to another video and found my muse.

My weekend so far:

  • Oh Look! A New Learning Opportunity!

    • Find a really great resource called Skillshare, spend a long time bookmarking video tutorials to watch. (call this obsession #1 and research)

    • Many are artistic, 1/3 are technical. (Choose. Must choose one to start with!)

    • Thought: Hey. I never properly learned the basics, so let’s spend time on the fundamentals!

    • doot doot doot, take 4 lines of notes and feel like I just destroyed the journal with triviality…bored now


  • Hey…let’s frivolously waste time on something purely creative and potentially useless

and BOOM! Inspiration!!!!!

  • Listen to the video (49 minutes)

  • Listen to the video a second time and take copious notes on instructor’s words and personal philosophy of what he creates. Add these notes right after the sad 4 lines I wrote in the pretty new journal, thereby redeeming it!

  • Decide to write about it in my (this) LJ. Realize one of the posts I had thought I had posted and could never find was stuck in my MacJournal program.

    • Really want it posted (despite it being from Sept 2013!) so try to figure out where to put the images from the photo-rich post. 2 hours later, that journal is cleaned up for public viewing, image resource secured, and post made.


  • Take a look at my notes and decide I have to share some of them here as well as in the paper journal because, well, This Shit Must Take Root!

  • Talk it over in-between with Brian. There are tears of desperation and inspiration. Realize that I have less years ahead of me than behind and if I don’t get my brain over this “I can’t do it” hump now…it may be too late eventually, but it’s not too late NOW!

  • Decide that it is perfectly OK to be the weird old woman with the graphic journal she’s working on that sits outside at the bar while music plays and drinks are had. Who CARES what anyone thinks…I’m letting my soul take control for a while.

So…yeah. I’m manic. I feel like I cut one of the stronger cords that keeps me grounded and mundane. Notes from the video:
Course: Drawing Daily Monsters: Finding inspiration in a Drop of Ink
Instructor Stefan G. Bucher

(my quotes are nearly word for word…I may have missed a few, but I got most right)

“The process of drawing for me has always been a process of failing. Where I have an image in my head and then as I put it on paper, the shortcomings of my hands becomes apparent. The monsters are a way of reversing that process because I don’t know what they will look like. I don’t go into it with an idea that it’s going to be this character, or this thing. The whole thing is a process of discovery.”

“I have paper love. When someone gives me a finely crafted sheet of beautiful hand made paper, I get all in my head about is this drawing worth the sheet of paper I’m drawing it on.” You need to get around this thinking.

“Don't feel you have to have a pristine workspace for this or for anything. It doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s just a procrastination thing.”

“The filling in is a bit tedious, but it’s a chance to zen out.”

“I think with all creative work, the secret to success is just to keep your ass in your seat.”
jvar: (Bursting Energy)
A pictorial Guide to my upper body tattoo. I chose these tattoos for what they represent as reminders to bring out these qualities in my personality.

Medicinal / Poisonous (left arm)
I wanted one side to be beautiful herbaceous plants that are also poisonous when mis-administered.

The honey bee was placed on this side for it’s healing delicious honey and the fact that I’m horribly allergic when stung…and in Hebrew, Debra means little bee.

6614RbU.jpg Black Mandrake
One of the herbs in Flying Ointment. It represents protection and love.
As a poison: In large doses, it’s knows to excite delirium and madness
As a medicinal, it is used for sleep when continued pain is present, and for easing melancholy.

Top: Black Mandrake - Left Bottom: Henbane - Right Middle: Nightshade (Bitter) pUWKRoP.jpg

Bittersweet Nightshade:
As a poison: Mild narcotic, poisonous berries.
Medicinally, it’s used for calming skin issues and for bronchitis and catarrh.

Henbane
As a poison: The smell alone can produce giddiness. Induces hallucinations and a drunken sleep which can be fatal.
Medicinal: Treats scar tissue and as a sedative.


ONBByu5.jpg Poppy

Produces Morphine, Codein, Heroin, and Opium
All can relieve pain, and become addictive.
Top Right: Wormwood - Lower Right: Foxglove (digitalis)fISYAK0.jpg

Wormwood:
Its aromatic leaves and flowers are naturally rich in the terpene thujone, an aromatic, bitter substance believed to induce an inexplicable clarity of thought, increased sense of perception, enhanced creativity, inspiration and the ability to "see beyond"

Foxglove (digitalis):
Foxglove is one of the few herbs used in pharmaceutical manufacture today; the digitalis glycosides commonly used to treat congestive heart failure or atrial fibrillation are difficult to synthesize, so are easier to derive directly from foxglove. Easily poisonous.

qPjh6Ql.jpg Monkshood (aconite)

Medicinally, eases discomfort of neuralgia and joint inflammation. Also known as one of the deadliest poisons. Poison can be transferred through the skin.

Floral (Right arm & Center)
My love for flowers and their meanings is represented on my right arm and center chest.

ffr4Vi0.jpg Tea Roses

Deep pink roses represent gratitude and appreciation. Rose is also my middle name.

DahliasiqknYHx.jpg

The dahlia flower expresses sentiments of dignity and elegance. They are also the symbol of a commitment and bond that lasts forever. They were said to be given to that unique, eclectic person whom you wish to compliment her wild side.  There are three, one for each of my daughters.

Fe9iFqJ.gif Windflowers, Anemones (rununculus)

From the Greek “Daughter of the Wind” A showy, solitary flower.
It represents Anticipation, and a ward against illness.


gU11qVy.jpg Orchid

Represents proud and glorious femininity. This was done from a photo of one of the orchids that Brian grew, increasing its sentimental value strongly.

Insects:


Svu1V7X.jpg Bee

Bees symbolize unity, family ties, and hard-work. Busiest and arguably the most useful of insects. Shows how to communicate effectives, cary heavy loads and make them productive. Teaches concentration and empowerment with lightness and agility.


uZrxAL2.jpg Beetle

Beetles aid in transformation, metamorphosis, resurrection and rebirth. It teaches harmony in the coming changes by utilizing your intuitive abilities and teaches discernment where you need it the most. Illuminates problems and situations in the correct perspective. It is all about stages of development.

UUndQMF.jpg Ant
Ant medicine calls to our attention patience, persistence and endurance. Knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that what is yours will come to you.

m0TNKF2.jpg Butterfly

The butterfly asks us to accept the changes in our lives as casually as she does. The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the chances of her environment and her body.
This unwavering acceptance of her metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith. Here the butterfly beckons us to keep our faith as we undergo transitions in our lives. She understands that our toiling, fretting and anger are useless against the turning tides of nature - she asks us to recognize the same.

  1. Time, Soul, Grace, Growth, Elegance, Expansion, Lightness

  2. Surrender, Transition, Expression, Celebration, Vulnerability

fy9CZvK.jpg Mantis

The mantis comes to us when we need peace, quiet and calm in our lives. Usually the mantis makes an appearance when we've flooded our lives with so much business, activity, or chaos that we can no longer hear the still small voice within us because of the external


  1. Stillness, Awareness, Creativity, Patience, Mindful, Calm



jvar: (Default)
I knew something was trying to get my attention the last full day in Colorado. Before I had left, I implored my friend Paco, who has passed nearly 2 years now, to let me see him one last time in badger form. And on that last day there, I did see a badger. I saw three, and one did not behave typically. Typical would have had them in the field and fleeing human contact. But this one was leading the others down the graveled road toward our approaching car. One dove into the culvert, and one ran. But this one, he turned and stared at me full on, snarling and hissing and being a glorious bastard. And in this darkest night of doubt and abandoned beliefs, I had an answer.

There is something more. 

And it knows me.

My chest is tight right now, with anticipation. Something wants my attention. And it's getting demanding. Something is trying to tell me to not stop believing. 

Still, I have the opposite telling me just as loudly, that as humans, we have a disease. It's that we need to create meaning where there might be none.  (Ref 1, 2, 3)

So I go forward with caution. I am looking carefully at these coincidences and holding back what wants to burst forth. Because I don't want to live without this feeling of anticipation that there is more. I don't want proof that this story of me, of us, could be over some day and that nothing really did matter.

Step one:

Jan. 12th, 2009 07:20 pm
jvar: (Default)
"Indifference is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don't stand a chance against it"
--The Snow Queen


Originally published at Armchair Navelgazing.

jvar: (Bursting Energy)
I have a short circuit between my body and my soul. They used to be really connected. Somehow, one part decided that the other part wasn't doing its job and wandered off. It's so difficult to dance without that connection. Both parts remember how good it feels to let loose and spin and undulate to the loud music in my living room. It's free and uninhibited inspired movement and it is pure magic. Add lyrics that I can sing, and it's my catharsis.

I heard myself singing the other night. It was like my voice couldn't be contained. I had to sing. Now I have to dance. Perhaps if I let my body move, it will entice my soul back to speaking to me.

I feel fragmented and I have forgotten too much of what it felt like before I splintered. Is there a way to clean up the scar tissue so that I can feel the nerves again? I don't mind the sting if it means I'll feel as deeply again.

I just think it begins again when I dance.

Originally published at Armchair Navelgazing.

jvar: (<3)
As a female, I naturally spend a fair amount of time looking at myself in the mirror. Mostly in the morning when I am brushing my teeth and preparing for the day. Often I look at myself critically, as a canvas to a painter, deciding what needs to be improved upon. I don't consider myself a natural beauty, but I do have lovely people in my life who disagree vehemently. I see enhancements and the play of light and shadows and try to gently capitalize on the good and minimize the disagreeable. I have always said that I will not rue my wrinkles, but celebrate the hard earned lines. Oddly, it looks like I have earned relatively few to date!

Sometimes, I let myself look back to the me on this side of the mirror where my psyche resides. And the older I get, the more battle scars I attain, the more miles I accrue, well...the more I like who is looking back.

She's not as naive as she used to be, but she still has a healthy side of idealism mixed with her realistic take on her universe. She doesn't love as freely or as surface level passionately as she did not too long ago. Now she is far more discerning on who she lets in to stay. Her standards are high and she will not drop them. She doesn't look at people in terms of immediate benefits, but sees relationships in terms of longevity potential. She is envisioning the future she wants and surrounding herself with those she wants to share this adventurous path. She's far more selfish than she ever was, and lucky are the people she is selfish about because they will know without any doubt of her affection and love. For them, she doesn't hold back a thing.

Things feel so much different these days. Quieter, less complex, and infinitely deeper and stronger. I am becoming so much stronger than I ever thought I would be and I don't regret all that it has taken. So many adventures to draw upon, so many more left ahead.



When you have loved as she has loved, you grow old beautifully
- W. Somerset Maugham


Originally published at Armchair Navelgazing.

jvar: (Bursting Energy)
It's been a while since I have done a daily energy ritual. I decided to go out this evening just ahead of the storm front and see if I couldn't refill my sorely depleted energy stores.

When I finished, a thought crossed my mind about signs and indications of whether this energy work was well received. It wasn't a well developed thought, but a fleeting curiosity, which was immediately answered.

This lovely, and amazingly large, cicada circled around my waist at the level of the sephiroth I invoked, and landed near my hand. Normally I would be spooked by something this large flying so close, but there was no fear.



I looked up the meaning of "cicada"

The Chinese see it as a sign of rebirth.

The word Cicada comes from a Greek word, meaning 'magician"

I will take that as a resounding "YES!" to my query.

Because the cicada spends most of its life underground it is associated with the unseen or hidden.  To discover hidden truths a person is required to look beneath the surface. Cicadas teach us how to delve into the underworld without fear and uncover the secrets that lie beneath the surface.  Those with this totem are exploratory in nature and should call upon the cicada whenever there is a need to understand the truth about reality and illusion.
jvar: (Garden)
"The reason a plastic rose isn't beautiful is because it doesn't die." -James Hubbell

Some Days

Mar. 16th, 2008 09:18 pm
jvar: (Raven Moon)
Among other stops yesterday, we needed to run in for something simple at JoAnn's fabric for Brian. But I've been having a recurring desire to create a set of 4 acrylic paintings. They are pretty firmly in my head and have been for several years.

At first, and for the first few years of this thought, I put it aside because I had so many other things that needed my attention. Also, I have a lot of hobbies. Also, I have a lot of partially completed projects. Also...well, you get the idea.

Then, sometime last year I mentioned it to Brian. He said "before you go buying anything, why don't you sketch out what you want to do first." And I let that be the final word.

Yesterday, I saw 5"x5" canvas blocks on sale 40% off. I picked up 4. And a small set of acrylic paints, and extra black, and a set of brushes.

Fuck waiting. If these have been in my head for this long, then it's time I quit making excuses or letting someone make them for me.

I have a birthday present for my mother I need to finish as her birthday is the 25th. That only means I won't start painting until then. But I will sketch out the 4 canvases and create what's in my head. If for nothing else, to clear a spot for new obsessions.
jvar: (Raven Moon)
So the queen of overthinking has a book of how people think in her hands. These are just some notes I'm taking for thinks I want to have.


  • Reality isn't centered around people. Consider objectionable and disgusting things within this context.

  • Subdivisions of Philosophy: Ontology (being), epistomology (knowing), ethics (acting)

  • Monists believe that the world is all connected into a single whole. In the world of physics, isn't this M-theory?

  • Famous monists: Thales said the world is made of water, Anazimenes said the world is made of air, and Heraclitus said the world is made of fire. This sounds poetically pagan.

jvar: (<3)
Main Entry:   bohemian
Definition:   nonconformist
Synonyms:   artist, beatnik, dilettante, flower child, free spirit, gypsy, hippie, iconoclast, writer

Bo·he·mi·an  [boh-hee-mee-uhn] 
–noun
1.(usually lowercase) a person, as an artist or writer, who lives and acts free of regard for conventional rules and practices.
2.a Gypsy.
–adjective
1.(usually lowercase) pertaining to or characteristic of the unconventional life of a bohemian.


In my head

Dec. 25th, 2007 08:31 pm
jvar: (<3)
What do I want of 2008?
I want to spend more time living boldly, and not just drift through my days.

I want to take my talents to the next level

I want to be more social, more thoughtful, more connected

I want to be in control of myself

I want to reconnect to the universal energy and feed my soul

I want to remember to stop frequently and say "this person is amazing and I am so glad they are an important part of my life"

I want to remember the good stuff for when the bad stuff crops up.


Nothing on that list that I can't accomplish.

reference note to self: I am a gypsy princess free spirit
jvar: (Garden)
Beck sings "I think I'm in love, but I'm kinda nervous to say so"

Change 'in love' to 'trusting'

I have discovered that I stopped trusting and having faith in people. With the exception of a single handful of people who I have a long history with where trust has been earned over and over and over and is simply a part of the relationship, I find myself not wanting to put myself out there. Here, have a nice slice of the superficial Deb facade, because I don't feel like putting forth the energy again. 'Forever' doesn't mean the same to everyone. It's not the absolute I believed it was.

I realized this as I feel myself trusting in someone and fighting the feeling. I don't want to be that person who pessimistically assumes everyone will let her down.

I am not blaming one person for my issues with lack of trust, there were several over the years. Neither am I blaming myself for trusting in the first place, or for misplaced trust. These were lessons in human nature that, as a student of the mind, I need to learn to understand. But it's hard not to see patterns and slap on labels due to past experiences. I have no problem identifying red flags. What I don't want to do is imagine those red flags when they aren't there, it's just that I expect to see them so I pull back.

Yes, I do set a fantastically high standard for behavior of those I associate with, and I have no qualms doing so. I am a very forgiving person but I have my limits, and I don't expect these standards to be rigid. Everyone, including me, makes the occasional bad decision. I just want to have the people I love treat me the same way I am willing to treat them; fairly, honestly, humbly, and respectfully.

So I'm going to trust again. We'll see if I'm making better choices these days.
jvar: (Adrift)
I've been adrift for a year. Disconnected from my spiritual side. I've ridden the wave of my past work to the shore.

And honestly, I miss it passionately. I need to reinvest in my spiritual health.

When I was a part of IRC, I had a lot of support and inspiration to push myself to learn and grow. Local pagan groups make my skin crawl. I feel like I miss out on a lot good stuff when I have to go it alone, but I'm just not cut out for group work.

So, in December I'm going to be pulling out my most beloved books and trying to reconnect again through ritual and writing. I think that I might post thoughts in this journal. I am not going to filter them, so expect to see some thoughts on magick, mysticism and mojo. Don't expect inspiration or revelations, I'm just slogging through myself.

I just know that if I'm going to be stuck in this disconnected social mode that I need to connect to the energy that surrounds me to feel whole. It's who I am. Time to refill the well.
jvar: (Default)
You've made up your mind. Whatever.

You labeled me conveniently and found a box you think fits. Whatever.

It bothered me for a while. Then I realized what you think of me really doesn't mean much. Whatever.

I don't mind if you walk away. That says it all. A reflection of you, not me.

It's all ok. It's easier than trying. Whatever.
jvar: (Garden)
The weather doesn't care.

It's bigger than us. Bigger than our fears. Bigger than our dreams. The weather stops for no one. It exists on its course and moves around and about and through us, but pays us no attention. The weather sees no importance in us, no difference in any of our wants. The weather does not discriminate.

We build our climate controlled abodes to shelter us from the more unpleasant aspects of the weather, but snubbing it has no effect. We curse the cold and scorn the heat. We run from the rain and start at the thunder. We create radar and algorithms and test equipment to understand the weather. We plot, and plan, and spot and report each movement. And still the weather does what the weather does. It doesn't stay away from the events we plan. It takes no notice at all.

I want to ride on the winds, to experience what's it's like to witness and move on. I want to touch faces and feel the texture of the trees. I want to run the course of the earth, over mountain and ocean, changing only with the climate of the area I traverse. I want to wipe away, wash away, whisk away all traces of where I've been and care only about where I am going.

The weather doesn't care.
jvar: (Heart Matters)
*Witch* sits in the worn section of the couch, the fibers shaping a negative impression of her ample form. Soft music keeps her company; modern ballads and soothing tones. She holds tight to the steaming mug of fragrant and comforting coffee while looking out into the winter forest. The crispness of the vision with tufts of snow in the nooks and crannies hints at the frigid temps. A soft blanket about her legs and a fire crackling in the stove provide a cozy place to just exist.

Next to the window is a beautiful broom. A gift from a lost friend. She looks about her room, seeing many items of reminding. Gifts received in better times. Such beautiful things. A hand blown glass ball streaked with transparent teal and green. tendrils of glass string down inside the globe. Heavy brackets of cast iron, with a sunburst on one, and a moon on the other, hang on either side of the large window. A bowl hung from another window with the glass etched like a clock face, with gears for adornment. A green resin hourglass with purple sand. Candles bought on an extravagant shopping trip together. An ornate oil burner in red and rust glass on a brass holder. Various crows in resin and pewter and print. Two hand crafted kaleidoscopes. An ebony merkaba. A dreidel and sacred match holder. Two Frank Lloyd Wright replica art pieces; one in glass, one in metal. Some books. A small replica of the ark of the covenant, the last of the gifts. Such beautiful things.

Hanging from the window in the next room is a large stained glass piece in a wooden frame. A reminder of darker times. In the lower corner, the beautiful glass is cracked. A result of a drunken stumble and fall. And never telling him the damage he did. These things all tell a story. *Witch* thinks about stories and how they end.

In another room is a black fur crow. Another item with a rich story. From another lost friend. Another ending.

A guitar sits in still another room. More stories and endings.

While there are moments where she wishes she could destroy them all, she never will. Each item has a story that makes her happy to remember. Even when the endings were fraught with tears and scars that linger, these stories remind her of the beauty of that moment when they were given. In an instant, the love and friendship flood back in memories. These are the reminders of why they will be missed. Far better to think of these things than what made the aching scars.

*Witch* makes the decision at last to leave everything in place, allowing herself to accept that the moments in time each piece represents aren't tainted by the endings. She lets each piece imbue the love and friendship that was felt when it was received. She allows them to represent the good of the giver and fill her home with joy.

Taking a cloth, she goes to each item and wipes off the bittersweet, then throws the rag in the fire. The fire sacrifice she's needed to make is finally complete.
jvar: (Garden)
I have a garden. It's a beautiful thing because I see it as beautiful. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of it because it wasn't created for anyone's use but mine. I have a partial wall keeping the public from prying into my garden. It is invitation only. It is made up of all the things I want to tend and enjoy. I love to commune with my garden. To dig my toes into the soil and smell the rich earth.

I've designed my garden to suit my needs. Some plants need more attention than others to flourish and thrive. Others grow strong with little tending. It's a wondrous mix. Finding out which plants enjoy and benefit from the company of other plants is exciting. Knowing which need barriers and tending to them is an on-going process, which occasionally needs transplanting to work for all. Sometimes, things pull me away and the garden gets neglected. With a little renewed effort, everything rebounds and the rewards are dramatic.

Sometimes, pretty plants will grow too vigorously in areas where I hadn't planned for them to take root. When they start to choke out other plants, aggressive action is needed. They need to be contained. Some plants are encouraged to spread where they continue to delight. This might change from year to year, but doesn't mean that the plant isn't wanted, just that others need more space or time or fertilizer.

Occasionally, I will let a new unknown seedling grow to see what it becomes. If I realize it's a noxious weed, as can happen, it needs to be eradicated. Some weeds are easy to kill and won't come back. Others wrap their roots deeply and dig deep, resisting attempts to be removed. Some non-noxious weeds are beautiful.

Sometimes I will try and grow something lovely here that isn't native to where I live. And no matter what I do, it might not survive. But while it does, I can enjoy it and pamper it and dote on it. I can pour all my efforts into making it work even knowing it might not. And that's what a gardener does.

This is my garden. What my garden looks like is my doing.
jvar: (Heart Matters)
I'm struggling to find ways to turn my thoughts about memories into affirming, attracting statements today. It's just that it's been a more conscious effort than the last two days.

Even though all I am remembering today are good and wonderful memories, they are still things in the past. I don't want to think about the future because it's still unwritten. I need to steer my thoughts to be great things that attract even greater things. It's not enough to think "I want that feeling I used to have", because that has the secondary result of reinforcing that the feeling is not here any longer. Instead, I need to immerse myself in the wonders that I have at this moment. I need to be right here, right now. And this moment finds me in a very good place to be.

I need to wrap happy thoughts about me like a soft over-sized sweater. I need to slip my feet into delicious sensuality. I need to brush my hair with the sweet smell of desires. I need to line my eyes with beautiful sights. I need to hang glittering inspiration from my lobes, and fasten a string of sparkling goals about my neck. Tonight I greet Winter, again, with hope in my heart, and wings on my soul.
jvar: (Default)
I wish I could say that I slept better than I did last night, but I kept waking up. Each time I'd move so that Brian would turn and put an arm around me and hold me tight. Just to know he's there. Not out of need, but as reassurance that it's still me and him against the world, getting each other's back, fixing the problems together. I'm his, proudly. He's mine, gladly. I am always his favorite, unconditionally.

There's not a lot of people who understand our relationship. There's not a lot of people that would thrive the way that we do in a relationship this intense and connected. It's not perfect, but for us, it's the best thing either of us ever imagined. We can't be divided, because we are so very strong together.

We're realistic. We both make mistakes, and together we fix them. We have so much together, and even when there are frustrations, he's never judgmental, never condescending, never so set in his beliefs that he can't hear me out.

One of the biggest and best things we have going for us is our ability to compromise to resolve a problem. Sometimes I give in, sometimes he gives in, and there is no keeping score. The reality of a strong, lasting relationship is the ability to be flexible, to make sacrifices. The signs of a truly wonderful bond are not having to make frequent compromises or sacrifices. "I love you and believe in us so much that I'm willing to put my ego aside and find a way together for us to be happy with the outcome." It's being willing to talk through an uncomfortable thing until a resolution is found that makes sense.

In the end, he's the one that is always there for me. He's never shut me out, or made me scramble to regain lost ground. His capacity to forgive me is unprecedented. All I have to do is remember to tell him what I need. He never makes me feel weak or inferior by having needs. He shows me that he wants to know my needs and to help me fill them. What I always know is that he's the most important person in my world. Nothing and no one is worth destroying what we have together.

And for a while, because he wants me happy and well taken care of, he's not sharing me. He's healing me. I am precious to him beyond words and he shows me this every single day. He makes me strong. He makes me a better person with his gentle, honest ways. I am so insanely proud of this man.

January 1st, 2007 is the beginning of our 18th year together. I know very few 18 year relationships as strong and as consistently passionate as ours. I count my fortune daily.
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