Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sometimes Scared

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Sometimes I get scared. Especially when people fill my head with fears I had forgotten. It happened today, fear, fed to me from a woman who imagined herself to be well-meaning.

I get scared when I think about the risks, the bloodclots, the strokes, the cancer. But what choice do I have?

I haven’t any. Of course I could go back to the way things were. But is that a choice? Is that an option?

I could go to a doctor and make changes, but I have what I have now and I have NO insurance and no money, so I will make due, will take what I have and quietly crawl away. Yes, poverty is lethal. With cash and insurance I would see a doctor, would make the changes I need to make. But, of course, as the Republicans have made so obvious, some of us simply do not deserve healthcare. We are lazy, failures, and we deserve to be ill and die. It is so simple for them. So simple. Yes, if I were worthy, I would make the changes. But of course, even at that, some things are not covered or are considered nonessential.

Yes, Fox; Yes, Tea Party, I am unessential, undeserving.

I would like to make the changes, be safer.

But I can’t, so I lose a few nights sleep, shake it off, and forget about it.

Until another well-meaning person comes along and stirs it all up again.

But I know the risks.

And I have no choices.

Home

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 HOME

Today finally free,

To move home 

To Gainesville,

I was lying back on the yoga

Mat, 

In my studio space, 

In the loft 

When I realized

That I had finally made it. 

 

I am home.

 

One more blank line and repeat:

 

I am home.

 

I begin to cry thinking about it.

I was not home in who I was ,

Was not home at church,

Was not home among my peers,

Was not home in my beautiful marriage,

Was not home in Korea,

Was not home in the Phillipines, Thailand, Chile, New Hope or Akron,

Was never home in my body.

Was not home in any job,

Was not home among the Carines or Rennies,

Was never home in my self-loathing,

Was not home with whiskey,

Was not home with a guitar and a gig,

Was not at home with cancer,

Was never at home with death,

Was not home in spirit,

 

I am home. Gainesville is my home.

 

And I have no safety net,

I have a little bit of nothing,

And soon less.

 

And I have only new friends,

And no past here,

And an island,

From which I watch.

 

I am not happy,

Not without conflict,

But I am happy together

with more than a pinch

Of fear.

 

Practicalities:

Will I make it?

Am I getting old?

I hate my voice?

I have no money,

Nothing I can count on,

What if?

 

What if I am home?

What if I am happy?

What if I let go?

What if I surrender?

 All my thoughts in little lines,

All my heart filled with warmth and joy,

A light in the tunnel of my future,

Thank Gods and Goddesses,

I have landed.

 

Safely… 

 

Justine Mara Andersen

Control

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When is it you realize you don’t have control over ANYTHING?! Does everyone get there? When did I get there? All I know is that at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 in my studio space/”workstation”—as Tom likes to say–at SAW in Gainesville Florida I realized, fully, that I have truly REALIZED that I have no control over anything, I never did, never will, and no one ever has. Moreso, the people who thinking they do believe in the myth that they should have control are the ones that either lock a girl in a basement or become Republicans. 

 Or perhaps I knew that all along but have, instead, finally decided that I’m OK with it. I, Justine Mara Andersen, have embraced the realization that I have no control over any aspect of my life. That isn’t despairing or cynical, no, it’s liberating, encouraging even. Most of the pain in my life has come about because of my attempts to impose control over elements that were out of my control… EVEN IF I had “caused many of my own problems.” No, it’s liberating because now I can fully embrace Krishna’s advice that I commit to seeing my worldly duties through with no expectation that the future owes me a return… of course I am paraphrasing and making a point with the concept. Spiritual lessons are twilight things, never being taught with a single level of depth or meaning. 

 This means I can just make art for art’s sake. I don’t need to worry about whether or not anyone sees it. Of course I hope they do and will work towards meeting that end, but that is where my emotional responsibility to the duty ends. I can not seek emotional or spiritual contentment only after I release a good-selling book. That is not the significant moment, the significant moment is the act of creating the book.  The earthly rewards are not even secondary… they are mere gravy I may or may not get in return.

 This goes for any endeavor, and to a certain extent reveals itself as a certain optimism, hope, and even faith. I take certain precautions, pills, herbal supplements and so forth to treat certain problems, but that is ALL I can do. I can’t allow my satisfaction to come about because of the results of an action, I have to find satisfaction in the action.

 Even just now, I dig makeup, the color, the drama, the fact that it takes my look back to the sixties and seventies, but today, even for me, I accidently put it on way too thick… I like it dramatic and flattering, not mask-like. But so what, knowing that I don’t even entirely have  control over my makeup—somedays it goes better than others, and most days how I see it depends more on how I feel than on what I’m acturally seing—and today it went on too thick. Now, knowing that I “did my part,” I don’t care. I went out, did what I needed to do, and I wasn’tt sufferening a thousand pangs of self-conscious anxiety over my makeup. 

 What’s really exhauasing is trying to talk to and deal with people who still believe they have control or one day will. I feel sorry for them for living under the pain of that illusion, but sometimes they exhaust me… as THAT illusion of control is the origin of obsessive fussiness and micro-managing, and greed, conservativism and so on and so on. 

 Yep, I know all this, but I still do the same crap myself. So what’s the point of learning the lesson then not allowing it to govern your life?. 

 Oh, sorry, you thought I was about to answer that question. Sorry, but  I have NO IDEA what the answer is.

 And that’s another thing, when did I realize that when it comes to most things,… “I have no idea what’s going on or why?…”

Missing the Snow… No… Really!

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I’ve been watching Olga Gavva on the net (famous Russian barefoot woman) and seeing her in the snow made me tingle very pleasantly. I really really miss being barefoot in the snow. It was one of the most thrilling, challenging, delightful, dangerous, and at time annoying things about always being barefoot. The winters back in Ohio could be brutal, and there were times I simply chose to stay in rather than go out into THAT barefoot. I especially hated having to shovel the drive, though once I was out there and knee-deep and numb from the ankles down I loved it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am much happier in Florida and I really loathed the snow… the constant dirty cold relentless gray skies and soot-crusted snow.

Dear God… and the SALT! How I hated the salt! It wrecked my soles and skin, but I had learned how to cope with it.

Well, I guess I don’t miss the snow at all, but I do miss the thrill of living barefoot through the winters. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m staying right here in sunny Florida! Lovely Olga can have the snow all to herself. Now, if I can just get used to the scorching blacktop out here…

 

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney

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Yeah, I know, he ain’t gonna read this. But I’m not saying it for him.

Happy Birthday Paul McCartney.

Putting such things into words is ridiculous. There’s no way, as a fan, to express these things without coming across as vaguely pathetic, naive, or sappy. But, I have to say that McCartney’s music, his ARTistry, what he has to say and how he says it has touched me more than the work of ANY other artist. THAT is a big statement to make, but for me it is absolutely true. His work has been a part of my life since even before I knew who Paul McCartney was. His music spoke to me well before I had become a fan, and his voice, particularly with Wings, was a huge part of the soundtrack of my childhood. The sunniest days of my youth all through the magical summers of the 19(insert decade here… I’m NOT telling you how old I am)’s were filled with his songs. And later his work carried me through the darkest days of my adulthood. his compassion and insight, tunefulness and delightful whimsy, anger and pain were always there as something beautiful to hang onto even in the worst, scariest, or most painful of times. Whether I needed inspiration, hope, a good wallow, cheered up, invigorated, or whatever…  his work was there. His versatility and endless courage and curiosity as an artist never bored me.

I thank God for Paul McCartney. At one time I realized that I could not even imagine what my life would have been like and would be like if his voice hadn’t been there, and I don’t merely mean his singing voice, but his voice as an artists, as a poet, and as a tunesmith. For me, without McCartney’s magic my life would be very different, and I don’t know if I could bear it. I don’t merely like your music, Paul… I NEED it.

So, Paul, some of us get it. Some of us don’t buy the bullshit, some of us know that not only is it nonsense that “Paul McCartney hasn’t done anything worthwhile since the Beatles,” that in fact you have done your very BEST work since the Beatles… and still are doing your best work. Some of us know that Wings was a real band, and in fact one of the most influential and powerful bands of the seventies. Some of us see the deep wells of mysticism in the “rubbish” of your lyrics. Some of us understand that melody does not make a song “dismissible.” Some of us know that craftsmanship counts. Some of us know that you KICK ASS and always have. Some of us know your work is profound and even transcendent. We are there, we listen, and we love what you bring into our lives: Music, love, comfort, a full range of emotions and experiences.

Keep it coming Paul… and for Chrissakes… STOP doing these lame Beatle tribute tours… you’re better than that! Stop being Beatle Paul and start being PAUL McCARTNEY!!! You ARE a whole artist, complete, and worth all the passion I feel for your music.

 

A-Hole @ SAW

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Some asshole came into SAW today… creepy as hell, over 6 foot tall, smelly, fat… and he sat in my studio space and insulted me (I won’t go into it, it was ver personal). Then as I asked him to leave me alone, in the midst of apologizing he bumbled around and KEPT insulting me. I told him to get out, repeatedly.

He left. I can’t believe I stood up to that grotesque giant… but he’s out. I did well. Feared I had overstepped my bounds, but my friend Joe pointed out that as a teacher there, with an intern in the building, it was my responsibility to take control and get the guy out.

With open doors, these things can happen in any public place.

Wicked Thorns and Scorpions

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There are some serious dangers here in Florida for bare feet. I once walked across the street to check out the vacant home and found my feet full of wicked little needle-sharp thorn balls… that were hard as hell to get out as they were little balls of thorns that stuck in my fingers as I pulled them out.

Last night I came home and found a scorpion on the front porch! I guess I have to watch every step around here. Fortunately the scorpions here are small and not lethal, but I guess they are worse than hornets when they get you.

Gonna have to be vigilant barefoot here.

Class Over

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My first class at SAW is now over, the whole 5 week session. It went really well. I had great students. We start a new session in three weeks and should have most of the same people again. They learned a lot.

Lots of free floating stress right now. There is lots of pressure… and more coming. Lots of movement, none of it fast or profitable enough.

And now, again, I am terribly tired and in need of moral support, company, and cold hard cash, all of which are in very short supply. It’s lonely in Ocala… terribly lonely. I have the school, I have students, but no one special to lean on. No friend to go out with, to rely on. I have students, a great employer, but no one close personally. I could use someone, and some friends, people who wouldn’t mind listening or helping me out. It’s lonely and seems lonelier every time I have a problem. I’m fighting the war alone.

“You never need to worry about me, I’ll be fine on my own
Someone else can worry about me
I’ve spent alot of time on my own
I’ve spent alot of time on my own”

McCartney