Monthly Archives: June 2012

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.

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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

Things I Don’t Get & Am Not Ready For

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Dear Lakshmi,

There are so many things about Hinduism that I don’t get and am not ready for. I could write about this for days; at that, I could organize my thoughts for days THEN write about it for weeks. Some of my problems stem from my Christian background (Christianity never really took for me), but most of my problems wrapping my head around Hinduism lie in the fact that I am only a few months into my journey into Hinduism and the religion is–what–10,000 years old? I have a lot of catching up to do. I understand far less than I know and I feel and know far more deeply than I have a right to. The Gods have made their presences very known to me. THAT I do know. Simply put, I don’t need to have faith, I have experience. I don’t have to “believe,” as I have very personal and immutable experiences with the Gods.

I do not understand the relentless warnings in the spiritual writings against enjoying the sensuality of the world… not when every aspect of the religion seems to, contradictorily(?), celebrate sensuality: from Krishna’s flute playing and many erotic dalliances to Shiva’s association with desire and marijuana, then on to the lusciousness of the food, the barefoot sensuality (and jewelry), the delicious prasad, the incense and silks. Going to a Hindu temple is a sensual experience… as well as holy. I don’t understand this contradiction. I asked my Priest about this, saying that unless I misunderstood, the Bhagavad Gita (and other texts) warn against enjoying the pleasures of the world, yet the temple is full of sensuality… he simply said, “You do not misunderstand.” Even the answer was satisfying but did little to answer the nagging worry I feel over the seeming inconsistencies. About the only peace I found with this is to enjoy the mystery and not to think overmuch about it, though the Priest did add that I needed to give it time.

The thing I am really not ready for is the renunciation of worldly pleasures. Heavens… I’m not even ready to renounce the pleasures of the temple. And the reason I can not renounce worldly pleasures is that up until a couple years ago I lived a miserable soulless life of self loathing and self destruction. I was negative, drunk, bitter, angry, and had no soul nor joy. Now I am happy, yes, I have a lot of stress and fear, but I smile! And I smile a lot. I wake up grateful, even in the midst of my worries and my worst I am grateful. And at last, now, I have spirit. I have a soul. I have Gods who listen to me and interact with me. Why would I want to give that up? I am taught, in the texts, to seek relief from the cycles of death and rebirth, but finally, now, at this very moment… I don’t WANT released. I WANT to live! I want to BE HERE NOW.

I want to engage in the sensual world with abandon. I want to celebrate that I was born and be at peace with the fact that I will die. What if I am not only not ready but not in need of release now? What if knowing Lord Ganesha is watching over me is enough? What if knowing Maha Lakshmi is providing is enough? What if it’s all enough? Glorious!

Then what?

Now what?

Perhaps I do not misunderstand and I just need to give it time. Sometimes it’s best to listen to your Priest.

Studio Space

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Spent the day in my new studio space… spent some of it simply moving in and getting it up and functioning. It’s looking OK but there’s still so much more to do before it’s anything like what I imagine it to be. I am, again, grateful to Tom for the space. And even more grateful that he is so enthusiastic about having me in there creating an exciting little space. It felt good to be there, like I am one more part complete. Bit by bit I am filling in the holes in who I am and who I was meant to be.

It feels good to be an artist again, to be living that lifestyle and to be working with someone who values my talents to the extent that Tom does. I respect him for that.

Unfortunately the work I created there today was not impressive. But soon the work I create there will be.

 

Another Day

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Another day in Ocala. I hadn’t realized it until Tom pointed it out, but on my home page I wrote that I reside in Gainesville. A strange bit of wishful thinking, unintentional but beautiful and dreamy. Soon.

Another day in Ocala means precious little to write about. It means I wait.

Tomorrow I go to Gainesville to work on my studio space in the loft at SAW. An artist’s loft… a loft studio! It’s almost corny it’s so dream-come-true. Dreams come at a cost, don’t they? How much have yours cost? Or have you not invested in yours yet?

Talked with my mother today, it went better than I had hoped. Oddly, a few months back, just after I prayed to Lord Ganesha I had the chance to clear the air with her of many obstacles, and just today, the very day my Ganesh pendant came in the mail, she called. I trust Lord Ganesha. I lay myself and my obstacles at his feet.

For some time today I floated in the pool, rained on, delighted. After all… I live in Florida! In my studio space at SAW I realized that not only did I have my loft studio space but that when I walked outside… I was in FLORIDA! I’ve dreamed of living here for years, years! And now I have to make it work. I have nowhere else to go, no home to return to, no fallback. THIS is it. I live in Florida now. I’m not on vacation, I’m home. Or close… so close. Tomorrow, in Gainesville, I will be home.

I know so many lovely people in Gainesville. Slowly I am building faith in a sense of community. I am not a drifter just passing through. Soon I will be one of them. Lakshmi is providing through Tom at SAW, Ganesh is removing obstacles through Tom… then of course there is the gratitude I owe to Tom himself, a man of unshakable patience, a man who actually believes in art and artists and literally puts his money where his mouth is. I have to give him more. The best I can give him now is endless thanks and action. His dreams are worth working for. Thanks Tom.

Love,

Justine

 

 

So Tired

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So Tired

The exhaustion of having ambition.

It burns in me like a fire often longed for and long forgotten.

It invigorates me and fills me with warm fatigue.

It sits in my muscles like stale gratitude.

 

Ambition, I welcome it’s return,

signs of life and soul where once I’d feared the loss of both.

I am alive, so damn tired,

But engaged in every single day with hope, some fear, and passion.

 

Fatigue develops when you spend every day moving forward,

And every morning wishing you could get back to sleep.

I take a day off and become hopelessly restless and instead engage in something productive,

With scarcely a hint of mere nervous energy.

 

I have things to do, now, and am glad for them.

But I’m so damn tired.

Grateful, hopeful, poised, even eager.

Soulful and joyful.

 
But so damn tired.