Pick yourself up off the floor, sweetheart, and go figure out what success means to you now. Way you go now, that’s it.
The drama’s just a distraction you made up to keep you down there, so drop it.
Get up, and get going.

IMG_0004Something has happened; my starting point has shifted. No, it’s more than that – have shifted  – into someone I only partly recognize.

I think I like her. Not sure yet.

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Self-study Arts Based Research for my Masters since March 2019 took me back through 5 years of notes, journals, blogs, photos, paintings, drawings, poems, shows, courses, jobs, gigs… inspired me to write an allegorical story that features seven swans I met on the highway in February. I wrote a paper to support the story  and both are now being honed and polished by this new, still foreign me. I thought the honing would be simple – just polishing, enriching a little.

Ha. Enter the Me whose father has passed on, who returned from a first solo trip to Europe/UK in a decade.

Who IS this person?

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I do trust her. I trust Me and whatever is going on with this process, even though I feel more than a bit blind.

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My question was about transformation, transition, while examining all aspects of the idea, the principle of inclusivity.

It’s a good question. A related question occurred to me last fall as I read books in my cabin in the middle of a forest beside a big lake: why is this trouble with inclusivity so specific to humans?

Another related question emerged when I found myself in the midst of an ocean of tourists, trying to sort out who we are, together, now, as the world changes so dramatically all around us. Levels of inclusivity: I can get lost in the streets of Firenze, but unless I take a risk and connect meaningfully with someone who lives there I will not be invited to a family gathering, or learn what it feels like to be Italian, in Tuscany.

To be a tourist is to be excluded from what is actually happening around me, as I pass through a place. Money alone does not buy meaningful, healthy human connection.

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Then I applied inclusivity to the complex world of Family. As children, parts of us get excluded, while other parts are accepted as normal and appropriate to the Family ‘culture’.

I don’t think anyone escapes this kind of ‘pruning’ as a kid – it’s the nature (and perhaps purpose) of Family. But then what is revealed as the Family knot gets unraveled?

All those previously excluded bits come to the dinner table. A very interesting conversation ensues.

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Foundations of understanding crack when the tectonic plates beneath them shift, and so doubt and discomfort, a sense of deep powerlessness over the way things change; I wasn’t expecting to be be working this deeply now.

Of course also the corollary: I knew I’d be different when I started this.

Now I’m different.

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Pick yourself up, Sweetheart. Figure it out.

And go jump in the lake.

April 15, after sleepless night because of lunar eclipse 3:42-ish am.  And it snowed...
April 15, after sleepless night because of lunar eclipse 3:42-ish am. And it snowed…

I’ve begun to think of my face as a mask, in all this clicking, writing, posting and painting of it.   It’s a mask that I make and change according to what parts of myself I wish to present.  Actually, that’s not even completely honest – sometimes I use parts of other people in my own face, to top off the presentation.  This is stealing, but also a form of flattery…

Half-face (my left side, which is your right)
Half-face (my left side, which is your right)

 

I chose parts for my mask based on what kind of response I’d like to receive, and from whom.  My dad once asked me why I wear makeup (I was 17 I think).  I said:  “Oh, habit”.  But really it was a mask.

My right, your left.
My right, your left.

I’ve been receiving lots and lots of feedback from people reading this Selfie Post blog.  Many many takes on Selfie, on social media, on self-awareness, sharing energies, non-verbal communication, and also several from men (or women?  not clear) who would like to get to know me better, maybe we could get a drink sometime, can I have your phone number.  All of it is fascinating, some of it VERY articulate and informative, and the latter…  well.

Interesting to me that in the five years I’ve been writing this blog, nobody’s responded until now by asking me out for a drink while referencing the size of their sex organ.  Selfie power indeed, James Franco.

Good reference photo for painting.  Also part of the mask?
Good reference photo for painting. Also part of the mask?

Is there an implied intimacy in these photographs I’ve taken & posted of my face?  There must be.  I am the person behind the mask after all, taking pictures of the mask. I gaze with trust back at myself.

I’ve come to think we are all of us starved for intimacy, on some level.  Intimacy requires vulnerability, which when shared requires trust – of both self and other.  In this fear-based world of ‘what if?’ insurance payments, trust is … all too rare.