Nervousness around being known?

I have about an hour before I should probably be in bed.  That would normally mean that I’d need to stop what I’m doing now and start preparing, but I’m not feeling entirely that responsible at the moment.  🙂

I was able to finish my acrylic painting last night, though “finish” is a bit of a misnomer.  It’s ready to turn in, but I can see where I can tweak it.   I’ve posted an image of it below…I’ve already submitted a copy to my professor, so I’m thinking I’m good.  It’s got a bit of a Surrealist effect going on, as it is, due to some camera oddities which I exaggerated without realizing it.  And, well, I made a mistake which is visible between the watercolor and acrylic versions of the image, though unless one knows it’s there, it probably doesn’t look bad.  I forgot that I could wipe it off with a damp rag while it was still wet…

Done, finally.  (For now, at least.)
Done, finally. (For now, at least.)

At least I was able to get the painting done on time.  As things stand now, though — due to illness and the holiday, most of my classes this week were cancelled.  I only had the field trip to worry about, plus the Painting assignment (I didn’t know until early morning that the latter class was cancelled).  That also means that I didn’t have to have my big Figure Drawing assignment done earlier in the week.

My prof has given us some exercises to work within to build up to the large composition (18″x24″) for Figure Drawing, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to do some additional work to even get the thing done.  We were supposed to make three different versions of the same drawing in thumbnail format and then blow one of those up into a large-format image on colored paper.  My major issue with this is that there are so many different directions I could go, that it’s difficult to pick one and stay with it.

My second major issue is that the drawings I most want to recreate are with one of the models who exhibited the most sensuality…which I am a bit cautious about getting into, in a school setting.  It’s bad enough when I’m next to some guy who’s vocally uncomfortable about drawing a nude male model in a vulnerable pose, or who’s giggling about a nude female model.  The poses I’m drawn to, though — at least, the two by our first model — are really indicative of vulnerability.  And I really resonate with that — because to me, part of being a really good artist is making oneself vulnerable.

I was actually talking about this with my counselor today; that there is a tradeoff between being vocal and recognized and keeping things private.  When I work, my work is very obviously (to me) based off of my own experience, and so there is no way for me to give my all to an Art class and at the same time not let anyone know what’s going on inside of me.

The major bit of information that is missing from the above painting, which I have not yet entered, is my signature.  I could take on a pseudonym — in fact I already have one which I’ve used with certain subsets of friends, and have planned to use if I ever become a published author — but it seems most appropriate to write my actual name on the piece.

Part of that is the fact that I’m mixed-race, and this is apparent from my birth name — whereas with my chosen name, one wouldn’t know I were mixed (or indeed whether I were male or female) until seeing me.  My birth name also resonates with much more power in this context (meaningwise) than my chosen name.

The problem with using it is that it is a unique name — very nearly too unique — though I have found others using names spelled similarly online.  And with the Internet the way it is, I’ve been cautious about putting it out there.  Putting it out here, on my blog, would likely give away my existence, whereas I and my family have gone through efforts to keep the fact of my existence largely offline.

I also have a history of both existing within the trans community (though I don’t really resonate anywhere nearly as strongly with the term “trans” anymore — I never took hormones or surgery, and have seemed to be able to adapt on my own, whereas most of the TG and TS people I’ve known have gone quickly to medical interventions, often at very high costs) and I’ve also spoken about my experience of mental illness, rather freely.

I have made efforts to find a career path in which I’ll be able to be open about who I am and my experiences without too much risk of discrimination or censure.  And there is quite a tolerance for neurodiversity within the Arts…thankfully.  It’s been a really good thing to be able to find a place where I don’t have to worry about negative judgments just because of the difficulties I’ve had in my life.  I mean, I came out to everyone last semester, and I still have friends who’ve kept on with me since then, you know?  It’s not necessarily such a bad thing to let others know this stuff.  The problem is, mainly, do I want to be really public about it?

I do realize I have an image editor now, so I could, technically, just blot out any signature I’d put on my work.  But that doesn’t seem right — it is my work, not the work of an anonymous or nondescript person.  I do want to claim it — but then again, I was unable to be unknown for most of my childhood and teen years, and that was not a fun time.  Then again, it was childhood, and that is often not a fun time.

And then it’s like who cares, right?  It’s just a name.  But for me, it’s a name of power.  My reclaiming my name is an act of defiance (and somewhat, strength and resolve), in this circumstance, even as a lot of people I’ve known have chosen names for themselves to better fit their view of themselves, and take back the power that was stripped from them early on.  It’s a different context, I’ve guessed.

But I was never raised to be anyone other than who I am — and, there is nothing wrong with who I am.  Even if I am mixed-race and gender-fluid.  I just seem to be…well, a Millennial.

Fear of creativity?

I think, at this point, I’ve decided to stay up.  I should be protected from the general public’s germs for the next 24 hours, so no big worries.  I just wanted to note down what I was feeling as regards the fear of creativity tangent — or as much as my mind can get out before midnight.

There is a backstory to this.  Actually, there are a couple of backstories to this.  The question remains, which to tell…

The one which came to me as I reviewed my prior postings, which hadn’t come up before:  I have had experience with being backstabbed by people I’d grown to trust.  This happened 2-3 major times over middle and high school.  The first two times were probably related to my being gender-ambiguous; the third time it was likely the same thing, only the people rejecting me identified as lesbian, not straight.

In light of this, I’ve had a tendency to seek and find companions in souls most people don’t even consider.  To get into that gets rather sad, so I won’t go there, this time around.  But I’m fairly certain that it has been this tendency in me which has both likely saved my life and contributed to what might, might be mediumship.

The reason this is even a question is that, basically, most of the people in my life who have heard about my inner experience (and know anything about spiritual experience) tell me that I’m extremely spiritually sensitive.  In addition, I’ve grown up with the knowledge that I might come to have spirit contact — though I’m not sure…that it was predicted that I might become an artist, not necessarily a healer.

In any case, the mediumship tangent is the only thing that can really explain what’s happened with me over the last few years.  I’ve actually worked out a system — with help (if you believe beings one doesn’t see can help) — with regard to trying to discern what has been going on.

The short of it is:  every thing we have seen as “life” shares the same base of existence.  Because of causes and conditions which have differed for each of us — for example, via genetics, culture, subculture, ethnicity, religion, clan, differing oppressions, differing appearances, etc.; we have differing experiences that have been thrown at us.  Given that, each of us responds differently, depending upon prior programming from “prior lifetimes,” (which gets kind of complicated with what you read next), upon our training in this lifetime, and upon what we’ve learned has worked for us.

The Unconditioned is what I refer to as my Divinity.  This is the potential, or seed, or…basis of all life as we know it.  I also see this as what has been spoken of as “Buddha-Nature,” (I think one of my texts referred to this as buddhagotra, though I’ve seen the word buddha-dhatu being thrown around on Wikipedia) though in my case I do not think that there are trillions and more of Buddhas, one for every living being (and multiplying on and on as life proliferates).  I think there is one Divinity at peace with itself which can become anyone who has ever existed, and underlies everyone who does exist.  My Divinity = the Unconditioned = “Buddha-Nature.”

This Divinity, by its own nature, is creative.  Because I’m part of this Divinity, I can tap its powers to gain visions of what could be but right now, is not.  Maybe never-will-be, if I’m lazy about it.  😉  (self-contradicting universes kind of tend to implode on their own)  I’ve never tried to really look into histories not my own though — my forays into Creative Writing notwithstanding — so I’m not certain how far my vision stretches.

That is, I’m fairly certain that it isn’t a good idea for me to attempt to channel someone’s dead uncle at this moment.  ^_^;;  I’m not that developed yet, and channeling anyone-who-wants-to-speak can be fairly dangerous (I’ve learned this the hard way) — probably why channeling dead people can also be referred to as necromancy.

However…hypothetically speaking, this Divinity contains any and every being who has ever existed, or perhaps ever will exist, if we look at things outside of the lens of time.  In that sense, reaching to Divinity could essentially be reaching whomever one wishes to reach, as shorthand.  The problem is reaching someone whom one (at least consciously) didn’t wish to reach, and wishing/hoping it’s whoever one wanted, and being self-deceived.  That then can open avenues for attack (like hugging some random guy on the street), which is not something someone without experience (or even with experience) wants.

From what I’ve read…it’s been said that there is no such thing as a “soul” or personal essence…that the part of us which links to “past life” is basically karma, or the moral imprint of past experience which travels on to form a new birth (or is liberated into nirvana — this liberation being, in essence, going home to, or realizing, Divinity).  So the part of myself which I see as having come with me from a past life is not itself evidence that “I” experienced that past life.  Rather, someone did, and the ripple effects of their life, combined with other effects from other sources, generated me.  I don’t know exactly how it is that I ended up in this specific life, but so far it can make some sense.

One of the things I find of interest here is the concept of spirits who have control over one or more elements.  When I was younger, before I realized that I really disagreed with a lot of the fundamental tenets of the religions, I did do some research into angels and demons (though demons are often Near-East spirits and deities subsumed into a Christian pantheon; I’m not sure about the angels).  I found a lot of material on certain spirits being linked to certain categories of being — like health, for example, though a Demon of health could affect it for good or ill.  I think I’ve long since given up those more grimoire-like books (I didn’t feel I could trust them enough), but the implications, especially on top of other elemental schemata, are interesting.

For instance, in at least one Near-East culture (I forget which, though I recall the Thoth tarot deck in particular as being influenced by it), the element of Water is associated with life (probably because it’s dry).  In China, Water is associated with death (probably because of the typhoons).  It’s very interesting.  In my case, I have been in contact with one spirit who carries associations of Air and Water…I’ve not been able to find a pre-defined local match for her, but I’ve experienced her as a very healing being.

Now, I’m not entirely certain how to explain exactly what is going on here, if I can sense and pick out individual spirits — knowing that these spirits are all ultimately facets of one being.  But they’re facets so distinct that it’s like picking out one’s mother as versus a convict (at least if one’s mother is not a convict).  Is that making sense?  It gets even more complicated when one finds that one can essentially for a time become one of these beings in Earth-form, though that generally entails some degree of cognitive dissonance when one sees oneself.  (I’ve also had an experience where this has happened, and someone saw me change, and just kind of stared at me in wonder.)

It has the capacity to totally up-end one’s life, especially if one doesn’t realize one is doing it.  People tend to think that anything that occurs to them is true, and that any thought which arises in their mind is both theirs and right; it’s not necessarily the case.  But to try and police that gets into a certain cult which I do my best to try and avoid; this is the largest reason why I have not yet undergone psychic training.

Is this making sense?  Gah, I need to go read some more in my Art History text, but yes.  Tapping Divinity to create things which do not yet exist, can be kind of scary!  But I’m not sure if, at least using this system, there is really any other way to create.

Comments open.

Procrastination

I stayed home from some family meeting today in order to work on homework (I’m told I didn’t miss much), but I didn’t feel really ready to face it until about 3 PM.  I got up sometime around noon, ate, took the pill to help me stay awake, went back to bed at about 1 PM, and got up at 3.  This is after I woke up at 7:30 to turn my alarm off, and fell back to sleep.

I am really…getting tired of this sedation thing.  But I haven’t actually been getting to bed at 10 PM like my doctor wanted, and other than the weight gain and the #*%@ tiredness, I’m OK.  The thought of being more anxious in exchange for being less tired isn’t a good one, especially with the people who like to visit my work and harass the employees.  (I haven’t mentioned that I stopped wearing heels and skirts to work because I feel like I may be called upon to defend myself [or others]…)

While I was trying to break back into my Figure Drawing homework, I realized that I actually hadn’t done any drawing since last Thursday, and that this was likely why the idea of trying to draw was intimidating.  I’ve found that my Art practice is similar to my experience of martial arts:  it’s fun while I’m doing it, and I’m good at it; but when I’m not doing it, I’m not terribly motivated to start.  And actually, with the martial arts, too, it’s similar:  I get kind of scared and don’t want to leave wherever I’m at or whatever I’m doing in order to do this thing which I like, but which I get intimidated by.  Of course, with martial arts, there’s the thing about flying through the air and the possibility of severe injury which I’m literally just a moment away from, repeatedly; art practice isn’t nearly as hazardous (unless we start talking about poisonous pigments and the like — but I do think I’m blowing my own cleanliness out of proportion, here).

Which means:  I need to keep at my practice, relatively constantly.  It’s something I didn’t do with my Writing, and as I said, I haven’t written fiction-as-fiction in years.  That in turn — especially when done with virtually all media — can cause my creativity to recoil on me, and then we get into some spaces that challenge the normative bounds of reality.  I am finding that art practice is effectively channeling this creativity away from my own self-image, which is nice; it gives some stable ground…but that doesn’t mean I’m not still afraid of the part of me that generates this stuff.

Then, today, there was the reading for Art History, which is incredibly easy to get bogged down in, and slow.  I was thinking of doing it earlier instead of drawing or painting, but then felt like I wouldn’t be doing “real” work.  Of course, though, reading is a huge time investment, and I didn’t realize how far behind I was until I counted out 50 pages before the end of the chapter.  Virtually all of them are interspersed with large images, but the text itself is small and in columns.  I can blow these up on my e-reader, but then it becomes very apparent how much information is contained there.

I’m taking a break from the reading now, though I probably should really be getting to bed soon.  I’m guessing, though, that since I only got out of bed at 3, I probably won’t want to sleep until about 3, as well.  Far-be-it for me to interrupt my irrational sleep/wake cycle.  (But seriously, I’d have 5 hours free to study if I worked like that…I’d probably just be useless until 6 PM the following evening if I worked like that, though, too.)

So I have 50 pages to go in my Art History book and about 25 hours in which to do it (half of which, I assume I’ll be asleep).  So, do I push myself to read four pages, every hour, on the hour?  😉

Man, that sounds horrible.  It also sounds like my paint will dry out.

In any case, maybe it will be a welcome reprieve from Painting and Drawing?  I’ve still got that acrylic painting due on Thursday, even though I have a surprise day tomorrow off (the huge Drawing assignment is delayed a week), and then Wednesday afternoon to work on it.  And after my critique, I will — with much surprise — actually get to see my counselor again.  FINALLY.  Finally get to see my counselor, again.  And ask my counselor WHAT WAS I THINKING TAKING 9 UNITS ON TOP OF 19 HOURS OF WORK.  Right.  And then it will be all like “it feels like you have some energy around that?” right.

Now, if I could just see the dentist and my other doctor, as soon…(I was supposed to see the dentist last Thursday, but he had to cancel; my other doctor wants to see me as well, but I was unable to book a standard appointment.  I can call her tomorrow.)

The thing is, if this hadn’t been a holiday and I’d really assented to that Lab class every Monday — it wouldn’t have been nearly as hard to get started, because I would have had help.  Plus, I probably would have started about three hours earlier, and actually gotten up and stayed up, way before noon.  And I might have actually washed my face today.  😛

Okay, let’s not go there, but.  Having someplace to go gives me a reason to take care of myself, yes?  Kind of like rolling around on the ground gives me a reason to take a shower…okay, that’s another martial arts reference, but I think I’ve made my point.  Doing things requires effort, preparation and aftercare, beyond just, “did I eat today?”

Taking the lab means I have zero days off during the week, with the exception of holidays.  Not taking the lab means I have to be tougher on myself about not going back to bed just because I’m scared.  I’m thinking that the best route to take so that I’m not scared of my own creativity is simply to use it day in and day out, so I never have a long break without it, and never get used to having put it down.

I think I’ll rewrite my goals for Lab and post them, though I’m not sure now is the best time to do so.

Or, I could see if I left that Art and Fear posting somewhere in the backlog…

Nature of existence

I feel the need to author one or more books on the metaphysical space I’ve gotten to over the past year.  Or rather, which has culminated within the past year.

It’s kind of deconstruction to an extreme, which then reorganizes itself into some kind of insight which can be felt and intuited, but not so easily expressed in language.  This is either because language is too limited (very possible), or I just have not been able to cause it to fully express what I mean — hence, the art.

I’ve not wanted to write this because my own system is changing all the time — no explanation is taken to be “true” — and so by the time I codify something I’m feeling, it’s already started to be questioned.  But maybe notes on the trail would be something OK.  This very much falls into the territory of “mysticism” as well, and given how many books on spirituality, religion, philosophy, and the occult I’ve read and put down, I kind of feel like it’s junk, or, at least, highly questionable.

But it might help someone.  Especially those going through existential crises.

And it might help me.

Crazy scheduling

Most difficult day of the week = done.  And as bad as I thought it might have turned out, it didn’t even register on the scale of absurdity.  I mean, it was like a 2/10 where 10 is me freaking out and 0 is me being totally calm.

I’ve initiated contact with my coworker about thinking of becoming a Clerk as a day job while working on my Art.  I should check with the County about the differences between the two job paths that are open to me now — one is Clerk, the other is Library Assistant.  It would be good to do research on the differing paths, and I know both Clerks and LAs, so it shouldn’t be hard.

As for the rest of my life:  I have 55 pages to read by bedtime Tuesday — I will need to know this information before Wednesday morning, and it also wouldn’t hurt to review Chapter 1.  I have 5 sketches to do out of my textbook for Figure Drawing, and a set of drawings to do for the same class (3 thumbnails and one finished, large drawing on colored paper — which, luckily, I bought for myself already, not knowing I’d need it for the class).  That is due on Tuesday, but as things are going, I am not sure exactly how many people are actually going to do the 5 sketches.  😉

I would like to get this done as soon as possible.  Given that today was my most stressful day, though, I’ve given myself some leeway for tonight.  (that is, no drawing while unwinding.)

On Thursday, my painting is due, though I should have time in class on Tuesday to work on it.  I need to remember my spray bottle for my palette, though — hardened paint is kind of a pain to soak and try and scrape off (glazing medium is particularly heinous).  Or, I could use the disposable palette.

Luckily, Monday is a free day for me — no classes, no work.  If I can get up at 7:30, I’ll have an entire day to work on both my Figure Drawing assignment, my Painting assignment, and whatever’s left of my textbook reading.

I can work on my reading tomorrow during lunch and dinner, which will give me at least an hour and a half of decent working time.  That, I should remind myself, is Saturday, and I will also be at work, so I should probably not try and get into drawing that day (I’ll probably be tense) — unless I feel up to it.  Sunday, I can start work on the Figure Drawing assignments, if I haven’t already — either before or after work.

Monday, I will need to finish the Figure Drawing assignments, and catch up on reading for Wednesday.

Tuesday will be Figure Drawing critique day and my last session of in-class Painting for Project #1.  Wednesday is the field trip for Art History and finishing up my painting at home.  Thursday is critique day for Painting.  Afterwards, I can work on the write-up for Art History.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten, in terms of outlook.  I should probably put it down on my schedule.

EDIT:  All right, I just laid this out on the schedule and it appears I’m giving myself a kind of lopsided amount of time for my Painting class (these things get displayed and I want to put out my best effort).  I could probably swap out some Painting time for study time in my textbook…though to look at it, I have allotted 5 hours to that, so maybe it isn’t as bad as it looks, especially as I’ve read for at least a good hour today, if I combine lunch and dinner.

I can also allot some time on Sunday just to do a value study on one of my Hardbord panels (it will be a good brainless morning project)…meaning I will probably want to gesso it tomorrow so it is ready on Sunday.  (My brain is always thinking one day into the future these days…I almost thought today was Saturday and I’d have to do it tonight.)  This is in case I’m not up to doing figure drawings, first thing in the morning.

So far as things go, I should probably get some rest so I’m not totally conked out tomorrow.  I caught myself getting a sore throat last night, and took some zinc and Vitamin C and kind of passed out at 8 PM.  Due to my job, I’m constantly coming into contact with sick people, and as full as my schedule is, I don’t want to get sick.