Wednesday, December 17, 2008
My stressful moments looking back at me -
The mess of life is sorted, squared, outlined.
It may be dead, because it's pre-designed -
But the design brings order and makes sense:
The final outcome is known - at no expense.
I can un-live, re-live each moment many times
In nervous agony - that's pleasant to the eyes.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Yesterday I was still revising the text here and there, changing and adjusting words. Finally, I had to stop. If I do not stop myself in time, I usually find myself in a state of panic, rewriting the whole thing and second guessing myself on every word. So, I did myself a favor by shutting down my computer and putting it away.
I hope that the writers in this groups will not "tear me to shreds," so to speak.
Wish me luck! (Maybe, some day I will get published... :)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Buying a new one seemed too cheap... As if we do not value our faith to put ourselves into it, but rather satisfy ourselves with mere possessions of our Gods' idols. So, I thought that the only appropriate thing to do would be to make a new image.
I do not know the first thing about the art of sculpture. Thankfully, I have a friend, and she is an artist at making dolls. She is quite talented. So, I made a date with her to visit her at the house and dedicate my day to the project of Isis.
Originally, I wanted to make an exact copy of the broken one - small Isis sitting on the stand, with wings outstretched... After about one hour of trying to arrange her face, I was forced to admit that working in such small measurements is above me at the moment. So, I went to a bigger size. That face, even though not as difficult to form, still took me about three and a half hours to make. It seemed that, no matter what I did, my Isis's face always ended up looking like the mask of some angry Ancient God - which I did not mind, but I wanted to remember that she is, in fact, a woman. I could only hope that, after looking at her image, Isis would not get more angry at me than before: " All right, first you break my image and forget it under the couch for several months, now you make a new image of me - is that what you really think of me?!!!"
Thankfully, my friend Tami helped me. She showed me how to smooth the face, how to make the nose and the bone cheeks look more feminine. Finally, she took over for a little while and made some additions that contributed to my Isis looking like a woman.
After we baked the face, I made the body and the wings. I decided to portray her standing, instead of sitting up. The hands were put on a wire. Tami helped by sculpting her hair. Then, we put it in the oven to bake - the "final bake," as Tami put it.
After bringing my Isis home, I looked at her carefully. She was fully ready - to be painted. I made her out of white clay, and I made a round stand for her, so she would be easier to balance (Tami's suggestion).
I chose the acrylic paint colors for her: orange for the dress, tan for the body (I mixed ochre with orange to get it), black for the hair, and blue and yellow for the wings. Originally, I wanted to make the wings black and gold - like they had it in the original statue - but then it occurred to me that her hair was already black, and black and orange together do not make a very pleasant combination. So, black was replaced with blue, and gold with yellow.
As I had more experience with painting than with sculpting - I took some art classes in my childhood - I felt more comfortable with this part. I saw my Isis changing from clay white to the tall, brightly dressed woman with raven black hair and dark blue wings - like the night sky with the stars. I liked the way she looked. Yet, I was very concerned about painting her eyes: one false move - and the black line would go across her face, and what if it gets ruined?
After several misses and repaints (I would wait for the paint to dry and then paint over my mistake with the tan color of the face) I finally found the right brush and the right consistency of paint. I tried to line on the newspaper and on my hand first. It looked perfect. Then, I went to the eyes.
I was holding the brush with my left hand - for some reason, sometimes I can do better with my left hand when it comes to more delicate work. I outlined the eyes with the black. Then, I took some blue paint and put two drops of it - one in each eye - for the color of the eyes.
After twelve hours of work, my Isis was complete. With her wings outstretched, she was walking on the waters of the Nile. What is she doing? Is she looking for her husband's body? Or is she trying to warn her son of his impending death, advising him against touching snakes?
Even now, her eyes look sad and her face looks stern and angry. I cannot blame her. I know how she feels. The main thing is - she is not indifferent.
My youngest daughter kept looking at Isis throughout the whole painting process. She kept saying to me: " Mommy, this is very good. This is not perfect, of course... But it's beautiful."
I am satisfied with that. I hope Isis will be, too.
Monday, November 24, 2008
As of today, my employment position has become a permanent one ; that is, my probation period is over, my holidays are now paid, and I do not have to worry about being dismissed at a blink of an eye… I guess I am doing something right.
Congratulations to myself!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
In the next hour of our conversation we had an intense, powerful discussion about books, human relationships, nature of sex, and each other's likes and dislikes. We talked about Sexus. We talked about novels of Marquis De Sade (he suggested I should read some of his works to get better acquainted with and accept my own sensuality). He explained his own idea of women and their place in the world, describing them as "instruments of pleasure" for someone like himself. In the end, he suggested I should come over to his place so that he could give me some "hands-on" experience on the subject we were discussing.
Overwhelmed with information, attention, his eloquence and, most of all, his straight-forward manner, I sat on the park bench, trying to get my thoughts together. Finally, I managed to ask, "How old are you?" He said he was - I think - thirty seven. - "And do you have any children?" - "Yes, I have a daughter, she is fourteen." - "I am fourteen too... If some man approached your daughter like you had approached me, what would you have done?"
His tone changed. "I would have cut his nuts off... Probably." - "Ah," I said, "so it's all right for me to receive offers of this nature from a man like yourself, but for your daughter - that's another matter entirely?"
He gave me a look - quite different from the previous lusty glances I had caught from him during our conversation. Then, he got up. I heard him say - very quietly - "I'm sorry." Then, he walked away from me without looking back.
Later, from my discussions with teachers and my own parents, I learned that I should have been outraged and insulted. Yet, I was not; in fact, I was flattered in a strange way. Flattered not with being his choice of sexual attention, mind you; rather, it was that he chose me to have an open, intelligent conversation about a topic no one else dared to approach with me to such a detailed extent. I felt like someone finally saw me as an adult. I saw someone who - for whatever reason - was interested in me and wanted to know as much as possible about me. Fully aware of the outrageous nature of his proposition, I still appreciated all the consideration he gave me while conversing with me about the delicate subject of human intimacy: there was not a single dirty word in his description, not one insult to my ear. He was an eloquent, intelligent, educated man, and I appreciated that about him; his motives might have been perverse, but he was entirely open and honest about those, using no "romantic interludes" that often are so popular among seducers.
Going on with my life and learning more about mythology, I nicknamed that personal encounter "my Azazel," which I think was quite appropriate. In a strange way, I still feel him present in my life, - whenever I see a male "friend" cover up his lusty interests with fake vows of love and devotion, I seem to hear my Azazel's voice: "Don't you think that's cheap? If you are going to tell this woman a lie, at least come up with a good one - give her some credit for her intelligence!"
Sometimes, as I look at people, I cannot help but ask questions and remember him as well. I think of the persons who are, although consider themselves my friends, do not take time to teach me about themselves or let me learn about them. They profess their closeness to me, swear their love and friendship, yet they do not take time to avail themselves for a cup of coffee, a game of chess, an intelligent conversation, - let alone for any situation that requires actual help. In this case, I cannot help but conclude that a pervert on the street took more time and interest in finding out my dreams, hopes and desires than any of them, and his goal was simply to... nail me.
I think of him also when I think of the causes of rape and violence in our society. Granted, often a rapist wants to rape out of animalistic instinct; he refuses to accept the boundaries of societal structure, and his rape is an announcement: "I want it and it is mine, I do not care what anyone, including the victim, thinks of feels about it." But I feel that, quite often, the use of force of one person over another may be a scream for attention, a demand for being reckoned with. Indeed, if one lives in the society where acquiring possessions has become a priority over acquiring friends, then one's existence may seem- and become - meaningless. Surrounded by "friends" who do not have time for you - ever; thinking of love for another person as something eternal and greater than life, yet forced to reckon with it as something of an endless dating game, - the way it is pictured on TV shows and accepted by the majority; frustrated by the feeling of own insignificance, yet sensing that you are destined for more... What is left? If people around you do not want to take you seriously, you are left with the only option: to force them to take you seriously. You force your date to commit on your terms by doing something to her that you want to do, thus making her accept - artificially - yourself just the way you are. You force your co-workers to listen to your suggestions in an unfriendly atmosphere of a hold up - now, that you have a gun, they will accept them, since they never seemed to have time for you during regular meetings.... And only to think that, if your friends and co-workers took the time to listen to you, to pay attention to your words - for any, even the most despicable, reason of their own, - you would not have felt the need to impose yourself so violently on others.
As artificial intelligence and technology progress, connection among human beings seems to weaken... Yet, it is our connection to each other that helps us survive during the time of the most horrible crisis... When we forget the importance of that connection, we disintegrate and die.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
There is one common thing that all fairy tales do not do, however: they never describe the lives of the heroes after the wedding. Once the Prince Charming and the Beautiful Princess - whatever their names - overcome the hindrances that stand in the way of their togetherness, it is assumed that all their troubles are over, and the story ends with them living "happily ever after."
Yet, it is the "happily ever after" period that always interested me. What happened to Cinderella after she became the wife of the Prince? Was Belle happy at the castle with the Beast? Whatever happened to Snow White after her Hero took her away from the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs?
Personally, I always had doubts about the happiness of the last couple. Perhaps, it was the Disney depiction of Snow White's character that made me unsure about the possibility of that woman's marital bliss. Maybe it was her voice. Somehow, I always pictured the Prince waking up one morning, getting dressed and ready to go about his day - when he would hear the high-pitched, unnatural voice of his beloved: "Uh-uh-uh! You have not brushed your teeth!" This is the moment when, in my mind, the prince would smile that gentle smile, walk back into the palace and hack his beloved Princess into pieces with a butcher cleaver. Or, perhaps, to be true to the story, he would use the poison apple - the last gift of his Mother-in-Law.
Another couple whose happiness seemed unlikely to me was the Sleeping Beauty and her prince. Beauty's curse could only be broken by true Love's first kiss - true Love of the Prince, that is. I imagine the Princess waking up after one hundred years of slumber to the man she is to marry. He is in love with her... but she does not know him. She has never seen him before; to her, he is a total stranger... HIS true love is there, but what about HERS? What if, altogether, the Prince that is to wake her up from the curse is not the same one that SHE is to fall in love with? If so, then the blessing of the Fairies turned out to be a curse in its own way, and a more potent than the original one, its side effect being a lifetime of misery.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I plan to take care of bills. I plan to take care of debt. I plan to move. I plan.
They do things. They cheat on their spouses. They get pregnant. They abandon their children. They get drunk. They get stoned. They make mistakes. They get taken care of. They go to Las Vegas. They go to LA. They do. I plan.
They feel. They feel loved. They feel close. They feel forgiven. They feel right.
I am. I am alone. I am separated. I am judged. I am wrong.
I long. I long for closeness. I long to forget. Forget my plans, my duties. I long to do something once without consideration, without thought, on pure instinct; get drunk and give in to a stranger for a moment of pleasure, moment of closeness, moment of thoughtlessness.
The morning after I will wake up. I will wake up with myself. I will be judged. I will be separated. I will be wrong.
They do. I plan. They feel. I am. They get taken care of. I take care. They live. I long...
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Your interest in the real life
Will disappear like the smoke.
The Messenger of God won't come.
Your passions and your zeal will wither,
The youth of ardent thoughts will flee...
My friend, leave dreams for the believer -
And free your mind of death - for me.
Translated from Russian by me.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I feel betrayed. I can't help thinking that I might have been deceiving myself. Do they need me as much as I need them? Do they place the same value on our relationship as I do - or, perhaps, I was merely a not inconventient rest stop on the way to something more important? Is this all just a game?
My ideals and goals are falling before me. I am evaluated in the most private acts by people who have no place and no right to evaluate anyone about anything. And yet, their judgement is passsed on and accepted by most, if not all, involved. I cannot fight, I cannot argue. I am losing my mind. And there is no one to turn to.
I am writing this here because I know for a fact that no one reads my writing - except, occasionally, my husband. This is a private space - not because it is designed to be, but because no one is interested in me in the least... The private public domain - is it not... contradictory to itself? The whole world can become contradictory like that...
Somerset Maugham. "The Moon and Sixpence."
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The lock of your privacy - your mind.
It's the knowledge of you I seek.
I am willing to take the chance
And pay in advance
For the treasures I may not find.
You hear me talk, and you watch me squirm
Under your silence, like a worm.
You play with me, like a mouse plays with a cat...
Maybe, it's all in my head.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
What are my plans for the summer? Honestly, nothing glorious. I hope to find a job. I hope to finish my college class. I hope to take the children to the Knottsberry Farm and to the Getty Museum. Do I have the money for that? No, but that is not the point. I'm sure the opportunity will avail itself when it is closer to the time of travel.
Have a good summer, everybody - especially everybody who reads my posts!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
stuff. Being unemployed gave me a chance to enjoy the "simple" things in life, like taking a shower in the morning and taking my time getting ready, as well as stopping for coffee and not get frantic when it takes an extra minute to get it ready. No rush...
shit? Yes, that too. Sometimes I still get bitter and angry about being "thrown out" of the workforce without any warning.
But I always have to remember about the first and the second thing, then the third one does not take as much of my time and attention.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
And then... I came by the college. I received my Associate's with them last year, so why not go on? They looked at my records and sent me to the Transfer Center - to speak to the University Rep. The University Rep spoke to me, and it looks like I may be restarting school by the end of this month! That's provided that my Financial Aid goes through. But - what a great opportunity!
I have something to look forward to.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I work at the office. I like my job: what I do is important to the company, my responsibilities are fairly straightforward and, according to my boss, I do my job well. So, I am not trying to turn this into a job bitchfest.
What I want to talk about is people around me - my fellow co-workers, who - each one of them - affect me in a different way.
First, there is an Accounting Lady. Out of all "regular" office staff she is the only one who has a private office - she says it's because her files contain personal employee information, but I suspect it's to separate her from the rest of us during the time she is extra... moody. Her mood gets affected by everything, including weather and room temperature. When she gets upset, she storms through the place like a hurricane, slamming doors and file drawers, and if one tries to approach her at this moment, she raises her index finger up in the air and says, " Not now, I am busy." After that moment, she will ignore you until... pretty much, forever or until she decides to accept you into her good graces, whichever comes first.
Then, there's the Order Entry Lady. She is quiet and friendly , but she knows when to ask a question, and when not to ask anything. Even though on the surface she may be referred to as "nothing special," I suspect she has a gift for social interaction, communication and even psychology... Or perhaps just workplace tact. She has never argued with or complained about anyone of her co-workers - not that I have seen. Perhaps, that explains how she has stayed at the job for over 15 years.
Finally, there is the Service Lady. The moment she walked into the office, I thought she was going to get along great with the Accounting Lady. It's like someone cloned the Original, slightly changed facial features and adjusted her "personality chip" and voila! Model Number Two!
She had similar complexion (I always wondered why people of the same weight class get along better with each other than with friends of different sizes - is it something in the air? spirit of comradeship, perhaps?). She seemed less moody, but more loud. Just like the Original, she had that friendly meaningless smile on her face - just for customers - and, just like her, she used that inflection in her voice when she said, "No calls; to my voicemail; I am busy." Only instead of raising the finger, she stared at you with the blank expression, until you were forced to admit defeat and walk away. To complete the picture, I must say that the Service Lady liked to chew. She always chewed on something - cookies, candy, gum... When she was standing next to me with paperwork, it took me every effort not to grimace: the wet popping sounds, the open mouth, the blank stare and her stoutness reminded me of a large lazy cow that was enjoying her snack among the cow pies...
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Then, there was the "Naked Lunch".... Hehehe.... I wish my husband and I could take that long of a lunch in the afternoon... Come on, writers, who did you write this for? High School Students? Most people have to work for living, and I know their schedule has 1 hour lunch - maximum... So - nice idea, but no thanks. This will have to wait till retirement - hopefully, my husband will still be willing to look at me naked then...
Then, there's the casino... Great idea in general, if only the holiday did not fall on Thursday - again, most people have to work the next day!
Anyway, after looking at all these ... "special" ideas, I think we will be going to a restaurant after all. Yes, plain old-fashined dinner and maybe a movie - if time permits. I think my husband will be happy to go to some specialty place, not your regular Olive Garden or Denny's. He likes Japanese food, and, in fact, he made me fond of it too. So, we'll most likely end up in a Sashimi Bar or at the small Japanese place - it should be quiet tomorrow, in spite of all the holiday mess...
And - for those who are reading this post - don't get your ideas from online articles; I am starting to think it's the worst place to go for... anything, really.
Have a Happy Valentine's Day. It's a day to remember why you are together.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
We stopped at the coffee shop, and then walked around town. This place is bright and colorful, it's designed to look like an Old Town, with all kinds of bakeries, restaurants, craft, linen, and toy shops. My daughter picked out her present - a Pink Panther doll, - while I stood drooling over Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz collection. Some day, when I retire and have a lot of money (dream on), I will have a doll collection like that... May be... or not. In fact, I wondered what it would be like to live in the town like Solvang - full time?
First of all, this town is pretty expensive: a cup of coffee - just a regular joe - is 2 to 3 dollars. So, obviously, one would have to have plenty of money to enjoy the perks of the place. But then - what are the perks?
Sure, there are some nice restaurants on the strip, they all look like pictures from Andersen's storybook. Not all of them taste authentic, however, - their Liverwurst may have been purchased from the local Safeway/Vons store... We don't know for sure. Then, there are all of 50 stores - maximum - on the strip - and half of them are gift shops. I personally would get tired of looking at fancy "gift" things with no particular purpose if I had to do it every day. And finally, I think I would get tired of the concept of the land "where every day is a holiday." Too bright. Too shiny. Too shallow.
It was a holiday trip for my daughter, though, and she enjoyed it; that was all that mattered. In the long run, however, I was happy to get home - to the land of "every day is a work day, and sometimes you get a break."
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Right now I am working on a stitching project - a set from Mother Goose series - THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON, CAT AND THE FIDDLE and so on. These will be ready in... oh, probably in 3 weeks, maybe faster if my kids start driving me crazy on a more regular basis. Then I will just have to escape to my room, lock the door and stitch, stitch, stitch - so that I don't pop the gasket. Stitching really calms me down, I guess it's theraputic in a way. It helps me think and prevents me from panicking.
Another thing that makes me think is reading, but, unlike stitching, it actually makes me panick. When I was a child, if I was afraid or unsure of something, all I had to do was to open one of my favorite books, and I would drown in the characters's experiences and problems. Now that I have my own problems, dealing with real life, when I open a book, all I can do is compare my own expreriences with the characters'. So it kind of made an opposite effect - I now start thinking of the problems in the book, which reminds me of my own problems, which in turn makes me angry: "Why in the world do I worry about a non-existing character? I've got my own things to worry about!"
Yet, reading is still fun. I think I will read a book by Truman Capote "In Cold Blood," I really am intrigued with it.
These were my random thoughts. And now it's time for dinner.