Posts Tagged With: Conflict

On Storms and Life and Pottery

Have you noticed how life is what happens in the middle of the storms? Or maybe it is the other way around: storms are what happen in the middle of life. Either way, there’s a co-mingling, that if not omnipresent, happens enough to deserve notice.

Pop-up storms often come at inopportune moments, don’t they? We’re living life, going about our business, and here they come: pop-up storms raining down on our parades.

Like the car accident that my Dad had the day before my brother’s wedding, or my Mom’s false teeth breaking just a couple of days before I got married. There she was home by herself holding her broken teeth in her hands and no car to get her to the dentist. Like any resourceful woman planning a wedding, she wrapped them in a napkin and walked the 6 blocks to the dentist’s office to have them glued back together avoiding all conversation with neighbors along the way.

Sometimes storms do render us speechless like that. My first time to the Grand Canyon, I drove into Arizona from Nevada and then did a circular loop north through parts of Utah before turning back west toward Las Vegas. All in one day! That was a bit of a storm itself, you might say.

I was awestruck by the beauty of the canyon, the colors, and the grandeur. Then, it stormed. Not where I was, rather off in the distance. Like one of those Las Vegas shows with spectacular visual and audio effects. Except I couldn’t hear a thing, I could only see it. An artistic display of lightning and rain in a backdrop of sienna, reds, oranges, yellows, bronze. A silent movie that rendered me quiet, less I miss something. I remember the canyon. I cannot forget that storm.

The other day I was “living” part two of one of my 52 Dates with Myself: the pottery throwing date. I’m still pondering that one.

Sitting with my instructor at the wheel, she a young art student from the local college already appreciating the nuances of her art and grasping the art of teaching others. My lump of round clay successfully turned into a nearly round bowl under her tutelage.

I was glad of it, this end product. But really it was the process and the feeling of it that intrigued me most.

So many different things happening at once and all acting upon the clay. My foot pressing down on a pedal causing the stone wheel to turn. Clay plopped in the middle of the stone. Drizzling water over it. Thumbs working from the center of the ball. Turning, pressing, angling, feeling – the process of molding.

Like life that spins round with pressures and choices and emotions.

It was easy and fun to experiment with various choices at the pottery wheel. Spin faster and adjust the angle of my thumbs. Apply pressure from the inside, now the outside. Pull up. Pull out. Every adjustment had an impact on the shape, the feel, and the look of my clay.

I felt the power of it. I impacted its stability. I determined its usefulness and it’s functionality. I established its beauty.

I felt the responsibility of it, too. With one small movement I could change its course, do damage, give it purpose or leave it be.

At once, I felt the fragility and the possibility. Needy. Malleable. Useful. Willing.

Yes, so much like life.

Now, a couple of weeks later here I am ready for the next steps. What to do with the hardened bowl? I can leave it as it is, a rough, hardened clay form. Or, I can try my hand at decorating and glazing it. Definitely, I want to do that.

So, on a bright, sunny, hot summer day I make my way to the storefront studio, pick out my colors and paint brushes, and excitedly establish myself at a table where I begin to paint.

Unbeknownst to me, the storm is brewing. It quickly shrouds the day in a blackness filled with 80 mph winds, hail, and heavy rain. The glass storefront windows shudder and shake. Water begins pouring in from under the door and even between the seals of the windows. Leaves and small branches sail by. Cars stop in their places along the road, as their drivers can no longer see to make progress. With the young clerk, I look around for our best option of a protected area. But we don’t go. Instead, we watch and speak only in glances.

Very quickly, the storm moves through and is over. Sunshine reappears giving a momentary glistening effect just before it absorbs the moisture and reasserts itself as a humid summer day.

The mood in the pottery studio relaxes. I paint. The storm has come, and it has gone, inserting itself again into one of my life experiences. Co-mingling with me in the journey. No doubt, we’ll meet again.

Advertisements
Categories: Artistic Dates, Challenges, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breaking Up!

That’s it!

I’ve had it!

It’s over!

I’m sick and tired of your neglect, your childish ways, your uncaring antics, your selfish choices!

We’re through!

 No, your “I’m sorry” is not going to do it this time.

I don’t know what I ever saw in you in the first place!

 Just go!

 Have a nice life!

 And don’t let that April Fool’s door hit you on your way out!

Categories: Breaking Up, Commitment, Pure Fun, Reflections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unresolved

The same recurring theme keeps showing up in my dreams. These faces from my past, when life was different, and I was different. I am wanted. I am chosen. I am loved.

I see myself in these various scenes, and I’m not sure. Am I wanting? Am I choosing? Am I loving?

And what of today and this relationship I’m in with me? This wanting. This choosing. This loving.

Somewhere, like a seed planted deep within, grows knowledge that I am a chosen love, valued for who I was uniquely created to be, for who I am. Loved first.

The unresolved response is mine alone. I choose Love.

Categories: Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reprising the Question

Perhaps you recall a few weeks ago one of my friends asking me if dating myself kept me from dating other people.  We had some good conversation around that both here and on Facebook.

Actually, I think my friend makes a great point.

Several of my single friends of late have recently started dating someone exclusively. It’s been great fun watching their excitement and sharing in their newfound giddiness. Yet, sure enough, there are some differences in our interactions. For example, I’m noticing:

  • I don’t hear from them quite so much. Makes sense, when they have time for chats, they’re chatting with their new special someone.
  • I don’t do things with them quite as much. Makes sense, they have someone they’re busy doing things with and aren’t necessarily looking to make it a group event.
  • I don’t know what’s happening in their lives quite as much. Makes sense, we’re not interacting on as regular a basis or sharing our lives.

During my last dating relationship I noticed feeling as if some of my friends were backing away. No doubt I was less available, and they were less inclined to think I was available, but:

  • I didn’t hear from them quite so much. When I would talk with them, they would indicate that they thought I was probably otherwise engaged, too busy with my new relationship to connect with them.
  • I didn’t get invited to outings quite as much. Probably an assumption that I already had companionship.
  • I didn’t know what was happening in their lives quite as much. We weren’t doing the regular and natural sharing that we once had been doing. My sounding board was often my new friend. Friendships are built from mutual give-and-take.

So, what’s this got to do with dating myself? Just like being in any other relationship, there seem to be some things falling by the wayside as I commit to this one year of 52 Dates with Myself.

  • I’m not connecting with my friends quite so much. Like any relationship, this one with myself takes time. Time to reflect. Time to plan. Time to interact and discover. Time to be together with myself.
  • I’m not inviting others to do things with me quite as much. This one troubles me a lot, as so much of life seems better experiencing it with others. But a Date with Myself has that danged prepositional phrase in it.
  • I don’t know what’s happening in their lives quite as much. Losing contact with others is definitely not what I want to have happen here, but fewer talks and fewer shared experiences means it’s harder to stay connected.

Ponder and Chat: What do you notice that falls by the wayside as you make time for yourself? How are your other relationships impacted?

Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conflicted

“Everything we do that’s important is the result of conflict” Seth Godin

I’m awake at 3:30 a.m. for the 4th day in a row. Like a tangled skein of yarn, my thoughts seem impossible to knit together into a useful or recognizable pattern. Conflict.

Somehow the word “priorities” escapes the twisted trap. It struggles past voices, “Won’t this get in the way of you dating others?” “Are we going to spice it up a bit?” “Are you really just trying to attract a guy through this?” “Get out there and make some big plans – just have fun!”

Opinions. Advice. Guidance. Suggestions. Judgments. Appreciation.

Watching. They’re watching.

Priorities.

“Everything we do that’s important is the result of conflict. Not a conflict between us and the world—a conflict between us and ourselves.” Seth Godin

Conflict. This journey is about my priorities. What do I want from my 52 Dates with Myself?

  • I want to experience ME – with intentional focus, noticing the things that happen as a result of this year of commitment.
  • I want to feel the tensions that show up – when, where, why?
  • I want to develop greater awareness of my habits – which ones support me, which sabotage me? 
  • I want to be attentive to what makes me happy and brings me joy.
  • I want to develop awareness of my disappointments and fears – what do they mean to me? When do I most feel them? How do they propel me on or stop me? 
  • I want to have fun doing things I love, yet — challenge myself to new adventures, give myself new experiences, step out of my comfort zone.
  • I want to be mindful of my values – what do I proclaim them to be? What do I demonstrate them to be?
  • I want 24/7 alertness to the gift that is my life, this journey that is uniquely my own.
  • I want to bring ME to my world – with a richer, fuller, consciousness of what that means to those I’m privileged to come into relationship with along the way.
  • I want to embrace the challenge of the conflict within — to live the story that is only mine to tell.
Categories: Challenges, Commitment, Reflections, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: