Heed not Steve

Heavy Body Bright Spirit

temple
he builds a shrine
to the wind lost
to the wind

—-

© Steve Mitchell 2016

Again Doorbell

warmer days –
salespeople
at the door

—-

© Steve Mitchell 2016

Mouth to Ear

I don’t believe you’re really an atheist.  

We’re a few beers in.  We stand close so we can hear over the loud, uncrowded space.

You believe in a higher power.  

I shrug.  Disparity.  I’m not where he is.  I don’t share his urgency.

And, anyhow, it’s time to go.

 

 

 

two 
wary
pigeons

—-

© Steve Mitchell 2016

WhirlAndTwirl

So.  I’m a little tired, but this has been a wonderful, date-nighty weekend.  Lucie and I went to a birthday celebration Friday night, on a double date Saturday night, and to another birthday celebration Sunday night.  And I worked all three of those days.

My schedule went sort of like, wake, work, work, nap, wake, fun, fun, sleep, slee-wake, work, work, nap, wake, fun, fun, slee-wake, work, work, nap, wake, fun, fun, fun, sleeeep.

But I’m not complaining.

On Friday, at the pub, a friend of the birthday girl introduced himself to me by telling me he’d just had a conversation with a buddy where he’d observed his buddy always looked up from their table whenever someone in a skirt walked by.  He’d told his buddy, “You’ll lift your head for anything in a skirt.  You’d probably look up for a man in a kilt…”

And you guessed it.  I wore my kilt Friday.  We came in not five minutes after his remarks to his buddy.  He saw his buddy looking up from the table, and, voila!, man in a kilt.

Also, Friday, Lucie commissioned her cousin to make a Beatles themed birthday cake and it was the hands down hit of the evening.  It was delicious too.

On Saturday night, I wore more typical clothing.  We met our friends downtown.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the curbs where we parked were stupidly tall and I swung my car door into a giant, slab-like, wall of a curb.  It pushed in the bottom of the door, right on the corner.  Grrrrr!  It’s a new car.  It’s Lucie’s car and I put the first hurt on it.  She was very zen and philosophical about it.  I was angry with myself.   I still am.

But the date was fun and the food was good.  I learned there’s a Rutger Hauer move called Hobo With A Shotgun  I love that title!!  I have to see the movie but I’m afraid it won’t live up to the title.  Hobo With A Shotgun?  That’s culture.

On to Sunday.

Why do I keep mentioning what I wore?  Well, here’s why. Last night I wore a tee shirt Lucie had given me as a gift.  I debated wearing it and wasn’t going to.  I had concerns.  I was all like.. People are gonna turn on me!  But Lucie wanted me to.  She talked me into wearing it; although, she didn’t have to twist my arm.

Here’s the shirt:

sheshot

she’s also PSYCHotIC…

See what I mean?

I bet your reaction was similar to what I encountered a handful of times.  “Ohh, that’s sweet!  Wait…I don’t know if I like that.”  

Some folks immediately thought it was funny.  A few, though, weren’t thrilled with it and only relaxed when they realized it was a gift from Lucie and worn at her urging.  I don’t really think she’s psychotic and I would never disparage her via tee-shirt or any other medium.

So.  I wasn’t entirely physiologically comfortable wearing the shirt.  All our friends love Lucie.

Everybody loves Lucie.  She’s a loving, thoughtful, raucous, fun, no-filter-having, free spirit.

I love her too.

Yes I do.

It was a wonderful, busy three days.  Thank you, Sweetie.

I love you.

You’re hot.

You Won’t Hear It From Me

Can I keep a secret?

Oh, sure, I can keep a secret.

I keep them in a book, on my coffee table.

It’s called Steve’s Big NOT A Book of Secrets. 

The book is called that. The coffe table is called Really a Coffee Table. 

The book is full of my best kept secrets.

One time, a coworker startled me and I farted out loud.

Another time, I got a golf cart stuck on a shrub.

I once framed a state trooper in Missoula for arson.

I murdered every coworker who’d heard me fart out loud.

And I don’t like beets.

So, yeah.

I can keep a secret.

It’s a Trap! (found Haiku)

beer

in

here

Between

a bad time to drive 

between 

periwinkle dawn

peach sunrise 

drivers slow for each

exit sign

dull

pomegranate 

brake 

lights

—-

© Steve Mitchell 2016

Time Goes

the mornings –
still cool but
not quite hip

—-

© Steve Mitchell 2016

If At First You

Hello, Interwebs.

What’s that?  Where have I been?

Well.

You know, doing this, doing that.

Having analog adventures.

painting

You might remember a few weeks ago, I expressed extreme frustration with a painting I was making for a friend.  This painting was to replace one I’d made for him which had been stolen.

I’d had an idea – a concept – but, ultimately, I wasn’t happy with it.  The painting was okay, for what it was, until I tried adding in the concept.

Here’s a close up of some of what I’d painted.

oldpaint

pretty

Basically, I figured I’d do a nice, unassuming landscape of some nice, unassuming foliage, then have trompe l’oeil bees nesting in it, as if the painting were cracked and had bees in it.  Our friend had found a beehive on his property and had had them peacefully removed by a beekeeper and I was going to mimic the crack in the wall where they’d lived.

So.

The painting went fine and unassuming until I added the crack with the bees and then it was terrible.  It was jarring and off-putting.  The colors and the shape and the composition didn’t work.

I should’ve known better.  When I want to work with concepts, when I want to be glib and clever, I should use words.  

I painted the bees right back out and was left with an ornamental painting in need of something.

I wanted to throw it away.  Or burn it.  Or bury it.

But, instead, I vented and pondered and put it away.

Then I came up with an entirely different idea.  I’d do a La Catrina portrait based (loosely) on a Halloween costume our friend had worn one year.

Then I left it alone for three weeks because I didn’t want to think about it.

Then I painted it.

And here’s a short progression:

oldpaintnew

I kind of dig this…

I decided to just go right in over the old painting without putting down a solid color first.

You can kind of see, towards the bottom, the painted over bee crack.

newpaint

Paint, paint, paint.  It’s a four foot by four foot wood panel.  I used a lot of paint.

morenewpaint

“I ain’t got no body…”

And, more paint and paint and paint.  You get the idea.

I’ll just jump to the finished painting:

catrinafeather

“Peacock Feather” – 4′ x 4′ – Acrylic on wood panel- 2016

 

And that’s that.

Our friend picked it up yesterday.  It’s a bit rougher than the stolen peacock painting.  But, our friend likes it.

And I like it.

I hope no-one steals it.

Private Journal Entry #4

5/17/16
8:54am

 

Dear Diary,

Hello again, Diary.  Are diaries supposed to be written in daily?  What are the diary rules?

You never say anything, Diary.

No worries.  I’ve got a lot to say.

A lot to say.

My date with Lucie at Durant’s was tremendous and delightful.  The food was wonderful (and expensive!)  Lucie wore a 50’s era black cocktail dress and every time she threw her head back to laugh, her hair got pulled by the hook in back.  Unfortunately/fortunately, it happened a lot that evening!

I wore my kilt even though it bothers me it’s been fitting so snug since the winter.  I still haven’t lost the winter weight and Durant’s didn’t help, but, you have to live, right Diary?

Saturday night, Lucie and I went to the Yucca Tap room for a luau themed adult-prom.  We’d been planning on going to that for a couple of months.  It was fun.  Not as fun as Durant’s.  We wore matching outfits and white leis.  I got stuck guarding some new acquaintance’s purse and Lucie and I missed our chance to get prom photos taken.  It made Lucie pretty angry that everyone just left us to get their photos done without thinking of us. Then, someone spilled a beer on her and we were pretty much done.  Still, it was, overall, fun and we always enjoy going out together.

Sunday was a lazy day.  I took the day off work and we slept in.  Later we went to a movie with Alec.  Lucie and I fell asleep by 10pm cuddling on the sofa.

Monday, yesterday, I finished R’s painting.  I just tightened up some of the detail and balanced the overall color composition a bit.  I don’t know what R will think of it.  I believe he’ll like it.  I’m hoping he will.  Lucie sent him an extreme closeup photo just as a teaser.  He hasn’t seen the whole painting and doesn’t know what it’s of.  He’s picking it up today.

If nothing else, I really like it.  I like it more than the peacock painting.  I’m going to post about it in my blog when I start back up with it.

And now, Diary, I’m not sure how to proceed.  I took a hiatus from the blog and started writing you in an effort to sort out where my head was.

And then I finished the painting and…my head feels okay.

voila!

Not that I entirely trust the feeling.  It’s not my first rodeo, Diary.  There’s always something, lurking, waiting.

IMG_9623.JPG

So, let me try to order my thoughts just to be thorough.  Diaries always have to endure the navel gazing, eh?

Here’s what was going on, Diary:

  1. I felt/feel demoralized putting back on all the inches I’d lost (and then some).  The weight had come off pretty easily a couple of years ago and stayed off and then…  It’s a mix maybe of not doing all the things I’d been doing plus poorer sleep.  I slowly started losing ground when my work schedule changed and I had to start getting up at a quarter after 4 in the morning with no more time to meditate before work.  I also eased up on my fasting and on my dietary “discernment” and I exercise less than I had been.  Right now I’m not really losing or gaining weight.  My kilt doesn’t lie.  The buckles can’t be bluffed.
  2. I felt I was trying to play catch-up with my blog.  I drew blanks.  I didn’t have time to read other blogs (I still haven’t – maybe today I’ll read a bunch)  But also, I don’t know for sure how to phrase it, I had a growing feeling my blog needed to be more honest, honest without too much navel gazing.  More honest in the sense of sharing the parts of me I’d rather keep private, the less flattering parts, like the photo of yourself you hate but everyone thinks “It’s so you!”  I’m pretty honest already.  But I’m also pretty glib.  It’s part of my schtick.  So I don’t know how to mix in more of the uncomfortable honesty.   I hear you, Diary, asking why I even need bother.  I don’t know.  Everybody struggles.  Maybe it would help.  I don’t know.
  3. I felt the pressure of making R’s painting as good (for him) as the one which had been stolen.  It’s a weird sensation, having a piece of art you’ve created stolen.  Did the the thief love it?  Was it a goof?  A prank?  Did they hate it?  When my first attempt at a replacement went south, my state of mind went with it.  It’s like the painting failure was a ….mental … foot …in the braindoor of my mind and ….hold on diary, that metaphor isn’t taking shape.  It seems, the stress of the painting opened the way for my usual parade of self-doubting bogeymen.
  4. Like socially and socializing.  I’m such an introvert, Diary.   Socializing is taxing.  It gives me stress.  But I enjoy it, to the degree it doesn’t overtax me.  And lately, one of my usual bogeymen has been the “I’m a square peg and blah blah blah.”  I’m astute.  I’m good at reading faces and emotional cues.  I’m aware when people zone out on me or check out or drift off or want to leave me and do something else.  The problem is I don’t necessarily know why, but I tend to assume it’s me when it happens.  It happens to everyone I imagine.  I’m either awkwardly aloof or talking too much (or I’m just right and perfectly charming) and sometimes I really want to make a good impression and sometimes I don’t want to get to know any new people… I’ve struggled with it my entire adult life, maybe my whole life, that feeling of not quite fitting in.  I only ever feel truly at my ease, in that regard, around Lucie and the boys and around some of my friends from the service.  I get ahead of it then lose ground.
  5. And….ANGER.  I don’t know why I’ve always, always, always, got a ready undercurrent of anger.  I don’t feel angry most of the time in every day life.  I’m generally pretty okay and amiable. I’m not a snarling, crabby, furrowed, angry guy.  I don’t seethe at every little thing.  I don’t hold grudges.  I don’t lament the universe or shake my fists at the heavens.  (except when I do)  But I understand anger.  I have deep reserves of anger and it’s physical, visceral anger. When it hits,  it lights up my nerve endings.  It floods my body. It grabs my muscles and locks my brain.  I don’t know why.  Physiology? the nagging suspicion all life is a nasty bait-and-switch?  I don’t know.  I do know different people have different triggers.  One friend of ours told me he responded to shame with anger.  I respond to frustration with anger.  That feels significant.  I’m going to ponder that.  Frustration.  Yeah.

Anyhow.  Sorry, Diary, for chewing your ear.  Wait!  You’re a diary.  You have to listen!  HAhahaHAHA!

That was rude of me.

I’ve started mediating again, doing Pranayama breathing.  I do it in the afternoons, after work.  It’s a more obnoxious time than first thing in the morning.  After work, I really just want sofa time with a cup of coffee.  But, I defer the coffee and the butt time until I meditate for 15 minutes.  Full, disclosure, Diary, I didn’t meditate over the weekend.  It’s hard to segregate myself from the family that way, especially when it’s for something I don’t necessarily feel like doing.

I’ve noticed, though, when I meditate after work, I’m less snacky.  I don’t grab as much boredom food.  What’s that about, huh?  Am I on to something here?  Could it all be inter-tangled?  I think perhaps.

I’ve also started, with limited success to push myself to bed earlier.  It’s not easy.  Lucie’s schedule has her up later.  Even Alec doesn’t need to go to bed as early as I should.  I’ll keep working on it.

baby steps

baby steps

So.  Diary.  This is probably it for awhile.  I think I’m in a good enough place to proceed.  Nothing is fixed, but …

I’m not packing you in.  I’m setting you aside.   Maybe.  Maybe for awhile.

And I think I’ll start back into my blog.  Yeah.  I’ll have to give myself permission to skip days.  It’s hard.  It’s a compulsion.

Thank you, Diary.

hasta luego

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