Saturday, March 31, 2007

Designing the layout for today made me really sorry I Googled for images the phrase "meat hooks."

Friday, March 30, 2007

I never thought I'd say this, but sometimes I miss high school. Not the beginning of high school, but like junior, senior year. Not particularly even high school itself. It's a gorgeous, sunny day and I'm stuck inside an office with no windows. I remember how great it felt to get out of school at 2:30, go hang out in the parking lot and bum a ride off someone, drive down country roads with the windows down and end up spending the afternoon smoking weed and blowing off homework. I miss having a lack of responsibility.
I'm reading A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. And yes, I did pick it up in the line at Starbucks. I bought it because I don't really waste my time on a lot of fiction, so I like non-fiction that is still literature, and because I don't really know anything about Africa. But it's not really something you can even pretend to read for pleasure or casual interest. I can read about 10 pages before I have to stop, stare off into the distance for another 10 minutes, then spend the rest of the day depressed. Everyone should read it, nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Get ready for the cutest thing ever.......

Okay, I'll stop.
I had an idea.

I've always been bothered by the idea of having to "choose" a doctrine. I think part of the reason Christians are so defensive and close-minded about their religion is it's intrinsic (as it's been interpreted) intolerance for interpretation, as well as error. Christians are taught to believe that the Bible is the true, accurate, unfailing word of God, that it has no mistakes, that everything has magically transferred through translation after translation, edit after edit, century after century. This is simply not true. If this were true, it would contradict another foundation of Christianity: individual spiritual understanding and path. This individual spiritual path has been compromised and demeaned, however, making it a religion of rules and hierarchy, even for those who claim to be "filled with the Spirit." I know, I was one of them.

Eastern religions are more individualistic, more accepting of personal goals and personal spiritual discovery. It's more about co-existence with the spiritual, rather than worship or contrast between spirit and flesh, perfection and mortality. I recently became very interested in Buddhism. I had always thought it was the religion that interested me the least, as, at face value, it disregards the individual. However, Buddhism does not disregard the individual, it disregards the ego. Recently, I've studied Wicca and nature-based religions, which intrigue me because I've always felt much more spiritually connected when I'm in nature than in a structure, which ultimatley only emulates nature anyway. Wicca involves, in no large way, spells, which are really only concentrations and visualizations of desired outcomes and the channelling of personal energy. I find this to be, in motivation and purpose, identical to prayer and identical to some forms of meditation. I also am also learning about Shamanism, which is much like Buddhism and other Eastern religions in it's focus on higher or complete consciousness. Growing up I observed some Jewish holy days and traditions, and when I was 16 I developed a fascination with Islam. However, since unsubscribing myself to Christianity, which really only means in the political sense, I haven't really been tempted to subscribe to any other religion.

It's pretty common to feel that all religions have elements of each other and are all parts of a greater truth. But why do we only choose one to practice and follow? I despise "organized religion", but I understand why it exists. I only hate what it has become. Religion exists to give us a structure and a devotion. It exists to remind us, to keep us focused and aware of what we believe so that we don't forget or lose our connection to it. But the opposite happens. Religion becomes habit, a means of appeasing rather than fulfilling our duty to our spiritual nature. Our practice becomes more important than our introspection and continual discovery because it is easier and more black and white. I think that rituals and traditions serve a purpose, but only if there is conviction behind it. Rituals are meant to connect us to our believes, not become a substitute. However, different ways of practicing spirituality suit different people, regardless of what they ultimately believe. I never felt particularly comfortable in a church or discussing my beliefs or praying with others. As a child, I was told to pray and that meditation was evil, that it would open my mind to demons and the like. I have never prayed and felt anything. I have never been prayed for and felt anything. It was an act, it made me feel even more hollow because I felt that I was missing something that I should have gotten. For some people, it works though. I've found connection to God through meditation. I've found it through fasting, I've found it through hiking and being in nature, through art, through yoga, through elements of Buddhist practice, Christian practice, Shaman practice, Wiccan practice, Hindu practice, Native American practice... but I didnt always connect those practices to those religions consciously. My point is, is everyone is different, if some are more intuitive while some are more structured, if some are more communal while some are more private, how can one religion teach everyone how to find God/goddess/truth/wholeness/energy/light/the Ultimate/spirit?

What I propose to myself is this: I create a book which details my beliefs, create rituals and structure which allows me to re-connect to my spirituality in a way that works for me, establish which holy days or occasions or seasonal celebrations I should observe especially, establish a moral code and include a journal to chronical my experiences and feelings and what I continue to learn. This is very similar to the Wiccan's Book of Shadows, but rather than particular to one belief system, it would be my own personal belief system which is meant only for me. I will self-bind it and illustrate it/decorate it as well. I will make one every five years so that it continues to grow with me and my own spiritual path.

Horray for major life projects!
I refurbished last night. It needs more work. It ALWAYS needs more work. (So does this blog.) The commissions are also horribly out of date. I don't have pictures of any of my new murals, which upsets me, or the stuff I've done in Brian and Erika's homes.

Yesterday I took the day off. I spent half the day being productive, the other half being unproductive with Dan, grilling salmon outside, making "earth works" at the park and drinking. If you have never made a white Russian with ice cream, I strongly recommend it.

Today I have no motivation. I am supposed to be writing subpoenas right now. Sigh.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Here is a story: in ancient Greece, there was a courtesan who had a great deal of status, as she was the most sought after courtesan of the time. Then, she fell in love. (Oh no!) She lost her status, as did he, and both of them spent the rest of their lives as outcasts. Why did this happen? Because people are selfish, jealous bastards and view others as comodities, not people, much of the time, so actually revelling in the happiness or success of others doesn't happen unless it benefits them in some way. The point, people suck. Most "adults" are no more mature than 9 year old bullies trying to dominate their inferiors on the playground to satisfy the insecurities they have their entire lives. Adults only become more sly about it. It irritates me that people have the nerve to shit all over something good because of their ignorance and own emotional damage. The end.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

This makes me want to go have an abortion out of pure spite.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I built a bed in the weird loft area in my art studio. Basically I swept out all the saw dust, put down styrofoam ceiling tiles, put an egg crate mattress over that, and piled on blankets and pillows. It's not bad, really. I curtained it off and it can precariously be reached with my six foot ladder. The first night Dan and I slept in it, I kept waking up because I was afraid he was going to fall out, so we ended up sleeping on the hardwood floor, which he was unhappy about. So I nailed a board across the openning.
So far it's okay, showering is really the only hassle, but it encourages me to go to the gym more. Viva la bohemme.

I bought a big floppy straw hat today. I'm excited about it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

See here.

Isn't it great when one backwards, Conservative stance backfires on another backwards, Conservative stance? It's almost like two evils cancel each other out. Hey, Bush, maybe we wouldn't be losing the imaginary War on Terror if the government wasn't more interested in its twisted, moralistic bull shit than actually getting things done. Yes, let's fire scarce, highly sought after Arabic translators because they're gay. Something tells me if I, as a woman, were an Arabic translator for the government and told my boss I'd been with a woman, he'd try to get in my pants - God forbid consider firing me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I like to start out my day by being completely outraged: see here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Let's see. I never update this. I don't have any news in the art realm to report, so stick with personal stuff. First, we have a new relationship, which is really an old relationship of multiple intervals over the past five years. His name is Dan and he likes it when I mention him in here because it makes him feel important, which he is. He also wears a fedora and kisses really, really well.

Second, I'm going to I.U. next year, which means I'm moving to Bloomington, which means I'm homeless for the next few months, which means I'll be sleeping on the couch in my art studio. I may have found an apartment there, not sure yet. Trying to work out the details. I'm going to major in International Studies. This means I'm finally going to get to take an Arabic class. I've been waiting for that since my second trip to Israel in '02.

I've also got a job this summer as a counselor at Omega Teen Camp in New York state. I'm going to be teaching art, which is going to be awesome because it appears I get to come up with my own projects. I leave in July and don't get back until a week before classes start.

By the way, if you're someone who has talked to me about a commission, please contact me as soon as possible. I'm going to try to get as much done before July as I can.
I like to start out my day by being completely outraged: see here.