Suze Orzmann is Boring

I do not hide that I am a teacher, although in this climate, I am sure that there are people who are gritting their teeth, as they read this, and thinking lazy useless child hater, and unions, with a vile hatred.  I love kids.  I love learning so I love teaching, and the union has saved my ass a couple times, from some shit that should really not have happened, but they do an important job.  Union haters forget 16 hour days, 6 days a week, with poor compensation, and no benefits other than money.

But I digress, I am an art teacher.  I am a creative type.  And I despise testing.  I never tested well.  I scored poorly on my SATs, significantly better on my ACT’s.  And I was a high 80’s low 90’s student, basically because I am lazy, not in the sense you imagine, I would rather spend my time following my bliss, than working for a paycheck, or a good grade.  My grades improved significantly when I changed my major to art, and I suspect, that they would have done the same if I had changed my major to creative writing, or even landscape design, or homestead cooking.  Or knitting.

I went through a stage where I was reading alot of feel good stuff, wiccan handbooks, gemstone rituals and magic, Oprah.  But I became sick on Oprah, I think it was the day I watched her carry on and on about this fabulous cable knit sweater she had found, so fabulous she bought one in every color.  I felt horrified by this as I watched a woman in my school, a new refugee, walking down the hall in flip flops, during a snow storm.  As I watched a student, who had two shirts, wear one day after day, because his other one was in the laundry, watched as the kids teased him for his filthy clothes.  And I utter lost interest in her when she started her school for south african girls.  Awesome.  What about your own country?  I know, she is a saint.  Saint Oprah, I praise thee.

One day I was reading Oprah magazine, and Suze Orzmann was talking about money.  She is like a standardized test though, its all about the end result.  She said in the article she only had one pair of earrings.  That NO ONE should own more than one pair of earrings.  I went to my jewelry box and looked inside, which pair would I find a new home for?  Or in the vein of Oprah send to some child in South Africa?  Of course here she is on the Oprah show, and in the Oprah magazine, talking about one pair of earrings, I imagine Oprah has one in every color.  Fabulous.  Would I lose the fake diamonds?  The real pearls I splurged on as a graduation gift from graduate school?  Would I lose the tiny squares of abalone?  The steam-punk disks? The earrings I made that look like doves falling?  The tiny copper skulls dangling from a copper chain?  The copper hoops I bought in Arizona?  Hers were silver hoops, if I remember correctly, I don’t have any, maybe I should go out and buy some?  Or settle on the copper ones?

I wear alot of black, it is a habit of artists, that I embrace, it hides coffee stains, and paint stains, and chalk rubs in easily on black, so does clay dust, and glue particles.  I am an art teacher, not an office worker.  My mother in law (de facto) wants to buy me striped shirts and paisley sweaters, and flowered blouses.  No thanks I say, I prefer plain.  Later I tell the pirate, I would rather accessorize, wear something that is a pop of color or is funky, as a necklace, a bracelet, a handful of rings.  But even in that regard I fall short, because I also like to fly under the radar.  I don’t want people to notice me, because I am not flashy, or sparkly, or fabulous.  I am just me.  And I like it that way.  But as I stare down at my jewelry box full of memories, and bits and detritus of nature, and collections, and a life lived, I realize that Suze Orzmann is boring.  My bills are paid, I am saving money, and I have a few things that I would consider to be of some quality, but the best quality of all, are the tiny beads and baubles that make me feel comfortable, happy, content.  Not to say I couldn’t live without them, like hair, I could LIVE without it, but I would rather have it.  Not to say I have to have one in every freaking color.  But if I had to throw out all but one pair, I think it would be an ugly thing.  Because without the bits of my life that are, cheap, classy, raw, earthy, ugly, stupid, and beautiful, I would not be the full person that I am.

jewelry box

And what the hell?   One pair of earrings?  Even my refugee kids pull bits of colored string through the holes in their ears.  Maybe I should just do that.

What color though?

Snarky morning writing.


Autumn Rain Illusion

The leaves are turning a golden yellow. A grey rain is falling.  The sumac are a brilliant red, with rich black stems darkened by the rain, against the brown grass.  There is some plant that is rust colored in clumps scattered amongst the browns.  The lump of a hill near my house has mist rising up out of the trees.  It has rained all day.

There is a thing in the back of my mind.  I know I need some solid meditation time to get to it.  It relates to us all being one.  It relates to understanding something that had previously not made sense.  It relates to serendipity, to this thing that we call life.  This illusion, this mask we wear.  I heard someone say something today about how they had to compartmentalize their family while they went off to war.  Couldn’t look at their pictures, talk to them, think of them because if they did they would experience all the emotional trauma of not being with them, of having to leave them.  This hit me hard when I heard it.  I scratch my head why is this so poignant to me?  What could it mean?  Does the person who is able to lock out their thoughts and feelings not have feelings at all?  No it is because those feelings are there and so strong that they cannot face what they have chosen to do.  Why is this resonating with me?

I keep getting this image of a turtle.  It keeps coming to me again and again.  I look up what the turtle means in animistic symbolism.  My steady collection of elephants growing (I told a couple students today that I have around 25 elephants and the little Indian girl told me in her wonderful accent – OH my God that is too many elephants!) I am intrigued by the myth that the world is held up by four elephants standing on a turtle, and the turtle is an avatar of Vishnu.   I remember having this incredible dream three years or so ago, in which I was called in to visit this house, I was told that I must enter it alone, and was sad that I could not enter it with my husband.  Once there, it was a house absolutely crammed with books.  A pleasant and lovely man sat me down and gave me tea, he showed me his art books which were rare and exquisite.  I asked him his name and he told me it was Vishnu.  It was a special dream.  I awoke knowing it was special.  The turtle is a symbol of  uniting heaven and earth, and it is also a symbol of wisdom of Mother Earth.  I don’t believe animals are ever negative symbols, why do so many animals portend evil in Christianity?  Yet another reason for me to eschew it.  Everywhere I look I see turtles, is it Vishnu again?

I heard the other day this marvelous quote about how God wants us to bury our pain being creative.  I don’t remember where I saw it.  I like this.  I think of my dream of Vishnu.  I try to remember what he wanted to show me but I cannot remember.  But the dream comes back to me now.  I am trying to grasp what this all means.  I do not know. I need to meditate on it awhile to try and see if I can understand it.

I feel like everything is perfect even though sometimes, just sometimes I am so depressed I want to curl into a ball and float across the heavens with the rain.