I’ve always been a deep and sensitive person. Yeah, you know, you know.
This isn’t a feel-sorry-for-me post. It’s a reclamation of sorts. Whenever I read something, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, I’m always looking for the metaphors, the message, the “what’s really between the lines” of something.
What did that guy, Frost REALLY mean about the road not taken? Maybe he just decided to take the other one, literally, that looked like no one had gone down in awhile just ‘cause. No deep reasoning, he just wanted to that day, for no particular reason. Nah, there’s a universal thing going on there “and that made all the difference.”
The Universal Thing
We all come from different places and it shapes who we are. How we view the world and how others view us. As much as we learn and grow and try to shed those things about us that keep us from doing the things that make us feel alive, that make our soul sing, it’s difficult to do so sometimes. I bet any of you can pull up a memory that still stings, hurts — even from childhood. So unconsciously, you still hear those voices that say: Who do you think you are?
Know what I mean?
One of those childhood memories for me was being very nearsighted and hearing mean remarks since I was about seven. Every trip to the optometrist was a traumatic event. My eyes would get worse. My glasses would get thicker and the insults, meaner. Then contacts came along when I was in high school and I blossomed a little, became less introverted. People noticed me and not because I was the goofy girl with glasses.
Obviously, I’ve moved on but that’s just one memory that I guess “stifles” me time to time. Don’t know why, it’s silly.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt was right about that. It just takes some of us a while to learn that.
Middle-age brings everything full circle. You learn to embrace the real you, lighten up and things that were once so important, no longer are — as much. You learn to drop some of those bags of bricks.
My giant goes with me wherever I go. Emerson knew what he was talking about.
I’ve been doing some of that soul-searching lately. When we moved here three years ago, I was very busy doing all the stuff you do when you move to a new place. That takes up a lot of space in your head, your mind settles on the matters at hand.
I was fortunate and was able to get freelance work quickly. I still get work, not as much as last year, but it still comes. Much of my work is about making others sound good. My name isn’t always on that work but I get paid and I get many, “Great job!” It makes me feel good and I’m very grateful for it. After all, if I get paid to be a writer from time to time, then that must be who I am.
But sometimes I think you have to step away from your “working” brain and get more into your own groovy self. I did that this weekend. Nothing grandiose, just something I like to do.
I painted. My little office. It looks so nice.
It was good, physical movement–using your limbs to stretch and strain, the I-see-the-results-of-my-labor-and-I’m-proud-work. The kind of work that makes you good-tired at the end; not the walking on a treadmill like a hamster or climbing endless stairs or picking up weights and putting them down kind of “work” with an iPod plugged into your head.
When you do those things, you lose all track of time (at least I do). I get that when I write — for me. I get that when I paint, not just a room, but my “artwork” or refurbish a flea-market piece of furniture. I lose all sense of time — I just am. It’s almost child-like. There’s a wonder to it. A really feel-good space/place.
That’s those soul things. Your sacred space is where you find yourself time and time again. Joseph Campbell said that and I painted it on a strip of wood, probably fifteen years ago and I’ve lugged that piece of wood with me through all my nomadic wanderings.
What started with a small room and a bucket of paint has made me rethink some things. I’ve got kind of a big project this week, but I’m going to take some time to write a chapter of my book, finish a short story I’ve been working on.
Even if neither sees the light of day, I know they’re good and it feels good to finish something for myself. It feels good to stretch your creative limits. Good for the soul I think.
It’s important we carve out some time for those ‘soul things.’ An hour, a day. It’s important.
You must do the thing you think you cannot do. I hear you, Eleanor, I hear you, baby.
Happy Monday everyone.
What do you do that makes you lose all track of time? When’s the last time you did it?
I think you need to convert your painting into an award. It is beautiful.
Rep, that’s so nice — thank you.
Hi, Brigitte. I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. 🙂 Go to my home page and check it out. You have a wonderful blog!
Hi Jennifer! Thank you! I’ll check out your blog.
I fluctuate nicely between my right brain and my left brain. When my right brain gets too boggled down from searching for the meaning of something, my left brain says, “Shut up already and just eat some chocolate.”
For me, I can lose track of time in exercising and in writing. One works my body, the other my brain, or perhaps they both work both.
As always, thanks for an insightful post.
Hi Carrie, chocolate’s always a good thing and very good for the soul. Glad you enjoyed the post and as always your comments are so appreciated.
I’ve really come to look forward to Mondays, Brigitte. Today’s post really resonates; I have been trying to find my way with writing and other things. This is a good reminder of how important that really is. And that painting is beautiful!
Hi RG, that’s so nice — thank you. It’s difficult sometimes and important and I don’t know why we don’t do them more often. As far as your writing, I think your blog and it is great! So appreciate you’re stopping by.
Learning to play the piano often makes me lose track of time but I haven’t been doing too much of that lately. I started four years ago and played almost every day until I came to the UK – I’m up to 3rd grade – yes I even sat the exams. Your glasses story brought back memories of the gap in my front teeth. I was always self conscious as a child and in 2006 had the gap closed, the only cosmetic thing I’ve had done in my 55 years of life. Now as an older adult I find myself being self conscious of the wrinkles on my face and neck so there is some serious soul searching to be done on my part and it definitely won’t involve cosmetic surgery. Thanks for a lovely post once again Brigitte. 🙂
Teresa, I’ve always wanted to learn how to play an musical instrument. Speak a different language. We all replay those hurtful things in our head, I think, no matter how old we get. I got contacts, then lasik. Now, the aging thing, we just gotta roll with it — what choice do we have. And as the old saying goes, it’s wayyyyy better than the alternative. Thank you, Teresa.
That it definitely is Brigitte. 🙂
I agree with RollerGirafffe.. I love MondayMusings. Wow on the painting by the way. It is hard to lose track of time and delve deep into my soul. On the road to rediscovery and embracing this creative side..baby steps for me. I have a hard time ‘dropping” my bricks as you say.
I’m thankful to be on this journey and to be reading your wise words.
create away my friend.. fly and be free
Audra, I’m so glad you like them! And thanks, I love to paint, when I take time to do it! I’m so glad your own your own creative journey (how’s all that stuff going btw — lot on your plate right now, woman!) and I hope you’ll do the same yourself because your creativity is smokin’ my friend. Thanks so much.
This is lovely and thoughtful as always. I hear you. I’m 47 and I was hurt today when I didn’t make that one blogroll. I’m not going to comment on it but it hurt. I guess you don’t always grow out of those things.
You should do some posts with more of your artwork, you are so multi-faceted!
I walk with my dog or just with me and that is when my mind gets to wander. I don’t own an Ipod and I don’t talk on the phone. Just. walk whatever path….one less taken or well-traveled.
Hi Maggie, thank you. I know what you’re referring to. Those things that make us feel left out can hurt. That’s happened to me — someone didnt’ respond to a comment I made and I got my feelings hurt, and then felt like an idiot for doing so. I don’t think it’s intentional and I think your blog is WONDERFUL.
Thanks for the nice comment about my painting. I’ve got another that very Jackson Pollack-esque. it was so fun. I put a big canvas on the floor of my garage and dipped my hands in paint and slung it all over the canvas. Wine helps. :). Thanks so much, Mags.
I knew you knew. Maybe if I combine painting with my wine, I will be an artiste too!!!
Brigitte – your painting is so lovely, it has sort of an Asian feeling. What a gift!
The last time I was so involved in something that I actually lost track of time was when I was writing my book. No kidding, my husband would come downstairs to leave for work and I would be at the computer. The next thing I knew, he was walking in asking if I’d had anything to eat all day. It was a very strange experience for an entire day to pass like that. Hasn’t happened since though. The second book isn’t pouring out as easily. Maybe I’m over-thinking it. I need a change of scenery. 🙂
Hi Honie, thank you! It took me a while and it’s oil, which I love. It takes longer to dry but the colors are so rich. Yes, I know what you mean! I’ve sat writing and then, I think, I’ve not eaten! And that’s weird because I love good food. Thank you for your nice comment and compliment about my painting. xxoo
First off, Joseph Campbell, what do I say? He’s the man! He changed my life. I should write about it one day. I love your art! I don’t really have anything right now that I lose myself in, maybe writing, but I find I’m never really able to truly lose myself when I do it. Too much chaos in this house. I suppose years back it was making pottery. I’ll find my place, though, mostly because I know I have to. Everyone has to have a place to lose themselves.
I know, don’t you love JC? Follow your bliss and all that. I would LOVE to read your post about how he changed your life — you should write it Fish!! Thanks, glad you liked the painting. I’ve always wanted to try pottery, looks like so much fun (and your pieces you shared on your blog were great). Yes, you HAVE to have your own niche, space, something just for you. Thanks so much.
Uh boy the last thing I did that made me lose all sense of time — I’ve been so tightly wound recently it was hard to come up with something, but I think it would be when I went museum hopping with my friend — we had a blast and I had no idea what time it was.
Happy Monday Brigitte — thanks for sharing your Monday Musing! 🙂
I think it’s when we get so tightly wound (trust me, I get that way too) that’s when we need it the most. Museum-hopping sounds so much fun, Sandee and we keep saying we’re going to do just that. But, they do take time, huh? We went to the Guggenheim and spent HOURS there. Happy Monday to your, friend and thanks for your kind comment.
Writing and editing pictures always makes me lose track of time. That, and reading online. I easily get stuck and tangled in the World Wide Web, especially within WP 🙂 So many great ideas and inspirations out there!
What color did you paint your space? Picture?
Yes! Editing pictures is very time-consuming, isn’t it Britta? I painted my space Pelican Gray by Benjamin Moore. It’s gorgeous. My painting is a mixture of all kinds of oils blended together. Thanks so much!
Oh, I LOVE this post! First of all, little near sided Brigitte breaks my heart. The faulty crap messages that we get in our youth can really mess us up later. I’m so happy that you have had the strength of character and good sense to dismiss those messages for what they were. Your early experiences, no doubt, made you the beautiful and sensitive soul you are today.
I call that feeling “flow” – the one you described as losing track of time, “I just am.” It’s the best. I haven’t felt it for quite some time and that saddens me. Glad you’ve found your groove. In the past, for me, it’s been dance, photography, editing photos, any sort of art work or craft, and sometimes gardening. I think that feeling is like an awesome drug. It’s like you feel so in tune with who you really are. Love it and love you for writing this cool post with quotes and everything!! : )
Hey Lisa, Thank you! Yes, isn’t it weird how some memories from long ago still sting? And thank you, I’d like to think I’m much more sensitive to people because of that experience so it actually turned out to be a good thing. Thank you for saying that — the you I “know” most certainly seems like a beautiful and sensitive soul as well. Flow is a great word for it! I don’t think many of us make time for it. It feels a little strange when you get into it because we let other things get in the way. But when you’re in that place, it’s great, a very awesome drug indeed. Thanks so much friend. xxoo
PS – Your painting is lovely.
Thanks, Lisa. xxoo
reading great blog writers like you
Lou Ann, that’s so nice and right back at you. Hope you survived yesterday and you’re doing great!
Nourishing the soul is so important, and yet we deprive ourselves of whatever it is that does that for us in favor of the stuff we must do. We forget that we MUST nourish the soul so that we can do the things we must do! I have a snack of that every day…so many things that nourish me and I’ve learned to get that, even in tiny tastes, every day. Love your painting, Brig. My forte is stick figures! lol xoxoM
Hey Margarita, how wise your words are! That’s it — if we don’t nourish that intrinsic part of ourselves, we really don’t do anything else very well, do we? And you know when need that soul stuff…you know, your body knows. I like that — tiny tastes. That’s a very good thing. And thank you for your kind words about my painting.
They’re not kind words, Brigitte, they’re honoring and acknowledging your expression of self…so they’re truth! Keep expressing, dear friend. You do it so beautifully! xoxoM
Margarita, thank you. So do you my friend. xoxo
Would you mind e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org? I have a couple of questions I’d like to pose to you. xoxoM
Oh sister, you and I had the same childhood! At least as far as the glasses situation is concerned. I too had glasses from the time I was 7, and I was teased a lot because of it. I finally got contacts when I was a sophomore in high school, but even then it took me some time to come out of my shell because I was afraid people would think I looked even worse *without* the glasses. So I get stifled by that memory myself.
I have to get out of my comfort zone more often, I think, because it’s so easy to just say “Nah, I’ll stay here, I’m good.” But as for things that make me lose track of time, I’d say research of any sort–in a library, on the Internet, whatever–is the easiest way for me to do it. I love hunting down information, especially if it’s been sort of elusive.
What are kids so mean? I was never that mean to other kids and maybe because I was very sensitive to how much it hurt. My parents always said I was so trusting and always for the underdog. But I’m good with that! And I know exactly what you’re saying — I felt that way too. It’s this weird thing, you are the you with the glasses and then when you don’t have them, it’s like you’ve lost a piece of yourself, you know??
It’s hard for me sometimes too. I think of the things I want to do and I think, what the feck am I waiting for? It’s nice to know that others share the same experience. You are so wise and wonderful and I so appreciate your commiseration about the glasses thing. Even now….it’s odd, huh? Thanks, Weebs. xxoo
P.S. I LOVE the library.
Oh I can so relate to this post.. My brain had been on non-stop “we gotta survive” mode since my divorce 4 yrs ago and only in the past 6 months have I allowed it to settle into a relaxed state. I envy your newly painted office. That is one thing I have always wanted..You wore glasses, me I was too skinny with braces.. Good thing is we both grew up and away from that nonsense.. head up sister!!
Hi Lynne! Thank you, sister so you get me. I’ve been where you’ve been and it took me a long while to feel normal again, but it does happen and then it gets REAL good. I remember the dentist telling my parents I needed braces and I screamed and cried cause no way, no how was I going to have braces and glasses. And you’re right, I did get over it and bloomed quite nicely if I do say so myself. Thanks, Lynne.
Writing sometimes, or a project that beautifies my surroundings….I lose track of time and sometimes I get tunnel vision I may keep going past meal and bed times. Thanks for writing this post. An hour is not a lot to set aside for one’s self, yet I often will just to get other things done…why do I do that?
Yep, it’s those creative things for me as well, D. And I agree, an hour isn’t enough and why the heck do we let other things get in the way? We’ve got to make a pact to get that soul sustenance more often! Thanks, friend.
Yes, just book it our day timers!
Writing and researching a fun project make the hours disappear sometimes for me. And visiting with good friends and family. Where does the time go, then?!
Hi J, that’s one of mine too! Thanks for stopping by and welcome back!
This weekend I sanded down a solid cedar door in preparion for varnishing. I’ve never done anything like that before. It was a very peaceful, grounding, soul nourishing kind of task.
Oh, that sounds like fun. I love to redo furniture and wood and make it take on a whole new personality. Thanks so much for your comment.
I love your phrase, “soul things” because it’s so true. Being able to lose myself completely and wholeheartedly into something and then come back down to earth is really a wonderful feeling. I definitely get that whenever I’m involved in some sort of creative project or endeavor. Bodily movement is also a good way to get in touch with your soul. I grew up as an off-and-on dancer and even now, just moving to some sort of rhythm or lyrical harmony feels good and familiar. Thanks as always for your inspiring posts, Brigitte. 🙂
Hi Lillian, that’s a beautifully poetic way of putting it! Dancing is always, always good for the soul even if you do it all alone in your livingroom. And you’re welcome — thanks for your inspiring comments!
The painting is gorgeous honey 🙂
I used to create collages, but I haven’t done any for a couple of years lol. Perhaps I should get back into it 🙂
Vikki, thank you! I used to do the same. I did one (collage) once on a stool, gluing/shellacking all these “favorite things” cut from different magazines, cards and such. It was cool. Don’t know what the heck happened to it, but I remember….
there are lot of things that make me lose track of time.. reading, painting or sketching, and yes dancing. no mtter how tired i am i just rev up for my classes. loved the post. i really wish i could write like you…:)
Hi H!! Reading definitely. If you’ve not read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, do so. It’s GREAT. I read it in a day. And those others you mentioned, most definitely! Thank you for your nice comment.
Your painting is beautiful. I fall into the timeless moments when I write. 🙂
Hi Kate, thank you so much! What a nice way of phrasing it, “fall into timeless moments.” So nice!
Wonderful post. I often tell my clients to carve out time for themselves to create and find space to be. But I haven’t been doing much of that for myself lately. Funny – just this week, I decided to buy the latest version of Corel Painter and get back to digital painting. The urge to create can only be suppressed for so long. Thanks so much for the reminder.
Hi Cathy! It is important but it sounds as if most of us put it off until we just can’t any longer, you know. Corel Painter — that’s not the Word suite, it’s Word Perfect — isn’t it? Sounds like fun. I love digital creating too. And you’re welcome — thank you for your comment.
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. With all of the festivities at Le Clown’s place, and life, I forgot to answer your question about Corel Painter. I think you’re right, Word Perfect was (maybe is) the word processing software offered by Corel. But Painter 12 is their premier pixel based (or raster based) software for digital fine art painting. I’ve been using it for years. It allows you to paint with many different media as well as build layers – somewhat like photoshop and you can also clone photos and paint over those. I use a Wacom Intuos 4 digital drawing pad. If you decided to try it, I’d recommend that you do some training – like the latest online class offered at Lynda.com. There is a lot of great under-the-hood stuff offered in the software, and learning about the intricacies of the software would get you the most benefit from the package. This may be more than you wanted to know, but if you like creating digital art, you might really like Painter.
Thanks, Cathy. I love exploring new programs like this, it brings out the artiste in me. Have a wonderful day!
Painting is wonderful energy.
You’ve inspired me. AGAIN.
I’ll keep you updated.
p.s. Coffee in 20?
Lis, Thank you, friend. I want to see your incredible energy that you do on your “canvas.” Please, please do!! See you in 20 and I’ll bring the cream. Bailey’s Irish Cream. Love, Brigitte xxoo
Some wonderful thoughts and some insights into self-renewal.
I want to start with one of your final comments. I think your idea to finish the short story or the chapter is a fantastic one. However, I want to take issue with the idea that “neither sees the light of day.” I think that was an off-hand comment, but words are powerful, and I think those words unfairly rob some of the justifiable pride and satisfaction you will take from your accomplishment. What I mean is, if you finish the short story or the chapter, it HAS seen the light of day. It exists. You have created something meaningful. Now, I think you meant something more to the effect of “whether or not it gets published” or “whether or not it is read by many people,” but don’t–even unconsciously–sell yourself short. Finishing something is a lot more than most people do.
I think the scars we carry around from our youth can be helpful; they give us perspective. We shouldn’t let them rule our lives, but neither should we deny them. People say “don’t live in the past” and that advice is well-intentioned, but our past is always with us, and to deny it is to deny ourselves a history.
You know, I think a lot of the teasing that occurs in childhood is not as ill-intentioned as we remember it. I shudder when I look back on some of the awful things I said to other people as a child, but I largely said these things not to hurt (I don’t think I really understood HOW MUCH they did) but just so someone would pay attention to me.
Smak, You always make me rethink things You are such a deep soul, despite your blog, I understand you. Your intelligence and the way in which you comment lets me know that you REALLY take the time to read what I post and get the underlying message. Thank you. You are so right. Our history shouldn’t rule us, but it does and it makes us more sensitive to others. Thanks for getting that and for always deciphering what I’m trying to say. You’re funny, cool and very introspective.
Your writing is so easy on the eyes! I learned to play piano at the ripe old age of 5. My plan was to make a career out of it but life had other plans. Still to this day I can sit down at the piano and play for hours..forgetting that I have so much else to do…but it feels so good 🙂
Dockfam, thank you!!!! I wish I could play a musical instrument — now that is DEFINITELY a soul thing and I can understand how you could get lost, in a really good way, in that. Thank you for your nice comment — love that you think my blog is easy on the eyes. That’s beautiful!!
Great post, Brig! These days I tend to lose track of time just reading to Miss C. This is a new pastime for us as she finally able to focus on the pictures and to enjoy listening to my voice. It’s wonderful to revisit the books I read when I was a little girl. I could read to her all day, and I look forward to her attention span lengthening so that I CAN read to her all day.
Hi Emily, thank you! I bet you do but thank goodness you’re reading to her. It’s so important. I was like you, I’ve had a book in my hand (at times I’m reading two at a time) since I could string sentences together. That’s another way I lose myself too — reading. I keep telling everyone this, but if you haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, you should. It’s SO good. Thanks for stopping in!
Great post…these meditative moments are wonderful…when the thinking stops and we are just being.Thanks
Thank you and welcome! So nice of you to stop by. It’s difficult to carve out those times but so important to do so.