Sunday, May 02, 2010

I Don't Know What To Title This...

This is the first collage I have ever done. The making of it occurred yesterday on my porch in the creative company of two women I love.
My partner JB, my dearest friend Lo, and I played like first graders yesterday afternoon. Before and after we had lobster rolls outside on the patio, walked in the park, grilled outside and ate dinner in the glow of sunset, and laughed, talked, shared, & enjoyed.
I've had a lovely weekend.
I had no vision of creating a collage. No advance message, no pre-conceived ideas, no established structure. But here it is. Lo looked at it last night and said, "kj, it's you, who will become a writer."
I can see that. But I don't think this little girl is just me. I think she is all of us in some core way. She is alone, she is contemplative, she sits in the natural world and is not afraid. She is learning. She will learn.
I have been thinking this week about honesty on my blog. If you've followed me for some time, you know that I've had a rough couple of years, watching and then facing a relationship I trusted and was committed to blow apart. For me, the aftermath has been feeling betrayal and witnessing vilification from someone I never thought would direct any of those things toward me.
I don't write about it too much any more. I have needed to move on whether I understand or accept or not. And for the most part, my optimism and hope and faith in myself and others is back. I doubt I'll ever be bitter; I hope I will still love more, not less; and I'm pretty sure I don't have to do anything except live my life.
I am saying this today because I know I am not alone experiencing loss, disappointment, confusion. Sometimes here in my blog and in the wider blogs it can look like so many of us have such creative fulfilled problem-free lives. Hello! It's me, kj, announcing that I am definitely blessed but I can also struggle!
I have had a totally wonderful weekend. I am so damn lucky in so so many ways, and better still, I know that. But I've found it's better for me to be real about my feelings, to let them be whatever they are, than to try to pretty things up, here for you, or here within myself.
That is my message today. Be where you are. Feelings come and go. Are there highs without lows? I don't think so. Time heals. Moments matter. The grace of life comes from loving and being loved. From creating and caring. From using your hands to make, your head to figure, your heart to reach another.
Thank you JB. Thank you Lo. Thank you Stella. Thank you my friends and visitors here. Thank you lettuce plants.


  1. So glad you dumped the reports and spent your day being creative and with people you love.

  2. "What is to give light must endure burning."
    VIKTOR FRANKL- psycologist 1905-1997
    You must be a fellow Singe Sister, I saw the smoke. Hellenbach college, right???
    Laughter, optimisim, faith, and hope are key to surviving in my opinion.
    Hi it is me Marie, I struggle but I am definitly blessed, and still working my way out!
    Brava kj! Nicely said.
    Love and huge hugs and thank goodness for friends and family.
    I love your collage, you should do it more!
    I am so glad you had a fulfilling weekend!

  3. The title is in the collage-Escape.
    :-). I try to give the good with the bad on my blog too. It is life and it is all wonderful in it's own way. I embrace that. Glad you are having a great weekend and the collage is lovely.xoxo

  4. I love your collage. Kudos to you. I've not ever worked with collages either. I should try some time, just for fun. :)

    I'm sorry for all that you have ben through these past couple of years. Sometimes (no offense all of you bloggy pals), but people tend to SUCK!! I've had my fair share of disappointments and betrayal as well. It's not easy "recovering" from those, picking up, and moving on. In fact, in a lot of ways, I am still doing that myself. Hang in there and know you are thought of and loved often!


  5. KJ, if I had given in to every bad thing that has happened in my life, I'd have been dead a long time ago, and I wouldn't be NEARLY as amusing in that state!!! A bit *stiff*, I am thinking....
    Your collage turned out great; I admire people that can work strictly with magazine elements. (see, that frightens me for some reason...) We all have big bumps in life, and you either fall off the bike and stay on your ass, or you kick the bike, get up and keep going.
    I'm glad you kept going... ;)
    Glad I did too!


  6. It sounds like a LOVELY time was had by all! (Stella included..)

    The collage is thought-provoking.
    It reminds me of our Suki....and of course, reminds me of US....your collective blogging family. We all live in the forest - one way or another - being amid nature (even if you live smack-dab in the ghetto - you can dream when looking at a plant or a single flower), enchants us.

    I really loved looking and studying this....
    (and, as I just returned from a baseball game - beer and garlic fries) it was lovely to leave one "world" and enter this one.
    (although I had a blast at the game)

    Love to you, dear KJB,

    ♥ Robin ♥

  7. I am pretty sure that's just life, hard spots and easy spots. It's people too-we each have hard spots and smooth spots, and that is what gives us our own unique form.

    None of it makes sense-I felt truly awful about thinning my sage today to make room for other herbs, but now I'm EATING baby herbs in a, it makes no sense at all.

  8. Happy for you kj that you are in a wholesome place in your heart and heard.

    Love your artwork... the reader gives themselves an opportunity to escape and recreate their world.

    love to you
    Robyn xx

  9. ooops meant to read head ;)

  10. to me, your collage says "Seeking". My therapist said grief comes in waves, and it truly does. Today, I had a good day in the garden, but then for 10 minutes sat on my porch and asked "Why do I care, why am I doing this and for whom". I miss sharing. Blogging helps--for I am sharing here. And as long as grief isn't overwhelming, we know there are ups after the downs...

  11. There's some really interesting research about girls being their authentic selves early in life - fearless, questioning, exploring - and then caving into societal pressures at puberty and becoming so much less self-assured. Mid-life, for many of us, can be about re-capturing that early courage and spirit of creativity and adventure.

  12. It is a wonderful collage! I love especially the fact that you had no intention to do it, that it sprung up from your creative center.

    I have not followed your blog long enough to know the past that you mentioned here. I agree that it is important to write our true feelings...and to occasionally do what you did and bring the newbies up to speed a bit. Glad for you that it is behind you now.

    May a good week follow the wonderful weekend.

  13. Hi kj - I like what you said - Moments Matter - and I think that would be an apt title! Glad you had such a lovely time and your collage is just great - make more!!

  14. What a great weekend kj! i would have said to spend your time with your friend Lolo and take care of the rest later too, it's good to see you did. It all sounds wonderful (especially the lobster rolls!!).

    I love blogging and the fact that we can all do it in whatever way we want (the variety is what i love best).

    I think Everyone suffers, it's human. I've never met one person in my life that didn't have something they struggle with (or many somethings). Buddhism says all unhappiness and suffering comes from expectation. Maybe the most enlightened can live with no expectation, but i think it's normal for the rest of us. The beautiful nature of blogging is being able to express yourself any way you like. What i'm trying to say is I don't want to remember the flat tire that i had or how long the tow truck took to come rescue me, i'd rather rememeber (and write) about the hawk i was watching while i waited. i write about what i want to remember.
    love you sweet friend.

  15. and i forgot to say well done on the collage! i really liked picturing all of you around the table on the porch creating. that made me smile. you are making me want to create something too!
    xxx lori

  16. hells, i dumped the reports and they are still dumped! xo

    marie, ahhhh. i read this and first thought, oh marie is confusing me with someone else, i don't even know of hellenbach college. then i got it!! you are a such a joy, marie! you're working it, i'm working it out, and here we are, sharing and caring. i'm really glad we've connected.

    annie, you have a great attitude. i'm glad i can picture your facial expression saying this! that was a great cup of coffee!

    sophia, what you've elegantly said to me, i say back to you. betrayal is a hard one, for sure, but it musn't have the power to overtake love. right?!

    anne, please feel free to give me a kick in the ass anytime it seems i could use it!! you are such a spunk! you and marie are my springtime gifts to myself.

    hello robin, you had a good day at the old ballpark: yay! do you know i love baseball too? i used to be a total expert, actually.. :)
    this reminds me of suki too. xoxo

    dk, you were missed and loved this weekend. please don't angst about thinning your sage. it appreciates the space. :)

    dearest robyn, thank you for everything. thank you for your friendship, for your wisdom, for your slant and for your sisterhood. i think you rock.

  17. soulbrush, take my hand. really.

    oh teri, i understand what you are saying totally. i think freedom and release come from being willing to tolerate those lost and longing moments. i also understand the precious supports from blogging. i adore my friends and visitors here, i really do. but i keep reminding myself that i need friends and support and company physically around me too, not just through blogging. being with my friend this weekend was fuel for my soul. xoxo

    cs, what a great comment! hearing this research is just great. i think we (finally) get to the place where we stop taking shit from ourselves and others. and i'm glad of that. xoxo

    lydia, thank you. i didn't really think about bringing anyone new to my blog up to speed--god knows i will lament and emote enough anyway! but i've wanted to throw out an equally authentic part of myself because i know we all have that. have a good week, my friend.

    hello caroline! moments matter! i like the ring of that too. :) now i want to make a goofy collage. i wonder what that's all about xoxo

    lori, please DO create something too! that would be so fun to see and enjoy. i love love love your example of a flat tire. you are SO wise and SO right. i wonder how many times one has to let go of expectation before the magic takes over? do you think 100 times is too many? ?) ps love you too dear friend.

  18. Kj, yes it was a great cup of coffee, wish we could have one in the morning :-). xoxo

  19. It's a strange place bloggingland. For some it is the only place they can be honest. But I've noticed to that for others it is a chance to re-create themselves as they'd wish to be ... to try things on for size. Not to pretend but to make-believe, which is quite different. It's all real in it's own way.

    There are no highs without lows. Would we want it any other way? That the landscapes of our lives should be ... flat?

    Love the collage KJ, you should do more of that ... if you can cram it in that is.

  20. I'll go be cranky on my blog! cause I am cranky at the weakness of the flesh. and I refuse to be cheerful about it.

    love the collage - really do

  21. Loved my visit as always! Love the lettuce plants too! xx

  22. jos, i agree with you. i can usually tell who's real and who isn't, but i think we are all prone to adoration and compliments and i know in a couple of instances they are superficial and/or insincere. and jos, no flat landscapes for either one of us!

    oh mim. we missed you so much. i can only guess the universe is planning a hell of hullabaloo for our next playdate. sulk all you want. grump your way into 'who gives a shit'. but don't forget how loved you are. you are the best friend. xoxo

    kay, i'm headed over! ♥

  23. I love looking at this collage and remembering how magical it was for the three of us to sit for hours getting lost in our creations.

    You did an amazing job! Didn't I tell you it would all come together the moment you stopped forcing it to "be something?"
    Look at that little girl. She is you, the younger you escaping in a world of literature and magic where all is right with the world.
    And look at that glow around her! She makes her own sunshine :)

    Thank you for a wonderful weekend.
    I wish our missing pals had been able to join us. Next time for sure :)

    Hug Stella for me. What a wonderful old soul she is. I love her.♥


  24. Morning, kj!
    Well, look at you, a writer AND an artist. :) That, of course, thrills me to pieces. I am happy that you are not bitter, that you have chosen to go on, and continue to be the good friend and loving person that you are to so many here (and to many more to come). Kudos to you for picking yourself up and dusting off properly (you might have missed some behind your right ear!). I think you should collage on a regular basis. xox!! Pam

  25. lo, OMG did we have fun!!!!

    hahaha, i make my own sunshine! i make my own mush too! ps. i treasure you. thank you a million times. xxoxo

    pam, love your comments. thank you. i am ready to pick up pencils and paints and have at it. here and there. not as much as i must write, but it feels great to be creative in different ways (as you already know). are we writing today? :) not me: i have a friend here for the day and we will work on her dissertation and plan my garden. and eat lunch. and chataway.

  26. I really like your honesty about your feelings. It took me many yrs of therapy to be able to express my feelings in a direct way. Very healing. What fun your WE sounds. Making collages, eating yummy food and best being surrounded by loving friends. thanks, kj

  27. suki, someday will you join us?
    did this collage remind you of you? because it did me. we are both honest about our feelings, suki. now i know we went to hellenbach college with marie.
    hee hehehe

  28. LOL!! get out of my head! I was just reading your reply here!! LOL!!
    I am honored to be connected.
    Singe sisters is a sorority at Hellenbach! Smoke is always a sign.
    Renee was one too.

    word verify "mulleth"
    sometimes you have to mulleth over my jokes.

  29. I see Marie is fond of a man I admire very much and whose writings have guided me for many years. It was easy to quote him because this past week I was re-reading some of his papers on Logotherapy and Existential Analysis - I know, I know a Jungian is not supposed to like the "Third Viennese School" or for that matter the first two but I am open to anything and everything that can help make this a meaningful journey.

    I could never be anything but what I am. I believe in golden rules not goldplated ones. Again I will quote you what I truly believe embodies my philosophy about choices and who is responsible for them: "Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way" and from the time I can remember I was told that with knowledge comes responsibility. I truly, even when I fail, try to honor that.

    It must be a sad life where all of your efforts are spent to create an edifice of artifice. Saddest of all what the answer must be if at the end of one's life the question is "what if?"

  30. marie, you make me laugh! tsup to you!! okay, we are related! ♥

    allegra, i remember reading frankel's example: the freedom to hold your head high while being marched to the gas chambers. it chilled me when i was in grad school and i've never forgotten it. my father taught me to make the same wise choices you live your life by. he would say, "you can take everything from me, but not my name."

    allegra, "It must be a sad life where all of your efforts are spent to create an edifice of artifice" you've made me smile. i know what you mean! i thank you so much for helping me understand. xoxox

  31. Oooo, I love your very first collage! And I can relate to that young girl - that's how I used to sit for hours, reading, being lost in stories and oblivious to the world around me....

    And I loved your post. It is important to be where we are and to acknowledge how we are feeling and to know that it's ok. And that all is temporary - the lows as well as the highs. Just like the ocean ebbs and flows.

    I am glad you are healing and still loving!!

    Much love to you!! Silke

  32. First of all, what a great collage kj!! Your very first?! I see you are a story teller with images as well as words - so much could be told from this little girl sitting and enjoying her book, in the quiet peacefulness of her spot in the woods. Working with the collage as you did is a wonderful way to let our unconscious voice find an outlet - going into the process with out preconceptions and just picking what draws the eye can be a powerful exercise.
    and Amen to being real - sharing where we are, in the moment. I appreciate knowing the wholeness of who you are, and admire your honesty!! sending love, Karin

  33. Hello Dear Heart!!!

    I'm walking reasonably erect - the chiropractor helped. Enough already. So now I'm catching up on my blogging.

    Things I Love About kj -
    -that you love Stella to pieces
    -that you had a wonderful love filled weekend and were thankful for it
    -that your backyard is a labor of love and not duty
    -love "Let There Be Light" 4/12/10
    -the silly picture of you on the sidebar cracks me up
    -I love people that can crack me up
    -Renee's Cake! How great is that!
    -that you love the watercolorist, Catherine, and her painting of the bird which is perfect for Renee. We all knew she could fly.
    -your collage! But I think art is too personal for anyone but you to name, if it needs a name at all. Turn it over and write "mine".;>)

    Huge Hugs,

    OK, the Catherine thing. I think you need an exorcism, with a ceremony and candles, some cussing and a wax doll with long pins - each with a message. Get all the angst out!!!

    Oh yeah, Emily Rabbit needs her own book of platitudes aimed at young children AND a stuffed toy of her with her own wardrobe. I'm thinking purple bikini.

    Why? She's smart and savy. I just spent two weeks in Japan where everyone is nuts about "Hello Kitty" and that cat doesn't do anything.

    OK, I'm done.

    More hugs....

  34. Wow! Very touching.

    Sounds like u had a really fun weekend with ur loved ones.
    And ure so right with this. 'Be where you are. Feelings come and go.' I have to remember that more.

    All the Best to u.:)
    And btw, the 2 pics of urself, u got up the top are really pretty funny.


  35. much love to you too, silke. i am not surprised you were like this young girl: you are so thoughtful and wise xoxo

    thank you, karin. my unconscious loves to yap! and how true that when i/we let ourselves loose, you never know what will appear. xoxo

    LOOK WHO'S BACK?! LINDA!! you get an A plus for this comment! i love everything except no exorcism for me. i can't stick pins in anyone! i can however swear under my breath :) really linda, how nice to see you here. i've missed you and i'm glad you had yourself a good trip. take care of that back. xoxo

    fran, hello and welcome. the two pictures of me in the header make me laugh too! hahaha!

  36. the moment i saw this i was impressed... then i understood it's done by you!
    perhaps you have neglected a gift you have, Karen...

    i love this soulful work...

    'always a girl'