Day 195: Where I Stand Naked

One un-deep thought by Sam Craft: “I had such a good hair day yesterday, I just don’t know how I can live up to that today.”

And now the deep:

My fixations consume me. They bring me to a place that no one else can reach or touch. A place I feel safe and not vulnerable: a place of discovery, of grand interest, of dreams, of dynamite thoughts and imaginings, of newness and possibilities. My fixation is like a light switch to me. With my intense focus, I am able to turn off the rest of the world—particularly the problems and woes. I can at last breathe in and stop fretting.

For the most part, when I have an intense focus I feel alive and with purpose. There seems to be a reason for living. When I do not have a fixation, I feel lost and unprepared for the day. My special interest is like a backpack filled with vital life supplies for me.

Trouble is, eventually, about every three to five months, my fixation/special interest switches. Just out of the blue. Bam! I wake up, and the fixation is entirely gone. Wiped clean. Think window cleaner to bathroom mirror. One swipe and the toothpaste splatters that you’ve been staring at for ages are gone. And you wonder why you stared at those splatters for so long! Unless you are anal and wipe your mirror everyday…which is so not me.

With the clean wipe, every bit of desire and hunger to learn or study or explore the topic is gone. It’s like a thief in the night came and stole my impulse.

I’ve gotten to the point now that when a fixation starts, I can step back, outside myself, look at the calendar, and track pretty much exactly when the fixation will leave.

This tendency to fixate made relationships with men when I was younger rather difficult. I’d have a giant crush on someone. Hugely so. Bleed out poetry and breathe lust filled thoughts, and then wake up to discover (usually after winning a guy over) that I truly didn’t even like the person. Then the challenge began, as I was so desperate to not be alone, that I’d stay with the guy even though they now gave me the creeps. Nothing like kissing a guy who makes you cringe.

Since being married my fixations are typically not other men, which I’m sure my spouse is relieved to know.  However the fixations are still there, and strong as ever. I move through interests like one might move through fad diets. One month this, three months later that. The funny thing is, that each time a new fixation comes, I think: This is the one! This is what I’ve been waiting for. Kind of like I did with men.

Truth be told, my latest fixation was blogging. And wouldn’t you know it, about five months have passed, and I woke up yesterday with this void and lack of desire to post. A new fixation has taken over. That of walking and photography. And the old fixation, that of blogging, has ended up in a pile with some of my other past interests: Farmville, slickdeals.net. I’d like to add cleaning to the list…to put it in a pile, too. But cleaning has rarely been a fixation for more than a day, and that’s typically when the house is so dang messy, I have to clean to breathe.

Last year my fixations included reading over a hundred spiritual books, Buddhist studies and retreats, turning a room in our house into an office for my spiritual coaching business, planning retreats, and studying techniques for spiritual readings. I lived and breathed spirituality. Until I woke up in late May of last year and the fixation was entirely gone. Presto…Emptied of all desire. Then I switched to getting a degree in counseling. And that became my fixation. In my first college course, I read twice the required readings, and delved into every project, spending ten hours on an assignment, when clearly one hour would have been adequate. The counseling fixation ended in February. And then the door opened to blogging. Blogging was like a whirlpool that I gladly leaped into. And now I find myself, just coming up for air, and standing on the shoreline all sopping wet and confused.

I don’t want to blog anymore. The desire is gone. The fixation vanished. And I think my swimsuit is still in the whirlpool. So I stand naked, confused, and unaware of just where the heck I’ve been, or at least where my brain has been for the last four-plus months.

Odd sensation. I explain some of this feeling of emerging from a special interest in this well-read post

And so today, I am sharing where I stand naked—on this shore utterly perplexed and baffled, finding myself once again in awe of how I am consumed in something, and then seemingly spat out by the vortex and set back on my feet, only to wonder where the heck I’ve been.

The good news is, with my new current fixation of walking and photography, you are bound to see more photos of the great northwest than you ever signed up for. And, of course, photos of my good hair days!

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*** I am still going to blog…just not everyday.

And music isn’t a fixation; it’s a way of life. So that shall always be, as my love for you!

Day 194: Treasured Images

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I took the images at the 625-acre Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve in Washington, USA. Soils formed as glaciers melted about 11,000 years ago. This site protects native ecosystems and rare plants and animals. There are many theories about how the mounds of earth formed. My favorite is the giant gopher theory!

This is an interesting video about the mounds:

and laughing…here’s what it looks like MOST of the year:

Images 

I imagine your voice as the sea alive in the deep night
A rhythmic strength, a moonlight lullaby
I imagine your presence the solid branch set across clear stream
A place to cross over, a passageway to the other side
I imagine your taste the ripe fruit cleansed and divided whole
A sugar to tongue, a craving reborn
I imagine your chest the mossy grass of midsummer
A softness to palm, a tingle to my skin
I imagine your hands the breeze through the evergreen of cedar
A visiting ebb, a caress between limbs
I imagine your lips the cotton candy of youth
A melting satisfaction, a spiral of sweetness
I imagine your soul the wings of the monarch
A flawless design, a freedom to flight
I imagine your movement the rapids over boulder
A cleansing crush, a cool rush of nature
I imagine your image the reflection in still pond
A mirror to myself, a partner to my imagining

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Samantha Craft, August 2012

Day 192: A Walk with Light and Shadow

The Light

You make me young again

Twelve or twenty, or someplace in between

I want to run and skip and sing, and be so free

You are everything to me, my sunrise and my sunset

The prettiest ones

The very best ones

You are the stars I count on

You are the clouds I dream upon

You are the ducks dipping, the ferris wheel spinning

You are the lights strung upon the summer tree

You are all that makes me smile

And more, so much more

I can’t begin to explain

It would take a lifetime or two

Just to count all the reasons I adore you

Your hair, your eyes

Your nose so cute

I want to nibble you whole and in completion

Bite through your sexiness

I want to run my fingers through you

Every part

And dance on you like some worn out disco floor

I want to tap and spin

And glide on knees

Feel your smoothness beneath me

And eat your very soul

The Shadow

Release me bloody panther of the night

The one I spear, who keeps rising

With claws to chest

Carving name into my flesh

I run and you follow

My scent, your prisoner

You are naught but heavy stones in my pocket

Backpack on weary shoulders

Silver spikes beneath my feet

A broken time piece

Your face a façade

You are unwelcomed fever

The torture of still birth

A labor of death

You are the stripe of the honey bee

The symbol of nectar’s sting

I will not be your dance floor

Your river or mountain

I will be nothing you move upon

You feed me not, whittler of bones

And nor shall I be your prey

I turn you mystic muse

To the muds of moors

And make the howling hound your bed song

Cry for me now

This light slipped through your fingers

So I might collect your tears

And spit them at your shadow

I am blood-dry to your enchantment

Fed upon the last time

To me you are the stinging nettle of pain

The poison oak of itch

The jelly fish of sting

In leaving I shall paint the walls of you

With my echoed screams

So you may sit now

And hear the wing-clipped raven

Crying in the attic’s mind

It is your turn

Of empty ghost

Your turn to grasp

And find nothing but empty cloud of drought

I will be not your star

I will be not your sun

Instead I shall step dark upon your grave

And kick dirt at your memory

My laughter, your sorrow

My victory, your loss

My hope, your awakening

To the world without me

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By Sam Craft, July 2012

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The Walk

The following are photos from the bird sanctuary. There is a mile long platform that stretches across the wetlands and leads to the salt-water sound. There are hundreds of birds flying everywhere and adjacent nature trails.

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Day 191: Purple Toes and Love Clouds

A song I can’t get out of my head. There’s always one that sticks around for days.

“I have a deep angst in the depths of me that I have been carrying in my soul since May of this year. I do not have the words to describe this experience, except to say I feel a vast depth in my inner being that is filled with a mixture of love, passion, and longing. I have carried this from when I awake, until I sleep.

Dreams bring escape.

I have tried to figure out what to do with this feeling that feels akin to unconditional expansive love—a bottomless pit I want to fill with all the beauty about me.

I have had no choice but to pour the angst out of my soul day after day into prose and poetry. Each day I think I am emptied, only to find, time and time again, that I am not relieved for even a moment.

I have tried to pour this love into one person, and find that this love is not made for one.

I have tried to cry it out, walk it out, starve it out, laugh it out, talk it out….but alas it stays, lingering in the forefront of my every waking thought.

This love will not depart, and instead seems to grow with each coming day.

I know not what to do. The feeling is akin to the huge cavernous hole I would experience with the thought of expectation, a joyful event about to take place, a reunion of lovers, an anticipation of marvelous ecstasy.

The butterflies are a million. The energy persuasive and all-encompassing, as if heaven’s angels are all at once swirling within me, their wings stirring a golden dust of light.

I cannot move at times.

I cannot catch my breath at times.

And there seems to be no antidote.

I am slowly realizing that I am not meant to solve this riddle of love.

I am not meant to dislodge the love or give this love to one.

I am meant to embrace this love and welcome it. To say each morning: Welcome my angst. Welcome my calling. Welcome heaven’s voice. Thank you for letting me know I am alive. Thank you for letting me be your instrument. I welcome you with open arms. I embrace you. I walk with you for as long as you wish to be here. And I carry you for the world. This light seed. This watering can for the masses.” ~ Sam Craft, July 2012

We went to Mt. Rainier National Forest in the state of Washington, USA, yesterday.

I felt this unbearable love the entire drive there. I listened to music through my headphones and daydreamed of a forest glen, me as an elven princess, and of a charming knight. When we arrived at the basin of National Park I asked the heavens for a sign, for validation of this vast love I am carrying. Within minutes all the dark clouds began to disperse. Not long after, when I stepped out of the van, I turned, and this is what I saw.

This heart cloud was only there for a matter of seconds.

Later I asked for more signs. Greedy little girl I am…..because one heart in a beautiful clear blue sky was not enough!

I’ve always said that the angels have a sense of humor…. These are the signs I was given.

Signs on the path my family made for me and my youngest, so we could find our way to the end of the trail.

I am still learning to SPECIFY when I make requests for signs!

Hours later, as we finished our 5.5 mile hike, I looked up to the sky, and specifically asked for a sign to validate the overflowing love I have inside and to confirm one of my deepest desires (a desire which I shall not mention because I don’t have to–giggles and blushing)

And in an almost cloudless sky, another heart cloud formed right then and there above me.

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“Your truth speaks for those still listening for their voices, between the frayed and hanging stitches of their seams.” ~ My Aunt’s words to me

Oh, and here are my toes.

Tomorrow I shall post some lovely photos of the National Forest. Almost as lovely as my big toe. Or I shall share a silly slumber party poem that mentions the word shagging! Or both. Or something else. Isn’t life wonderful? All these choices. And toes…..glorious purple toes.

Day 190: In the Mirror

For those of you that are not into rambling, here is a pretty photo I took today. You can look and stare, and come back tomorrow.

Oh, and this one too.

And one more, since I like the number three, and because this is my all time favorite.

Now for the rest of you…here you go:

me

People often say I look familiar to them, or they know someone who looks like me, or that they have met me before. Years ago someone thought I was that teacher that got caught shagging her student. Don’t remember her name, but it didn’t help when the suspecting stranger asked if I was a teacher, and I said, “Yes.”  I’ve been told I look like certain celebrities—usually bad politicians or people who play dope dealers on television. Thusly, the still very small ego. That strikes me as odd, that people recognize me or relate me to others, as I haven’t a fricken clue regarding what I look like.

I do not recognize myself in any photo. My dear friend who is a photographer says my bone structure affects my photos. She reassured me I don’t need plastic surgery. I actually texted her from some hotel in northern California in tears after a recent photograph, convinced I needed a nose job that very day.

This week, my dear masseuse reassured me that in person I do indeed  look like my photos on my blog. Yes, I have the most awesome masseuse; she actually gives the best massages while discussing me and my blog. I call her my number one fan! That and sue-happy!  She said I don’t look like me when I give that look though…with some questioning, sweet Sue agreed that look meant a blank stare. That blank stare look is my typical smile, or what feels like a smile.

Everyday my husband patiently answers questions for me about my looks. During a movie I might ask (during a crucial moment of the film): Do those look like my wrinkles? Am I that old looking? Do I look like her when I smile? Is that my nose? Oh, is her hair like my hair?

That same photographer friend I texted, she has always said I am blessed with a gypsy-skin complexion and doe eyes. I like her. To make me feel better, she also has told me, more than once, that “pretty” people never like photos of themselves because they appear different depending on lighting. I really like her a lot. She also says I am a good catch. I love her.

mememe

To me, my appearance changes from moment to moment. Forget about the photos. Each time I look in the mirror I do not recognize myself. I particularly do not like my reflection in the car’s rearview mirror or in the glass screen of my laptop computer. Some reflections accentuate all my lines, and I appear to be a prune. I cry at prune faces.

I do not recognize my eyes as the lids droop. And as I age, I wonder where the me before went. Not that I ever saw myself fully to begin with. But now it seems the person I never figured out is vanishing all together into the folds and creases of flesh.

Not being able to judge how I look affects me in many ways. I can’t apply makeup well. I don’t know how. Lessons won’t help. I can’t tell if the shade is right or if I have put on too much or too little. Usually I hardly wear any makeup. I do like watching my eyes change once I put mascara on my lashes, though. I’m like a little girl. I apply and then stare in amazement. It’s like someone enlarged my eyes. When it comes to eyeliner, I can’t tell if it makes me look older, wiser, sexier, or slutty. I do however notice that lately I have developed these distinct come-hither bedroom eyes. Don’t know what’s that about, but have some theories.

me and steff

Fixing my hair is hard. I can’t tell what it looks like. Hair pins at different angles, hair back, hair forward, hair wet, hair straight, hair curly. My looks alter depending. I don’t know who the heck I am. I guess if I was bald that would be one less constantly changing thing. But then I’d probably have that whole light-reflection-changing-the-angle-of-my-scalp thing going on.

I cannot grasp facial features in general, of anyone. For instance, if I was asked to describe a person’s face for a police sketch artist, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even describe my sons’ faces. I was always fascinated in movies when the witness would tell the sketch artist about the nose shape, the eyes’ distance, the lips, the hairline. It feels like they have super powers to me. I’ve been staring at my fourteen year old’s face for fourteen years, and I still couldn’t tell you what he looked like beyond the fact that he has big eyes like me, long lashes, thin dark hair, and a chin like his dad. The rest, all the inside parts, inside the hairline, the face shape, the nose, the lips, the brows, they all go blurry when I try to visualize my son.

I see things in pictures. I see things as a large whole or a specific. For example I see the wrinkles between the eyes, the bump on a nose, the ear that sticks out, the red dot on a check. I am naturally drawn to the details, and distracted by the details, as if I am a camera focusing in. Then, after a little bit of time, I focus out and see the overall face. It is as if I do not have a middle focus, only very narrow or very vast.

I am amazed at how I can look so very different from what I imagine myself to look like. Inside my head I do not look like any representation outside of me.

november walk

I’ve always studied faces, since I can remember. Last year my fixation was ears, particularly ear lobes. I was trying to figure out what my ears looked like in comparison to others’. I know my ears are unique…elf-like…they stick out a bit, and larger on the top part, and generally fleshy. Makes for good nibbling, I suppose. It’s been a whole year of ear studying, and I still am clueless. I couldn’t draw you a picture of my ear unless I was staring at a photo, and likely tracing.

I just started on my nose in May. I’ve been comparing my nose to other noses, and trying to find a companion nose, so I know what the heck my nose looks like. My nose is a funny creature, constantly changing shapes based on the camera angle or how I look at myself in the mirror. When I take a photo of myself, like above, when I extended my arm out, my nose is very European. Sometimes it’s rather cute and pudgy. Other times I know for a fact someone has put their nose on my face, and it’s just not mine! I’ve been studying movies lately, pausing a film and looking at the actresses’ faces, and noticing that their noses change too. It’s not just mine. I’ve noticed how still frames of a movie star’s face are so different from when an actress is in motion. I like to go to the dentist and eye doctor, because I spend time studying faces in magazines.

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I’m still trying to get used to seeing me. Sometimes I think I look like me one day, but then the next day I look back at a photo and think that is not me.

I honestly don’t think I am supposed to be in a human body. I frequently feel as if I have put on the wrong body suit.

I have been insecure my whole life about my looks; mainly because I am a walking shift-shaper and have no looks. From one mirror to the next, I am not me. I capture glimpses of me, but then I fade. Sometimes I think I look very Maltese/Sicilian and other times I see my Irish side. Sometimes I look like I’m from another planet. Other times I am certain I am a little elf: a princess elf with handsome male knights that adore me. And one in particular I want to marry in the forest glen…I digress.

Sometimes I think I look very angular and other times very round. Sometimes I go through thirty moods about my looks in one single day. One mirror in the morning might reveal a tolerable image; I might even like my appearance; but another mirror in the afternoon makes me afraid to leave the house because I’m so frightful to behold. I’ve felt this way my whole life.

Recently, beyond the ears and nose, I’m starting to study eyelids and how they droop. If I am staring at you, I am likely studying your lids. Take no notice; the phase will pass. Just keep your fingers crossed that I don’t leave the face area!

I may sound vain, but I don’t think I am. I think this face obsession has something to do with how my brain views the world in pictures, even words and numbers in pictures, and how my brain is trying to piece together the whole of a very complex shifting face.

I don’t know if I’ll ever truly see me. I recognize me, of course. But I don’t know if I’ll ever understand what I consistently look like.

I AM trying to change something. I’m superb at picking out all my flaws and thinking I am a walking big-nosed, wrinkly-faced bozo. So I am practicing looking at myself without cringing. That’s a big deal for me. Since I recently lost a lot of weight, and have grown more confident inside, men are noticing me more. This is very weird for me. I keep thinking, what the heck do they see in me. Are they blind?

I’ve been posting a lot of photos of me on this blog because I am trying to come to terms with what I look like and to accept myself.  I actually am very confident on the inside. Interior-wise, I love me, probably a little too much a times. I’ve falling in love with my person and spirit entirely, and at the same time fallen in love with other people, too. Thing is I don’t care what they look like. Heck, their faces shift and change more than mine. So I focus on their energy, their beauty, their eyes. So that’s what I am trying to do with me: focus on the inner beauty and my eyes.

Please don’t tell me I’m pretty or lovely; that’s not going to help. If you want to comment, comment about the subject matter. I’m not fishing for compliments. Even when I called my husband in to look at the photos tonight, I just needed reassurance that the photos looked like me. And I needed him to say he didn’t notice the huge, gigantic mountain-eating wrinkles. I needed him to explain to me why I look so different in every photo. I must have asked him fifty times, “Is that really me? Do I really look like that?” This isn’t about beauty to me or self-acceptance; it’s about figuring out a puzzle. It’s about figuring out who that woman is staring back at me in the mirror.

space me

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