Posts Tagged ‘therapy’

Certain things happen over and over again, even if you don’t want them to.  Or even if you want them to, they happen very often at the most surprising time– or at least sooner than you would like.  Or later.  Like weather does.

  • Last Spring and This Winter

What you see in the large image is what the shop looked like about 10 weeks after we moved to this remote cabin about 800 feet up in the Olympic National Forest foothills.  A perfect spot for making art and carving bowls.  The boxes you see in there are unpacked items that had not yet found a good place to land, and the mess in the carport was stuff left from the previous tenant(s) who have enjoyed this property over its forty some years of existence.  The picnic table is sitting at that odd angle with its nearest side missing its bench board, because of the many times the driveway there has been badly flooded with run-off from the high mountains over to the left.  In rainy seasons, endless water comes from those hillsides, and in spring snow melt makes it even more dramatic.  The picnic table just kept sinking and sinking, and its big bolts rusted out and the wood expanded and contracted and then split, leaving the bench on the ground and rusty bolts sticking up at people contemplating finding a seat.   I find this table indispensable for outdoor carving and other messy projects.  I am indebted to the landlord for refusing to move that table (as if anyone could move it without simply sawing it up and burning it in the fire pit.) He knew how handy it always had been.

As you see, July turned into January of the following year, and the records will show that we had a record breaking winter storm during the first part of January which dumped well over a foot of snow all over the place.. over our trees (some of the well over 100 feet and with limbs stretching well over fifteen feet laterally, with lots of good surface footage to collect heavy loads of snow), and piled up an extra-huge layer of white on the picnic table.  Attatched to the building there are tarps to direct the wet or frozen material from the eaves to somewhere outside the unsealed base of the building.  The floors are not graded, and water likes to run inside. It is a garage, after all, most people think!

I have been maintaining two moats that go abreast of the building– the one of the left is currently a swiftly running river which, by human design, skirts the underpinnings of the building and sends the rushing water off into the woods as it slopes down behind.  On the right side is a smaller moat leading from the flood-prone graveled area to a groove dug around the periphery of the carport, which also (if debris is kept clear) moves toward the back of the building and then down the gorge to the right.  I have no idea where it goes from there, but am just happy to see it not staying near my shop for any length of time.

The cycle of seasons is clearly a life-principle that reminds us mortals that there are systems that we don’t control.  And the same sorts of things happen in all realms of life, for better or worse.

The repeat of relationship dysfunctions insists on reappearing time and time again.  Even through generations, things happen a certain way because they ALWAYS happened that way in a given family.  Opening one’s eyes to see the patterns is very difficult.  And while it is  difficult to understand the pattern as regards other people in an “off” relationship, it is nearly impossible to get any objectivity as to one’s own patterns within the cycle.

Dance of Anger is a helpful book.  Case studies on close relationships that are awry– and the story of how certain people approached mending this.

I am by nature a person who abandons things I cannot solve.  Really.  No wonder I have several really special friends who have accused me of being disloyal and abandoning them.  Well, it was out of self-preservation.  How did I get into these relationships?  Out of caring for the good things in these worthwhile and excellent people.  But I can not weather the storms that arise in these particular close relationships– not with the tools I currently have.  How long would it take to teach a 74 year old woman new tricks?

Actually, I have had professional counsel that leaving these relationships alone was a good move– because the gyrations of keeping them alive was going to make me nuts. I was told that the other party, in each case, was one that needed therapy also, and that was not something I could do for them.  And they would not.  One of the very serious mistakes I have made over and over again is choosing just the kinds of interesting folks who will get into this interplay with me– and it’s likely because it is a pattern that I grew up with and thought was normal.  I thought it was just natural to be bullheaded and to have close relatives who were also bullheaded and self-absorbed.  (Not a good combo if two such ones try to collaborate without some professional coaching.)

So, I need reworking — but I’m too tired now to do it. (the bullheaded part of me is insisting that that is true, and my aches say amen.)

I hope others will get smart soon and find out soon enough what is causing a disagreeable and disheartening demise of good friendships and other relationships.  Identifying the pattern is the biggest part of stopping the cycle.

It can, happily, work the other way.  I like the way bread teaches you how to handle it so that the loaf comes out smelling and tasting exactly perfect– a win win. You make mistakes, but you adjust…and you read about yeast and flour and heat and timing and try again.  In a while, you wonder how you didn’t make a good loaf of bread!  You forget the clumbsies you committed because you and the bread have created a cooperative give and take that works for both of you and produces something special.

May the readers of this enjoy mostly good cycles and learn to make the most of them.  Like all that snow in the small picture above… it makes the green happen next spring.  And the table gets lower and lower.  Soon a bench will be moot.

old swimmer


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Before, After, and Later on at Mt. St. Helens


Today is the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.


Then and Now at the 9-11 World Trade Tower Site  Recently I watched a video in German about the eruption in 1980 of Mount St. Helens.  The photography is fabulous, but what sticks with me is the degree of devastation,  the widespread effects it had not only on the nearby states, but on the whole world, and ESPECIALLY what sticks with me is the image of a little rodent mole creature digging out and rebuilding.  The story is a victory story.

What I get from this video is the answer to “what can one do?”  One can do a lot.  Individuals, each doing what he can do well in his given corner can grow a whole new ecosystem in a barren place.

The much coverage of our 9/11 monstrosity event AND the progress report on what individuals have built so far from the chasm left after the collapse of the twin towers will, I hope, give the same hopeful after-memory to linger after the pomp and circumstance, the tears and mourning and remembrances are over.

I don’t have a TV in my quarters.  I could go upstairs to the part of the house occupied by my co-renter and watch her TV if I wanted, but I have plenty to do here without the constant invasion of media and my connection via internet is sufficient for me to keep in touch with world events.  This is how I keep my artistic sanity.  Not for everyone, but it works well for me.

So I am knowing through conversations with fellow travelers in my world that they are inundated with the sorrowful commemorative rites and are turning off their TV’s.  I hope they somehow get a message that we are still alive and able to function as long as we don’t stay focused on the debris all around us…as long as we begin by moving big boulders in front of our own front doors and making our paths clear to do our regular life duties.  This is what it will take.  Simple.  A matter of duty and regular daily work done with patience and hopefully, skill.

This is what I am hoping for this poor old world of ours…and for the relatively young, but still brash, country we live in.

I talk about the end times often, thinking in Bible Prophesy terms.  In the very large picture, I am expecting this,  and have hope because of remedies laid out long ago to help victors through the devastation to come.  But in the meantime, we are told to “occupy.”  And, like that little mole-like creature in the German YouTube video, I hope to be faithful and hopefully also skillful in my efforts to do my daily vocation(s).

Old Swimmer


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Generational Stuff 

Cape Cod type of mussels and limpets

Cape Cod type of mussels and limpetsCape Cod kind of jetty


 A skinny child in a bib bathing suit squats near the base of the jetty. She is picking something from the side of a huge boulder– something smooth and oval sticking to the wetness that the Nantucket Sound tide has recently left behind. She pries it off and scrutinizes the underside; then, holding the object between thumb and forefinger, she moves to inspect intently the collection of debris on the sand next to the boulder….   (read more of this generational true story at Hook, Line and Sinker…)






My blog is designed to work more like a website than a blog.  You will find this blue logo floating about on various pages. Site Map ... Table of Contents    When this image is clicked, a window will come up that allows you to see an illustrated listing by Catagory and Post Title.  The chronolgy is less important than the related subject matter, it seems to me. 

Of course, I love change.  So stay posted.










old swimmer


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