Saturday, June 21, 2008

Colorado Update

This was my first vacation with Eric, and we had a blast! We camped in Woodland Park, CO, and we hiked, climbed, drove, ate, laughed, and had an all-around fantastic time. So, in more detail, we hiked through Garden of the Gods, which is lovely and dry, and full of colors like terracotta, every variation of green, and a dabble here and there of yellows and purple from the blooming cacti. After this, we went to cave of the winds. What a contrast! Cool, dark, damp, deep into the earth. We drove to the top of Pikes Peak. It was the first time in years that Eric had been there, and the first time he'd driven it. Following this, we walked to the top of Seven falls. Let me tell you, I could feel every fat cell in my body crying out for more carbs and wine! I'm so out of shape, but I made it. One set of steps had over 180 steps and another had 204. Now, these are not like the stair stepper I like to use in my front room. They were steep and there is no oxygen in Colorado! I'm telling you, breathing in that altitude is horrid. I do not know how anyone could ever do their yoga deep breathing in Colorado. I tried to suck air in, but to no avail! But, like I said, we made it to the top of each set of steps and were both able to hike further up at the top. The contrast of both days was palpable, though. From hiking desert like conditions to exploring a cave to driving to the top of one peak to walking to the top of Seven Falls. Wow. I love Colorado! We ate at a place called Buck Snort, which is out in the middle of no where. Seriously. We had to drive a thin road along large boulders that had rolled down the mountain at some point in time. On the way there, we saw valleys, green, lush, bathing in the sunset, horses and elk grazing for food, fly-fishermen in the streams, all highlighted so perfectly and peacefully by the evening sky. It was beautiful. Buck Snort is a "saloon". It's got great food, but is so desolate, that few people make it back there. That being said, it looks like everyone has been there. People carve their names in every nook and cranny. It's filled with names of famous and not so famous people who have been fortunate enough to have heard about the place. It looks like a "dive", but it was filled with so much character. After eating, we were walking back to the car, and I stopped because a small animal was coming toward me. It took a minute, but I realized it was a fox. Evidently, it eats at the restuarant in the evening. Yes, it's wild, and I let it be the one to get close to me--which was too close for Eric who felt obligated to remind me that it was a wild animal and my camera wouldn't protect me.

The next day we drove to Cripple Creek and decided to drive to Canon City--down a dirt road, winding through a canyon, steep drop offs, gorgeous!

This last photo is of the hail storm we hit in Eastern Colorado. Yes, it's hail. There was so much hail that they called out the snow plows! It was horrible. No beauty here. It was pitch black and the hail pelted us relentlessly. There had to have been a tornado near by.

Well, I'm off for birthday cake. Eric is making it for me!

I'm 40!

Okay, I awoke to a new decade. I'm officially 40 years old! I'm excited, too. I pulled in last night from my trip to Colorado, where Eric and I went for our first vacation together to celebrate my upcoming birthday... more photos are coming later today or tomorrow.

If my dad were in town, he'd ask, "So, do you feel any different?" Today, no, but over the last few months a distinct change has occurred. I'm more at ease, I'm less obsessed with work, and I'm enjoying down time. Don't get me wrong, I still love my job and still want to do my best, but some magical change happened. I think I've spent the last 10 years trying desperately to get to this point. I finished my master's, achieved national board certification, took two years as an instructional coach, which was a huge career move and major professional development, and I've made a name for myself in my school district. All of that took so much energy. This in tandem with the energy I devoted to healing the wounds of my childhood, really took away my creative spark. What I was creating or doing was all centered around work-related materials or "assigned" projects to help heal those old wounds. That's not to say that some great stuff wasn't created, but, I'm ready to focus more on me and "home" and really allowing the spiritual self to shine through. I totally believe in things occurring for a reason, and now as I begin checking the "40" box on all sorts of documents, I know that I'm right where I'm suppose to be. The ego is sleeping better, the appreciation for life, love and family is strong, and I'm confident and almost comfortable in my own skin. I'm still adjusting to the the changes my body has undertaken in the last 10 years! Good lord, I wish I had my 20's body back!

I'm off to buy some alcohol paints and try to do a new project....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Just Let it Roll

My new plan is to draw each night before I go to bed. When I began therapeutic journaling a few years ago, my counselor told me to find a time when my subconscious was aware and ready to speak and I was quiet and ready to listen. Night time was the best fit. What I find when I journal or draw at this time of the day is that things just happen. It's that whole process for the sake of process--the art of listening to your subconscious, the internal voice--which I view as God and allowing it take shape, speak to the conscious level and help guide me in the right direction. When I first started drawing this, I just had a face, and slowly she began to transform. A mistake here and there led to a new direction. She was not planned as a praying bride, but there she is, and isn't that fitting for my Changes journal? I mean one of the changes I'm undergoing is being a newly engaged.

Interestingly, as she began to develop, I saw, rather than an uptight, nervous, crying bride, a woman who was at peace in her wedding garb, praying for more than just a perfect wedding. As I've come to realize over the years, this quiet time for me to listen to the internal voice (it can be the eternal voice, too) is an opportunity for me to come to terms with the way things are or should be.

As with all of the women I draw, I love her. I can feel her--especially as a small portion of my own subconscious coming to terms with all the changes. Seeing her in juxtaposition to the "silent" woman I drew the night before is interesting and indicative of the complexity of my subconscious.

I'm off to Colorado for a week to celebrate my birthday. I'm so excited, and hope I can get a bit of drawing in while I'm gone...if not, the photos will have to suffice until I get home and process a week's worth of learning, living and loving.