Monday, August 24, 2015

Word of the Week - 77

Art by Kristen Vestgard.
 Word of the Week - AMNESIA

The words of the week could also be tempus fugit for the way in which time escapes from me or I wander off and fail to note its passing.  An article found this week, "18 Ways Women Are Disconnected From Themselves," brought the specifics of #18 in startling focus.

"18) Limiting joy.
Too many of us are not making time for the thing that most lights us up. Why does joy get put last?  Because we are so disconnected with ourselves we don’t realize the value, the importance and the sacredness of ourselves and how necessary joy truly is to our well-being."

Photo by Lindsay Adler, from here.  (Scroll down at the link for the floral rugs, if you like that sort of thing.)
My best guess about this specific form of my amnesia is that it is habit-based, not something acute and current.  It does have an aspect of putting more trivial things first, leaving no time or energy for what truly feeds the heart and spirit.   When considered, it feels punishing.  Visually, it comes with a stern, parental scowl and a no-dessert-til-you-eat-those-lima-beans admonition.  All unspoken, of course.

What I don't do, or do too seldom or too little is, among other things, sing.  Draw.  Practice the ukulele.  Write letters or at least notes using my dandy budget fountain pen.  Create decorative envelopes to mail.  If I understood this better, I could explain it, it would not be such a mystery.  Because I do feel joy on a continuing basis, interspersed, of course, with flickering shadows cast by the past or the future, it doesn't seem like depression.  What do I know?

I know I am not alone.  This appears to be one of the ways our gender has been conditioned to behave.  To consider, to honor, "the sacredness of ourselves" in ways great and small seems so easily postponed, deferred.  I do not have a smart phone or tablet, yet can easily spend far too much time on my computer, on Facebook, on tracking down an artist or looking at pictures of pretty things.  Even if I were 25 and not 70, time would be finite.  Frittering it away, general farting about with the unimportant IS a dishonoring waste all resources.

Perhaps we women can help each other escape these behaviors.  You are welcome to ask me if I drew or sang today, or yesterday.  Ask if I wrote to my aunt or cousin or any of my poet friends, the work of the hand and not the keyboard.  I may try to dodge your questions if I am still practicing amnesia rather than art.  I will ask you the same.  How much genuine joy have you allowed yourself today?  It is not about money or any material thing.  It is only about love.
Art by Ron Mueck.  (You want to spend your time doing WHAT?)


Kass said...

The activity that has brought me the most joy is singing, and you're right, I've had amnesia about that fact. Thanks for the reminder. I enjoy everything else I do, but I keep putting this joy-packed event on the back burner. Habits can be self deprecating.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Upon examination, it feels like punishment. The why of it still eludes me somewhat. The word that has come to the rescue is "forgiveness." I know that awareness is progress, I have drawn and painted the past two days. I sand in the kitchen yesterday. Progress. I hope you are singing with passion and joy. xo

Elizabeth said...

Oh dear, yes. And that final photo is absolutely chilling.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elizabeth - Is it any wonder we lose our bearings, great looming creatures bellowing about insufficiencies? Or just thinking it. xo