Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Camera

I finally got my new camera today. It is a digital SLR and I think that I've got quite a learning curve ahead of me. Just took a few photos inside the house. I can already tell the difference. Just seeing the quality of the photos is getting me excited to run out and take some great nature photos. I will post a few when I get a chance. It has taken me most of the afternoon and evening to figure out how put on the lens and what all those menus are for. One nice thing is that I will now be able to take black and white photographs. I can also take close up pictures. Something that just never worked on my point and shoot.

I watched the movie P.S. I Love you last weekend and now I have been inspired to read the book. I'm looking forward to it My other book choice is the Genesee Diary by Henri Nouwen. A wonderful book for anyone who wants to explore their inner selves and find out the joys of living a simple quiet existence. He really spends a lot of time learning how he reacts to being in solitude and how that relates to his relationship to God and the relationships to people that are a part of his life. I wonder if I would be able to transform myself and explore all my good and bad points like he does. I mean, I could spend 7 months in a monastery, but what would it be like to do that. That is the beauty of this book. You get to try on the monastic life for 200 pages.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chuck Close Inspired Me

I went to drawing class tonight. We watched a film about artist Chuck Close. He had such interesting things to about his life and the difficulties he overcame as a child and then later after he was partially paralyzed from a blood clot at the age of 48. One thing he said was that the last 14 years of his life have been the happiest. Those are the years he has paralyzed. His notion is that learning to overcome difficulties and surviving through them make you a more interesting person. I was feeling pretty bad about myself this week. I met someone who doesn't know me really well, but still found things about me that he thought need to be fixed. You know, which is fine, but all I felt was about 2 inches tall. Seeing that film reminded me of all the wonderful things about me that I like. I am not just my problems and faults. I do want to fix things about myself, but that doesn't mean that I am all wrong. Anyways, I recommend the film Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress. It was not the kind of art that I like at all, but watching him describe his art opened my eyes to the beauty of his work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yesterday evening was a wonder of pink touched skies, that turned lava red. And I thought to myself, how wonderful it would be to always have pink skies. Everything looks better under pink light. That is why they sell pink light bulbs. So that we can we can always see things through rose colored glasses. There is, apparently, something amazing about the light in California. I've never noticed it. Maybe it's just because I live here. You can't see differently the things that you see everyday. I went to Venice, Italy just to see the light. I just remember how beautiful everything looked. How I wished that I could have stayed longer. Surely miraculous things would have happened. It's time to visit the beach. To see this wondrous light that is so special to California. Time to fill my camera with visions of crashing waves and warm sand. I wish I had known that the light here was special. I don't know how I missed it. I've included a picture of cloud and moon on a specially lit morning. You have to be outside at the right time to catch it. I remember, as a child, waking every morning and looking for that special light. I only saw it a couple of times. It is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. I hope to share that feeling with you some day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Coping methods

I wasn't diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder until I was 30. This meant that I had 30 whole years to develop all sorts of horrible coping methods to get through life. No ever really taught me how to be assertive, how to deal with my emotions constructively. This has gotten me into all sort of bad and embarrassing situations. Even now, I find it difficult to act in the 'appropriate' manner. Of course I am human, so I figure that most people act inappropriately every once and a while. I seem to have made an art of form of it. Some times all I can do is just laugh at myself and try to do better the next time. I don't think that most realize how hard people with Bipolar work to fit in with everybody else. I know that I spend and enormous amount of energy controlling my emotions. This has caused some of my family to describe me as 'being tough as nails'. I suppose that is an accurate description. I try so hard not to do the wrong thing, that I come of as gruff and uncaring. Which, if you really knew me, you would know how much I really do care about people. I just don't always have the energy to show it. So try to give people with Bipolar disorder more grace than you would 'regular' people. We just need a little extra time to express ourselves in positive manner.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's flu shot season

I got my annual flu shot on Tuesday. For some strange reason, unknown to me, I get hypomanic for at least 2 weeks afterwards. The only thing I have to watch for is cute guys. I tend to develop unusual crushes during these two weeks. I think it's kind of funny, actually. Of course, I have to get my flu shot, otherwise I will be sick all winter. I guess it's a trade off. The lesser of two evils. Not that I have any potential crush guys on the horizon, but I'm glad I know that this is how I will be for a little while. I've not found any scientific evidence linking bipolar and flu shots. If I were a doctor or a researcher, I would probably explore this further. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy feeling awake and interesting in the world. Eventually this will wear off and I will feel flat again. I hate feeling flat because all the things that I love to do, no longer seem as interesting. Then life is just getting up, going to work, and coming home to try and get some sleep.

I don't know how often I will be able to update this blog, or if anyone will ever read it. It's nice to have a place to talk about the things that are going in my head, without everybody knowing who I am.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A busy weekend

I spent most of last night typing my poems in to a Word document. I don't know that they are very good, but my friend Natalie thinks they are fabulous, so that gives me hope. I'll admit that typing them in made me a little sad. I write more poetry when I am trying to work out sorrows that when I am happy. I still remember when and how I felt when I wrote most of them. I'm still learning how to transcend my sorrows and find happiness anyways. In typing them out, I realize how much work I still have to do to become a great or even good poet. I need more life experiences so I have a great variety of subjects. It will happen. I think I am going to call my poetry collection "Unfolding and Unleafing". I can't decide between Unleafing or Unleaving. Neither one appears to be a real word.

My fish are doing well. Mr. Rochester is terribly in love with Jane Eyre and they keep each other in happy company while I am away at work. I'm glad that there is a corner of love in my apartment.
I am contemplating buying a new camera. I have my eye on Canon Powershot G9 or G10. I am open to any other suggestions of good cameras.
I went to Ojai Day yesterday and purchased the most beautiful amber 'stone'. It made up for the lack of a vendor for Henna Tattoos. I will get my henna tattoo one of these days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One of my friends told that I often seem to enjoy my melancholy moods. Which I suppose is a little bit true. I know that I feel things very deeply. So deeply sometimes that people a surprised when these emotions manifest themselves. Not that there is anything wrong with my emotions, I just tend to take people a little unawares. It got thinking some lines from the play/movie Wit. In this play, Dr. Vivian Berring , a John Donne poetry professor is diagnosed with Cancer. The play centers on her, the cancer treatment, and her recollections of her rather lonely life. Towards the end, an intern and a nurse have this very interesting conversation.

(copied from the play by Margaret Edson, Copyright 1999)

Susie: She's not what I imagined. I thought somebody who studied poetry would be sort of dreamy, you know?

Jason: Oh, not the way she did it. It felt more like boot camp that English class. This guy John Donne was incredibly intense. Like your whole brain had to be in knots before you could get it.

Susie: He made it hard on purpose?

Jason: Well, it has to do with the subject. The Holy Sonnets we worked on most, they were mostly about Salvation Anxiety. That's a term I made up in one of my papers, but I think it fits pretty well. Salvation Anxiety. You're this brilliant guy, I mean brilliant - this guy makes Shakespeare sound like a Hallmark card. And you know you're a sinner. And there's this promise of salvation, the whole religious thing. But you just can't deal with it.

Susie: How come?

Jason: It just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. But you can't face life without it either. So you write these screwed-up sonnets. Everything is brilliantly convoluted. Really tricky stuff. Bouncing off the walls. Like a game, to make the puzzle so complicated.

Susie: But what happens in the end?

Jason: Eng of what?

Susie: To John Donne. Does he ever get it?

Jason: Get what?

Susie: His Salvation Anxiety. Does he ever understand?

Jason: Oh, no way. The puzzle takes over. You're not even trying to solve it anymore. Fascinating, really. Great training for lab research. Looking at things in increasing levels of complexity.

Susie: Until what?

Jason: What do you mean?

Susie: Where does it end? Don't you get to solve the puzzle

Jason: Nah. When it comes right down to it, research is just trying to quantify the complications of the puzzle.

Anyways, I figure that this is what I must be doing. I know that I am looking for something. What that is I still do not know. Some kernel of truth. The answer that will answer all the questions in the universe. Finding the one truth that is true for us all. However, I seem to have gotten caught up in the search for the answer and I'm not sure whether I want to know the answer anymore. I really doubt that there is one truth for everyone. I think that each person needs to find the one truth that is true for them. Everyone is different and that requires a multitude of truths. Sometimes I get so caught up in this search that I overwhelm myself with information and stop looking for a while. Ah, but I do enjoy the search. I wasn't created to be light and fluffy. Maybe this is all I am supposed to do. Keep try to find the answer. Whatever the question or the answer may be.