ARTS 1126 – Change Blog 8

11-8 to 11-14-2016

Litho is done, on to monotyping. This is better, less stress-inducing. I am ready to be done.

Fun, yes? Inspired by my years in womyn’s community, dancing naked to the moon.

They check up on my hormones, things are going well. I have a plan to avert (or at least delay) my impending financial disaster. Because next year I will have to take all 4 classes at UNM, I will need to move to reduce my expenses before fall.

But as C would redirect me, what is the best thing that happened today? My answer usually involves my massage clients. People are awesome, and bodies are amazing. The connections and sometimes magic are humbling.


The construction is more exciting every time I walk by. The big construction fence is down, trees and grass are in. The fountain doesn’t work yet. Sometimes personal change and construction are similar, where one step builds upon the previous one, or sometimes the progress isn’t so visible – it’s the creation of underground infrastructure, like a sprinkler system. Personally, some things go backward. At least apparently. Construction can have setbacks, too, like the building that burned recently at Central and Carlisle. But all of it is emergent, whether we building something new or let it become reclaimed by the wild.There is no stasis.


ARTS 1126 – Change Blog 7

11-1 to 11-7-2016

Lithography is hard. Since I don’t understand what the different steps do, I have a really hard time remembering them. I messed up the first etch on my plate. Lithography is a significant source of stress for me. I told my little grad student, because I feel crazy. I may not look crazy, but I am. She is sweet about it.

This is a photo of my litho plate before etching. I was disappointed enough with the etching that I didn’t photograph it or the prints. I get a good grade anyway, in part for enduring the anxiety and finishing on time, anyway. It is from a photograph I took in Paris at the Rodin Museum.


The courtyard is coming right along. The fountain is in progress, lamps are installed, some plants are in. They are preparing the grounds for trees and grass.

ARTS 1126 – Change Blog 6

10-25 to 10-31-2016

Halloween is coming!

After thinking that there is NO way I could pull off a costume with work and school, I remember that I have a box of 3-4 previous costumes. Perfect.

I have jumped through enough of the right hoops and my SNAP is approved. What a God-send!


Our Halloween party is a hoot. All walks of life. I won a venus flytrap for favorite costume. After a few flagons of mead, my helmet is a bit askew. Damn, I earned a little play time! When we got back to her house, C’s car was missing. Maybe her roommate moved it.

No, the roommate didn’t move it. It was stolen from her driveway. That night she called me to ask me for a ride right away. The police found her car and its thief in Rio Rancho. We go get it. It is none the worse for wear.


Construction is coming along nicely. As they prepare to plant trees and grass, they dig up the old piping and roots from trees no one has seen in years. It makes me wonder how much old stuff I have undet the surface that I could use to remove so that the new can come in.

They’re laying the cement now for the walkway. The future courtyard really starting to look like something.


ARTS 1126 – Change Blog 5

10-18 to 10-24-2016

It is hard to resist wet cement, so I didn’t. For either Annex construction, the deconstruction of the Farris Engineering Building, or ART construction, they removed and replaced a section of sidewalk along my path from my car to class. By the time there were no witnesses, the cement was still soft enough to etch with a car key.


While I am hanging out at C’s house on Wednesday, she tosses a towel around her shoulder and starts to rub purple dye in her hair. So I say, “What about me?” She gets me a towel and rubs purple coloring into my hair, too. We have a fun evening of giggling and playing with the dogs in bed. On Wednesday at work and school, I get a lot of compliments, which is fun. I think the kids in my classes categorize me as old, maybe. The color in my hair is fun, but it is so common on campus. Anyway. Come Friday, as I am leaving work, my boss calls me in and, while apologizing, writes me up for the purple in my hair. There is a rule about no blue or pink hair, but not purple. My coworker colors her hair all. the. time. Again, I am livid. It is a form of silencing. I protest by eating a fattening meal and posting something a little inappropriate on Facebook – video of a queefing contest. (Queefing on command and a potential future queef choir is fodder for another post, but not today.) I am seriously disappointed about the hair color. I felt happy about that.

Construction is moving more to include the east side of the courtyard.



Regarding public aid, I qualify for Medicaid and assistance with utilities. I am still waiting on SNAP approval. I discovered that I can take out an emergency loan at the Dean of Students office next month to cover December rent. Whew!

On Monday the 24th, my oldest child turns 32. I can’t even wrap my head around that!

ARTS 1126 – Change Blog 4

10-11 to 10-17-2016

So maybe I can do this. My first intaglio plate went fine. I still don’t like print making, but maybe it’s not a total train wreck.


Garden of the Muses

Friday after work I hurried up to the Hummingbird Camp in the Jemez. I get my tent up in time for dinner and the evening zicr. I am inspired. We sing simple songs to the Divine and dance kindergarten style around a group of fabulous musicians. Lots of hand-holding. Very sweet. I volunteer to chop veggies on Saturday, and the woman who runs the kitchen pushes my “silencing” button. I am beyond livid. Silently. After each session of singing and dancing, we walk around and hug as many people as we can. So this time I hug this older woman who I don’t know. She pulls back and says, “Relax and let me hold you.” I do, and start to cry. That was the beginning of the shift to joy. C and I connected again, too, starting our own massage-line puppy pile. Very sweet. There will be another retreat in May, just as UNM ends. It will be a week long, and I will attend the whole thing. I deserve it.

They have built the center piece, or at least the frame for it.


ARTS 1126 – Change Blog 3

10-4 to 10-10-2016

It’s a miracle! Is it the hormones? Is it the healing intimate? Chad? My irritability and anxiety are much much better. I feel like a human being! I also am inspired to play music for the first time in over 5 years. I dig my electric keyboard out of the closet.

I also realized that I have run out of time to finish my plaster sculpture. I had put it down last week after a major part broke off. Working it some more, another part broke off, and in the final hours before it was due on the 3rd, it split in half. Damn.

I realize that though I have some talent, I am not terribly talented. That’s ok. I see it in my young classmates all the time – they can run circles around me with their talent. What I have is depth that comes with years of life experience and exploration. I also have my unique way of seeing the world. That counts for a lot.

Construction continues. They start laying cement this week.img_1295

C invited me to a Sufi Retreat in a week and a half. Money is super tight, but it feels right. I can camp. I’ll have to miss the first day, but that’s ok. I am not Sufi. I went to a Sufi dance once, and I felt amazing after it. I can only imagine a whole weekend! I need to go. Is “self care” an excuse to spend money I don’t have, or a real honoring of my spirit’s needs? I think of it as the latter. I commit.


Being anxious about print making open studio, I wired myself up with headphones run through my clothing so I don’t tangle them in anything or cover them in ink. I play my new favorite song of Chad’s over and over and over. It works.


The first phase of cement is in. When I am up close, I ask the construction folks permission to take their pictures. So far, they are fine with it. I wonder how often I am noticed taking pictures of their work. I think I think too much.img_1321

Hormones are going well. I am flashing less often and better able to concentrate.





Oh, and this happened.


ARTS 1126 – Change Blog 2

9-27 to 10-03 2016

Our “Uncanny” project in photography class is due. I am pretty pleased with it. It is a version of the La Llorimg_1045ona story. The prints are 13″x19″. It is well received.

C is back from Angel Fire, and I feel like I don’t exist for her anymore. My head knows that she has her own internal programming she’s wrestling with, but it sucks anyway.

On Friday morning, I return to the doctor’s office, and she implants hormone releasing pellets under my skin and sends me home with a bunch of supplements. It is expensive (to me), but something has to give. Bandaged and cranky, I order two burritos for breakfast. I am famished and need grounding.

That night C texts me, inviting me to a concert at Tortuga Gallery. Some guy named Chad Wilkins. It feels awkward. We hadn’t talked in days. The music was amazing. It was so powerful and so fundamentally compassionate that sometimes I can hardly stand it. I nearly leave. I’m glad I stayed. As we leave, C invites me over to her house. The dogs are so happy to see me that they can hardly stay in their bodies. After a tense game of anagram scrabble, we fall back into cuddle mode. I stay over. We are a medicine for each other. Life feels better immediately.

There’s a lot of Bobcat activity at the construction site. The workers are laying the groundwork for pouring the cement. My printmaking class makes me ridiculously anxious. I often feel like a toddler melting down in the store out of pure exhaustion.

On Friday, I have been working my fall semester work schedule for two pay periods. School so disrupts my work days that I need to apply for any social welfare benefits I qualify for.

Seriously, I have no idea how I am going to do this.



ARTS 1126 – Change Blog 1

9-20 to 9-26-2016

In this Change series, I am posting weekly to track some kind of change in my life, outward appearances, identity. I am recording my journey over eight weeks. I thought of ways I could do this, like perhaps track the number of beers in my refrigerator and how it correlates to the number of assignments due in a given week. I dismissed that idea because I am spread way too thin and need to set myself up for success. What I do is take photos all the time, especially on my phone. I witness myself that way, and record the things that catch my eye or matter to me enough to take a picture. I have three classes at UNM along with this CNM class. I walk the same path from my parking place to the neighboring buildings that my classes occur in four days a week. At least twelve times a week I walk the same sidewalk. Along that sidewalk is the Art Annex on Copper. This fall, the courtyard is being built, and I am tracking that process. I am using the creation of a welcoming space from plain dirt to narrate my own growth.

Here is the Art Annex on Septembeimg_1016r 22, 2016. Fences are up. A few days earlier I went to my first TedxABQ talk and then drove C, my healing intimate, to Angel Fire to work at a Veterans’ retreat. I am still learning that dance of intimacy. As soon as I relax into it being cozy, she pulls back. In time she returns. It’s all a reflection of my inner programming. Dammit.


Another event during this week was I finally decided to see if I can improve my menopausal experience. Full time school alone is hard enough without hot flashes, memory loss, anxiety, irritability, and other lovely manifestations of my transition to crone-hood. I decided to explore bio-identical hormone replacement therapy 2016 style. I went to my consultation. Insurance covers the appointments and blood work, but not the treatment. Of course not. I have two massage clients in as many days who just started the same protocol. That feels affirming.

Maybe I should draw a picture of my final product self like this image of the future courtyard.

I miss C this week.



ARTS 1126 – I am For an Art, Reprise

I am for an art that chooses the weird crayons in the box – the old ones that the paper wrapper has either fallen off or is illegible.

I am for an art that obsesses about a memory, and the memory develops a life of its own, which may or may not still resemble the original experience. Art doesn’t care. Art does what it wants.

I am for an art that dares you to pull its finger. You hesitate. Art waits, finger extended.

I am for an art that loves you enough to sleep with you and your dogs, all arms and legs interlocking, forming a king bed-sized game of Tetris or a living jigsaw puzzle. No one can move. But art is happy.

I am for an art that watches YouTube late into the night. It gets to the weird part of YouTube. It needs to go to bed, but it must watch just one more video, one more. Just one more. This one’s short. Then it can’t sleep because it’s up at 3 am.

(YouTube can still be a problem…)


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