Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Working Through

I went to my massage therapist tonight. Betty Jo had referred me to her, a few years ago. She was the one who had told me that Betty Jo had died. We spent a few minutes (well, more like half an hour) before my massage talking about her. It was good to talk to someone who had known her also, because, since she was my therapist, I didn't really have any other connections to Betty Jo. It was good to hear about her memorial, to hear all the wonderful things said and to hear more about who Betty Jo was in her whole life. I wish I could have been there... coincidentally, I took the picture of the moon and the cross (a couple entries previous) on the day of her memorial. It will always make me think of her, now. I got it enlarged. We'll frame it.

I cried while we were talking. I couldn't stop myself - it was the kind of pain and crying where you are trying desperately to hold it together so you don't break down in front of this other person, but you can't help it, so you just remain frozen, face in hands, tears streaming, until you can pull it together. I think my grief at being separated from her in the therapeutic sense had been on hold, and now it's doubled with the added grief of her death. It's good. It's very, very good for me to feel this deeply, however painful.

Then it was one of those massages where I had to just keep a kleenex in my hand because of all the emotions coming out. It was a messy affair, to say the least. But I feel much better now. My massage therapist was also going through her own feelings about it, so I admire how well she held it together and was there for me. I appreciated it.

I'll try to honor Betty Jo by taking her advice, and becoming my whole, true self, as best I can. She was so special and helped me so much, and I think now that she's gone, somehow I can take her spirit in deeper and continue with my own work.

For now, though, the waves of grief keep coming in painful, pinching blows. I just want her to know that she got through to me.

One other thing. I had left my business card at my massage therapist's office, a few months ago. Lori (my massage therapist) told me that Betty Jo still came to get massages fairly often, up until last August at least. She saw my card, and exclaimed, "Oh, how lovely --", so Lori explained that it was me, her former patient, and told her that I was growing my own business and making jewelry and doing so many creative things. Lori said that Betty Jo was very happy to hear that I was doing these things. Somehow, hearing this felt like a circle finally coming around to a close. I had been longing to share with Betty Jo all the things I was doing, but I had no way to reach her. But she did know. The circle came to a close with my little business card -- the connection that I had been hoping for had already been made. I'm so grateful and happy for that.


Speaking of honoring my true self, I’ve been getting more signs from the universe that my true life is to be an artist… in all and any sense of the word. One is a quote (which I can’t find again, shoot) about an artist saying that although he was drawn to drawing and painting, what he was most drawn to was the LIFE of an artist. Most of all, he wanted to escape the monotony of life.

I can relate to that. When I think of my fantasy life, there are a few essential elements: a very cute older cottage/house with a large yard and garden, an art studio, and a flexible schedule. These elements pretty much remain constant no matter what, and have for years. Life changes, but that’s what I want. A house, a yard, an art studio, and my own time (to work, to create art, to raise a family, whatever). I want to live my life in my own way. My own way would probably be a very quiet way, but it would be my own.

Then I also read this article, about doing guerilla art. I love this idea. A couple of these ideas really sparked my interest. One is to wrap a small gift in really beautiful paper and leave it in a public space with a big tag: “To The Person Who Finds This”. With instructions to open. Just something small and delightful. Should I hide and watch? Take a photo? Let it be a mystery? I don’t know. But I love this idea.

I also like the idea of leaving a journal out, with an entry, plus an invitation to leave their own entry. And so on.

Or leaving a love letter to a stranger on a BART seat or something.

I like the idea of leavebehinds. Small treasures, good words, spreading love in surprising ways. Wouldn’t you feel great if you found a pretty gift addressed to you (as the person who found it)? I suppose there’s always the worry that it’s a bomb. But I think I’d open it. Wouldn’t you?

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