Category Archives: Musings

Putting your sexy glasses on…and so reality changes…

N.B. this post does contain rambling. A nice word for it is “processing.” But really, I’m rambling. Hopefully your sexy mind and gorgeous heart will get something from my ramblings though. 

Do you ever get upset? I do. Maybe worse, sometimes I don’t notice I’m upset, but I act on the feeling anyway.

Today I got upset with one of the kids I help raise. He has what can be deemed as “behavioral issues.” We all use self-defense when we feel powerless. If you’re around abuse and/or have it pointed out to you that you have a flaw as a kid you tend to try to defend yourself. I grew shy when I was growing up; I blocked people from seeing my emotions and hid away. My kid got angry instead. As soon as he feels powerless he gets angry and he feels powerless a lot.

He sometimes feels powerless when learning new things as he has a problem memorizing shapes. As a result he’s been told he’s stupid. When trying to do something he thinks is hard he gets upset as he thinks his difficulties are proof of his stupidity. He also gets angry when he feels he no longer has a choice or is emotionally vulnerable. As soon as I tell him to do something he doesn’t agree with, he feels powerless and gets angry. It’s situations that a “normal” kid wouldn’t get angry about, just like a “normal” kid wouldn’t hide from people like I did as a child. Like my boy, I had wounds as a child and when they were touched, I flinched in pain. A “normal” kid wasn’t wounded, so they didn’t react as they felt no pain.

When I’m at Little Angels these kind of behavioral patterns in children don’t disturb me, because I don’t have a close connection to the children. I see it as my job to bring a kid to their heart. At home…home is my sanctuary. Home is a place I want to call a “happy place.” You think you’re having a perfectly nice time and then suddenly there’s someone who wants to destroy anything in sight for a really small thing that, for a kid who isn’t wounded, wouldn’t lead to a tantrum. It makes me angry, because I want to have a nice time. And using reasoning, why destroy a perfectly happy moment with a huge tantrum? It doesn’t make sense on that level, so it frustrates me.

I also have an emotional connection to my kid – he calls me mommy, I call him my kid. When he gets angry, I get hurt. I also hurt for him because I know the remorse that follows the anger and how much he hates himself afterwards. It’s painful to watch.

My anger and hurt doesn’t help my kid – it only feeds back to what he believes about himself. To break the cycle, I have to respond differently. When he gets ignored when angry, or I’m still happy, he doesn’t get what he wants from me. He doesn’t get to think he’s bad, rejected, stupid, unloved, etc. He likes himself better. When he likes himself, he doesn’t get angry as easily because his wound is more healed. He can do something difficult without getting upset as he doesn’t see it as proof of stupidity.

My emotional reactions are my own. I’m old enough to see beyond behavior.

Changing your reactions and stop punishing, screaming, etc. have nothing to do with accepting the behavior – my kid know I don’t, just like your friend, husband, or parent will know you don’t. The thing is, we’ve been told since children that one should react emotionally in a certain way. We’ve also conditioned ourselves through our own life experiences, like my kid has.

For me, as I said – I grew shy as a kid. For those around me that was easier to deal with than anger, but it’s simply another symptom of a broken ego. And my broken ego has followed me in life. The whole “mom dying, not a good step-mom and bullies” (all a big “I’ve been rejected”) shaped me. If I show I care I often dress it up in sarcasm, or humor, because I want to defend myself just in case I get rejected. If I raise someone up, I’m ready to show I don’t care, just in case.

Those things aren’t things I do in an aware fashion. It’s like when I’m out walking – instinctively instead of walking up to greet someone, I sometimes hide, because the bullies didn’t say hi if you greeted them, but if you didn’t greet them they yelled after you asking you why you didn’t. Either way you lost, so it was better not to be seen I thought. Really, the best thing would have been to acknowledge their behavior didn’t matter. I was still a lovable person.

For years I’ve worked to change my patterns, but some are so hidden you don’t realize. You think you’re teasing someone, when in fact you’re doing it just instead of complimenting them. “I really love your heart, though you’re a total goof :p” Sounds cute enough, but you see what I just did? I raised someone up and yet made sure they didn’t get any “power” over me in the same sentence. And I don’t think about it. I think I’m playing, only to realize that there’s a protection mechanism woven into my language patterns. I mean, seriously?!

The thing I’ve realized is, when I’m confident in myself, I don’t need to play little games to ensure people don’t have power over me, because they don’t. When I feel good in myself I don’t have to be hard to get, intellectually superior, sarcastic, or whatever the heck else my mind decides to do (half of the time I have no idea I’m doing it). Imagine dating me – there’s a huge “fuck you, I’m fine without you” written on my forehead. It will appeal to guys who love a chase, but the moment I open up to them (once I’ve gotten over feeling like a claustrophobic person stuck in an elevator) they will run for their lives. And so my pattern continues, because I’ve now convinced myself that opening up is the wrong strategy.

If you’re an open person, you attract open people. They don’t freak when you open up, because you were always open. I’ve never been open to men, unless the situation has been such that I knew I wouldn’t get close to the person anyway.

When I say I’m not open, I don’t mean I don’t share my thoughts. I do. I even share my feelings, but I share them without attaching any emotion to them. In drama school we called it “cloning” – you describe an event that emotionally wrecked your life, but you tell it as if it was a walk in the park. You can say “I love you” to someone without any love behind your words too. Or, my favorite: you can crack a joke while you’re saying it, or add a sarcastic comment afterwards. My security back up line.

Now this isn’t just about language, it’s about reactions in general. About a year and a half ago I had a run in with my dad about something. When he said something to me, I got really upset. I mean crying all the way to Cape Town from Copenhagen upset. I didn’t show him that at the airport though. I figured if I said something I’d lose it. Instead I sat down in the plane and started crying, because I had PMS. Normally I don’t cry, but that time I couldn’t stop.

A few days later I called my dad. I called him to say he really could’t say things like that, but I did it sharing from my heart, not getting angry. I didn’t want to call him. I wanted to ignore it. Withdraw more to punish him. Not let him anywhere near my emotions, because he fucking hurt me. That’s my survival tactic, but I realized then, as I do now, that it’s not a tactic that serves me. I love my dad. He has ways that sometimes hurt me, but I am old enough to take responsibility for acknowledging he doesn’t mean to. The man loves me. I need to take responsibility for my reactions just as much as he has to take responsibility for his words and actions toward me. He’s worked hard, I’m trying to do the same.

Justifying anger, hurt, pain, aloofness, sadness, it’s all very well, but it usually doesn’t serve us. Acknowledging our reactions, feeling into them instead of suppressing them, serves us, but then we have to let go and look beyond. My kid isn’t trying to hurt me, just like my dad wasn’t trying to hurt me. And my friend walking down the street isn’t going to treat me like the bullies did, nor is the guy I date going to turn on me if I’m open from the start.

Emotions that are born in our ego, as opposed to our heart, can wreck havoc in our lives. Don’t let them. Put on your glasses and see beyond them.

On that note I’m going out to buy new glasses…

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Image Source: https://za.pinterest.com/pin/507780926722190442/

 

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Filed under emotions, Inspiration, Musings, Uncategorized, Writing

A gathering of artists…

Does it ever strike you, when looking at a painting, what it must have been like painting it? And does it ever strike you how a painting can connect many different lives in a roundabout manner?

I have been reading some books by Ella Carey lately. Can’t say the books are fabulous, but they have elements of Paris and la belle épouque in them and I have a hard time resisting those. At any rate, one of them is about someone finding Marthe de Florian’s (famous courtesan during late 1800s/early 1900s) apartment intact from the 1940’s, but furnished like an apartment from the late 1800s. In other words, it was like finding a remnant of la belle époque well and alive. That part is based on a true story – this apartment was found intact in 2010. In it was a painting by Boldini of Marthe de Florian, which was sold for over 2 million euros.

During my time in drama school I acted various characters from various different centuries. I also directed pieces set in different centuries. On top of it we studied art history and some of the pieces we did were centered around paintings. For example, one acting exercise was to create a character around a person in a portrait – dress up as the person in the portrait, hold their pose and think their thoughts in the moment. We also had to do that as a directing exercise; directing someone else to do it. Another was to direct a so called picture play – making a painting come alive.

For my actor’s portrait I did something by Kahlo first, but then I must have switched to a portrait by Boldini. I can’t remember much, but I remember the way I held the dress and the green fabric. Reading these books the name Boldini struck me as familiar and eventually I figured out this was why. It made me ponder how an artist affects people in so many different ways and also bring people together through their love of the artist’s works.

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When I was nineteen I watched Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge and got so inspired by the film and its bohemian revolution that I promptly swore to do something worthwhile with my gap year and decided that by December 10 or something like it, I was to leave the country, so if I had to go alone. I ended up backpacking in the midst of winter, which also included a visit to Paris over Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, after going to the Swedish church, the train I was on in the metro passed by La Pigalle and as I’d heard it was like London’s SoHo, which I liked, and that it was where the Moulin Rouge was, I got off. And ended up at an Irish pub where someone asked if I was looking for a job. I said yes and consequently set out to find one. That’s how I ended up living in Paris.

In drama school in London I did the aforementioned piece with Boldini, I acted in a picture play surrounding a Degas painting, I acted in Maupassant’s stories and so forth, so I had an excuse to study Paris in the late 1800s/early 1900s. I found this book, Belle Epoque: Paris in the Nineties by Raymond Rudorff and I believe it might have spent more time with me than in the library. I became fascinated by that era. 

Once upon a time a man named Boldini painted a portrait that would one day feature in an acting exercise I did. His paintings have played parts in many other people’s lives, just as many others have probably been affected by the Moulin Rouge, in one way or another. I’m sure though, that when it was built no one knew that one day a filmmaker would revive it in a film, that would set some blue eyed Swede traveling across Europe in search of a bohemian revolution.

I’m also fairly sure that when Trotsky kissed Kahlo he didn’t think that one day some art and history students would sit pondering what he thought when he did it. Or maybe it’s just me that think about that. And how lives are intertwined in the most intriguing ways.

I didn’t quite grasp that I wasn’t the only one obsessed with la belle époque until I saw Midnight in Paris. For every glass of absinthe Lautrec drank there must be some artist depicting his life, or the life of the Moulin Rouge, in another work of art.

I guess we all want to experience the different ages of history, just as we’d like to invite our favorite people throughout history to a dinner, or an intimate conversation. To find out who they really were. A dinner with Da Vinci – fancy that! And maybe one could bring back the Medicis to try have them convince people artists are needed – paid artists.

Maybe it is as Allen tries to say in Midnight in Paris though, maybe we’re all just dreaming when life is right here. And maybe, just maybe, we should try to live it. Besides, le Louvre is still there. We can still get glimpses of what was, strolling around looking at all the paintings. Even Da Vinci’s notebooks are still around. And in a sense we are the result of what was then. We are what people wanted then, because that’s what they created. Maybe they made a few mistakes in their creations, but life has evolved.

I’d like to go back to the salons…from the French Revolution and onward, I’d like to see the rebirth of art in the renaissance and I wouldn’t mind experiencing a bit of the bohemian revolution in the Moulin Rouge, but truth be told, those ideas would be old now. Some of those ideas need to be reborn, perhaps, but in the way of this century. Maybe in the way of my business? After all, there’s definitively a touch of la belle époque and the Moulin Rouge in there…

So you know, whilst others give deep answers to the books and films that changed their lives, I just do the can can…

My rather lose interpretations of Degas. I feel Boldini is going to hit my sketch pad next. I can only draw things I see and his paintings are old enough not to warrant copyright infringement I think… 

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Filed under Art, Artistry, Artists, La Belle Époque, Musings, Uncategorized

Clock, tik tok…

The clock was like a grand old lady – timeless, yet on time. Tik tok, tik tok. Steady, but frail, knowing it was living in a world so different from what it was born into. Knowing it was time. Little time. Left.

It was a foreigner in its own home. The times had changed. And it had measured it all. Tik tok, tik tok.

At first it had taken pleasure in the changes – in seeing children grow up and find love. In being there as times changed. But then, it had moved beyond its time.

Tik tok, tik tok.

It was time, but it did not want to go. Did not want to leave, because it did not know where it was going.

It had seen so much, explored the colors and textures of the world, and it wanted to do it all again. There had been hard times too. Wars. But it had come through and found the world beautiful once more. Births and laughter instead of deaths and sorrow. Happiness always returned, albeit in different forms. You lost one thing and found another.

It had all been different times though. The times it had belonged to. Now, time was slipping. Turning into a future the clock could not grasp, because it did not belong there. Time was up.

And as sleep would come a new adventure would start. And time, time would keep moving.

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The monsoon of life…

 

The monsoon is pouring down

The man in the moon

Is hidden behind humid clouds of grey

I feel dizzy in the mist

Reality’s shrewd games

Are not real at all

You walk off in your high heels

So confident of your stride

Only to realize you didn’t know it all

You look at the night sky for answers

Only to realize you don’t know where you are

Lost in a galaxy of beautiful stars

And chocolate cake with whipped cream

Lost in desires and fearful thoughts

Lost in longings and false perceptions

You look at people and they look at you

Then they walk off painting a different picture

Of your life’s tale

Your victories turn into measly little ego trips

Your failures are jeered upon; your lessons are forgotten

Then as you walk a lonely road

You bump into destiny on the corner

Asking what the madness is all about

And he just smiles at you

Telling you it’s what you make it out to be

So you have a date with destiny

You make out in the blurred lines of reality

Before you move on

And bump into Love

Which makes you forget your dizzy reveries

You don’t care if it’s real or not

You don’t care about the slander or the sneering tongues

You don’t care about disease and war

All you see is the beauty

Of the glimmering stars

Hidden in the monsoon of life

And that’s reality

By: Maria Montgomery

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Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/507780926716051546/

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