It's time, once again, for my friend's Summer Stock Summer project, and I'm certainly looking forward to it - I began participating very soon after starting this blog, and just about every picture I took for the past two Summers have been of my kid swimming, my kid playing in water, my kid and his friends playing in water, and...my kid. Did I mention that the only thing I
take digital images of anymore is my kid? Remember how I studied Photography in college? Using real cameras, film and equipment? Remember all those hours in the darkroom breathing chemicals? Well, I do! And seeing as how I now live right up the street from some community darkrooms (thank goodness), it looks like I'll be making an attempt to brush some of the rust off of those hard-earned skills. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be plenty of camera-phone shots of the boy in and around water - because hey, it's almost Summer, and he's a great subject - but I miss having the time and making the effort to just...shoot. Going out into the world with no other intention besides finding a shot. It's been a long time.
Things have been admittedly crazy around here, but it seems that most of the stupidness has passed. I doubt it's gone entirely, but there is much less nonsense staring me in the face every day as there was just a week or two ago. The Supreme Court of Orange County has wisely decided to dismiss/transfer my former mother's case to Family Court, where both the child and I can get legal assistance, so while it's not over, at least the playing field has been leveled, and things don't look so desperate every day (not to mention that I no longer have to spend hours each day on the phone/doing legal research while trying to build a case myself, a task to which I am poorly suited). This is a great relief to me.
I am also in the process of moving, yet again, which is a relief, even in its stressfulness. It turns out that the temperature frequently soars above 90 degrees in my son's (illegal) room, and that even though the landlord here advertised for a non-smoking tenant, every other person who lives in this building smokes, and as a result, MY apartment often smells like an ashtray. Pleasant. Let me just take this moment to pat myself on the back for being 8 months smoke-free, and how proud I am of myself for managing to navigate some of the hardest emotional times in my life without my old frenemy, Tobacco. The longest I've ever gone without smoking was 9 months, so I'm waiting for the 1-year mark to really celebrate, but I feel positive that this time, I've licked it for good! I also feel positive that this move will be to a place we can stay at for a few years - at least until the boy is out of elementary school, and to think that I can live somewhere for 4 years or more is hopefully becoming a reality I never thought I'd see. I still want to run away and live with my Rainbow Family every other day, but having a stable home may well facilitate more free time to spend with the freaks in the woods as monetary demands allow (damn you, Societal Expectations!). Although, come to think of it, I do live in Woodstock now, and my hippie quota may well be fulfilled by just walking around town this Summer...but no, it's really about living outside the bounds of what Society says is acceptable, and forming the kinds of community that respect and nurture all of it's members equally, but I should learn to do my best to promote that kind of togetherness in the town I choose to live in, as well.
I feel much freer to concentrate on the aspects of my life that have been troubling me, or demanding my attention of late, such as learning to be even healthier, making more of an effort to model an active lifestyle to my child, and taking steps to help others within my community. I'm working with two individuals who are living with disabilities and/or illness, and it's SOO much more fulfilling than working as a lackey to a Big Boss with the main goal of separating people from their money! I've spent way too many years in sales, and while it can be fulfilling to help an artist make their paper, it's also sad to see the majority of that money end up in the pocket of an agent who wouldn't know a creative process if it came wrapped in $100 bills. Having someone say 'thank you' because the work I'm doing is helping to make their lives more manageable is much more fulfilling than any $15,000 sale ever was! Even working at the orchard, where the goods I peddled were locally grown fruits and veggies, the bottom line was always the Evil Dollar - and while I learned a lot and loved most of our customers, there wasn't much opportunity for growth within the business. While I don't yet know how far I can go with my current work, I do know it feels good to be doing it, and for now, that's enough.
I feel as if removing the toxic situations from my life has had an incredibly positive effect on my health, and I plan to pay careful attention to that, no matter how hard it may be to admit when a situation or a friendship has run its course. Don't think it didn't break my heart to finally admit to myself that my blood relations were never going to love me for Me, and to let that connection go, but in the long run, it's the right thing to do, to be able to be fully who I am. So many of my friends have helped to nurture me over the years, that all my Sisters in Arms out there in the Universe have manifested as the Mom-I-always-wanted-but-never-had, so while I have felt the loss of the One Who Carried Me, I have been held up by the strong bonds of common understanding, and managed to stay strong because of the web of love woven by those who see what I've got going on, and love and respect me for it. And thanks to the boys, as well, though I've needed you less, and mostly just for sex, and picking up heavy things... : )
So, I've had a few really bad weeks in row, and now a good one to temper the sorrow, and it feels like things are starting to even out a bit for me. I am remembering to feel gratitude for all the gifts I have been given, and to expect the best for the future. Summer is almost upon us, and I'm looking forward to the long, lazy evenings and weekends spent at the swimming hole - I found the local swimming hole, oh joy of joys! I think I lived in and around Plainfield for 2 or 3 years before someone took me to Paradise, and then another year before I was able to find it on my own... I've found myself so angry and resentful of those whom I've perceived to have 'more' - the house, the husband, the nice things, the loving family - and I'm feeling now like what I have is just enough for me: a roof over our heads, a small circle of tight friends, everything we need and a few things we wanted regardless of need, and my sweet darling angel of a boy. What could be better? Right now, in this moment, everything is perfect in my world, and I offer thanks for it being so.