Positively Zen

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Tai Chi Thursdays are totally where it’s at.

Today, I did my first Integral Tai Chi routine since maybe February 2016. It was slightly more difficult than I remembered since I’m so out of shape, but it was just as much fun and rewarding. I had to use the videos I used in the past because I got a little rusty and didn’t quite remember all the movements and the mantras, but eventually, it came back to me and the workout flowed as naturally as it had in the past. A couple more times and I’ll be able to do it with ambient music instead of videos, meditating with Sheila Chandra’s “Sacred Stones” in the background, and all will be right in the universe again.

The final segment of the workout, as always, is meditation. There are several stages of this segment, one of which is the stage of appreciation where you have to think about two good things that happened to you in the last 24 hours or the past week. So I thought about my daughter finally being healthy, no more fever, no more suppositories, no more sleepless nights, and I smiled a huge and honest smile. Then I also thought about yesterday. I had the day off work and used the time to bake a broccoli quiche. Both my husband and my daughter loved the holy hell out of it, and my huge smile became even bigger. Thank the Mother Goddess. Blessed Be Her Name.

As I came out of the meditative state, I made a decision to try my best to reduce the amount of negativity in my life. I want to stop lamenting the weather. Instead of thinking about how much winter sucks, I should focus on the warmth I feel when I’m at home with my loving husband, my amazing daughter and my beautiful dog. Instead of thinking about politics and getting all pissed off, I should focus on the peace of mind that I always have when I surround myself with my art and music. Instead of worrying about my health, I should focus on my Tai Chi routine and look forward to next Thursday so that I can indulge in yet another workout and recharge my state of positivity.

Always focus on the positive. A grateful heart is a happy heart. Namaste.

Peace, love and invocating the dragon.

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As I Was

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Yesterday, I made a few lists in my journal to see how my habits and hobbies have changed from my pre-maternity to my post-partum time. I wanted to see if I would be able to reclaim some semblance of my pre-pregnancy life.

Things I regularly did before pregnancy and motherhood include:
– Zines
– Tai Chi
– Baking/cooking
– Reading books
– Writing letters
– Power walks
– Playing guitar

Things I do now:
– Laundry
– Raising my kid
– Sleep

Despite that enormous shift, I have managed to engage in some of my earlier activities. I made a zine and am working on another one, I baked cookies, I read two books and am ordering a few more, and I wrote some letters. This is not bad at all considering parenting is a full-time occupation. And yes, I did most of these while neglecting laundry and sleep.

Now, I am not stupid. I know that all these activities will never take a front row seat in my life ever again. I’m under no illusions about that. My life right now is all about my daughter and everything I do is for her, and I love and cherish every minute of my life as a mother. So these other activities that define me in every other aspect of my life will not be regular activities as they have been before.

But since they are important as part of my self-care, I will still try to find/make time to do them. I think it’s also important for my daughter to see her mother engaging in self-care and doing things that she likes. I want to lead by example and teach her that she too should take care of herself and do things that she enjoys and that are important to her, whatever it may be. If she grows up to love art just like her mother, that’s great! I will be thrilled to make art with her. If she grows up to love playing basketball like her father, that’s amazing! I’ll sign her up for lessons or encourage her to play with her father in the backyard or the park.

I think it’s especially important with activities that promote good health, such as Tai Chi and power walks. I want my daughter to lead a healthy active lifestyle and make exercise a regular part of her weekly routine.

SO! The next item on my list of things to reclaim is my Tai Chi exercises. I seriously need to get my ass back in shape, dammit. Not to mention my back, my legs, my arms, my neck, my abs… I feel completely wrecked. Integral Tai Chi should do the trick. I am attempting to make it a weekly thing as it was once before. But instead of Friday mornings (during which I am too busy with my daughter) I will set it on Thursday mornings.

Fuck sleep. Sleep is for the weak. The Dragon will devour any shred of my drowsiness and The Phoenix will team up with The Tiger to make me own the day and fuck shit up.

Peace, love and Corpse is for the Living

chakras

 

Zinesteritis

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Zinesteritis. Definitely a virus worth spreading!

I planned to have an art night or whatever crafty event with a couple of friends on Tu Bishvat. The friends invited are all mothers (all but one) and living on opposite sides of the country, so finding a time and place for the art event, plus an arrangement for the kids that would work for everyone was tricky, which is why only one friend showed up.

However, it didn’t take away from the awesomeness of the time I had and only served to encourage both me and my friend to try and set a future date where more people would show up. That’s for later. But for now, I was just happy to be creating again.

After spending a rather frustrating night where I couldn’t fall asleep because of my on-and-off problems with insomnia for one thing, and my daughter’s inability to sleep due to intense teething for another, I was sure that this morning’s art endeavor would go down the drain and I would simply fall asleep on my pile of papers and art supplies.

But no. Quite the opposite. I had such a blast, I totally forgot my sleepiness. And in the spirit of zinestering the winter blues away, I even forgot it was winter and just how much I hate it. Not only did I manage to produce several collages for my upcoming silent issue of PMS Perzine, but I also taught my friend how to make a mini zine! It was her first time making a zine and I gave her my copy of Overthrow the Status Quo zine by my friend (which I already wrote about here) for inspiration and to show her that anybody can make a zine. ANYBODY! And she did, and it came out even more amazing than I expected. For a newbie zinester, she wrote one biching zine! She packed so much power into such a small zine, I was totally blown away that this was actually her first shot at zine-production.

Not to mention that she also felt rather proud of herself and proved to herself that yes, she too can make a zine. I totally know what that feels like. I remember the pride I felt when I first held my first zine in my hands. There is no other feeling like it.

“Not only can we make human beings, we can also make zines,” she stated in a coincidental rhyme.

So yes, indeed an awesome, productive and satisfying morning. I can’t wait for the next time I get to engage in badass zinestering, and hopefully have some more people to share it with.

Next up for my silent issue, hand drawings. I’ll try to use color crayons this time.

Peace, love and yes, laundry basket, overthrown.

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Corpse

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I’ve been a winter hater, like, forever. But never like this. This winter is getting on my last nerve and if I don’t get sunshine any time soon, I’m gonna fucking scream.

This past weekend, I was in Be’er Sheva.

And it simply. did not. stop. raining.

You know these people who love rain because it’s awesome to be indoors, in bed, under a big fat winter blanket, with a blasting heater, drinking tea or some shit. The problem with this so-called pleasure that these amoeba-brained winter-lovers seem to forget is that they are not bears and they don’t hibernate. They will not spend their entire winter in bed, under big fat winter blankets being all warm and cozy. Eventually, they will have to get their ass up, get out of their warm winter covers and into heavy winter gear – coat, tuque, gloves, scarf, boots, the works – and out into the wet, coldass, winter wind and frost and suffer every miserable minute of this crappy weather. Your warm cozy ass is nothing more than an illusion. Get your ass out there and face the everyday reality of the chicken leg you keep in your freezer.

After going through a whole weekend of nothing but rain, I got back home, doubled and tripled my layers, blasted every heater known to man and resumed detachment from this frosty reality under my enormous winter blanket.

This morning, when I woke up, I wanted to murder my blanket because it only served to remind me that I am indeed not a bear.

When is it gonna be summer already??? I want the sweltering scorching heat. I want to dress my daughter in shorts and a tank top. Fuck all these layers already! I wanna sleep in my underwear and wake up in a pool of my own sweat. Fuck these ice-cold fingers! I’ve so had it!!!

I honestly do not understand you people who love winter. You might as well love swimming in a pool of diarrhea. It’s all the same to me. The love of winter simply sabotages my common sense.

Peace, love, cold and stiff.

Decompose It!

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Diary 1The other day I suddenly got inspired to resume journal writing. I’ve been keeping diaries all my life (see this post) but as it is with zine-production, it’s kind of hard to find time to write when you’re a full-time mom. I tried keeping a pregnancy journal, and I have, but all the entries were actually saved as unpublished posts on this blog. At that time, I didn’t really feel like writing by hand. I don’t know why.

But anyway, the diary I’m writing in now is one that my friend from Salem bought for me when I was there for the Boston Zine Fest. It’s a rather large one, with the front and back covers decorated with black-and-white drawings of guitars, microphones, amps, keyboards, and drums. On the front cover, it says “Decomposition Book – 100% post-consumer-waste recycled pages – Printed with Soy Ink”. Whether any of that is true or not is irrelevant. But I LOVE the “decomposition” part. Really jives with the death metalhead within.

I added the title “Fertile Myrtle” with the H logo when I tried to keep it as a pregnancyDiary 2 journal. Some of the first entries were in fact written when I was going through the IVF treatments and when I found out I was pregnant. Then a few entries when I tried to get back to journal writing again and failed. Again.

So the other day, when I got inspired, I wrote yet another entry about trying to get back to keeping a diary, and I really hope it’ll work this time. Keeping with the inspiration, I added a few stickers that I received from zinesters and penpals I traded with. Cool stickers and decorations really do encourage me to keep writing. So far, I only wrote two entries and they’re short. But I had a great time writing them.

I should really practice my handwriting. I’ve been typing shit for too long, and all of it was on the computer. I mean, if I were typing on my manual typewriter (which requires quite a bit of finger strength and may cause broken nails, bruises, and blisters) I wouldn’t be so hard on myself for not doing much writing by hand. But as it stands, the only time I write by hand is when I write letters to penpals (awesome) and notes for clients (meh).

It might be because of my condition that I get kinda lazy and opt for blogging. But fuck it. I’m done making excuses. Myotonic Dystrophy be damned. I love writing by hand. Diaries and letter-writing shall prevail!

Peace, love and wouldn’t it be so cool if my typewriter could accommodate diaries?

Bound to Books

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OK bitchKinges. I finally decided that if I can’t manage to write anything, I might as well let the pros do the writing and I’ll be doing some reading of said pros.

My wonderful husband tagged me on a link to a post listing 18 new book releases this upcoming year that “Stephen King fans will love”. I just went through the entire list and read the synopsis of each one trying to see if any of them will tickle my fancy.

So other than The Outsider, by the King himself, coming May 22, I picked the following:

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Clarity by Keith Thomas
The Hollow Tree by James Brogdan
Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry
The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly

Now, I don’t know ANY of these authors. And anybody who knows me also knows that I have quite a bit of trouble reading books by any author other than Stephen King (or Richard Bachman, who is also Stephen King). I have trouble because King is not only my favorite, but also the only author I absolutely LOVE. Stephen King to me is more like Stephen God. Any time I try to read a book by anybody else, I always find myself comparing it to King Almighty, and seeing as the Holy Dude is second to none, my current read comes up short, I find it sucks ass, and I do not enjoy it at all as a result.

But I decided to try and get over my obsession (read: worship) and read other books by other authors. Maybe I’ll find one that I will love as much as King (or close enough is more plausible) and have a greater variety of books to read (if the five dozen King books I read is not enough).

As for the genre, I am only interested in horror/thriller/suspense/mystery novels. If my inability to fall asleep persists, I want to have a good enough reason for it, and it won’t work if the novel I read is romance or fantasy, i.e. BORING SHIT!

So the short list above looks like a good place to begin my search.

I just realised that this sounds a bit like my initial obsession with Arch Enemy and my unwillingness to listen to any other metal band… if I managed to increase my musical repertoire, it might be possible to do with books too!

Peace, love and oh my King!

In My Heart of Arts

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61574_430831122470_2287989_nMy mind tends to wander quite a bit when I have my morning tea. If it wanders far enough, it also makes me lose track of time and I end up being late for work. This morning was one of those long and wide mind-wanderings.

Back when I lived with roommates and had no living beings depending on me for survival, we used to have art nights. I just realized I didn’t write much about these affairs in my past blogs, but damn, these were some fucking awesome nights.

We came up with the idea when my roommates and I took a road trip up north and visited the Dada museum in Ein Hod. There was a section of it dedicated solely to what they called “Garbage Art”. Basically, art made with recycled things and discarded objects left in the trash. Random shit that anybody can make. Like a discarded toilet bowl with a boot stuck on the rim.

So we were like, “Hey, we can make that too!”

And so, every once in a while, we invited over some friends, laid out all our art supplies and made whatever we felt like. If it was drawing, painting, writing, poetry, playing guitar, jewelry making, zine making, fimo molding, knitting, crocheting, absolutely anything goes.

Sometimes, we also tried to set art nights with a theme. We had an art night on Purim once, where we painted masks and noisemakers, some people showed up with costumes, we served Hamantashen and a bunch of sweets. It was so rad! We also had an art night on Lag Baomer and made Smores on our stove top. An art night on Tu Bishvat (the tree-hugging holiday) with a special lecture by one of my friends about all-natural body products. Of course, an art night involving a small zine workshop led by me for anybody who was interested in zine production.

I loved how most of the art nights that we had were attended only by women. Sure, we had some men coming every now and then. I even invited my husband (who was still my boyfriend back then) once, who refused at first because he felt he had no artistic talent.

“You play guitar,” I replied. “That’s an art. Come and play guitar for us!” So he did.

But most of the time, we were all women. There is something special in being in the company of a bunch of women, making art, talking about art, living breathing art, even if just for a few hours. There is no tension, no competition, no animosity, no need to justify or prove oneself for one reason or another. As we saw it, we were all equal, and we were all friends.

These were the thoughts that were going through my mind as herbal tea was rushing through my system in the morning. I started longing for these art nights which do not happen anymore because the roommate clan has disbanded. We each went our separate ways, mostly to the married life and subsequent motherhood. Of course, I regret nothing. I love being a wife and mother. But I certainly wish that “artist” was still included in the list of things that define me.

Peace, love and maybe I could have an art night with my kid and her friends when she grows up.