Time… how it ticks and talks

sketch of a woman with her hand on her forehead
Audio recording of blog post content

How the perception of time changes during our lives… Right now, I feel as if I’m in a race against the ticking of the body-break-down, death clock. Which is actually two clocks. In two different time zones. Hopefully. 

I mean, my brain is likely in some stage of composting as well, but since I’ve never had a fully operable mind, I don’t notice the rusty, frozen gears as much. 

Competing in the body-break-down/death race is an admirable aspiration. But what if you are too tired to even fill out the entry forms? What do you do when your battery is so low you can’t figure out if the form is an editable pdf or something you have to download, print, fill out, and then get your frickin’ printer to scan to your computer, and turn it back into a pdf so you can attach it to an email and send it in? Who has the flippin’ energy for that? 

Part of the problem is that every time I blink, something I figured out about writing, publishing, maintaining a website, or using my computer and my phone changes. Do the techno and publishing rulers of the universe not realize I don’t have the time or energy to keep refiguring this shit out! Just stop it! You aren’t even making things better! You’re just messing with people! Sadists, every one of them.

Okay, I think my Calm-Down-Maery Tea just kicked in. But still, it bugs me! I don’t get the time back that I just spent on my computer trying to figure out something I didn’t want to do in the first place. There aren’t unlimited years of tomorrows.

There never was…

Let me tell you about my art hopes, aspirations, and nightmares. I finished up my art journal project of drawing dogs and self portraits and experimenting with adding watercolor to them in the third week of March. This was the last of the two dog/human portraits I did.

2 watercolor sketches: a dog and a woman

Now I’ve kicked off my nature journal project. Which quickly transformed into a daily life journal because wildlife is downright uncooperative. Not only do they not stay still while I draw them, they appear to be in the period of staking out their territory and building nests. I don’t know this for sure, but that is my guess since they aren’t coming so frequently to the bird feeder. Maybe they have more food resources right now and don’t need my handouts. 

My goals went from keeping a nature journal, filled with birds, squirrels, and such, to simply working on my skill of drawing from life rather than photos. Latte and the chickens are my wild animal subjects. They still force me to draw quickly, but I’m sometimes also able to capture details. 

Drawing the ducks, squirrels and birds I’ve seen produces something similar to what I drew in elementary school. I’m not even doing the gesture drawings correctly. It should look something like this:

sketches by Charles Tunnicliffe from "A Sketchbook of Birds"
drawn by Charles Tunnicliffe, from A Sketchbook of Birds (I love his work)

Not this:

While I’m trying to figure out life drawing, I’m also working on convincing myself that this is not only an appropriate and worthwhile way to spend my remaining time on this earth, but is essential to having the best time of my life. Because things like this are what I put off all those years I was working. Why would I not follow my curiosity now? Because of the belief that it’s too late? Maybe it’s too late to become an artist, but it’s not too late to put down lines and colors on a page. It’s not too late to keep learning and growing and planting seeds along the way.

I subscribe to Roz Stendahl’s Patreon, where she recently wrote about going through art journals and noting what you’ve done that doesn’t feel authentic to you. Roz noted that when you find this kind of off-course excursion, it isn’t something to regret but to recognize and move on from as part of the journey. This is wise not just for art, but for all those regrets someone like me, and maybe you, carries.

Roz stated, “Be grateful when you discover the not-you in your journal; it allows you to refocus on what you really want to do.”

I love that idea. I love even more the mention of not-you. It reminds me of a short story I wrote and am very fond of called “Notme.” If only publishers liked it as much as I do…

Okay, Latte is giving me the stink eye, which means I should get my shoes on and take her for a walk. Weather has been flip-flopping around like a beached mermaid. All winter, our temperatures were warmer than normal, and then spring came and boom! The temperatures turned lower than normal and it snowed. But whatever the weather, I’m trying to get outside as part of my mental health program. Who am I kidding? I just really can’t take the Latte stink eye. 

Happy Spring to you!

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  1. HI Maery Rose, I’ve been following closely for over 10yrs, I always look forward to your creative writting. My view and perspective of the world has changed so drastically in the last decade all I see now are endless opportunities.

    With each passing decade, new things are learned and new perspectives gained. I say to myself this year I am not getting old. Rather I am stepping into the adventure that I was trying to find in my 30’s but am only able to fully appreciate now.

    Here’s to my 30

    1. Hi Richard. What a great outlook to have on the passing of years! I do love the learning aspect of this time of life. I have more time to dive deeply into topics that interest me. And the appreciation I now have for the smallest of things compared to when I was younger! It’s like stepping out into the bright sun. It truly is an adventure.

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