Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanksgiving, thanksgetting, giving thanks part 1

               
    Part 1
I will write as long as I can with my one working arm and the other not working as well.  When it gets cranky it likes to ache and go numb.  I trust that you will pardon me for stopping when I must, and allow me to finish that which I have written out by hand, to be transferred to this post.  If you do not like sequential postings, please stop reading now and wait until I do the last one, which I will label as such. 

....Sadly that was as far as I got with part one.  Pathetic actually.  So now, several weeks later, let me try again.  This material and these thought may seem outdated, but I have hope that good ideas do not lose their meaning with time.

Here is the original piece, written around the time of the Thanksgiving holiday and the few days following. 

THANKSGIVING AND GIVING THANKS

A few days ago I did not feel much like giving thanks.  I had several unpleasantries nudging themselves into my life.  I admit most of them were worse for those who were the primary bearers of the woe, yet being secondary can be rotten as well.  Several people for whom I bear great and deep affection were ill and/or dying.  My husband was ill, with a lesser illness, but a greater crabbiness.  I too was ill, with stupid symptoms including the inability to use my left hand, and possibly a more severe case of crabb-ature than my husbands.  The amount of whine I was contributing to the home was stunning and would have taken my breath away, had I had any. 

I had turned the age page to 60 in March and suddenly I felt it.  My dreaded and undiagnosed "sleeping sickness" had come back.  The result of this was the awful shrinking down of my days to a few short hours.  No matter what time I tucked my little self into bed, I could not rouse myself before noon, 2:30, 5:30!!!  Because my sleep apnea mega-machine was thought to be the cause of my left arm problem, I was not to use it for a while.  Hence the sleeing.

So, this holiday named "Thanksgiving" felt like it had nothing to do with me.


Read on please, before you judge me to be a totally self-centered, whiny, loathsome creature. 
We don't like to admit it, but at some time or another, most of us have had, or will have some such time.  People will tell you things like , "God only gives us the burden we can bear", and you will want to slug them in the face. 
  In this culture there is a strong bias against the expression of grief or sadness.  We tend to call it "moping" or "whining".
      Culturally it is simply not considered correct to refuse participation in this particular holiday/celebration, much less to express any negativity regarding any aspect of this and those that come in the following months.
                             .....end of part one.  Duty calls me to another task.  I hope to finish this later this evening.
love and peace to all beings. sopha

Monday, November 9, 2009

beans and something, i forgot

Ok, sorry, I did it again.. ratherthan preview, i POSTED THE darn thing.My arm is so painful at themoment, I CAN do no more... not even correct my mistakes.  Here's proof of just how handsome the child is... susanne/sopha d


Grief, beans, love and other things erotic


THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE THINGS EROTIC...
..It  being my son and all. He is lucky in that he is one of the most photogenic people I have ever come across.  The unlucky side of that is that, of course, his crazy, artsy-fartsy mother insists on taking odd pictures of him with string on his face. 
Young master Bryce is a budding musician ---- pity us the parental units---. He has talent, which I feel is somewhat buried under a rap style, but his wway with words can be astonishing.  Like me, he suffers from ADD and we do not like it when things do not come out perfectly the first time, but he is learning. Let me see if I can put a link in here....apparently not without checking. We also attempted to sign him up as a subscriber, and he showed up last night, but somethng with the subscriber function appears to not be working as well as itshould.  (I admit it could be me!) Replies can be sent to me at my private email.  Currently the best bet is susannewichert@comcast.net

Friday, November 6, 2009

To ADD or not to ADD



Among all the other things that I have been attempting to do/complete, are some dolls. I saw them the other day, sitting together in their bowl, just waiting for me to bring them to life.  It was one of those interesting things to look at, so I took a picture.  (take a picture, you can stare longer!!)
Last night, in a rush of some sort of misplaced ambition, I wrote a very lengthy post, which I then managed to delete rather that post.  Takes real talent to do that.  Let's see if I can recall any of my brilliant thinking.  I do not drink, so that had nothing to do with it, I promise you.
Attention Deficit Disorder
I doubt that there are few people in this country who have not at least heard of this disorder.  Doubtless there are as many manifestations of it, as there are folks who have it.  I happen to  be one of them.  (Oh look, a chicken!) *with credit to the wonderful folks who came up with my favorite T-shirt!
I have worked in a private practice as a psychotherapist for almost twenty years now, and, probably due to the other fifteen or twenty years I spent working with children as an early childhood educator, have become somewhat adept at knowing how best to work with children who have neuropsychological problems.  That is to say, not just the children, but also with adults who have spent a lifetime without knowing why things are so hard or have been given an incorrect diagnosis.  When I work with children, clearly I also work , or at least attempt to, with all others involved in the child's life.
The rules of confidentiality and ethics keep me from chatting about this in any sort of explicit or gossipy way, but not only can I discuss myself and my parenting experiences, there is an awful lot of general knowledge worth a bit of dialogue.
Having ADD and not being diagnosed until the age of forty (two decades ago, yikes!!!) gives me an interesting bit of insight into the relationship between this and other such disorders and, what else----creativity.
I don't think I have ever been without a few too many thoughts in my head and so, as always, I have lists of things that are worth chatting about.  Here is just one afternoon's partial list:
1/.synesthesia/creativity, and being different.  How do they all work together?
f2. a quote I read by (I think I have the name right): Sunday Hendrickson "If we're treading on thin ice, then we might as well dance." My stupid notes are nor worth a darn... this was a car note, I can tell--apparently the author is Jesse Winchester, musician.
3, Collecting: magazineclippings, stuff that might someday be "media" and so on.

None of this can be done by myself, well I suppose  I could, but it does get boring, so I ask that those of you who do read this on occasion, subscribe, give me feedback and encourage o thers to at least take a look.  Please.


In any case, the more, the better... I am horrible at recalling the correct url, but I think it is still http://sophad.blogspot.com/  Or the sophadavenport is all the way spelled out... You can see I need help.  Blessings, health long life and love to all. s.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cancer



This is a very old picture of me.  I find it one of the few that I like, because one really cannot see much and so I find I have little to criticize about how I look or don't look.  Ah, vanity.

This was taken at a time when I still enjoyed hanging out in bed.  I was able to enjoy it, because it was not imposed upon me.  Nor was it something that I was finding to be an all too common imposition for others that I knew and for whom I cared.
Now, on those few days when I do feel like I can get up easily, I can actually enjoy some time laying there and reading. 

But I wanted to write, not about my difficulties, or the many numerous afflictions that we as humans are prone to host.  I wanted to speccifically about cancer.  There are few people I have ever encountered who have not had some close relationship to it.  In my case, it has afflicted several members of my immediate family. 
Both my mother and my brother suffered from it.  Perhaps it would be better said that they suffered from the cure, but they lived. 
My mother's breast cancer made itself known in the early sixties and the treatment at that time was brutal. She was a most remarkable woman and made every attempt to hide the pain and difficulty that she had following a radical mastectomy and radiation treatments.  I recall her talking to me in the last months that she was alive, decades later, waiting to die from congestive heart failure, about how the exercises to keep from losing the use of her arm after all the muscle tissue had been removed, was the hardest and most painful thing in her life.  (My mother's life had been extremely painful and so it came as a surprise to me.) 
My brother's cancer has not made any reappearance in a very long time and we seem to have forgotten about it most of the time.  Because I respect him and feel it is his story to tell, I don't wish to write about it here without speaking with him first, but I am so grateful that he is alive and the proud Papa of two beautiful boys. 

I have felt somewhat useless lately for reasons of my own, but in that down time have been hatching a project that I think might be helpful.  I have much more to iron out as regards that, but I do urge all of you to do what you can to help make this world a healthier, safer and more peaceful place.  Let all beings live without suffering.  susanne/sopha d.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sometimes it pours...sometimes nothing.

Having just posted yesterday, it seems a bit much to post again today. Despite the reality of my task list, which would have had me work without so much as a bathroom break today, one of my tasks did lead me to a pleasant diversion.  I was not going to follow it but the siren call was simply too great.



The life of ADD has become more difficult as I have grown older.  I have less energy, therefore less time to complete tasks and far, far, less resistance to distraction. It can, at times feel like a very lonely journey as we hide out failings and our insecurities (part and parcel of the whole thing). 
I do make attempts to cherish where even these formerly unwanted things take me these days.  Today, the actual task was to get the rocks, stones and pebbles that I had found and washed yesterday off the kitchen counter.  (Just for the sake of clarity allow me to say that they were originally found on various beaches throughout the last twenty or so years with various of my children. )

They were nice and clean and dry and I could have just tossed them all into some container, but that would be rather unlike me.  Instead, I took a pleasant half hour, swiftly defenestrated GUILT, where it landed in the bushes, unhurt but persuaded to stay away for a while. Oh what wonderful rock and stones!!! There are little, teeny tiny ones and then somewhat larger ones. Every single one of them has a story to tell.  There is a slew of smaller green ones, which I think may have come from the Oregon Coast, but I am not sure. So many shades of green!!!!  And, so much in each and every single stone that it forces me to recall friends and acquaintances.  Just as with the stones, they tease me with the surface indications of their stories, but to learn more, will require sitting time. 

Right now, it is time to put on my sleep breathing machine.  I hope tonight I get the straps right and avoid the headache I gave myself last night.  Things are only progressing slowly, but I will try to have faith.  It was funny the night I scared the ###### out of my husband!!

More another time.  Love, peace and happiness to all living beings.  s.

mental health and tthe possibility of hope

So much time has gone by since last I posted here, and even more since last I found myself happily deadheading the flowerpots on my deck or disciplining the unruly bushes in the front of the house.
I stopped writing for a while for reasons with which I may choose to bore you later. But for now, I am only just emerging from a time of loss and sorrow, not to mention fear. Cancer that nasty word and demon of a disease is hurting and trying to kill three of my friends. One of them will be dead before the next spring. She is kind enough to talk about this honestly and only when she wants to and I am learning something, I am just not entirely sure exactly what it is just yet.

I decided to make several choices. I would say commitments, but that work implies my having a partner who might benefit in these projects. Choice is a better work and frees me from the idea of meeting or failing to meet expextations.

For a long time, I kept things out of this blog. For one thing, I was fairly sure that I was somehow simply writing to myself. While this is an exercise that can be useful to anyone, I hope to be able to write well enough and spanning enough subjects, in breadth and depth, to be of some use or entertainment to others.

I was planning to divide the writing up into several areas. For a long time, I have always kept my life as a psychotherapist private, in the interests of confidentiality, but in writing for the Polishing Stone, found that my own experiences and knowledge do not have to impinge on the confidentiality of any of my patients. Therefore, I would like to begin to write about that experience and would appreciate comments in return. This is not meant as a forum for giving clinical advice, but mental health (what an odd way to describe being happy) has much in it to chat about.

I also feel that as I struggle to retire from one kind of life and enter and try to build a full time life as an artist, I would like to write and interchange ideas with folks around these issues.

Third, I long ago began to write something called "101 Stories about my Mother". She was a most remarkable woman, who is mirrored in the women I find around me now. Truly, there are many stories.

Last, but not least, there are always my unsolicited ramblings....

I am writing this late on a Sunday night, having written drafts and getting nowhere all week, and finally choosing just to let this go out, with not so much as spell check.

Bless you all and please, come back and let me know you are here by subscribing. susanne/sopha

Thursday, August 13, 2009

the disappearing act

I just wanted anyone who cared to know that I am still alive, have ad a bit of a bout with poor health and no energy but am looking forward to a renewed effort at working on this blog. There are three subjects that both interest me and in which I (not so humbly) attest to have a certain amount of knowledge. Typing without my computer glasses is not one of them. They are as follows:
1.family dynamics, child development from a social emotional point of view as well as non-punitive parenting skills. I call this "dirty parent tricks", at least when it comes to teens. He, he.
2. Artsy fartsy stuff. AS a woman who has never met a medium she did not like and manages to make anything she encounters medium, it can be an interesting, if cluttered life. I wonder what I can do with the goop the used to attack the electrodes into my hair last night during the sleep study. There is a lot of it left and it has a wonderful slimy consistency.
For me artsy fartsy stuff had settled on jewelry for a time, but I am now branching out into doll making, and wedding accessories as well as wearable wedding attire for us auttumn chickens.
3.that sort of leaves the whole rest of the world.
Any and all feed back is appreciated and I hope to be fearing up to sloth on steroids speed around winter. Love and peace to all. sopha davenport

Friday, May 22, 2009

two new pictures



Today, although rich with thoughts running around and bumbing into each other at some kind of steroid induced Brownian motion, so fast and so heavy I would not be surprised to see some sort of word sludge come out of my ears... eeeuuuugh!, I am somewhat impoverished when it comes to matters of time. I could also mention the absence of solitude as someone or another keeps knocking on my office door every thirty seconds causing me to sound more and more like a harpy and less like a loving mother.
So, what I am giving you is two pictures. One is a scan of a drawing/painting/thing? I did. I am attempting to move from my more representational images to painting stuff like rocks I like...and this is what came out of a photograph, memories of a beach and a sleepless night. The second is when I took the scan and started messing with it with Photoshop (no, I do not have a clue as to what I am doing, but I love the liquify tool! I am trying not to continuously use it on photographs of others, much as it cracks me up. ) If there is anybody out there, let me know, do you like one better than the other? I think the handmade one is better in hand. So it goes. Sopha D.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wacko Women...


I am lonely here at this blog as I suspect there is nobody to read it...truth to tell I am hardly that interesting. Sometimes I miss some of the groups I once belonged to, but they were either too large or too demanding of production or one thing or another. Oh wait, I am the lazy bum...that was it. I am thinking of starting onE possibly called WACKO WOMEN WHO DO A LITTLE OR A LITTLE, BUT ARE PROBABLY CREATIVE AND HAVE A WICKED SENSE OF HUMOR.
On the off chance that anybody is reading this and would like to think about it, let me know. You do not have to be a woman actually. I am very flexible about these things.
Oh, what does the Dalai's card say today?
Shoot, he is hiding in his box under drifts of paper, but he will not elude me... here, here your Holiness... I need you... Just a moment.... go get a snack or something while I track down the smell of incense.........

Found him!!! Here it is:

If you harbour ill will, it has a negative impact on yourself. You may lose your appetite and good sleep."

Peace and love to all you beings out there... sopha davenport.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

parenting mental unwellness



Today began with joy and celebration and has once again ended here, at a wall I cannot move. I have done this before and finally managed to turn around in another direction. This time, the wall is different, aren't they all? I am not finished yet, wishing to share the garden I imagine is inside. I am so very tired. What irony! I am a good therapist, but can do nothing for my own children. The following is a poem (good or bad- yo be the judge) I wrote when the first child went finally lost to us.


Is it really you
who stands east of here
having ridden the wind
and
been carried by my left hand?

Two golden and silver rings
celebrate those carried before.
Just two:
as eyes, as ears, as a pair.
For you, having chosen to ride
on only the smallest finger
straddling a weak knuckle
there is no ring pale enough.

&

The east remains to my left
I dare not turn full face into it
in the hope of moving it from that side


I might see
that you have sung
no songs
into the mountain crossing air
instead
stand back to here, facing a large and roaring ocean.

by susanne wichert.

I wonder, does anybody read this stuff? Doesn't matter really--tonight it helps to write it. Good health, peace and kindness to all, love sopha.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Stuff and the stuff of which memories are made

Someone gave me a lovely box sometime back which contains these swell cards, each of which has a quote on it written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In my strenuous efforts to clear up my home office, I once again came upon it and hope not to lose sight of it again.
Here is the card that was on top today:


Smile at others and keep the world smiling.

Interestingly, my husband is I think is one of those special human beings has his own way of acting this out: When someone says to him : "Have a good day.."; He will often reply with: "you first!" or "after you!". Most folks get it and manage to smile.







More later if I have time, after I clean up the mess I left from making a garden in a box. What is a garden in a box? Stay tuned and you can find out, but only after I find my camera and it has shown up at the door of its intended recipient. In the meantime, enjoy your gardens, whether in a box, a yard or in you head. Love to all, Sopha D.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Analog Woman


I have attempted severeral times now to post in this poor little blog, only to have the result of writng masterful essays which then get erased when I attempt to illustrate them with a picture. Well, actually, it isn't just placing the picture; it is putting WHERE I WANT IT!!!!!
This is the reason why you may have looked lately and seen posts that were nothing but titles. Oh well. Today, thinking that I could find the drafts somewhere, I was planning to put up the brilliant thinking (ha!) that I had put down. You, dear reader, are lucky for the gods of anti-drivel have erased my encapsulated thoughts from both my computer and my mind.

Looking at how easily I become frustrated with, for example, not being able to place a picture where I wish it to be, however, makes me stop to think how age is part of this and how my own personality is part of this.

Most people who know me, know that I have ADD (attention deficit disorder). I have made my own choices about how to handle this and am doing ok with it more or less. This year though, I began a project of simplifing my life (who didn't??) and going through my stuff and getting rid of that which I did not need. Given that in a fire of earthquake we would have to climb over what my children call "junk" and I refer to as "media", it seemed like a good idea.

Much pain comes about from this process, but I occasionally have an epiphany. (These are somewhat different than the one that my son had one morning when he had come up with a brilliant new idea. He was in mid-adolescence at the time...you figure out some of the things that might cause. He ran upstairs, wearing only the boxer shorts in which he sleeps, unbuttoned, threw his arms up over his head, chest out and yelled..."I have had an epiphany!" What could we say but, "we can see that you have, dear.")

Mine are rather more quiet and I tend to share them with nobody (I can learn from example after all) and then write them down somewhere in the form of a rule. The first one this year was as follows " It is not necessary to have someone who needs the stuff that you are trying to get rid of. You can just give it to the second hand places and quit trying to do the universe's work." Can you imagine what would happen if we all kept doing the work of the higher power, universe, God , You fill in with your preference. The goddess would get bored and could make all kinds of trouble, much worse that that which afflicts us now. Therefore, I am letting the goddess decide what to do with stuff after I let loose of it.

I had a second rule, I wrote that one on a post it too. Of course, I forgot it and have lost the post-it. Darn! Welcome to ADD land.

I will now leave you for the day, hope I don't mess this up and go back to cleaning up after having made a garden in a box for a friend. So much fun. My husban says I am wacko. But of course. Sopha Davenport

Monday, May 11, 2009

QUOTING ALBERT



.....Quoting Albert Einstein is easy. Quoting many people, wise and otherwise is easy as well. Living up to the quote that one finds compelling is an entirely different thing altogether.

Here is the quote I love allegedly from A.E.:
Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From Discord,
find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.

I found this lovely quote on the January page of a new 2009calendar. I thought it would be a good leitmotif for this year, as I had already decided to eliminate much clutter from my life in order to be able to exercise my own creativity better. For me, the exercise of my creative bits require a bunch of stuff and a lot of space. I was encouraged in this effort by my loving family who was experiencing the dreaded Suze project creep once again. There are entire cities that are no more having succumbed to the project creep -not all mine of course.. I you poke around those old ghost towns in the west carefully you will find the signs: half completed quilts, stuff with macaroni two thirds of the way glued to it, crocheted saddle covers..oh you know what I mean.






Saturday, April 25, 2009

the second time around,,,


The day started off just fine today and most of it was filled with joy as my husband and I impulsively decided to paint the living room (finally) after making some moves to re-arrange the furniture (also finally). The formerly while wall was not only far from it's previous fresh ivory color of at least seven years ago, but was aslo marked by spots where we/perhaps more I/ had painted or taped up various shades and hues of colors that I thought we could live with and that would let everyone know what good taste we had.There was one sort of dull plummy sort of color that had taken dominance as I was rather fond o f it, but my darling Spamcake kept insisting that it was too dark.
So off we go to the store to get paint and after not nearly as much sqabbling as usual found a color that we both liked. THe first stroke of it onto the wall revealed it to be---just about the same color I had been mixing with my little guaoche sets!!! Now we are done with the first coat, neither or us can move except to groan and tomorrrow we will have to complete the task with a second goat. This has been sitting in my draft box for a while and, no we did not do anything in the living room with goats. This brings the usefulness of spellcheck to mind...altlhough it would not have caught this one for sure.
It does, however, point out one of the weaknesses of how I choose to live my life. I too easily allow others to interrupt me, leaving the draft file full of halfwritten things and a blog unread.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

altered posts

This has been pretty much how things have been this week.... I wrote a clever post and it has now vanished into the ether due to my accidentally pushing a wrong button. I am entirely too tired to share my "wisdom" -- ha! tonight, so pretty pictures will have to suffice. I will try to write tomorrow. Promise. sopha d.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

A belated day of love and contentment to all

The idea of having a day in which we let those about whom we care is love (valentine's day). However, during many of my younger years, not only did I feel it was a "created" holiday for commercial interests, but it also felt like a day of exclusion. I was certainly without a honey most of the time.
So, how about if instead we make each and every day a day in which we let at least one person in our lives know how much and why we care for them and are happy to have them in our lives. Happy everyday to all of you three people who read this blog. love ya. sopha d.

Friday, February 6, 2009

reading time








I suppose I should make time to take the rest of the shiny things down from the few remaining walls. I find myself as engrossed with many things, in particular, reading. I was forced to abstain for a number of years and feel like I am now attempting to make up for lost time. I have already quoted from one book, The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins. Originally I bought this book for our waiting room, as it is the sort of book that one can simply browse through and put down at a moment's notice without feeling like one has missed the ending and/or (as we say in the therapy biz) "not come to closure". So far, it is still too interesting to take it to work. I will, on occasion share items as I find things that are interesting. At this point I have the distinct impression that many of the English phrase origins are either based in vulgarity or history -- men's history.





Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Fool's Full Plate

I took this picture as a bit of a joke, of course at a time when I should have been doing something else. Just as right now, I really should be doing something slightly more productive.
I will therefore make this short and find some more time later in the week. I am struggling my way out of the ADD pit, into which I have allowed myself to slide for the last year or so, resulting in my finally going out to buy office paper and finding it remarkable how beautiful the sun is today. I have been staying indoors and making myself crazy attempting to catch up and create order. I am now listening to and doing the very things that I suggest to my clients and am close to being out of the sucking quicksand.
I love to read all manner of weird books, and one of them on my current pile is The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins. I thought I would be orderly about this and go alphabetically and sure enough it did not take long before I found an interesting word I had never heard. The word is "arschgnoddle" (now, German being my first or second language, I should have known better than to press on, but I did. It said: "see fartleberry". I looked that up (In this very same book) and about lost my breakfast. Gross! It is too gross for me to even use it as a curse word. But the day is still lovely. sopha

Sunday, February 1, 2009

aaargh!

sorry, will write more, but right now, a nasty headache has me in its grip.... I must turn off this and any other screens. s.