Sunday, November 28, 2010

Frustration, aggravation and loss

I realize that the above title is hardly one that promises cheery reading.  I will try to toss a bit of fun in here.  I seem to be having problems in getting this blog to do the things I want it to.  Same for my life at the  moment.  I have written two other entries here which are not showing up...and several emails lost in outer space.   This little entry is a test entry.  The picture is a place where I slept and felt love and loved previously and now am unable to make contact with that person.  For privacy's sake s/he shall remain nameless.  Sadly due to a misunderstanding about my absence from both life and the computer, I stand to lose this friendship.  This is a horrible thing to contemplate, as I have been through some hardships in the last two months, and I can only pray and hope that I will not remain banished from several hearts, including that one forever.
More intelligent and less personal stuff later,  sopha davenport

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Parenting children with mental health issues

Well, one thing one can do is to make somewhat flamboyant hats and wear them about town.....sure wish I knew what I did with this hat.  It had hours worth of punchneedle felting in it.  Oh well, so my for my keen memory.

On being the parent of a special needs child, while trying to straighten your own life out: chapter 4986, section m.


(Note:  despite my twenty or so years of clinical experience working with others and their children, this and any following pieces on this subject, are bases more or less on my personal experiences, and, as such, should be considered the writing of a crabby, retired, ex-quack with a bad back.)

parenting /  special needs / support system / support team / behavioral goals...and on and on and on. 

Words, words, words and more words.

When we most need words to provide us with some clarity, our failure to use them carefully confounds us all the more. The outcome is frequently the oppposite of what we need; misunderstanding, obfuscation and confusion. It has never been the intention of parents or professionals in the field to work toward this sort of outcome.  Having been on both sides of this particular fence, I feel that part of the difficulty stems from how each group (teachers, parents, therapist, psychs...) use the language of their training.  Professionals can be sadly unaware of the difference in meaning of a word.  Parents often feel that the problem is theirs.  Sometimes, they may not start out feeling that way, but are certainly given that message enough that they begin to doubt their own experiences. 
************************* sorry, I must pause here.  This is a much longer post, all hand written out and edited once or twice.  Eight is what it takes for me to write really well!   I am very tired tonight and it is time to sleep according to my body.  I will post the rest of this in a day or two. 

Responses and comments are always appreciated and I encourage you to disagree or agree or simply tell me you don't know what the heck I am talking about.  Go for it!!

I will soothe myself all the way to sleep, before putting on the breathing machine by working on a lovely red hat that is currently telling me how it wants to be.  MMmmmmm, it is a lovely felt thing that sits like a cloche on one side, then moves into a series of waves on the other side.  I can already see that I will have to restrain I overdeveloped nature to decorate the heck out of everything.  I guess sometimes simple is best.

Wishing you all the joy of a great week and may your living room be tidier than mine.  Peace, love and health... sopha d.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

advice from a retired psychotherapist

retirement (for me) means a return to simplicity


At least that was what I had always imagined.  I had also imagined that they would have to carry me out of the office on a gurney.  I loved my career, even after twenty years I had not grown bored with it and there is a great deal of sadness as I am forced to leave it due to health reasons.

I still consider myself a knowledgeableperson when it comes to matters of therapy, psychology, child development, couples and so on.  All I have done is let go of my license and malpractice insurance, as well as my rather cozy office.  This means that I cannot engage in therapeutic work with clients for monetary compensation.  (No, therapists have never been permitted to barter!!)

I love writing about some of the weird stuff that crosses my little ADD brain and I love writing about people and life and art.  In checking stats, something I have never done  before, I found out that the highest stats were  a time when I posted something with ADD in the title.  This makes me think that people have so many questions about therapy that they would like to ask, but often do not know where to go. 

In the last twenty years of practice, many of my patients were first timers and really had no idea about who did what, depending on the letters behind their name and or what they should ask.  How does therapy work anyway?  How does it work with kids?  When do I put my seemingly strange or unhappy child into a therapeutic relationship with someone?  How do I know that they know what they are doing?

I do not feel ethically correct in giving specific clinical advice, or diagnostic advice on the internet.  It is difficult enough to do it well with the person in front of you, but I am more than happy to answer questions and give a try at suggesting solutions for behavioral problems. 

I will see what happens.  If things on this blog stay the same, then I will leave it as is and you will get to see pictures of the things I make as I now, finally, after waiting most of my life, get to engage full time in my "shadow career".  The artist gets to come out into the light.  This week I have been working on some interesting hat beginnings.  I will take pictures and show them when they are closer to being finished.

If it seems that splitting the blog into two is better then I may do that.  I need to hear back from some folks, otherwise my lazy self will make the decision.    peace love health and an absence of soliciters at your door this week.  sopha davenport

Monday, September 20, 2010

Being able to do what you do not really want to do... is...

Power and independence, baby, power and independence!!!
Here , finally comes the simple conclusion to the convoluted verbal mess I made of trying to explain about plunging the toilet. 
We live in a temperamental house.  It chooses to have things work or not according to its whims du jour.  All the things in this house that are in any manner machine like (ie.having more than one piece) or technological (requiring some kind of electrical power), have taken on the attitude of this house. 

I have grown used to the size of my garage door mysteriously shrinking when I try to back my car out, particularly on a day when I am already a bit stressed.   I have also grown used to "teaser" power outages that only last long enough to require resetting the time on everything that blinks otherwise.  Sometimes I wait, but the house is clever and just when I have given up and taken care of all the blinking things, it will of course do it again.  There are days when I do not adppreciate these cute games.

One of the other games is to plug the toilet for no obvious reason.  Like any home, there are times when there is a reason, which, being the delicate creatures that we are, we will not discuss.  For a very long time, I had difficulty plunging the toilet and would, after several useless attempts, have to call my husband in to try to fix it.  Of course, it only took him two seconds.  He never minded either.  Independent woman that I have attempted to be during most of my life this was bugging the _______(you make the obvious joke here) out of me.

My dear beefcake did attempt to assist.  First he got me my very own plunger.  This was a teeny weeny baby plunger and I was initially offended until her explained that it would work better with the female upper body strength... ok, fell for it and tried.  Did that work?    of course not.

My husband is a gooooood man, so he found me a very weird looking purple, sort of pleated, massive plunging instrument. Now, this one had several things going for it.  First, it was purple, my favorite of colors and it was just so weird looking that I figured it had to work.  It is easy to impress the daughter of an engineer with weird looking stuff.  Did it work?

YES IT DID!!!! It did for rather a long time and I felt strong and independent, running out of the bathroom with my purple monster plunger proclaiming my success.  It isn't that I like messing around with toilets, but I would rather live with them and I want to live with them functioning well and be able to fix ist should they fail to. 

Two weeks ago, when I began this little rant, my purple monster failed me and I had to ask for help and watch as my darling took the tiny baby plunger and in his usual two seconds cleared things right up.   Do I divorce him?  Perhaps I could practice secretly, but with what?  

Maybe I should return to finding my independence in work of some kind.  Retirement makes one weird.  Therefore, I am working on a few hats again.   I will show them to you as I finish them. 
Peace, love and co-operative plumbing to all, sopha chesterfield davenport

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The rationale re: toilets and anything else..

You may recall that a while back I was attempting to get at the subject of plungers and the sense of personal independence.  I will admit in truth, that with so many things that my little wandering brain picks up at the side of the road, the beginning of my thinking did not indicate that to you at all. 

beginning or end

Here is where this whole little ball of wax (ooh, gross!) began. I am now a skosh over 60 and depending on what my apparently low end body is doing, can feel like I am 16 or 160.  (Nooooo, I do not have any desire what so ever to discuss any one of my stupid chronic ailments.  There, aren't you relieved...)

So, back to the story: Early one afternoon, preparing to leave preparing to leave for the closest thing as a hot date I have these days : a visit with my dentist, who is mostly interested in my molars, I spent some time dipping into my bowls and  baskets of mystery preparations. 

(note to my husband: just in case you might by chance read this...baby oh baby, you are my hottest of hot dates, still after thirty years, but I have a story to tell. )


As PT BArnum has been given credit for quoting, mistakenly, I think, "there's a sucker born every minute."  This I suppose is a partial explanation of why I would spend so much as one cent on creams and elixiers promising to make me look forty years younger and come out looking like Julia Roberts.  I have never in my life looked like anything even remotely resembling Julia Roberts.

Still I recall a time in my life (extending into this, when I am sane), when I can slap on a little blusher on my somewhat pale face, call it "instant health" and head out the door.  Now my  primary concern was to floss well enough so that my charming and utterly non-judgemental dentist would encounter nothing larger than a chicken or dead longer than Jimmy Hoffa in the spaces between my teeth.

   ....time to stop now.  I promise to continue this tale of woe tomorrow.  At the moment my husband reminds me that it is tragically past my bedtime with lovely and plaintive "yoo-hoo's" from down the hall.  Who  could resist?  

love, peace and health to you. sopha chesterfield davenport

Friday, September 3, 2010

toilets and world peace


I certainly hope you did not think I would actually show you a toilet!!

You are getting larger type these days because, 1) I am getting old enough to have difficulty seeing some of the itty bitty print that is to be found in some of the blogs and other things that I receive via e-mail, and, 2) Charlie, the chewing hound from hell, ate my computer glasses.  Not actually all of them, but enought to have made them useless.  While this was originally borderline cute, and we were tolerant once we understood that he was much younger than we had first been given to believe, it is now getting to lose it's charm.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"String of Tears" -- age and hope ?

It has been rather a long time since I have posted, and time and circumstance are to blame, as I refuse to take any responsibility despite the role my daily sloth and idolence have had here.  I'll not bore you with tales of woe, illness, broken computers and all the other things that can get in the way of creating and being true to the creation of even an adequate blog.

It is my sincere hope that things are, while not exactly taking a u-turn at autobahn speed, at least changing course at a speed that would not shame a snail.  I have been attemping to rework the picture part of this blog, given that blogger has now given us more options with which to play, or, break our computers.   You may have fun watching my ineptitude as things change, then, when I find it horribly ugly, or impossible to read, change again.

I did retire from my private practice as a psychotherapist after twenty or so years and have much to say about that.  What I would like to do with this blog ultimately is to split it into three without actually splitting it (yikes  a holey trinity).  I would like to devote one section to talking about mental health, illness and all the states in between.  I can give some counsel, but only within very, very strict parameters. In other words, no advice really. The second part I would like to devote to anything that has to do with finally at my age (60 +1) to devote myself to creative expression.  In other words, to be one of those artsy fartsy types.  All that art school stuff forty years ago should be used before I croak!!

The third is a subject that I have always had difficulty speaking about, but is one that needs to be given a voice during this time in the world.  I have already mentioned my immigrant status.  I am a legal citizen, but that isn't always enough to make for an easy transition.  Stories of my mother, they are.



My mother loved hats, and so do I.  This was one of my favorites until Charlie the madly chewing dog decided to add his own artistic twist to it.  Oh well, I love making hats, so this givesme an excuse, no?
Peace, love and hope to all, sopha davenport     Special prayers of any kind to A and B that they may soon be able to laugh at my side again. s.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

madly updating


I have been checking out some other blog hosting sites, as I sometimes get frustrated with some limits here.  Despite the fact that it is probably all my own fault, I thought I would look at a few others.  So far I looked at Tumblr. and typepad.com.  

It also seems that Facebook has unfriended all but one of my friends.  They did that, not me!!  I will try to fix that as soon as I have enough patience.  

Picture on top is our new no-name dog... Bob, maybe?
peace to all, be gentle to each other.   sopha

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another lost post from the immigrant girl

Hello, first of all, before I go to the promised writing please allow me to share my lovely news. After having to put our former darling, "Ralph" down, we have waited almost a year or more to begin looking.  We found our current furball this weekend and find him to be both a joy and a responsibility we had forgotten.  At the moment we have yet to settle on a name and are having a quiet debate on kennel training or not...

It was five o'clock in the morning the darkness of night just beginning to loosen it's grip (no, for those of you who recall old movies and such: "the sun did (not) spit morning into the sky!!"
The touch of light, not in the sky, but a glowing transparency of the air could have come from the lights of the  city coming closer. 

It could just as easily have been the beginning strains of the light of the day about to dawn. For those of us on the deck in that early hour, it made no difference.  The fog did as it always does, softening hard edges and swallowing all extremes of sound.  It was as still as the snow.

There was a touch of magic about the luminescent stillness.  For the first time in 10 days, the heartbeat of the ship, the constant thrumming of the engines had stopped as she slowly moved into New York harbor.

I have one picture of my two brothers and I standing on deck wearing the orange life jackets, which were a requirement.  I hated them.  As a small child, they were always too large for me, exagerating my natural clumsiness.  They were predictably damp and musty smelling and, had obviously been worn by hundreds of other strangers before. 

Discomfiting as it was, I was such an obedient child, it would never have dawned on me to complain, let alone refuse to put on the awful orange thing.

In any case, this particular morning, our ship, the Queen something, fell silent as she was gently pushed into the harbor.  Knowing nothing of tugs then, and their normal sound dampened by the fog, it seemed the ship was being pushed by an invisible hand.

Hundreds of people were on deck, all on one side.  I was fearful that the ship might tip over with everybody not evenly spread out.  It was fine as a herd of people politely and gently crammed themselves against the railing to see the Statue of Liberty bathed in green light.

Our memories change according to our desires, needs and imaginations, but all I recall was a continuation of this great silence as we drifted by her that morning to come, finally, to the shores of America.

(want to hear more of this stuff or more from the other ladies?  Do let me know, please.)   Sanni / sopha chesterfield davenport


Monday, May 17, 2010

The Missing Posts




These are my favorite pillows in  my house and I take great pride in having found them second hand and being able to purchase them for a pittance.  The rest of the  couch is charcoal colored and they bring me great joy without fail, as they liven up the room with their Miro designs and unrestrained color.

That was actually just a side thought.....................................
One of the things I wrote some time ago was to try to explain how I want to present myself as I write this.  The truth is that I have as many facets as any other person, but not everyone names them and allows them to express themselves as openly as I do.  Let me just say that  I am not emotionally troubled or lacking in mental hygiene (there's a concept!!); I simply allow myself to play and try to encourage others to do the same. Here then, is my aging explanation of the different voices you might encounter here.


This hat is a hat that sopha is working on and trying to finish.  It was one of my first tries with using punch needle felting and patterned chiffon on a piece.      I will try to remember to take a picture when it is completed.
MANY FACES--MANY FACETS--ONE BIG MOUTH
(This was first written on a Sunday sometime around Thanksgiving last year)

Despite my belief that very few people actually read these postings, I have, of late, received a few responses that are spurring me on.  Additionally, I have lately had a bit of time for me to think. Thinking is generally a somewhat dangerous thing for me to do, given the wildly roaming quality of my thoughts.  In the past, I have considered thinking to be a private sort of activity the outcome of which is heavily censored.  This habit of self-censoring and guarding one's boundaries has fit it well with my career of choice as a psychotherapist. 

I am now over sixty and doing a sort of semi retirement.  It is forced upon me in great measure by some chronic health problems, but allows me to change a few other things in my life.  Perhaps it is time to stop censoring the fun voices in my life and be open to having them read by others.


(these, by the way are the beautiful baskets they hang in the city of Monroe.  Until we had to move offices, one of these hung right outside my window---nice.)
When I first began writing this blog I chose the pseudonym "sopha davenport". My explanation was that this was what I would consider the  more whimsical, creative, interesting, artsy, yet still sensitive part of my nature. I thought it would be more interesting than the lazy, boring, frequently overwhelmed part of my life. 
Shortly after reading the initial draft of this statement, I saw clearly that there are more facets and voices than just these two.  They are all me, but are shaped by my current mood, thoughts and circumstances of my life.  Everyone has this quality and can  easily find their facets.  Defining them is sort of fun and kind of enlightening.
So, allow me to introduce some of them to you:
There is Suse-a girl with big brown eyes.  That is what all her relatives always said about her.  They also teased her about how skinny she was and smart and made jokes about how that skinny body could possibly hold up that heavy head.  Suse can tell you stories about being an immigrant to the US, having an alcoholic father, her mother's breast cancer and lots more. 

Then there is Sopha Chesterfield Davenport to whom you have already been introduced.

Then there is the not quite Dr. Psychobabble Suze brought to you by Hot Water Shrinks, a non-existent mental health agency. She has the occasional useful thing to say about odd things.  None of this should be mistaken for actual clinical advice.

Last but not least is Prunella Pitt, the resident grumpy old lady. She is settling her softening and expanding butt into my life with the same implication of staying a while that a dog signals when he circles his chosen spot three times before plopping down with a sigh.

At the mid/old age of sixty +,  with an aching back, Prunella feels she has  earned the right to call out anything and anyone that irritate her. 


I  would love to see other voices join this chorus, but they should be yours....let me hear you sing.

be well, feel loved and peace to all of you from this little group!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

long overdue writings

Long, long ago, I saw a print of a collage done by an artist whose name escapes me at the moment.  He was doing work during the turn of the 18th to 19th century I think.  In the middle of the collage was a small piece of cut out magazine advertising that said simply "suze".
Since that time I have learned more about the aperitif that bears my nickname and kind friends have given me some SUZE stuff.  I have an ashtray, a glass, and a bottle.  Recently I found a deck of cards marked with SUZE on the back of each one.  Some of them are quite beautiful. 
So now I add this to the list of things I am looking for.  :
  1. world peace
  2. some peace and justice anywhere where it is lacking
  3. a new dog (we had two bichons--from the pound, so they were no doubt mixes.  I am basically wanting a drop kick dog. 
  4. suze stuff....without having to hit e-bay
  5. all my friends to be well and resurface
  6. vim, pep, and vigor

I have been absent to some degree from my blogging responsibility, and am saddenned to hear that two of my favorite bloggers will be taking a break from blogging.  (They are Kim Miles and Beading Stars)

I hear my husband making noises from the other room that indicate he is missing me.  It is our bedtime.  I will turn off the computer and go there where I will type in the essay about coming to New York that has beeen sitting in my handwritten notes book for two months now.  see you momentan

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Splitting myself while becoming whole

On my way out today to pick up some medication, I thought how important it is for me to edit what I write and post and not just do a kind of flow of thought thing.  My thoughts are much too disorganized.  I am thinking of somehow dividing up this blog into several sections, dealing with different options:
Mental health issues including ADD, and neurodiverse syndromes like Autism Spectrum disorders.
Art, craft and living a life of an artist.  Finally being able to work more than teeny, tiny part-time of this "shadow career: of mine.
Philosophy, friendship, life the universe and everything.
Just misc. stuff as it occurs to me. 

It would be helpful to know where any reader interest may lie.  I will try to make the Title reflect the catechory and then give a short one sentence synopsis of what I may be writing about.  Somebody give me some feedback.  love and peace to all, sopha chesterfield davenport

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May is here again...

I was going to start this entry/post with an apology about having taken so long between my virtual communications. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

How can I miss you...

when you never come around?  I am coming out of one of my periodic  battles with several over my chronic ailments at the moment.... so a picture is all you get.  I promise to write actual semi-coherent words sometime this week...
The translation of the name of this book is "Miss Lost in Dreams"...sometimes these words are difficult for me to translate as their meanings are so much more than just another equivalent to me. 
Wishing you all health, joy peace and plenty of time to dream this week.  Sopha Davenport.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What's in a name?

It feels to me that for about ten (10!!!!!eeeegahhhh) years now, my life has somehow lost its middle ground.  There is an absence of the spectrum of experience upon which a life should run, rather, I have a sense of only high or low.  (no, I am not bi-polar and not referring to that kind of
difficulty. 

     The phenomenon to which I refer is something that I am quite sure is a consequence of an overload of something; stress, tasks, responsibilities, worries, change, expectations.... The list goes on and on.
My life is rich with experience and I am spoiled by a wonderful husband.  I have generally been able to work how I want to.  I have not habitually set easy tasks for myself, nor do I hold back on my expectations of the quality of my work. Still, I have never had to work on the "slime line" or been stuck with the feeling of having to spend my life earning my living that way.  (There was a period of about five years in my twenties, but that is another story......)
So, one of the things that keeps popping up in this too, too fast life, is the matter of a name for the business of art -- my art.  When my colleagues and I set about to find a name for our group of therapists, we agonized and spent a ridiculous amount of time on the issue.  I think we finally just settle on something rather generic, although my husband was rooting for either Acme Counseling (beep,beep) or, my personal favorite "Hot Water Shrinks".

Now I have to try to find a name that will work both face to face and on the web for a bit of a range of stuff.  It seems that every time this issue pops up, I work at finding something that in one or two words can wrap up and give a clue who I am, what I make and what kind of relationship I would like to have with my customer.  For several years now I have tried, found something that feels ok, but when I look, it already has a strong identity behind it.

What is the point of all this not meant to be whining?  I think that the poignant and important moments occur along the spectrum of experience I mentioned.  They, by definition have a certain amount of heft balanced by their subtlety.  The looking for a name for a business, while of some significance is really not very important at all.  It is an attempt to feed my own ego without facing the fear and challenge of changes happening too fast and in too great a number. 

The reality is that I am this:


and this,
and this:


and not really this  I guess,

but a whole chaotic bunch more.  I think I am a nice and good person.  I wish you a life as stunning and bright as a rainbow over water for all its miriad joys. (be well ms. p.)
love to all, sopha davenport

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not much of a weekend...

First, let me acknowledge the person who has just recently left a comment and asked me to reply regarding an entry I wrote in November regarding Attention Deficit Disorder and a whole bunch of other stuff.  In reading it again, I realize it was a bit of a jumble.  I would love to respond to you and attempted to, but am not sure you will get the message, so, in case you do not., please leave your contact information on my personal email.... actually, all comments go there first and are seen by me privately.  This way you can let me know if you want your response kept private as well.  I would love to hear more from you about what you think.  I have many opinions and many of them are flexible as soon as I get more facts. 
I am off back to lying down again.  All I can say is Drat!, my birthday weekend has been marked with some illness and I have found myself too tired to do more celebrating than to snuggle up in bed with some lovely gluten-free pastry.   It could be worse, so I am not complaining.  Love and all good things to all of you.  sopha d.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

five days of migraine is finally over, so soon..

Why is my darling geisha doll attacking me?  Perhaps she did not like my changing out her plastic eyes for beautiful faceted amethyst ones....

Why are these Peeps in jail?  What will happen to them?
have a great pseudo spring.  love to all. sopha d.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

change, choices and landlords


In our household we have this rather odd tendency to name things. The comfy black leather chair in the corner from Dania (my favorite modern furniture store!!!!) was named Eleanor in the store, and that she remains.  So, when someone calls out, "where are you?", a possible answer is, "here, in Eleanor".  The name stayed because Eleanor Roosevelt was an admirable woman.  Should the chair have been called "hitler" on the tag, I doubt we would have bought it, nor kept the name.

Furniture and cars are most subject to this tendency, so we have "El Monstro", a large wardrobe, the "slug room", and on and on.  My current car is a Sonata and much as I wanted to drive the "silver streak" -- no such luck.  I drive the "S-notta" instead.  At one point we had two cars that were both red, and so "big red " and "little red" were born.  Little red was a wonderful car of mine, I loved it, but as my office is a fair distance down a very dark road, and I  commute home at night, it's tendency to start only when it wished to do so, rather than when I needed it to, became a  bit of a problem.  We kept it around, because we have always lived the sort of lives where we had two "iffy" cars, and it was nice to have a spare around. After a time, however, it was time to let little red go.  It was hard to say goodbye to all those memories, but it was even more difficult to watch the poor thing deteriorate in the street in front of the house.  (Me?  Anthromorphize things?  naaaaa!)  Time went by and it was time to replace big red with another car for my husband and "Mr. Bailey" came to live in the garage.  We were holding on to big red, due to my beefcake's attachment and due to some hope that someday our son might actually pass his driving test.  So..... time went by. 
Time went by.
Time went by.
As time went by, there were a few things that needed fixing now and again, and my husband found someone down the hill who seemed to love the car as much as he did.  Imagine our surprise when we had found out that big red had spontaneously combusted in the middle of the night while sitting the the man's parking lot. 

Never, ever question just what form someone's grief may take.  The loss of this car was not the loss of a car, but memories gone, wishes of seeing your child drive a car that has so much history for you......so much more.
The above photo is one I took of the from fender.  Straight out of the camera.  Then, never able to leave anything alone, I had to fool around with photoshop with it.  Here is the result.

I have several other pieces of writing that I can post, but not today.  I am semi-retiring from my career as a psychotherapist in order to pursue a more full time career in the arts.  This is a very difficult thing to do, and should anyone have an interest in these changes, I would be happy to write about that.
I also, as I have mentioned, have ADD and would be happy to write about that, should anyone have any questions.

Then there is my history as an immigrant into this country as a young child, just silliness, losing friends to awful diseases, sleep apnea masks and how much I sometimes hate mine, and, least but not last how I will address my work as a artist/artisan/business person. 

Comments would be helpful.  If you are having difficulty leaving comments, then please let me know by emailing me at sophadavenport@gmail.com or susannewichert@comcast.net.

Thanks, blessings, joy and good health to all.  sopha d.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

When will I ever get these things right?

I do apologize,,, the blog, Beading Stars that I referred you to has the following url... http://beadingstars.blogspot.com/
Sometimes I think I must just make these things up in my head.... I am sure I have given out the wrong url for mine more often than not.  s.

Passion? yes/ compassion? where?

This poster comes from the website of a person whom I not only hold dear, but who is a person of great intergrity and compassion and, knows what she is talking about!  Please go to her blog, http://beadingstars.blogger.com/ to read more of what she thinks.  This is well worth your time.

We here in Washington State have had our governor make a decision that is doubtless meant to reach some sort of political end, but the result is to cut out medical for the weakest of our society, poor children. Developers still seem to get their tax breaks, uppermanagement types still get their bonuses, but the children will die for lack of a visit the the pediatrician. There is little to be said.

My family and I have been subject to a major blessing.  It may be shortlived or may be long lived; there is no way of knowing.  Our daughter, * Iggy, has been released from the state mental institution several days ago, and this is the first time in twenty years that I have heard her sound so solid, so much like herself, that I dare to actually crack open the callus surrounding my heart, in order to be there for her.  I will write more about this as it goes and as I check with her regarding how much of her story she would like revealed publicly. 
One of the things she told me was interesting though in light of budget cuts.  This was not her first period of time being committed to this institution.  This time, she said, was different.  Before, at meal time, patients could go back for seconds, even thirds unless they were on a diet.  This time, no seconds.  You got what you got and that was it.  Before, they always got cake after dinner.  Now, no cake.  "You have no idea what a piece of cake means to you at the end of the day in a mental ward", she said. 

When we vote to cut taxes, to ensure that those with their huge houses and suburbans, the big cars don't have to pay more for their licenses, we rarely know the small human stories behind them.  That is what we should hear and know and what our legislators should hear and know.  Nobody wants to.  Would you vote for anyone who made you face these issues?   You should. 
Love, peace and health to all.  sopha d.
PS.  If you have any notes of encouragement for my Iggy, you can send them to me at sophadavenport@gmail.com and I will print them out and forward them to her.  She has no computer, but even the kind words of strangers will help her in the battle with her demons.  Thank you. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The morning sun

.....the morning sun
     won't shine on me
                      on such a broken day


It tints the sky a sadness pink

i want to melt away

     For some time now I have felt like this rather bad attempt at poetry, dating from my twenties.  I think almost everyone who has not yet destroyed it, has some such writing around from the time they were teens and/or young adults. 

I keep these old note/sketchbooks around, not because my entries in them are worth much to anyone else, but because there are times in my life when it is valuable to revisit those times and feelings in my own life.  (I can only fervently hope that nobody finds them and reads them after i die...i am trying to retain some sort of reputation at not being completely dopey.)

In those days, I recall just how easy it was for me to drive myself into a depression with not much cause. Others, in looking at my life may have thought there was cause, but in reality, i was doing quite well.  There was just something attractive in occupying the role of the melancholic.

Now, forty or so years later, i no longer find that position at all attractive.  In the last couple of years, I have lost friends and acquaintances to all the things that create these losses.  Cancer and one or two other illnesses have been in the highest numbers at this party, but in looking at my life it is clear that there are other culprits that take us away from each other. Changes in lifestyle, marriage, children, illness (in my case-rarely serious, but annoyingly chronic),distance, misunderstandings and a list that could go on for pages. 

I am bored with this melancholia, despite the fact that I do look good in black -- slimming, you know.  I am also bored with writing this blog colored by it.

I was asked, when I wrote for a small mag. to write a short collumn on the matter of "letting go".  Parts of it are relevant not just for me but for so many others at this time.  I think of the losses of the people of Haiti and then realize that we have yet to complete the job of putting back the lives of those who lost so much in Katrina.  How many years has it been, and who ever speaks of it?  This is a kind of letting go that we are all good at and it is not good for the world.  However, I promised a change from the melancholic and so here goes. 

In the winter, many of us are compelled by the obvious changes in nature around us, to take some stock of our lives, goals, relationships, etc.  For this collumn, I have been asked to write something about "letting go".

This question is like a lovely (gluten free - i guess) cheesecake for me.  I could easily think and write, ultimately reducing the poor thing to crumbs.  Although this approach leaves out no minutae, and thereby might speak to all, it would all ultimately become meaningless, ideas lost in the chaos of more ideas.  I worry about carelessly turning such a valuable question into that kind of experience.

Brevity is not my strong suit, but I will try.

Last year, I had to face the fact that I am an incredible hoarder.  I am a hoarder not so much of things, but I have some issues there too. I have been battling this concern all my life, yet I find that I easily move things along into another life when it is their time.  My hoarding is of a different kind, one that many of us have known since childhood. I cling to relationships, memories, ideas, goals wishes and views of myself, views of others and the big one---sameness.  I do not want things to change and will often hold on tooth and nail to pretend that they have not.  I  can think of no other explanation for the size 6 jeans in my closet!  Failing this first strategy, I may then move on sullenly to some sort of accomodation.

Culturally we are given the sense that it is "incorrect"  to admit that age or infirmity of any form can limit one's life or cause one to be different. (I will avoid my usual screaming rant here..)  The truth is that time and the traces our living leaves on our hearts and bodies forces us to give up some of the things by which we may have formerly defined ourselves.  (Shallow is perfectly ok in my mind..)  For example, no matter how creatively fashion forward I may have been at another time in my life, four inch heels are totally out of the question unless I want to put my back out.

I find that I am forced to look at myself through the eyes of others and surprised at what I must leave behind.  Throughout the decades, I have had some wonderful and close relationships that ultimately suffered from mutual neglect.  During that time, the course of our lives have wrought the kinds of changes that, though slow, are enduring.  (This could be called the water drop on the rock model).

Letting go of the comfort of who you are in the eyes of another is one of the most painful and difficult of human emotional experiences.  As a therapist and as a human being --well semi-human, I know enough to know how little I know about each individual's experience through this.

The marvelous thing about our winter ruminations is that they are infallibly followed by another spring. We remember the flowers from last year and are perhaps surprised by a few new volunteers as well.  That becomes an easy time to put away these resolutions and thoughts you made earlier to try to ensure no letting go.  Perhaps the only one you made was to try to discover the roots and locations of your rigidity.  Leave it and if need be, leave yourself some notes somewhere. 


There is a marvelous quote by Mohandas Ghandi that sums up where I want to get:  "Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony."

Here's to diving in, taking the girdle off life and showing up every day in a different costume!! love and peace to all.  sopha davenport

Monday, January 25, 2010

My friends are safe, but...

Pardons for this short posting, I have too many things to do these days and am feeling too restless to write well.  My friends have returned from Haiti and are well.  Haiti however, like the legacy from Katrina goes on and on and on.  It is so easy to forget once our personal link with tragedies is broken.  Let us never forget those who have more troubles than we do.  Blessings and peace to all. sopha d,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Finding the time. Is it really lost?

I began writing this on Friday evening Jan 15, 2010. 
Last Monday, I noted that I was three blog entries behind.  This can only make sense to you if I explain that I write these missives out longhand in a lovely old ledger with lovely smooth paper using my favorite fountain pen.  I simply cannot write anything worth reading at all using any other method.  Although it sounds snooty, it is not meant to be.  I think because of how my brain is wired with both ADD and synesthesia, I need a certain physicality to become involved in certain kinds of activities.

Another reason for maintaining this method of writing has to do with my hope that I can edit what I write into at least a tolerable quality of writing. Previously, when writing for people who paid me and had deadlines, I was know as the seven draft girl. 

I was going to write a bit about how the constuct of SHOULD impacts our lives, but since the earthquake in Haiti I have other things to write about.  None of this is edited. 

Many, many years ago, a wonderful woman named Amy persuaded me and my friend Randi to open our own preschool and daycare following the model we wanted to do.  In some ways it was a bit like the Reggio Emilio model only done on $400 starting money.  We also were dedicated to the idea that children could be taught social responsibility and other ethical issues could be addressed with children as young as three.
If you knew Amy like I know Amy........you also know that it is fairly impossible to say "no" to her.  This is why soon her son Jesse and ten  or so other children were all enrolled at the Willows. Time went by, the kids grew older, but Amy remained on our advisory board and Jesse still went strawberry picking with us.

After five years we had accomplished our goals, which were miriad and I will not list them here.  It was time to close the Willows and I accidentally sort of came to write a book detailing our experiences with helping children learn conflict resolution skills.  (KEEPING THE PEACE-PRACTIVING CONFLICT RESOLUTION WITH PRESCHOOLERS).

More time went by and Jesse was ready to marry Sarah.  They did not have a great deal of money to spend on a wedding dress, so I offered to make it.  At the time I was unaware that she would be gone for a month in Haiti during the time I needed her for fitting, but even though I helf up the wedding a few hours I was forgiven. The dress was beautiful made from vintage kimono and pale green silk charmeuse.  I was to have gone to the wedding, but not having slept for 48 hours in order to finish on time, I watched her walk from the balcony on Jesse's arm and she looked just like the mermaid she had wanted to be.

They had a child last year.  As with all children, he is of course beautiful. Sarah has been in Haiti and so Jesse took Miles down to see her and they got caught in the earthquake.   If you have more interest in this story see the Seattle Times coverage from yesterday. 

There is nothing more important to write or think about.  That earthquake, like so many of these catastrophes seemed so far away to me until I heard Jesse talk (in an interview over the internet) about being deputized as a nurse, being overwhelmed by the cries and screams of people still trapped in the rubble.  It now feels very personal.  I encourage all of you who read this (two people??) to do what you can.  Donate, help out, whatever is in your power.

I cannot tell you how much I appreciated my warm down comforters and clean bed last night.

peace and good life to all. sopha d.

Friday, January 8, 2010

shameful I know!

...to continue a writing after one month of nothing with three small dots could be considered the height of temerity, however it is the easiest way to get the point ----aaaaargh!!!------really, no pun intended, across.

It feels important to me to complete the ideas in the writing I began about Thanksgiving in November.  I had begun to describe a feeling of being beset by a cloud of small problems as irritating as a mass of small bugs swarming one's sweaty face late on a summer day.  

Clearly, not all those matters were gnat size.  A few elephants and hippos were in that swarm as well.  They have not gone, continue somehow to try to fly up my nose, interestingly as the day nears its end, just like when I used to go camping.  I never did like camping and I do have a large nose, just to clear that matter up in your imagination.



Luckily, we humans have such a thing as perspective and the ability to modify and enlarge it.  Speaking from a neurological viewpoint, our ability to enlarge our perspective, thereby changing our value judgements about the events and circumstances in our lives and ultimately shifting our position emotionally is called neurological plasticity.
This term actually refers to a long term process in which the brain continues to prune and grow neuronal branches throughout the lifetime on the basis of experience, in a sense, thereby also shaping experience. 

As an artist I like circles and intellectually I can be quite fond of a circular argument that actually gets us somewhere, not unlike a wheel, so this idea has captivated me for some time now.

Perhaps you are thinking that by now, I have rambled so far afield even I cannot find my  way back again.  Just remember as you read the following, that should some misguided piece of intellectual flab be hanging loose here or there, you can get your own virtual duct tape and make thinkgs all pretty and smooth.     Here goes:

I like to take this big time, well granted research phenomenom and mix it up with ways to come to my own senses when I am lopping off pieces off my life with that sharpest of swords, known as SELF PITY.  Self Pity is a beautiful  knife.  She looks as light as a feather and when one looks at her one thinks  that the shining  and glistening color that is not just on the surface but goes deep into her must surely enter the colorless and faded thing that you have become.  She promises a glowing lightness of being as translucent as a sunset or better yet, the sweet freshness of a sunrise.

It is a lie and so I entered the Office of the charming Dr. Lee on a cold drizzly Seattle morning    with my left side useless and aching.  I thought,"Try to practice some grace.  When you have a stroke some of     it will     feel like this and experience is a  goog thing."

I went into an office with my favorite colors, windows with trees outside, easy eye access--my favorite! and found a rich thick stack of all manner of magazines.  New ones!!!! I was then offerred a water bottle and handed a list of things to check.  Of the 100 ailments listed, I only had  to make one mark!!  Not bad for 60 I thought and began to lay my shiny sword down.  Somehow, she was not as shiny now. (Taupe carpet, ya know)

During the exam, the lovely Dr. Lee asked me to push with my hands and arms against his as had as I could. I took a breath, pulled in those flabby abs, found a little chi and gave a push.  I surprised the young man.  Again, not bad for     60.  There is nothing serious or permanent   wrong with my shoulder/back.  The problem is getting used to sleeping with a full face mask from my sleep apnea machine.  A referral to physical therapy and when I came out the air was still cold and drizzly but oh, the smell of the pine needles!  How had it not been there before?


I just now realize, I must have left Self Pity behind in that office somewhere.  Good night.  Peace to all.  more to come. sopha davenport