ChosenPerspectives on Collage for WPC 7/12/17

Collage

My life is FILLED with “Collage”. I love surrounding myself with collections in categories.

The are each a Collage I made for someone else (top to bottom). A jewelry box filled with the jewelry pieces from a dear friend’s Mom, Memory Boxes for my Grandsons containing tiny symbols and souvenirs from their adventures, and photo cards.

My dear friend who gave me her mother’s jewelry pieces and old jewelry box above inspired me to facilitate a Collaging for Grief Workshop. My participants would collect the small things they couldn’t part with after a death. We would gather together to put all the trinkets in collage shadow boxes, all the while telling each other the stories behind the pieces. It was a wonderful way to let go of the large piles of things we can be left with when a loved one dies, but still end up with a lovely memorial piece of art in their honor.

I have posted before the embarrassing proof that most of the walls in my home are giant Collages

This is a series I called “Toy Baskets”. Trinkets from my own childhood. If you are of a similar age you might recognize Monopoly, Pick up Stix, Tiddly Winks, etc.

 

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More Wall Collages from my home and Office

 

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I could never stand to throw away the beautiful cards my clients have given me over 40 years in private practice, so I would always turn them into collages and display them. They so enjoyed spotting a piece of a card I had saved from them.

And many of my clients have been artists so I have many beautiful handmade pieces.

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This is titled “a Million Tears” (cried in therapy). Each tear hand-inked with a blue pen

This one below is my favorite. It was when my practice was HUGE. I had 8 groups of 10 people each (5 therapy, 1 couples’ group, a Graduate Group, and a training group). The artist who did this mixed media sort of collage told me it represented the path of my heart through my professional life, with many, many connections shooting off into the world, like stars. I was so moved by this. The piece always remains a focal point of my current Wall Collage display. Hand done painting, stitching, gluing, etc. (I especially love this piece since my current practice is only 3 clients.) It’s so sweet to remember that I used to have a larger impact on my world…..

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She told me this central line was my heart path….connected to and spreading out to the world, each star and sequin representing a life I had touched. It’s taken me years to accept (not my focus at the time) that I really did get to love a lot of people!!

Author note: Sorry for bad photos and for lack of editing. I wanted to get this in before the new challenge happens today!

Song Lyric Sunday — Mother’s Day 2017

I just can’t write about my mother(s) today. I will sometime. I know I need to.

And since I didn’t get a single card or call or flower and I even had to make my own coffee, I’m feeling pretty forlorn.

So I will write about myself.

I have been a mother since I was 5 years old. I knew how to change diapers and handle baby food and bottle basics before I started school. I mothered my little sisters (and I must have done a lousy job because they resent the hell out of me.)

Don’t get me wrong. I love mothering. I live for it. My favorite movie as a child was not some Disney Princess thing. Nope, for me it was “Cheaper by the Dozen”.

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3171616537

All I ever wanted was a huge family, a bunch of kids to mother!

I even mothered my mother, trying so hard to convince her life was worth living…but I failed…well, that’s how it felt to my broken teenage heart when she finally chose the permanent “check-out”.

I mothered, in the following order, myself, my sisters, my mother, my babysitting kids, my pets, my friends, my foster sisters, my boyfriends, my fellow students, my co-workers, my husbands, my neighbors, my BUGS, broken birds, and my hundreds of my clients…this last is a whole separate story of amazing “motherhood”.

I mothered myself when my own mother escaped her pain by shooting herself. How oxymoronic is that?

And I had to make the excruciating decision to NOT mother the child I was carrying at the time my mother died, leaving my sisters in my real charge this time.

Blissfully, I finally got to mother my son Michael, the light of my life, and eventually, a pile of step-children. And now, though I am their grandmother, I even get to mother my grandsons a little bit.

It’s still my favorite thing to do.

So here is my choice for Song Lyric Sunday, today, Mother’s Day, 2017. It’s the song I used to play for my most injured and damaged clients, in the hope that somehow, a little mother’s love really can heal. I know it has healed me.

And I know my “daughter” Pamela has received exactly this from her Mother.

 

And just so I don’t end on a pitiful note,

 

I’m off to Mother my CATS!!! They won’t know what hit them!

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 5/14/17

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Wanderlust for WPC

Wanderlust

I have none. I am so content to “bloom where I am planted”, a lesson learned early from my father. It has served me so well throughout my life…I am never bored and there is never nothing to see or do wherever I am!

I say that, but also have to confess, I “live” in several different places: a suburb of Seattle, in the mountains outside Spokane, in the San Juan Islands, San Diego, and in my car…no, not that way, but I do love a road trip with car-camping involved.

Even in my own 100 year old house (which people call a maze due to all the weird rooms and additions over the years), I get the bug to travel, to “live” in other parts of it. After 43 years here, I have lived in every square inch of it. There are 5 or 6 bedrooms (depending on how you define the space), 2 or 3 living rooms (again depending), 3 bathrooms, laundry room, 2 and 1/2 kitchens, a large bonus room, a huge deck, a patio with table and chairs for outside dining, Oh, and a fruit tree orchard! (apples, cherries, pears, and plums!)

Back to Wanderlust, I have been recently bit by the Road Trip bug. In August of this year we will travel down the West coast, then across the Southern States until we reach Mississippi. I lived there with family for a few years when I was younger and James grew up there. We met in high school in Natchez.

It’s time for a “Roots” trip so we are taking my son and grandsons on a road trip adventure, to Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. We’ll travel in style for most of it in a spectacular RV. And we will get to see wonderful friends and relatives we never get to hang out with, including a wonderful new Blogging Friend!

The slideshow is of some of the places in Mississippi I want to share with my grandsons!

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Can’t wait!

I guess this is Wanderlust!!!

 

 

Ambience for WPC

Ambience

Ahh, to be thirteen again…and to be given complete freedom to decorate my own room. My Dad did that for me so I painted my room white and then, with a pencil, traced circles around plates, cups, and saucers all over my walls. I filled them in with pastel pink, yellow and blue enamel paint. (I also made striped curtains in the same colors.) I loved my room. It was such a peaceful haven in an otherwise tumultuous household. I could shift my mood by closing my door and immersing myself in the ambience I had been allowed to create.

When my son and grandsons moved back in with me I really wanted the boys to feel at home and so of course, passed on the traditional “freedom” to decorate their space.

Here’s a slideshow of how the oldest (13) chose to set up his room. It is filled with the dichotomies of his age and individual personality. I LOVE it! Enjoy the song below while viewing the show. (It reminds me of my Junior High/High school boyfriend, David Taylor!)

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My first reaction to some of his belongings was apprehension. His Dad (my son) was never allowed weapons of any kind, not even toy guns. That really backfired as a parenting stance. But I am not too worried about my grandson. His “weapons” are mostly decorative, and are nicely balanced with his other collections (Pez dispensers, sports stuff, art, guitars, etc.)

Oh and his “stuffies”, many from his babyhood.

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These are his favorite Stuffies; a fluffy elephant (he had one in his crib from day one that played “Imagine”) and his favorite, a “Frankenstein doll”.

My grandson posed in this photo…can you see him?

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Song Lyric Sunday 1/15/17

https://helenespinosa.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-11517/

The theme this week for our Song Lyrics Challenge is the parent/child relationship.

Tell you what, I LOVE this weekly Song Challenge because I get to share favorite music of mine and learn so many new songs!! Visit Helen’s site (above) for today’s responses! Some really amazing music every week!

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I have had the privilege in my lifetime of parenting many, MANY children. Starting with my younger sisters. when we were growing up. Of course, I had no clue what I was doing and was just a child myself, but to the best of my ability, mother them I did!

Then being pregnant with Pamela, before she was even born, I parented her in my mind (and belly) for that nine months, knowing I might have to give her up to be raised by more available, qualified and less damaged parents.

With Michael, I was 100% in from day one! Though his version of his childhood and mine might be different, I doubt he would tell you that he wasn’t my top priority, always.

Then came a foster daughter and later still, three step children, and I loved them each totally and did my very best to contribute to their lives for the relatively short time I had them (almost 13 years).

For a period of 25 years, as my seva, I was a Professional Childbirth Attendant…sort of like a “doula”…although my certification was specific to assisting a Midwife in a home delivery. I had also taught Childbirth Education classes and studied Pre and PeriNatal Psychology for many years so the kind of childbirth I attended was not limited to home deliveries. Instead of doing only the jobs a Doula will typically cover, I gained a reputation as someone who could “mother the mother” during Labor and delivery, especially when we knew going in that it was a high risk circumstance (health issues, single or underage mom, rape, incest, adoption, and more). I attended more than 250 births.

And the last group of “children” for whom I had the honor of claiming the title Mom, were my clients…hundreds of them (many that overlapped with the category just above because I was included in the births of their babies).

This last category is difficult to describe without misunderstanding but the very short version is this. As a Psychotherapist trained in Developmental Psychology, I believed that all kinds of therapies involve transference*, both positive and negative. And that the nature of the therapeutic relationship is not unlike that of a parent and child. So we acknowledged and used the positive transference that can happen when a high trust level exists between client and therapist. In other words, by contract, and within a very specific and safe structure, I “parented” my clients…or more accurately, I “mom-ed” the “little kid” part of my clients. In some cases, I became their Mom, for a piece of therapeutic work and some, for longer periods of time. There are even a handful with whom I made a life-long agreement to retain that title. I take that commitment completely seriously, as do they, and even though I am mostly professionally retired now and they are complete adults, they remain a part of my family.

My primary Mentor, much like a “mom” to me, used to say “You can never have too many healthy Mom’s” (and Dad’s too). My mother died when I was so young but I have been blessed with many in my adult life.

And now, my son and his two boys have moved in with us and I have the ultimate honor of being Grandma (well, they call me Dammaw). Grandparenting is just parenting with huge benefits…and no, I don’t mean that thing a lot of grandparents say about getting to do the good stuff and then sending them home to their parents for the more difficult parts.

Once again, I am in 100 %!!

I remember seeing a movie when I was very young called “Cheaper by the Dozen”. I decided right then it would be a dream come true to have that many kids! I thought I might be good at it.

Now, I could not possibly count the number of parent/child relationships I have been lucky enough to have, but definitely more than a Dozen.

William Blake said ‘The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom…You never know what is enough until you know what is more than enough.’

I’ll let you know when I find out….

*transference-the redirection to a substitute, usually a therapist, of emotions that were originally felt, and left unfinished, in childhood

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(Photo at the very top is the last family picture before my mother’s suicide. She is second from the right in the back row. I was 2 months pregnant with my daughter, Pamela.)