Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cruel and unusual punishment

I'm not feeling very good about myself today.

Yesterday was one of those days against which one measures good days. It was the opposition against which cheerful, calm days seem sweet. In other words, it sucked. My bus was crowded most of the day with the loud, crass, disrespectful element that seems to crawl out of the woodwork on sunny weekends. Externally I was my usual serene self, but internally I was screaming most of the day. I wanted to be anywhere but there. The crowning event of the day was when a passing truck paused by my open window long enough to yell "stupid fat bitch!" at me as I was stopped to pick up some passengers. I have no idea what I did to piss the driver off. I hadn't stopped suddenly or failed to use my turn signal. I was just doing my job. I think if I had been able to respond, or had understood why he was angry, I would have been less bothered by it. And I'm fairly certain that he wouldn't have said it if he was actually on my bus, facing me in person, and would have had to deal with the consequences of his rudeness. Coward. And he was sporting a fairly sizable beer gut himself, and driving a Ford, so who is he to be questioning my intelligence? At the last conference I went to in Seattle one of the speakers said that there are multiple realities of our identity. If I catalogue my attributes according to this man's assessment: stupid, fat, bitchy - all of that is true sometimes, as well as lazy, selfish, ugly, slovenly, gluttonous, sinful, etc. The list could be endless, really. But other things are also true. I am sometimes generous, kind, beautiful, hard-working, compassionate, intelligent, diligent, faithful, etc. and it makes a difference which list we see as the truth. People are too apt to believe list A about themselves while seeing list B in others. And I am more guilty than most, I suspect...

The second source of my disquiet today is a result of lesson preparation. I read the next two lessons I have to teach in Relief Society. One is on Family Responsibilities and the other is on Eternal Marriage. Who am I to be teaching classes on these subjects?! It's ridiculous. I'm supposed to stand in front of a room full of wives and mothers and teach them about their responsibilities? I must stand there and tell them that a person can't be exalted without temple marriage, and teach them how to prepare their children for temple marriage? Because I'm such a sterling example of having learned that lesson for myself. Why would anyone put value on anything I could possibly have to say about these subjects? I have failed utterly and should be a cautionary tale. I don't relish the position I find myself in. It's enough to make me want to quit my calling, which of course I won't because that's not done. I have never wanted to be released until now. Generally I love my calling. But this seems cruel, as if I will be held up to public ridicule for my failures. The best I can do is stand there and say "do as I say, not as I do", which seems hypocritical to me. Not that I expect the sisters to be at all unkind. They are lovely and supportive, but surely it must occur to them that I have no wisdom here.

In less depressing news, a few months ago I was in Browsers book store talking with the proprietor, telling him how I was going to use the books I was purchasing. He asked me to bring one in and they would hang it, so I did:

This is the largest sculpture I have ever made and I love it. It's made from a book about Beethoven, which I read before transforming it. Speaking of marriage... Beethoven never married... There are all sorts of faithful men who have died without marrying. Perhaps one of them is for me. But if I get to pick, I choose Beethoven :) He seems like my kind of guy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Are you tired of photos of my work yet? This was my Mother's Day gift to my Mum. These are Henry's wee footprints. He screamed bloody murder when we put the paint on his tootsies. Boy, he didn't like that one bit!

This was one of John's birthday gifts. The others were fabulous but I haven't photographed them yet. Next time I go stay up there I'll shoot them and post them with info, so stay tuned, because they're seriously cool.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Our Greatest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others."

—Marianne Williamson

I heard this in a talk I went to this weekend in beautiful Bellevue, Wa. I had a lovely, relaxing weekend away. Lovely weather, lovely people, uplifting messages, for the most part. As always, one gets out of these conferences what one puts in, and I went sort of half hog to this one. I was friendly but not outgoing and so people were friendly but not overly so with me, which suits me just fine. I am, however, slightly embarrassed to admit that instead of going to the dance on Saturday night which was supposed to be the big mixer, I stayed in my hotel room and watched Avatar and the Parent Trap simultaneously. (I hate small talk and events like that one are slow torture.) (much like watching Avatar...)