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My vision is to create a business from my garden, so that I can afford to leave my job, have the garden as income, and paint and write. I also want my customers to read the story of my garden, look at pictures, and get an idea of the process of the work of the garden.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Today is my birthday, and as usual, is cause for reflection. Having gone through a month of sadness and/or depression over the results of the election, I wish I could say that I have rebounded back to a better place.

Well, in some ways--I have done more meditation, almost on a daily basis, and this has given me a better ability to stay in the day, even in the moment. I have re-activated a correspondence with a friend who is in Paris, France, and she has asked for my help in taking her through the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous, and this daily act of giving to her has, in turn, given to my own bleak spirit.

And I have gone back into the studio to paint--which is, in its own way, a return to the moment. Time slows down, each brushstroke or flinging of the paint creates a necessity to respond creatively to what has just happened. This may be the true value, for me, of painting. Taken out of the realm of the ambition, and back into a journey into unexplored (for me) territory.

But I have a dread that is hard to deny. And though I do not feel depressed in ways that I used to feel, I now find myself looking for ways to leave the country. I turn on the TV, and feel repelled by it all--sitcoms, "reality shows (except for "The Apprentice," in which I delight in the asinine competitiveness of it all--the scramble for some weird illusion of winning--as if working for Donald Trump is something to aspire to), the so-called "news" programs, which end each segment with an obvious manipulation of the heart strings for some "human interest" story. We have started watching BBC news each night--and listen to "The World," another BBC news program on the radio, that airs at 6 am. At least it seems to be a bit detached from the American take on the daily events.

My fantasy about leaving the country. It is childish--it seduces me into thinking that there is a safe place from the "Machine" that eats us all up, and perhaps which is my own metaphor for death.

The dread comes from feeling apart--not a Bush supporter, not driven by ambition to make money, repelled by "Black Friday," and other consumer-driven rushes to the malls.

It could also be a variation of the long-black-tunnel-of-winter-dread that I have experienced every year since I was a child. A need to just get through the holidays and into the bright burst of light on January 1st, when the tilting back towards the sun gives me reason to start planting the seeds for the vegetable and herb and flower gardens.

The job is okay--we are still limping along, ever hopeful. No one has been "let go" for a few weeks, and I have accepted that if my time comes, I just need to keep on working, for a few more years, and maybe when retirement seems possible, go to live in Mexico.

I always need a fantasy to pull me along.

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