Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When in doubt, paint

I'm distracted today, pulled in several directions all at once.

On the one hand I can't wait to put on my newly painted chacos, walk around. This is my mother's legacy; a periodic urge to paint. When that feeling comes over me, I will paint whatever is at hand with whatever paint I have handy, just as my mother did. Yesterday I came across a metallic paint, "warm silver" it's called, in a box in the closet. Oh what a gorgeous color. I painted some picture frames with great results. After that I painted a small statue of a Chinese terracotta warrior, then a severed padlock. (It used to lock a big ole gas grill to a pipe in the grotto outside my front door. I love looking at the broken lock - a perfect visual symbol of liberation. It's even better now that it's painted. Really it is!)

Eventually I turned to my shoes. I used to paint all my shoes, even the "nice" shoes, whenever I fell into this frame of mind. I remember when my ex housemate Manuel asked me to hand over my fabric paints so as to keep me from ruining yet another pair of shoes. It was a loving intervention.

It's a compulsion, I guess - though - it could be much worse. I'm not shoplifting or doing drugs, after all. Also want to say, in my defense, that the chacos I painted are not "nice" shoes. I bought them for $1 at a yard sale: no harm done. Actually I am quite pleased with the way they look, including the warm silver cheetah spots around the edges of the soles.

Perhaps I was overcome by the urge to paint because I'm thinking about a couple of clients, dear ones, people I have been working with for many years, both of whom are facing very serious medical crises. One of them has a definitive diagnosis - not a happy diagnosis but at least she knows what she's facing. The other client has no idea what's happening, but it is not good, believe me.

One thing I forgot about during my recent experience of heart opening is that, with an open heart, situations like the predicaments of my beloved clients really get to me. I've always cared deeply for my clients and wished the best for them, but at all times I have remained relatively unmoved emotionally, even when clients died. That kind of emotional distance has its advantages.

It's not as if I'm not being clear, strong and boundaried - indeed my behavior is identical to what it would have been before all the recent heart opening. But I'm worried. I'm feeling how much I love these two women, really feeling it. Yikes! So this is why people close off their hearts!

Not that I'm about to try to reverse the miracles of recent weeks. No chance of that. I know I'm headed in the right direction, or maybe I should say "hearted" in the right direction.

Still - this is hard!

I think I'll post this now, drink some more coffee, then maybe paint some more, yes? I say yes.


SG said...

I love your shoes. And what a brilliant idea you have given me!

Reya Mellicker said...

SG it is a slippery slope. Put your nice shoes in a safety deposit box. Seriously!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Ha ha ha. I am just cracking up that you painted your shoes, oh why not I suppose. Just tickled my funny bone. I sometimes get the urge to bake, yours may be harder on your wardrobe but mine is harder on my hips :)

Prayful thoughts for your clients.

Reya Mellicker said...

Sometimes I cook like a maniac, but it isn't that kind of week. It's hot and humid in a way that makes me not even feel hungry, which is really uncharacteristic. I'm so worried about my clients!

Nancy said...

I know what you mean about an open heart. We are so much more vulnerable. I don't know if that is good or bad. As for the painting - I love it - and I love those shoes!

Dan Gurney said...

Hearted in the right direction--well said. I sing when I get stirred up like that. Thankfully, my ukulele is a willing accomplice.

Reya Mellicker said...

Singing is a great idea! Thanks, Dan.

Elizabeth said...

Hm.........leopard spots good
compulsions bad-ish

at least you are having fun!

ellen abbott said...

love the shoes, but as for the rest of your wonderful post...well, my head is not in the right place right now.

steven said...

reya - you're awesome, hilarious, so loveable!!! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Elizabeth I intend to wear my painted shoes to NYC. No one there will give a rat's ass.

Thank you Steven.

Ellen your head must be as dehydrated as the landscape right now. I wish it would RAIN.

Pam said...

I have never been so open-hearted, even teary (but pleasantly??),as I am now at this age and stage of my life. I put it down to an age thing, but maybe its something more on a psychic and developmental level. I certainly feel wiser, and with this attitude many old wounds have healed...and by the way, yard sales are fun, a compulsion in themselves!

Reya Mellicker said...

Pam apparently many of we Aquarians are in a heart-opening phase. I have a friend who is rescuing kittens and helping old ladies cross the streets. Last night I had dinner with an Aquarian friend who is usually sardonic, ironic, but who has recently fallen in love. Both of us kept tearing up - laughing at each other and ourselves, but with tears of openness in our eyes. Incredible moment this is! Wow.

Pauline said...

How perfectly your photos match your "wavery" state of mind.

I have a friend whose motto is, "If it doesn't move, mosaic it!" Perhaps you are merely substituting "paint it!"

debra said...

this would be my youngest daughter's mantra. She has painted clothing, and hallways, stairs and doors. Vibrant alive colors. And. I. Love. It!

Kerry said...

I love this Reya!

At the middle school where I work, the most popular color of acrylic paint is not gold, brass, or copper, but silver.

So you're on to something for sure.

Jo said...

Wow...painting your shoes? Brilliant.

My mother used to paint obssesively when she had free time. She'd paint and repaing the kitchen cabinets every week sometimes!

As you say, it's harmless and nearly always reversible.

I'm going to my closet right now to check on those scuffed up sandals...thanks for the idea!

Reya Mellicker said...

Jo? COOL!! I hope there will be pics, yes? Please?