Vulnerability and shame

Hello my friends!

I am reading a book about being vulnerable called "Scary Close" by Donald Miller. It is a quick flowing easy read, and yet packs such a punch.
I have been so conflicted about my blog and internet commitments as you know. It seems every post I write lately has been about how to streamline my life and use my energy more wisely.
I felt my blog added too much pressure to my days and I was lacking in inspiration. I felt like I'd said the same thing over and over and I was judging myself.
My perfectionist inside was standing up and pointing out the less than perfect photographs, or the repetitive subject matter, or the lack of comments. Every time I wrote something it didn't seem important enough or life changing enough to share with the world.
"Who am I to be telling this to the world?" or "Who wants to hear about my week?"were some of the phrases besides many others that flowed through my brain.
But in the midst of reading this book I've been convicted with my judging attitude towards myself. And so I would like to continue writing and showing my warts and all. I will share my imperfect poetry and my random sewing adventures. You will see my videos that are not really very professional but just home movies for my kids to enjoy in the future.
I will share myself with you in short and long ways. There will be no rhyme or reason, and I will give myself permission to have no readers at all!
This is all to help me learn to be vulnerable and to turn down the volume of my internal judge. Ultimately I want to connect with love and grace to myself and those around me. But I am so good at writing scripts of how things should work out that I struggle to let go and let it flow.
I want to feel the words and life and love flow through me.

This last week I have been mostly resting and unable to join in family activities too much because I am singing in a carol service on
Sunday. Somehow my ultra sensitive autistic system has become overactive, and I have had a couple of meltdowns during practices. So now I feel like my life is on hold until Sunday night. This is not fun!
Maybe I can let go a little, and instead of holding myself tight to every perfect note and every perfect moment, I can allow the music to flow through me. Maybe I can let go and not require perfect relaxation?

Of course even being vulnerable can become a stance and an act to perfect.
We'll see :-)
How do you cope with this? Have you had similar thoughts?
Thanks for reading and hopefully we can connect again sometime.

I leave you with my latest creation to celebrate 100 years since the end of World War 1.
My dog statue has a new poppy necklace!

Jazzy Jack

Hello and video

Greetings my friends,
Here we are after months with no action on my blog!
I am struggling to know what to write these days as I have no interest in my BeautyScopes and fashion. 
I have done a video recently so thought that could make a blogpost.
Here we are with Miles' photography experiments (hopefully you won't get seasick), his latest building project, and Aiden's new electric scooter which has given him back the world.
(Due to his chronic illness his fitness has really dropped, so he was even having trouble walking. Now he has explored with his scooter, he has also started riding Cris' electric bike, and a teeny tiny bit on a normal bike. His fitness is coming back, and with it our sparkly eyed boy. Such a great investment, and something I think people should accept as a mobility aid. Currently they only accept wheelchair type vehicles which are cumbersome and not as cool for a teenager...or older person! OK, enough ranting.)

Here is the video:

Behind the scenes I have also started work on a book of poems. Don't hold your breath, but I write it here to keep me accountable :-)

Here is one I wrote recently:
Away from the sea
I crave endless space
Space to take a breath
And play
No crowding
Or expectations
Or hard edges.
I need an enormous sandpit
Big enough to run in
To put my life
Into perspective
The waves don't care
If I hit my deadlines
Or have a clean house.
I can settle back
Into the groove
And flow

Til next time,
keep on creating!

Jazzy Jack

Spring photo and Mossy Point video

Greetings faithful readers!

I have a new video for you.  A couple of years ago we visited Mossy Point and I made Mossy Point Part 1. And I never produced Pt 2. This niggled away at me because I do like to finish things. So a couple of months ago we revisited and shot this second video as an update.

Here is a link to the other video if you are interested.

It is Spring, and Miles has been experimenting with some old lenses we converted to our new DSLR with a converter ring.
Doesn't this just scream SPRING IS HERE!!?

collecting gold
from a perfumed treasure chest
my work is beauty

Okey doke, my work is done.
I will see you again soon.

Til next time,
keep on creating!

Jazzy Jack

Aspie internet overload

Hello my friends!
I have new glasses!

Recently I have tried to get back to things I do easily and naturally. Things that I was born to do. Playing the piano came to mind. It is something I've done since I was four that was self organised. It is my happy place. I learnt to read music as I learnt to read words. I am as fluent in one as the other. So why don't I play the piano much these days? When I sat down to play I realised my progressive lenses make it difficult to see the music so I ordered a new pair ( see above). Well, let me tell you. That was the best decision! I had thought I was getting rusty and so that was why I was making so many mistakes. Little did I realise that I was actually avoiding looking down at the keyboard because it was visually too trippy to keep flicking back and forth to the music. So I was effectively playing blind. I'm amazed I did as well as I have. This has been going on for years and I had no idea! How we are expert at fooling ourselves. Anyway, now I can see again I'm playing so much better I want to play and play! I feel I have been given the gift of music all over again.

I have started writing little daily missives to a couple of friends. With one of them I also share yoga and spiritual reading and with the other writing. So every day we share our stories of deep thoughts or poetry about the details or just express frustrations we can't do a yoga pose or how we can't understand our kids or whatever comes up. For those who like me are fairly isolated this is such a wonderful practice. I started it to help keep me in touch with a friend who lives in another country. Now not only are we coming up to our third month of daily letter writing, we also keep each other on track with our daily yoga practice. It's amazing what you can drag out of your body when you feel the
strength of another's gaze.

This is in contrast to my years on the internet on social media. I have been trying to come up with an analogy for how that feels. It feels like standing in a party watching groups of people having conversations, and going around gently chatting, and then finding that each group is joining hands and you are being circled slowly around the room, and then it gets faster and faster as the music rises and you find yourself being swirled off your feet as you run from person to person and group to group calling out comments to conversations that are already past and your words are sprayed out into the general noise and at the same time the music stops and you are still shouting and you feel so exposed as everyone turns to stare and you find you have been dancing naked to a tune noone has heard and although they murmur kind words you realise they have no idea what you've been saying so you quietly leave after maybe murmuring an apology and they all turn and keep chatting amongst themselves and the music starts up again and they are happy and laughing and almost euphoric in their friendships and you are all alone.

So I am feeling a little left out of the party, but I prefer to think of it as peeping through the curtains to watch the party goers and smiling.
You can have your party and I will write to a couple of people and have in-depth conversations.
Not that you are not having in-depth conversations, but I can't manage more than two or three at once. I am often critical of myself and my needs which seem way more than others to the point of not being able to function. But I also think I am forced to think about how I use my energy way more than another, which has allowed me to find practices (after much trial and error) that suit.
I seem to write blog posts only about that these days, but that is what my life is about right now. (Hello Aspergers!) Taking a break from the norm to see if I can find a better way that suits me and my energy, so I can groove a bit more instead of slogging and forcing. I like to think that I might help another find a better way for them if so required.

As Thomas Merton once said:
“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

Settling down to just one or two projects is akin to what I've been doing in my wardrobe. Currently I am exploring French Style. I am finding it interesting to restrict the colours and the cuts. To make the look more structured and less messy. I may not stay here, but the exercise is very enlightening and bringing in my love of cool coats and jackets. So at the moment I seem to be leaning towards neutral separates with colourful jackets and interesting accesories. I'm hoping I can keep my own style and flavour within a more structured guideline.

And speaking of looks, I am also exploring growing my hair ( see photo). It is nice to feel a little softness around my face again. It is still a work in progress as I test the waters of longer hair and sense how straight or curly I should go.

Yesterday we had much needed long soaking rain and I wrote this poem.

the trees are dripping
with tears of joy
gratefulness pouring
down their trunks
gleeful roots
feast on moisture
as the world
breathes a sigh
of relief.

This is how I am feeling being able to connect back into my own soul ...and breeeeeeeeathe.

So my lovelies, we may catch a glimpse of each other to wave as we pass and even have time occasionally to chat for a second or two. But my energies are required elsewhere right now and I know you who are my friends will understand. I wish it was not so, and I could rush madly around the world making friends and sharing all the fun stuff I make and see, but somehow this is not what I am here for. I am the person who sinks deeply into the soil and grows the flower for none but the bees to see.

Til next time,
keep on creating! (Whether you and I can share it or not)

Jazzy Jack
PS I still hope to keep posting here every now and then when my soul requires :-)

Ebb and Flow

Greetings my fellow sojourners!

I have been exploring the concept of ebb and flow which I heard about in a blog somewhere. It has really piqued my interest. The idea is that you naturally have fluctuations in energy levels during the days and weeks. And you need to match your jobs to your natural energy level, rather than banging your head against a brick wall trying to do something when you are not able to, or wasting time on a routine task when your energy levels are high.
So they advise writing two lists so you have ideas ready to go for both these states.  I did this, but have yet to use them. But the concept is constantly in my mind.

The other method I am using is a week on/week off method. 
One of my absolute worst things to do is to have appointments. Things like the dentist, the electrician or the Dr all fall into this category. I felt I was drowning in appointments, so decided to give myself every second week off from them. I have just finished my first week off and although I was not as relaxed on the week off as I would like, it was refreshing to feel myself ready to tackle the appointment week once again.
It's also nice to be at the beginning of an appointment free week (as I am right now). It feels like a mini holiday!
It took me a while to realise that I do not have to have my foot on the accelerator 24/7. The appointments will take place, just at a slower pace. And although my natural state is push, push, push, my body doesn't like it. And this new system is waaaay better! I think I just need a little more stimulation with fun outings in the week off to help me relax. Still tweaking, but looking good.

On the topic of ebb and flow, I unearthed this poem again. I posted it a while back, but it fit so well I'm sure you won't mind reading it again.

As I walk the line
Along the shore
I wonder about permanence
And impermanence
Wash and backwash
Hearing the splash of waves
In one ear
And crunch of rock
In the other
I wonder that
The same waves that erode
Also build the beach
I ponder
The crab, shell fish, even seaweed
Have much to teach
About living with grace
in tumultuous times
Here where life provides abundance
And then lack
And so I tiptoe shore footed
Among my musings
Keeping a fine balance
Avoiding the blue bottles.

Something else I've been working on is I've decided to write down my life, or at least the bits I remember. It feels a little grand to be calling it my "memoirs", but it will be a place the kids can go to read about my interesting life.

Here is a snippet:
We had a lot of problems with security in our time in Mt Hagen. Our windows were covered with  "boi wire" which was basically squares of reinforcing wire. And eventually we had a home made alarm system installed. Little crocodile clips fastened on to pieces of wire protruding from the bottoms of the windows. ALL of the clips had to be attached when we turned on the alarm or a great noise ensued! It was our job to check all the windows to make sure before we flipped the switch. It was sooo tedious, and it was inevitable that someone had knocked one off when pulling a curtain or opening a window. All these precautions were moot the day we came home and found someone had cut through the wall under our dining room window and squeezed between the framing. They must have sent in a child!
We were broken into a couple of times. They usually stole food and men's clothing. I remember when Dad had to borrow a belt to get to work. He was rather a different size than our neighbour! The most memorable break in was when afterwards we discovered a plate of pineapple missing from the fridge. We could just imagine them running down the road balancing it.

I have just put together another of my videos from recent family happenings. This one is accompanied by me on the piano. I hope you enjoy this peaceful perambulate through our lives.

Til next time,
keep on creating!

Love Jazzy Jack

Building and testing a raft

Dear friends
Here is a video I put together of our family adventures with Miles' raft building. 
He has had so much fun thinking of new ideas and testing them out. 
This is unschooling at it's finest!
Enjoy a relaxing view.

Til next time,
Keep on creating!

Jazzy Jack 

Poem about the waves

the waves
swing round the rocks
digging heels into sand

then they lay down
an eiderdown of foam
soft susurration at the edges

the backwash explodes
a firework running
a rope lifted suddenly
~JJ 23/5/18