Saturday, May 9, 2009

How I love to sit on my patio in the dark..

and play melancholy gypsy melodies on my accordion!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Can't shut my mind off = insomnia, followed by nightmares

A terrible dream last night:

Ali and I were doing a photo shoot in a long, narrow space, walls and floors like my apartment, but easily a hundred yards long and only about six yards wide. The dream had three passages to it, and we moved down the space in thirds.

1. People bundled up in coats and scarves came in as we arrived, as if coming into the space from winter weather. This seems to set my dream in Italy. And the people were all academics known to me from meetings at school or X's colleagues in Italy. Academia. They ignored us as we set our lights and began the shoot.

2. We moved on to the middle of the space. Today the second passage is wiped from my memory, although it was vivid and I didn't think I'd forget it when I awoke from the dream. I think it had to do with X and a tattered top hat in need of repairs. The photo shoot continued in the middle of the space.

3. At the far end of the room we continued the shoot but were having trouble getting my arms in the position needed for the picture. There was a small curtained window in the wall there, and the space behind it was dark, seemingly a deserted, cluttered storage room. It occurred to us that if I put one arm on the sill of the window we could get the shot.

My hand accidentally went into the space behind the curtain as I took the pose. Then, out of nowhere, a dry, hot hand seized my wrist violently and angrily held on. The hand's skin was old, papery. I was terrified and screamed for Ali to help me detach myself from the hand, which would not release its death-hold on my wrist no matter how I twisted and jerked. She couldn't force the hand to release me, either, so reluctantly I struck out with my nails at the person who attacked me behind the curtain. With a sickening feeling I realized I was scratching my attacker's face as my fingertips dug into eyes and a mouth. I didn't want to hurt this invisible attacker, but felt I had no choice since she wouldn't release my wrist and clearly meant me harm. I told myself to wake up so I could end the dream.

The hand belonged to X's friend J, I realized upon awakening.

Horrible! I could venture a psychological analysis but will abstain.

I hate the end of the semester when I am so stressed out at work that it carries over into my dreams!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Photoshop: cheaper than surgery

What I wanted out of life when I was a little girl.

The reality of how it's turned out for me.

These are two things I ponder sometimes as I take Buster on one of our hour-long walks through the park with the iPod earbuds in and music playing in my brain. Listening to music while I walk really facilitates deep thoughts, I find.

I've been fighting off a teeny tiny little attack of the blues; part of that, I'm certain, is my still dealing with the emotional aftermath of the end of my relationship with X. If I get a little blue I always get extremely philosophical. And part of it is probably being 54; it's clear my life is more than half over and I can't waste a moment of what's left for me.

What I wanted "when I grew up" when I was a little girl:
1. To have two children, a boy and a girl, with two different fathers. I wanted one of my babies to be black because I thought black children were much more beautiful than white children :)
2. To join the circus and become an aerialist, trapeze performer or tight-rope walker.
3. I said I never intended to marry.
4. The technical skill to draw, fabricate or sew whatever I imagined -- drawings, dolls, costumes, books.

And, when I became a teenager, these things were added to my wish list:
5. To speak French, to go to Paris and maybe even to live there permanently.
6. To be a stage actress or dancer. Or a writer. Or an artist. Or a photographer. To be famous. To live "la vie Bohème" as much as it's possible in the U.S. in the 20th century.
7. To live in a gypsy vardo or an Airstream. Or an Airstream tricked out like a gypsy vardo.
8. To get my fair share of love, affection, kisses and great sex out of my life. To be thought beautiful by my beloved.
9. To march to the beat of my own drum and be true to myself. To be authentic and sincere.
10. To travel the world.

And then, as a grown-up, after my children were raised and I had fulfilled my obligations to others:
11. To own prescription designer sunglasses, a Louis Vuitton wallet and an Hermès scarf.
12. To make love in and have a great romance play out in Paris and Venice.

It's interesting to assess, at mid-life, how well I succeeded in my original goals. Pretty well, n'est-ce pas, all things considered. I find myself at this stage of my life worrying more about the "will I have time" issues: Will I have time to make every drawing I wanted to make? Will my health and vitality hold up so that I can continue to travel and hoof it relentlessly once I'm at my destination?

Why do I have to sleep eight hours a night? I'm wasting time!
Why does work have unpredictable hours and so many special events that derail me from my personal agenda?
Why do I often just walk around my house in circles finding stupid little putzy things to do rather than the grand projects? And then another evening's wasted, and how many more of them will I have in my lifetime?

That's the issue that seems to emerge as critical for me now, as a woman of a certain age: is there enough time?

And did I get all the kisses and great sex and loving I hoped to get out of this one life of mine?

Another semester draws to a close.

I've felt "meeting'd" to death recently, but things should really begin to wind down next week when the students are no longer attending class. Because of the swine flu epidemic I'll be gladder than usual when class is no longer in session and students aren't thrown together in confined spaces. We'll have a full stop for a couple of weeks before summer term and orientation start up, so maybe that will put the brakes on virus transmission here on campus. I do worry a little about our many international students who'll head home to Mexico at the end of the semester, but perhaps most will stay away all summer.

Awards banquets and concerts and other special end-of-semester activities have kept me up on campus later than usual most nights lately. I look forward to getting back into a routine with walking Buster and drawing nightly once all these special events cease for the summer. We'll have to shift our nightly walks to just before sundown soon due to the oppressive heat and humidity.

Commencement is the 22nd, and, after that, it really will become deathly quiet up here for a while. Honestly, I look forward to that. It's spooky, though, not to be leaving for Europe the day after graduation as I usually do. It will be interesting to be in Austin all summer this year. I'll find ways to stay busy and entertained, I'm certain!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Woman is a Woman homage...

A woman is woman edit
Originally uploaded by diebuechse
quite tongue in cheek.

The shoot with Ali was exhausting, but fun. I will likely be editing for days, and we didn't get to do six more setups I had planned because they're exteriors and we lost the light. Plus we need to shoot downtown when there's no one around to see the madness! Maybe in the next couple of weeks we'll finish, but it's a good start. 250 photos, but only about two dozen will go in the project.