Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mouse plays with String

Mouse: Who, me?

Heh, yes you Mouse...

I was on the phone last night with my Mom, after setting up a new warp on the upper frame. Mouse was quite intent that this was a new kitty game and/or I needed her help to play with the string ;o)

I'm trying out a herringbone pattern in this new warp, remembering some of how to do it after several years... it is one of the more difficult patterns I've woven before. I have a legal appointment later on today, and some computer programming to delve into after that. It is supposed to snow here (in Tennessee) tonight and/or tomorrow! Wow!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Symbols and Sign

This kind of post would usually have ended up on 'Geeky Girl Reads' blog - but I'm posting everything here now.

The linguistics classes I took were some of my favourites - and directed my study in my art and anthropology classes as well... I spent many many hours pouring through every volume (and copying large portions of them into sketchbooks if I could not check them out) in the philology def:(2b) and wikipedia and linguistics section of the library.

Article: Semiotics document - Signs
Saussure noted that his choice of the terms signifier and signified to indicate 'the distinction which separates each from the other.' Despite this, and the horizontal bar in his diagram of the sign, Saussure stressed that sound and thought (or the signified and the signifier) were as inseparable as the two sides of a piece of paper. They were 'intimately linked' in the mind by an associative link - 'each triggers the other' Saussure presented these elements as wholly interdependent, neither pre-existing the other.'

The study of signs and symbols is semiotics.

Examples of some signs from my drawings:

idealized forms(just a few of many) of the living state(mode) symbol. This symbol represents the physical heart as well as the abstract soul, combined into one state, or mode - of being. Think of it, linguistically, as a noun that always has one adjective state or another to begin (or connotation) - and then can have other adjective states attached to it, for additional information. ((Ex: starting noun 'dog' compared to 'hound' - then the addition of 'good hound' or 'loud dog.'))

The 'living' symbol is included to tell information about the figure it is attached to. This symbol tells not only if the figure is alive, a spirit, etc... but also can have other signifiers attached to indicate if the life is growing, looking towards the future or past, sick/well, protected/vulnerable etc. etc. The usual colour of this symbol is blue for the spirit - but if other colours are present, they too can add to the intended meaning.

examples from recent drawings

Monday, January 29, 2007

Missing my girls yet still counting my lucky stars

Jesse called today - wanting me to forward him some money out of our old account. I asked how the girls are - he said they're 'still adjusting.' :o( That's all he would say.

These are the pictures I keep on my desktop, to open and stare at once in a while... I do miss them -- hoping they are doing okay. It must seem like I died to them :o( However, they are strong girls - and had been home alone the last year for more than eight hours a day, most days - while we worked. *sigh* At least they have each other, and they are safe.

We're refurbishing and reorganizing some computer equipment today. I'm working on some more small weavings to get familiar with the patterns again. I still wake up every day and look at Mark and wonder how in the world we got this lucky and listened to whatever force it was that whispering about what we could be together. I could spend a large part of every day just fascinated by all the details that are weaving together to make this amazing -- yet we are still quite productive and getting lots of other things done ;o)

A set of pictures Mark took of the starband
weaving in progress.

Finished, but it will be a long time
before it comes off the loom.

Making use of the upper warp strings on the same loom as the starband.

(Universe Song)+(Shared Dreams)
Communicating (for/of) the Generations...
January 29 2007 - 4:45pm

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weaving, rabbits and stars

The orchid continues to produce beautiful blooms each day.

Mark and I were playing with his K'nex set
trying to put together something like a loom ;o)

A small band being woven -- the five crosses are 'stars.'

There is an old tale I remember - a myth, about Rabbit. Rabbit saw the stars in the sky - and wanted them for his own - to keep the light closer at night. Rabbit was warned by the other creatures that the stars could not be touched. However, Rabbit did not heed the warnings of the other creatures. He wove a basket of wood, then went into the Sky Canopy to gather the stars in his new basket. Each time Rabbit would lay paw on a star, it would burn him badly, turning his paws black - but he would get the star into the basket and then lick his wounds. After several stars had been gathered, the basket itself caught fire - and Rabbit lost all of the stars and returned down to earth to cry over his four black paws and singed ears. (However, Rabbit did have the burning basket for a campfire - and thus, it had brought fire down to Earth, but this did nothing for his burnt paws!)

Rabbit Draws Out a Band of Cloth
January 26, 2007 8:30 pm
post-processed photograph of original drawing
(not related to the myth above)
Now: Nearly nine years later... I have a different interpretation of what this drawing meant.  Our daughter was conceived two weeks later.  This was  a little bit of foresight that my body was getting ready to make a child - readying the basket etc. 

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Morning Light

Thank you for all your kind words and hugs about Abby

One of Mark's orchids finally started opening today. (around 7:30 am)
I tried to catch some of it in the early light.
It should be even better later today when the sun hits it...

A little more progression. (9:35 am)

January 24, 2007, 8:30 pm
Conversation between Deer and Rabbit
post-processed photograph of drawing

Fry dog says: 'What? I'm invisible!'
He has such a cute nose!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Belated Sad News

Abby the Great Dane

There has been so much going on around here, and so much time between my posts this month -- this sad news is sorely belated. Abby the Great Dane died, shortly before I came to live with Mark. She had a stomach problem, and had surgery for it around Christmas. The surgery saved her life that night. However, she only lived a week longer before other complications became apparent. We miss her, and so do her three pups - Blaze, DeeDee and Spot - who are still here with us.

Blaze, DeeDee and Spot sleep on/near the dog-couch (just for them) in the early morning. Puck looks on from her cat-perch on the sofa back.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Artwork

Click any picture to enlarge

To Live in the Beautiful Universe
This is one of my favourites.
January 6, 2007 8:00pm

There will be a few changes here at KnitOwl - and hopefully all of them good. There are many facets to my personality, and I've only been showing a few of them on the blog.

That echoes a lot of what I felt the past few years -- only parts of my true personality were 'acceptable' -- and that attitude has changed especially in the past few months. There are things that are important to me that I once kept 'under wraps' as to not jar with Jesse's family's religious beliefs. These facets are unconventional - but are an important part of me. Some of them come from my own family, and others from my own sense of what is 'True.' I no longer feel the need to be ashamed of what I am - or what I choose to believe.

My artwork and dreams are important to me. They contain a complex symbolic language that has developed into a 'conversation' with my subconscious. At times, they seem mystical and magical. Although I earned a degree in Art and Sociology at the University - most of my free time was spent in the library studying symbols, language, mythology and art from around the world. I could spend hours at the library - up until closing, filling sketchbooks and notebooks, reading obscure forgotten books and trying to make my connections about 'the Universe.' My mind wandered over many subjects - including math, science and philosophy - always returning to what seemed to be universal kernels of truth, spread among cultures far and wide.

I couldn't draw hardly at all when I began at the college. The art evolved with my knowledge - and so did the 'conversation' in it. Now, I use time drawing as a way to connect with what I am really feeling, and examine the world around me (and within me) using the symbols and a sense of time and place built into each drawing.

Some may think it is a form of magic (and thus evil?) or some strange way of deluding myself that the Universe is speaking to me...- but I'm not listening to that point of view anymore. Having someone who can see this as special and important, not evil and/or silly, has helped me be true to myself - and opened up a vast well of energy that was stifled for many years. Now that it is open again, I feel that energy coming out in every part of my life - as if I am finally on the right path again. Maybe the Universe is speaking to me.. or at least, I'm having a conversation with my inner Universe -- touching parts of my mind that otherwise wouldn't have the ability to speak to my conscious self and be heard...

These were drawings made within the past three weeks, and are just a handful of the many many pages I have been filling lately. Each drawing is begun in a set of random lines that evolve towards a complete picture.

Warding Off the Ghost of the Past
January 19, 2007 before noon

Deer Mask : Looking into the (Cave-That-Was) gives Foresight for Future Trials
January 20, 2007 10:30 am

January 21, 2007 5:00pm

Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines

Mark did take the body off the remote control helicopter to get a better look at how things were working inside. The blades hit something yesterday and broke a little -- but it STILL FLIES... wow. It is a durable little toy ;)

Mouse waits to be let out the door...
There are two people here now, won't one of you let me out?
Playing with Mouse both helps how much I miss Willow and Sally and makes me think about them even more... she is a lot like Sally in attitude and like Willow in her colouring.

When I'm stressed or worried, I put a lot of faith in my dreams. Usually, I keep a handwoven dream bag under my pillow, with a few small important objects in it. I'm starting to attempt a new weaving. I feel major life changes are a good time to make a new one. This may or may not be it, but I'll see where it goes. 3 inches across -- from simple materials, no set pattern to it.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

From the Road and Beyond

We left Tennessee at 3 pm on Tuesday afternoon, went through Chicago, Minneapolis, Grand Rapids, MN and Fargo, ND before turning back towards a long run home to return ahead of the storm that is sweeping across the center of the nation. We made it in 2 pm today. That's almost an average of 26 mph for every hour of the trip (even the ones we weren't actually moving). We're geeks.. we calculated it ;)

Chicago Public Library

Mark showed me around his old stomping grounds in Chicago, where he lived during his high school years. He has fond memories of driving around the city and suburbs with his friends, and we cruised some of those places Wednesday during the early morning hours, before going to the museum.

The Picasso in Daley Center in Chicago
We stopped by at 7 am in the morning
and braved the cold to view this statue.

Sunrise in Chicago
on Lakeshore Drive

Wednesday afternoon we went to the Bodyworlds display at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry - the first available day. It was amazing, if to most people a little gruesome. The exhibit was done reverently and in the name of knowledge - they also had a form showing the short essay one of the body donors wrote about why he wanted his body used in this way after his death. As an artist(and a fellow human being), I gained a lot of insight into the human form and structure. We also enjoyed the displays of motors, gears and the hatching baby chicks ;)

part of a mural with dragons
in downtown Chicago

Then we were off North again - stopping at Wisconsin Dells for the night then on to Minneapolis. I was happy to see snow again, and to see the trees and land look closer and closer to the 'back home' feeling of northern Minnesota. We pointed out the differences in the plants, terrain and especially the weather. Mark had never been further North than central Wisconsin. The first time I saw a snow bank I jumped in it ;) and he laughed 'crazy northern girl.'

We met Chris of StumblingOverChaos and RheLynn
at the Caribou Coffee in Minneapolis!

A gift from Chris!
A PURPLE KnitOwl dishcloth! Also some wonderful soap and tea, thank you!

Chris took this picture of us when we met her for coffee.
Mark and RheLynn

I had made up my mind a week before I finally left Jesse - that Mark and I are really meant for each other. I can't explain how well things have just fallen into place now that we are together -- sometimes it's like we've always been here, together, complementing and fitting into each other like magic. The reason I stayed with Jesse so long - after I knew how bad it had gotten - was that he was making threats (to himself, mostly) and becoming so possessive that I wasn't sure how to get out without first going to Minnesota -- if only to get some help from my family and/or his.

We stopped by Grand Rapids, MN to visit with my parents and my cousin. Apparently Jesse is still hanging around up there - but we were too busy and not wanting to get into anything more while we were there. After the family visit - we were off to my college-days city, Fargo ND. I showed Mark the college, the places I used to drive around and we stopped into my old workplace to look around. We had a blast at the Zandbroz variety shop, the model shop and the used bookstore on Broadway.

Miss Kelba, the bluetick coonhound, came along for the ride as well. She was happy, as long as she got to howl at other dogs and roam around at wayside rests and gas stations here and there.

A remote control helicopter bought in Fargo, ND

Stack from a stop to a used bookstore
(The owner was very happy with us *heh*)

In the bookpile: Charles Sheffield, Philip K. Dick, Lester Del Rey, Larry Niven, David Drake, A.E. Van Vogt and many others... Also, an illustrated volume of Lewis Carroll and a 1980 copy of Goedel, Escher, Bach (GEB). The 'sets' are from the Great Books study series and include selections from Xenophon, Toqueville, Plato and Aristotle.

Now, even after a 2,500 mile road trip (in 4 days) Mark and I are back home in Tennessee where we plan to stay.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Road Trip

Mark and I headed to Grand Rapids, MN to visit my parents and talk about all of this in person. We'll be passing through Chicago and Minneapolis. Looking forward to a meet up with Chris on Thursday afternoon!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Willow and Sally and where I am now

Jesse has Willow and Sally -- I'm not sure if I'll see them again :( I couldn't take them with me that morning - and it was a very hard choice to make. All that came with me was a single suitcase - walking down to the local coffeeshop at 7:30 in the morning, call a friend, and get out.

There was never any physical abuse - but there was control and a very unhealthy emotional relationshhip. That relationship only became more controlling and unhealthy after I began to put my foot down. I realized I didn't love Jesse anymore - I was just being dutiful and concerned for his welfare. He insisted life was 'not worth living' without me - and was willing to live in a loveless marriage while 'moving mountains' to make me happy. Purchased things and calculated gestures are not the key to my happiness -- and that was something I knew deeply. As I continued to reject those ideas and try to assert my rediscovered self-confidence, self-worth and ambition -- Jesse began to sink deeper and deeper into scary depression... including suicide threats, bursts of anger, and constant circular arguing. My true self was not someone he wanted to understand - she was someone who should be checked for a neurological problem, or 'a whole new person' who wanted no committments, complete independence and was unwilling to work out anything. I couldn't see myself loving him again after all of the years of controlling and road-blocks put up in the things that made me who I am. He couldn't grasp that - it seemed to break something inside him. He said it was love that he could not be a person without me - could not do anything with himself but be depressed, if he didn't have me 'forever and ever.' I saw that as possession - not love. Love is when two people have a synergy and cooperation between each other that enhances the whole - that attracts them together with a force strong enough that, even when they are apart for long periods of time, they can't stop thinking about each other - in all ways, not just physically.

So - I will be divorced, sometime soon. Last thing I heard from Jesse was 'I'll try to take care of the girls - they were crying for you. Know this Rhe - if anything happens to me, it is unintentional. I forgive you for everything and will love you forever.' That was a hard thing to hear - but I can't be there with him. I can't take responsibility for his existence -- that is his own self-worth. I understand his shock, sadness and despair as well -- but can't bring myself to think there was true love there, just .. comfort, safety and possession of something (me) that would lead to the future he had envisioned. This all sounds so cynical on my part, doesn't it? But I can't truly believe that -- I took an entire month to work this all out -- continuing to stay, through the depressions and the packing of the house... up until the night his sister flew in from Minnesota.

Earlier that day, he had been kicking things and arguing with me - 'why can't we make this work - we made a vow to each other and to God.' He was giving me eyes of 'if looks could kill.' He was saying he would emulate all the things I had come to appreciate about, yes, another man - a man who wanted me to be happy in myself and my identity, not in things and elaborate financial and career-track plans that demanded MY presence for HIS continuing to be HIMSELF. So - yes, Jesse had a right to be jealous as well. However, I had not done a single thing but talk to this other man - and we had been working together as a synergistic team for the past two years, on a variety of complex and technical projects. He said if what I needed to be happy was going off on my own - wherever I needed to be - he would simply be happy to know I existed, and was being true to myself. Jesse's 'emulation' of this other man, however, was in the far 'he is the devil' extreme. He began to drink, said he would begin to smoke - would begin to be violent with me if that is what I wanted in this other man. No - that is what JESSE sees in this man, because.. Jesse wanted to keep me, no matter what. So he took a one-sided view of a person and stretched it out to the extreme. Jesse even told me that this other man would kill me if I ever decided to come to him instead of Jesse.. and bury me in the woods, and no one would ever know. That scared me badly. That Jesse had come to that conclusion - and was trying to emulate this personality while thinking that this man would do such a thing. Draw your own conclusions. It was time to get out.

When Jesse's sister returned with him from the Nashville airport - she was supposed to be our mediator. She had flown down to help us talk things out, and was going to drive to Minnesota with us. However, she avoided the subject upon arrival - and when she did touch on it, it was to downplay any wrongdoing on Jesse's part. Minnesota would make it all better -- I just had to work harder on it. Jesse was nothing like he had been earlier in the day - he was joking and laughing with her, talking about old times. Then she went out of the room to put her bag down - and he gave me the 'see - you're the one with the problem' eyes. We went to bed. Early that morning I woke from a terrible dream that the sister had brought a bag into our house that was supposed to help - but it was full of rags and intestines. I woke up scared out of my mind. I packed a bag while they were still asleep, and left her a sealed letter. Taking only a few things (my sketchbook, ID, a favourite blanket to put around my shoulders in the cold etc.) I walked down to the coffeeshop where the early-morning frost. Luckily the lady there let me call out - and I waited for about an hour for my friend to arrive.

I've been staying out here at work, trying to put everything straight - and keeping busy. This man and I are going to visit my parents, and talk about all of this, and about the future. I am filing for divorce from Jesse. I don't want to be with him, and definitely not have his children anymore. That used to be a carrot he would dangle in front of me - I want a child - but I want a child with someone I respect and love.

So, it is a tangled mess - and I took a month to decide just how bad the water had turned, before I jumped out... the jumping out would have been easier, if we hadn't been here in Tennessee 'alone' - without our families for support and mediation. Maybe I would have been 'gone' weeks ago, in that case. My stepfather and mother were already telling me to get out of that situation when I first called them about it a month ago. Jesse's family still didn't know we were having problems this bad, until just a few nights ago when I affirmed I was NOT going to be in their family anymore. They warned me that if anyone wants to consider marrying a divorcee that I should worry they won't be faithful... so, I'm not worried about Jesse's family anymore either - as that is an awful stance to take. I wish them all the best -- I hope he can make something of his life, even though he says he can't now. :o( All I wanted, that entire month, was some self-awareness from him and to see his true soul - not just the 'I want you to fulfill me' side he had been showing me. When I saw his true soul - it was scary..

I understand disappointment from some of you - but I know where I was. No one can tell me now that staying with Jesse any longer than what I did would have changed anything. It might have gotten even worse in Minneapolis - because he was not going to trust me around other men - already he had become 'where are you going? when are you coming back?' every time I left the house, and checking up on what I was writing in my sketchbooks to see what I was keeping away from him.

Until later - we have a trip to Minnesota to plan here, and I will be honoured to have Mark meet my parents. Every time I look into his eyes, I know we see each other for who we really are - and that very fact is important to both of us - to be who we are, and not put up appearances for anyone else. We may see a few of you in Minneapolis, good luck pending -- Chris, I'll give you a call! :o) I feel much happier, confident, safer and able to direct my own destiny here - the caged bird feeling is entirely gone, as well as many of the 'I should be ashamed because I'm not what he wants me to be' sort of feelings.

I will still miss Sallymander and Willowpede -- I do every day.. I don't think Jesse will ever hurt them physically. I can't confront him face to face, for a while - he knows how to pull on my emotions and make me cower in his presence. Maybe I can get my girls back after a while - but maybe they can teach Jesse something.. I can't justify leaving them (still see their little noses at the back door, sensing something wrong with the situation, but I can't let them come with) but I could not justify staying a minute longer, either, in many more ways.

UPDATE: My stepfather called from Minnesota, indicating he had seen the blue truck (the vehicle Jesse took to Minnesota) parked at Jesse's family's house - so he has arrived safe, at least.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

More News.

I have to apologize to the Minneapolis knitters, as I will not be coming. Some of you understand what has been going on, and some of the rest of you will be disappointed in me. I sent Jesse North to Minnesota without me - I had to get out. For now, I'm safe and everything is looking up. I have some support and confidants here as well, and will get 'restarted' in the area.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Moving Continues...

The moving continues, it has been slow going here - but at least *cross fingers* the rain is letting up so I can do more. Jess' sister Daisy (a developmental psychologist with two small children) is coming down tomorrow or Wednesday to help us out. She'll ride up to Minnesota with us too, so far. I'm looking forward to her visit for a few reasons.

It's down to mostly the furniture and the small stuff now - then the cleaning. Still no idea when we'll get to Minneapolis, actually -- this is taking such a long time. We'll probably stay in Grand Rapids for a little bit to straighten some stuff out. But I've promised to go to Minneapolis - so we are, for a while.

That's about it - Willow and Sally miss the furniture from the front room - it's at the storage. They really don't get what all the strangeness is about.

more updates as they come...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Some of you can watch your mailbox...

RennyBa in Norway - your package is sent, with my deepest apologies.
Lynn in Canada - you'll have something I hope is nice waiting for you when you get back from Vegas!

Rhiannnon in California - your package is in the mail.
CarrieK - A little bit that reminded me of you when I made it ;o)

Still need to get out a package to Susan before the end of the month (for her being the 10,000th hit) and Alee's aliens - but that might have to wait until we get to Grand Rapids/Minneapolis.

The rain spoiled my 'get stuff in the truck and out to the storage center' plan for today. So - more packing.

"We recognize the simplest form of the principle to be time. Each moment in time exists only in so far as it has effaced the preceding one, its progenitor, and only to be itself, in turn, as quickly effaaced. The past and the future (if we may disregard the consequences of their content) are empty as a dream, and between them runs the present as a mere boundary line without extension and without duration."
-A. Schopenhauer - 'The World as Will and Idea'

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Moving Boxes

We got a load of moving boxes today - starting to sort out the things to throw away, what stays in storage here in TN and what comes to Minnesota with us. There was a beautiful little long-haired red tabby at the U-Haul store, that loved me up, purring and kneading my knee as we talked to the man about boxes. I was sure the girls would smell her and be upset - but no, they were more interested in the new boxes to hop in. Sally is playing mousie fetch like a mad cap - and Willow cries at me a lot to pick her up (she hates being picked up - she likes sit-down laptime instead usually). I think they sense the nervous energy in the house.

We have a short list of apartments to look at in Minneapolis on our first shot through. If they aren't suitable - then we will continue on to Grand Rapids, MN and stay for a little while until there is a suitable apartment available. 2-cat apartments with a low 'get-in' price are hard to find! There is a great lady helping me by phone and email though, from a relocation service.

It feels like I've lived a year since the 13th of December. Time has 'slown down' because the activity level has skyrocketed, and remained there. My creative streak has not died down one bit. That brings me hope.

I wish I'd had the camera today - as I travelled to the store for some moving supplies, the moon was beautiful, in an eye of blue-green sea over the horizon. It was the full moon - surrounded by the falling twilight - which was turning to darkness, but yet had the detail of the clouds where the light of the moon was not reaching. It made me stare and sigh, and wonder how much I'll notice such things when life slows down again.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Update

It seems we are moving to Minneapolis, in a week. It might take a little longer - if the apartments on our list are no-gos for Willow and Sally - we'll drop them off in Grand Rapids, MN and try again over the course of the week - until we find a place.

I'm unhappy - but so far am unable to sort out the rest of my emotions. However, in some ways, mostly internal, I'm happier than I've been in years -- which makes it hard to sort things out. My brain is still buzzing with ideas and new drawings and concepts that just never made it all the way to 'Eureka' before -- it's almost worrisome, in a neurological sense.

We'll see how everything goes ... more info later. Thanks everyone, for being there in email and letters.

I hope your New Year's went better - for all of you.
Until later -