Peace By Piece and Amor Fati

"Psyche's Pieces"

Susanna Ruebsaat, my Art Therapy teacher, reads a paragraph from “Wisdom of the Psyche,” by Ginette Paris who was one of her teachers at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.  Paris wrote this after recovering from a very serious head injury.

“Love of One’s Fate: Amor Fati; a love of one’s story.

I’m a participant in my own drama!  A love of what is.

Even my messes are my own.  I’m able to feel.”

A love of what is and a love of what is becoming.

Know the form in which one’s destiny unfolds.

This form of psychological creativity eventually leads to what the ancients call: Amor fati.

Dionysian attitude:  A desire to know the specific form in which one’s destiny unfolds.

Loving Your Life: “How could it be other-wise.” (N.R. Rigets)

Susanna refers to my clay sculptures and mentions how my first was so rough and my second was so smooth.  Yes, there is an amazing contrast (and contract) between the 2 female forms.

I respond with, “Life is rough and as I practice life it becomes smoother.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Acceptance of what is and love of what it is becoming.

"Before I Lost my Head by Dionysian Forces"

A link to Dionysian and Apollonian dichotomies and philosophies on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonian_and_Dionysian

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Zilli Knits??!!

Zilli rifled through the pages of her journal looking over her writing.  There were only six empty pages, and then she’d slip into a new one, with a cover decorated in dried and pressed flowers. This Spring flowers would embellish every outfit and accessory.  Zilli kept an eye on the NYT fashion pages and felt  gutsy knowing she would be wearing her jeans with a wardrobe of striped shirts this season.  Full of confidence she chose to peruse a two year old entry from her journal written at a time when she wondered if she’d ever write for publication.  Here’s how it went:

A stay-at-home Saturday last week; Zilli’s favorite.  Sleep in, love up, afterglow (pink apple cheeks), oatmeal with fresh blueberries and strawberry applesauce, brush teeth, climb back onto bed beside Mac, admire the view, the birds, the white sail sailboats, start to read, fall asleep in the Saturday sunlight with some of the windows open to the sea breeze, wake up one and a half hours later, make lunch; big plate of fruit using one pear that tasted like liquor, a cara cara orange, grapefruit, cameo apple, and a mandarin orange…

Zilli and Mac ate sunflower seed butter on ancient grains bread made with spelt and kamut, lightly black salted, and served open face.  The French music radio station played fifties jazz. Incongruous as it seems, Zilli started to knit the pink mohair pullover she’d seen displayed at the wool shop in her neighborhood. Four double-size cotton candy balls of wool, bamboo needles, and a printout of the pattern were tucked into a clear plastic bag with a black shoulder strap and a smile. The only reason Zilli knew how to knit was due to her maternal grandmother who the family called, “Chickie,” so Zilli and her younger brother did too.  Chickie made heavy wool jackets with zippers up the front for each member of the family.  The Canadiana-style patterns always included snowflakes, deer, or elk on either side of the zipper; each above a knit pocket, and below a full collar. The jackets became a trend; smart looking, warm and beautifully made.  Quite the opposite of the relationship occurring between Zilli’s parents.  The  more the tension increased the more Chick knit, and knit, and the relationship still came unravelled.

The daylight dimmed and Zilli got up and washed all the dishes including the ones used the night before.  Why, she wondered could she not keep up with cooking and cleaning the way other people do?  This transitive thought did not stop her from making snacks for the movie at eight, her choice: “American Cousins.”  She couldn’t remember it now but had written, “loved it,” at the time.  She washed her face, made triphala tea, and sat down to write thinking maybe she should write for other people and stop writing for herself. Perhaps that’s waylaid thinking:   Zilli wondered if that was the reason her blue pen got damaged and had to be returned to France for reconditioning.  Very little had been written in her journal since she decided to stop whining in it.  Zilli stopped writing down her dreams once she noticed them becoming repetitious.  She was dreaming a lot but not taking a pad to bed to capture them.

It’s been suggested that a person write for 5 minutes as soon as they wake up.  She would try that for a change.  Change is what she felt she was about now.  Finally the old habits of mind just don’t work any more; they were stalling her and she knew it.  In order to gear up for progress in life a person has to think new, be fresh, open and eager to be the change they’ve made. “Be the change I’ve made!!” said Zilli to herself.  She came across a directive in a small coiled book from 2002 telling her to write a story and it wouldn’t have to be a story about her.  She gave this some serious thought.  She would buy a book, any drama in print, and alter the cover.  This would be her story:  appropriated, altered on the outside, and just like any other on the inside.

Satisfied with herself she got out her handbag, daubed some glue on the front and stuck an old metal belt buckle to it.  That would do until she went shopping in the morning for faux flowers to attach in a frame-like manner around the ornament. The keys to the Benz glinted against the white marble countertop, they knew Zilli would take them for a drive tomorrow.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

I Hold Zilli’s Tongue

It’s Friday night and I’m having my own party…a bag of organic chipotle flavored potato chips and a small dish of organic bread and butter pickles.  I see an ad I recorded in my journal that reads: “Baker kneaded”.

An email pops into view – a quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.”

The rare ‘Paper Nautilus’ is not fastened to its shell and can leave the shell and start another life.  This was mentioned in, ‘Gift From the Sea’ by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. What a remarkable thought!  Leave and start another life..

A friend calls from her Benz idling in front of the building, “Can she come up, or is it too late?” “No, it’s not too late,” I reply, “There’s still some chips left”.

“Sometimes I feel I have left the lives of others around me,” Zilli spouts as she walks in the door straight through to my spot on the chesterfield.  I graciously overlook the loss of my comfort zone and move my cup next to a chair but not before lifting the chips closer.

Zilli was right on the seat of the next thought and it was LONG…here’s how it went  as later recorded by ‘Moi’.

“I’m that rare or unusual one the others of my kind stand and blink at.  Something I don’t know about is being transmitted outward and creating a pause in the space to be filled between me and others.”

Before I could get clarification, I heard, “Too many faces in Whole Foods swarming between the products, the aisles, and one another.”

“Hmm…next…” Zilli’s ongoing, “Their expressions  move back and forth between them and across their faces and stab my vision with unpleasing impressions surrounding me as I make my way among them.  Each one works to extinguish my smile, my energy, my openness, with blaise oversight and self-importance.  They work all day on their appearance and they leave their smile on ice while leering daggarishly around themselves.”

“Drink Zilli?”  No can hear!!  Off she goes, “They’re either pausing to blow their own horn with an acquaintance, or I hear their cellphone conversations projecting loudly into the department around them, making them appear absurd!!”

While Zilli coughs on a pickle she scoffed, I reply, “So what you’re giving me is a warm-hearted critique of mall shoppers in a 40,000 square foot food store.”

TGIF to all!!!

I have Zilli for days and dreams by night, internal dialogue, white noise, din, construction racket, gardeners’ engine driven tools, garbage and recycling trucks, diesel-powered Handy Darts, the freight train, sirens, false alarms, the elevator shaft, the laundry machines, dogs barking, and I’m to clear my head and write something new every day.  I think I’ll write a dream recall instead:

I woke up to remember seeing a pigeon with a Keno entry form held along one side with its beak.  The form was white with red print, as they are, and the pigeon was warming up to fly off with it.  The heavy paper was flat and smooth as it protruded from the small dark beak.  The bird took a flight at a low, low, level across my vision and after a couple of trys it made a veer to the old stone stairs. There was a bright spot in the sky at the top and it was in that scene that I saw the pigeon successfully gain altitude and rise above the length of the staircase.  The bird now exhibited “smooth sailing” and the ability to fly upward while holding something heavy.  I discovered I was with someone and we had left a dark basement-like space to come outdoors and see the lesson nature offered. The other person was a slender young woman; she and I looked like two figures in a color comic strip where the background was a dim grey and I saw myself viewing us this way as I dreamt.  “The End”

There’s always worry in a day, only this time it’s not mine, it’s Noah’s:

Noah confesses he’s worried about the beavers on the ark.

Zilli left after the snacks ran out and I’m putting the kettle on…the evening’s just begun!

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets