Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Alone Zone

Sometimes, I think I have changed a lot, but then I look at things around me and realize that I might be a lot the same and my days and surroundings all still reflect the me I used to be.

The me I used to be.

One thing I pondered recently is that my house satisfies the artist in me.

The artist in me.

I used to write and perform and train horses and play music and do many creative things. Now, most of those things are gone. But the Lord has given me a house that serves as a blank canvas. How I enjoy doing little things in this place where I spend so many days and hours, day after day, within its walls.

I remember how, when I was healthy, there was not a single day that I did not go outside, take care of the horses in the barn, and other animals. Now, I can go days without stepping outside. And a week can go by without leaving the yard.

This house, a manufactured home, was all white walls and white trim and white doors and ceilings when we moved in. Over the last three years, we have been doing little by little to change some of this. As I've mentioned before, we are "going for" a lodge-type feel to our house. Not a big fancy resort lodge, but a small, lakeside camp would better describe our taste. We have some mounted deer antlers on the walls, artwork that reflects mountains and lakes and trees, all which work well with our horsey/cowboy art that we have collected over our lifetime of working on western ranches.

I have been painting the doors and it's been very fulfilling. To me, each door is a work of art. They are a poly-type material with four recessed panels in each door, each side, and a nice wood-grain throughout. I paint the doors and panels until they look antiqued and aged then I step back and feel like I've just created a piece of art on a canvas. It's very rewarding.

And I'm alone as I paint. I'm in my "Alone Zone." Mouth closed, concentration on the colors and avoiding places I don't want to paint, I know this is a good place for a brain to be.

I've always known that a brain needs those times when we just "zone out" and don't think much, just live in that very moment. It's restful and cleansing for the brain. Riding horseback down long trails or brushing horses in the corral, I had hours each day of my life in this sort of activity. Cleaning corrals with manure fork and wheelbarrow; working in an arena to create the balanced trot I was "feeling for;" gardening and much more, pretty much all of my work life has been spent in the Alone Zone. I've loved every minute of it.

My progress is exceedingly slow. It takes me a couple of weeks to finish both sides of one door. I can only work on them for about an hour or two a day, but then I can't do it every day because I pay the price bigtime for doing it. But it's my choice to do it and I'll do it if I want!

I counted 14 doors, inside, in our house, including closets. I have painted, so far, one side of 5 different doors. It has taken me almost 3 years. I can easily see many years ahead that there is plenty of resting-brainwork for me to do here. I don't mind.

I have been feeling pretty badly lately, even though my days are very slow going and I get times of rest and napping each day. My oncologist asked me yesterday if I could see obvious decline, neurologically, and I said absolutely yes. Just walking a block looks monumental to me lately.

I have many, many thoughts to blog about, but being at the computer has become harder and harder. I had my narrow mind focused on the reason as being only my head position while looking at the monitor. Then, it dawned on me yesterday that it's not that as much as it is the movement of my arms and fingers at the keyboard. As you, dear reader, type, you might take notice of how much arm movement is going on. I'm pretty docile as I type, but I can see my elbows and arms flying about, and I know that it all travels right up my arms right to my skull base. Voila!

So, yes, I'm still horribly far behind on emails. I'm getting used to it and not letting it bother me so much any more.

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