Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | November 17, 2014

My writing space

wpid-20140924_074828.jpg

 

Several months ago, I was tagged in a “Show Your Writing Place,” meme that was circulating around.  Although my space has been set up for several weeks in my younger son’s room, I haven’t written the post until now.  This picture shows the incense I burn in the morning for my meditation before I start working. The penguin cup was a Christmas present from my younger daughter. When it got chipped, I converted it to a marker/pen holder.  My fountain pens, with various color inks are waiting for me.  I do indulge in colored paper as well, especially when planning or mind mapping, which I am doing here.

wpid-20140924_074843.jpg

The left side of the desk has my pencil holder, my cases for my fountain pens so that they can travel from work to home without injury, and a stack of loose paper for reminder notes.  Given my ADD, I stick the notes in the clip on top of the little silver holder, plunk it down in the middle of the desk, and hope I see it. It’s not fool-proof, but works most of the time.

wpid-20140924_074852.jpg

Despite my recent shift to minimalism, I still have my little ceramic boxes from decades ago, which now corral small, pesky items. The top shelf also holds my parents’ wedding picture. My mother passed away last April after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.  I like to see my parents in a much happier time. My phone and bluetooth speaker are missing from this picture, but I find music essential for writing. The middle shelf has some of my craft books and a box of fountain pen ink. The bottom shelf holds my younger son’s books, since it is still his room when he come home on school breaks.

What does your writing space look like?  Do you have objects nearby for inspiration or solace? I’d love to see, if you are willing to share.

EM

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | November 12, 2014

Veterans’ Day thanks

My parents' wedding

My parents’ wedding

I treasure this picture of my parents’ wedding in December 1945. My father was the first in my immediate family to serve in the military, followed by my brother, my nephew, and my nephew’s wife. My husband’s family has served as well, including his brother, his nephew, and his grandniece.

I thank these members of my family, but I also thank all the veterans, past and present.

EM

 

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | October 31, 2014

You Must Hold My Paw

This is sweet, and funny, but I pity the poor owner!

 

EM

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | October 24, 2014

Bulldog puppy

So cute!

EM

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | October 17, 2014

Puppy confused by a water bowl

This puppy loves his new water bowl. . .

 

Enjoy!

EM

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | October 3, 2014

Dog and shadow

It’s so cute how this dog wants to play with his shadow

 

EM

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | September 26, 2014

Autumn arrives

One of my favorite musical renditions of the season.  It’s a long piece, but dip your toes in the cool stream of notes.

 

EM

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | September 9, 2014

WIPpet Wednesday Christine the child

Flipping to another WIP, a novella based on the life of Christine de Pizan (1364-1431), the first woman in France to make a living as an author. I give you 18 sentences, adding 9+10, and well, minus 1, because that’s where the piece stops.

If you want to join in, post a snippet from a current WIP that has some connection to the date, and link to the blog hop here. It is hosted by K L Schwengel–thank you!

“Christine, please pay attention to your spinning. It is a disaster, yet you refuse to learn. You must use both your hands in concert.” Christine thought, Synchronicity, like Papa explained about the celestial spheres.

Her mother continued her rant, “Look at the lumps in your wool! Your father thinks he can make you into a scholar, stuffing your head full of Latin and science. It’s not right for a woman to know how to write. How we will ever find a husband for you, I do not know!”

I’ll find my own husband, Christine thought. Stifling a yawn at the perennial argument, she searched through her Latin in a familiar game. Oscitate, yes, that’s yawning, she smiled to herself. Out loud, she said dutifully, “Yes, maman, I will try harder.” She picked up more roving to bear out her promise.

She loved her maman, but she wanted more than her mother’s life.  Christine yearned to be a scientist like her father, famous at the French court for his knowledge of astrology and the humours of the body.   She wanted to discover whether the pestilence that had ravaged the world was due to the conjunction of three planets, as some thought, or from a miasma, a mala aria in her native Italian. She would be as famous as her father, some day, and not for her spinning. She would be a new sort of woman.

EM

 

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | September 9, 2014

Eyes and heart wide open at the Second Annual World Sexual Health Day

In the wee hours of Friday morning, September 5th, I arrived home from an inspiring and liberating trip to New York City for the Second Annual World Sexual Health Day celebration.  The day, in all its components, was bigger than one blog post, and the telling of it will take much reflection. I discovered a refreshing look at sexual health and well-being; an event full of laughter, support, and an emphasis on the health/well-being/psychological side of the picture which was surprising, liberating, and comforting beyond words.

Wrapped around the celebration were good food and good friends in an almost medieval celebration of travel in company. I enjoy the vibrancy and speed of New York City, reveling in the rush of humanity, the eddies at narrow points that remind me of rivers going under bridges, splashing at the pillars that block their path. I prize eavesdropping on the languages I know, trying to identify those I don’t, and catching up on the latest fashions which will never grace my form.  My love of the city is somewhat new, as a recent transplant to upstate, which gave showing my finds to my companions an extra elation. The venue for the celebration, The Cutting Room, was a comfortable red, bronze, and wood room with a matching ambience, a new discovery filed in my memory.

In total disclosure, I had no idea what the evening was going to be.  I’d signed up to go for utterly selfish reasons: to meet August McLaughlin of #GirlBoner fame, whom I’ve known online for a couple of years now, to see New York, and slightly less selfishly, to accompany Shan Jeniah as tour guide to the big city. What I found was altering in some deep ways I have not completely processed yet.

In her opening statement, Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh did not discount the disease or dysfunction side of things, but added the missing celebratory piece, pointing out a Google search for sexual health would provide more than enough information about dysfunction and disease.  Her statement turned my historical focus on that aspect of sexuality on its head. Dysfunction and disease, or fear thereof, has punctuated my adult life from the beginning. From August’s introductory meditation on the color of our sexuality–deepest, royal purple, thank you–to Dr. Sara’s final compassionate plea for understanding those in differing cultures and beliefs, I felt such lightness of heart.

All the artistic pieces, from the stunningly beautiful photography in the bar to the acroyoga to the lovely tangos played by a cello and bandoneon duet found crannies in my heart, and I plan to post about them as well.  Right now, however, I’d like to detail the theatre pieces punctuating the evening and striking a harmonic resonance in my inner misfit.  Jeffrey Solomon and Emily Joy Weiner played the roles in Houses on the Moon, three vignettes, touching, gentle statements about the difficulties faced by those not on the exact center of the sexual spectrum.   The first, an allegorical piece about anchovy pizza, displayed the insensitive and invasive questions posed to humans on the left or right of center in that spectrum.  The transgendered roommate snafu portrayed further the quest for understanding and acceptance. The final piece, the teenage best friends confronted with the differing sexes of their heartthrobs, crystallized that need for understanding from those closest as well as the passing stranger. The pieces touched me, making me evaluate whether I was as sensitive in real life as I had imagined.

I encourage all of you to enjoy the streaming video, and celebrate sexuality in some small way.  Sign up on the World Sexual Health Day Facebook page, and follow the hashtag #WSHD on Twitter, so you can join us next year, or, if the trip is not feasible, to stay apprised of next year’s event and join us virtually.

EM

 

 

Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | September 3, 2014

2nd Annual World Sexual Health Day

The  2nd Annual World Sexual Health Day is happening tomorrow evening (yes, September 4, 2014) in New York City. Not anywhere near New York City?  No worries!  You can follow the streaming video at the link above.

Shan Jeniah and I are going to the city to meet August McLaughlin, whom we met through WANA (the brainchild of Kristen Lamb) in a recreation of the City Mouse and the Country Mouse that should prove a growth experience for each of us. Why in heaven’s name, you ask, would I take a day of precious annual leave to go to New York for World Sexual Health Day? Well, I’ve already named two reasons in Shan and August.

I met Shan in person soon after I moved to upstate New York a little over two years ago,  We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to meet up, but I enjoy each time we manage to do so. August is someone I got to know online, to the point that I find it hard to imagine I’ve never met her in the flesh.  When my brother passed away last December, August was one of the first of my “online” friends to offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. I was honored to participate in her Beauty of a Woman Blogfest last spring.

That is the friendship/personal side of things.  I have other personal reasons to be interested in this event.  Many of them echo Shan’s in her post about this event.  I was raised Irish Catholic in a time when the schools felt besieged by the changes in the world around them.  Skirts were shorter, so we had to kneel on the floor to show the modesty of our uniforms before we could enter the school.  The Pill had arrived, heralding sexual freedom, so we were terrorized with the fickle nature of men, who “wouldn’t buy the cow when they got the milk for free.”

On a more individual note, I had found my freedom and my passion in the life of the mind.  The body was secondary, whimsical and illogical, prone to flash judgements that promised only decades of regret. “Marry in haste, repent at leisure,” might have been emblazoned on the family crest, had poor shanty Irish had one.  I was at war with my body, confused and betrayed by physical desires I little understood and tried to put in their subterranean place.  As luck would have it, most of the young men at my high school saw me as the brain with whom they did homework and confessed their secret desires for the cheerleaders, popular girls, and the beauties.  Thus, without an outlet, the desires dimmed and guttered out.

In my mid-twenties, a divorcée, I reluctantly put myself back in the dating pool. On one of my first dates, a man asked to come into my apartment for a glass of water. He drank the water, shattered the glass, and threatened me with the shards while he raped me. At the time, AIDS was in the headlines, with people dying by the day, yet it was too early for date rape to be a concept.  The police sympathized with my cuts and bruises, but could not prosecute given that I had gone out with the man and let him into my apartment.

Long story short, I have a deeply personal connection with sexual health, both physical and mental.  I sweated through the weeks of waiting for my test results; I worked through months of therapy. I am not the common story, but I am more common than one might think. Because of my scars, I rejoice in the physical, the sexual, the freedom, because I have fought harder for that freedom than most people (until now, I suppose) know.

So, join us.  If not in the flesh, in the spirit; if not through the streaming, give a thought, a wish, a dream, to a freedom that should come naturally but often does not.

EM

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 240 other followers