Rockin’ it

Tonight, I went to another art exhibit.

And alone, too.

Yes, I ended up meeting friends there, however, I was going in the first place, whether they accepted the belated invitation or not…

And it was wonderful.

I loved the art, I had fun with the friends, I felt myself, and I felt totally loved, and for being just that (myself, I mean).

And I didn’t even think about this as being an improvement on who I am being in life until after the fact, upon further, late-night reflection…

It was wonderful.

It has only taken me years, but I am finally beginning to embrace and to take advantage of the wonderful arts scene found in Houston.

I am finally going to museums somewhat regularly, and am even going on my own, at times, now.

And I love it.

And I love myself for it, too.

I love being myself, the self I have always had inside, the one who wants to be a museum/goer, who can be found on her own at a museum, contemplating this or that piece with curiosity.

It’s really cool, y’all… really cool.

Post-a-day 2019

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What goes down at the museum

So, this happened while we were walking around the current exhibit (Fashion photography) at the museum today…

We actually had a somewhat difficult time not laughing too loudly as we were doing this.

I had asked my mom if she was going to give me back the cash I’d lent her anytime soon… (She was leaving town right after we finished the painting class we were doing one day, and she realized that she had forgotten to stop and get cash at the bank, so I just gave her some that I had.)

A couple comments later, my mom has turned to me and is opening up her wallet… as she starts flipping through the bills contained within it, I notice myself taking a quick glance around the room (exhibit room), and suddenly feeling like I was just checking to make sure no one could see what we were doing….

And I instantly thought about how shady a scenario this, under different circumstances, could be.

‘Are we doing our sketchy drug deal in the museum?’ I said quietly to my mom.

We both then glanced around and could hardly contain ourselves as she counted out money, and I gave her a coupon I had recently been given and wouldn’t be using.

Quite the dealing, though I say so myself. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Photos!

Okay, one ended up not happening after all, but the first photo thing happened today, and, not only was it a successful photo shoot, but it was also an awesome adventure!

I was doing photos for a friend who is a curator at a museum, and so I got to go see (and photograph, of course – that’s why I was there) the new museum setup before it has even opened its doors to the public!

It was something wonderful to see, and also a delightful learning experience regarding all of the objects and models and things on display within the museum!

I really enjoyed the whole time of it.

Then, looking through the photos tonight – which I was rather terrified to do, and which I only did because I’d given my word to the friend that I would check over them tonight – I discovered that almost all of them looked great!

I just need to redo a few, which was already expected, anyway, due to the fact that not everything was finished being set up in the museum yet.

So, yay!

Also, when going through them, I went ahead and loaded the previous two rounds of photos I’d done… and those.. were.. awesome!

I was totally inspired by my own photos – a concept which then doubly blew my mind with inspiration!

How cool is that?!

Yay!

Post-a-day 2019

Nerding into the finish line

Tonight was great.

I turned in the hard copy of my paper (digital copy was earlier today – I just couldn’t get to campus until after work), and then somewhat spontaneously went to dinner with a friend from college (finally, it worked out for both of us).

Dinner was great.

The restaurant we picked, which the friend had picked at random from the two options I gave, was shut down, and so we went to the other option, and the pumpkin red curry special was just what I’d needed and wanted on this cold and windy night.

I ran into an old friend from dance while having dinner, and that was fun.

The friend and I having dinner together talked a lot about boats, because he works with boats and art, and then we finished a crossword puzzle.

It was a nerdy affair, and I definitely loved it – a rather perfect end to the semester for me, really.

Post-a-day 2018

Opera, Veterans, and Travel

I have two things on my mind right now: opera and emotions.

Tonight, due to the gracious encouragement of a new acquaintance, I found myself attending a unique performance, called “Glory Denied” and put on by Houston Grand Opera and HGOco.  The main character is a man in the Vietnam War, who becomes a prisoner of war for nine years, and then eventually returns to the USA.  The story, essentially, is how his life falls apart throughout it all.  It is sad and tragic, and the music only makes it more so.  The setting of the performance being an old airplane hangar that has turned into a museum added to the show itself.  The comedic and especially unique bit of the night was the fact that directions to the bathrooms included going “around the helicopter tail.”

Now, this opera was sad.  Period.  And I knew it was sad beforehand, so I made an effort to stay detached from it.  I have a history of becoming too engulfed by something to be able to separate myself from it fully.  When I read books, it is so easy for me to fall into the narrator’s experiences, that I find myself being agitated in life, if the narrator was agitated wherever I left off in my reading, or giddy and joyful, if that was his/her mood.  I even take on phrases and mannerisms of the characters, and ask myself questions that I am accustomed to reading (or hearing, if it is an audiobook) from them.  I’m not sure that I’ve been ever as on-edge, frown-y, tense, and distrusting as I was while listening to the Hunger Games audiobooks.  Life was intense during that one.  That is why I wanted to keep my distance tonight, because I know people have very intense experiences when it comes to war.

As I watched the opera, I found myself wondering if these people, the performers, ever have to deal with such a thing as I do.  Do they have repercussions in their daily lives, due to the effect playing that particular character had on their mental state?  Do they find themselves questioning their sanity, when they have been playing a character whose scale leans too far toward the insane?  I wonder.

And I almost succeeded in staying separate from the emotions of the characters.  I made it through most of the show safely, but then a surprising part hit me hard.  As the main character begins pouring out the shattering sorrows of adjusting to a changed world, back in the USA after nine years of imprisonment, I was dragged into his experience.  Tears rolled slowly down my face, unbidden.  No, I have never been a POW nor even been in a war, but I have been in my own version of that same homecoming.  No parades, no parties, no photos nor celebrations.  Life around me is unchanged by my silent arrival to the country I call home.  Did they even notice my return?  The characters sang of the expectations a returning veteran might have of his family and friends, – that they be as loving and excited about him as they were when he left, and that they were missing and thinking of him as much as he was of them during his absence – and of the unstable feeling of returning to a physical world – one in which he had always felt stability – that has altered dramatically, and even unrecognizably in places.

I know this experience.  Again, not the whole war and POW stuff.  Certainly not that.  Living abroad several times, I have been in my own version of this veteran’s experience after the war.  I have learned and improved each time, and I have done my best in more recent years to prepare myself for how people will have changed by the time I return to Houston.  No matter what I do, though, there is always a sort of anticipation, a hopeful expectation of how they will be.  They will be the best versions of themselves with me, and their love will fill me constantly.  They will be patient with me, and gentle.  They will be interested in my experience since I have been gone.  All of this, because they have missed me and thought longingly of me as I have of them, throughout all of my new struggles in this new life I was living temporarily.  And then, when I arrive, finding that this is not the case, they are not as I had unconsciously expected, it is confusing.  I recognize the place and the people, but they are both different from what I left, and I cannot quite see how or why.  They have not been through what I have.  They have not had my struggles.  So why do they not comfort me and love me as I have so needed during my absence, as I so need now?  They are different from how I remember them, from how they have existed in my mind while we have been apart.  But so am I, and I see that they have mistaken who I am now, for an image they have built of me inside their own minds.  They can see that I have changed, and I can see that they have changed, but we don’t understand one another’s change, and it is difficult to cope, to fathom, even.  And there is always that extra edge of my experiences having been good reason for me to have changed, but theirs were not.

I have not been in the military nor in a war, but I know this small, unsettling, and somewhat worldview-shattering experience of coming home to a now-foreign home.  As the lead character raged about his home being so not like the home he once knew, I was dragged into the pain, feeling my own current struggles of readjustment coming forth from deep inside.  I am still living in his pain today, though I have been back for a few months.  And it hurt even more still, as I saw that my own experience of struggle has lasted so long, although I was only gone for a year this time.  How terribly long this period of struggle must have been for this man, must still be for veterans returning today.  I went from peaceful times to peaceful times, and my pain still lingers.  They likely did not and still do not have such peace on both ends.

I am forever grateful that veterans have made that sacrifice of ease, in order to do what they believed best to help the world at large.  I am concerned that we do not do enough to help them with the latter end of their tours, with their returns and readjustments.  It is difficult enough altering a regular lifestyle in one culture to a regular one in another culture, like what I have done so often.  It is practically unfathomable to go from comfort to a war zone lifestyle, and then back to a house in a safe, city life lifestyle – is the brain ever ready to cope with a change so drastic and so quick?  I found myself wanting to hug and hold the characters in the show all tightly to my chest, and to fill them all with love and acceptance of whoever they are and in whatever place they are mentally/emotionally/psychologically.  ‘You are safe here, you are important here, and you are perfect as you are.’  I know it was only a show, but it exists only because the story itself is real, and all too common, I believe.

Post-a-day 2017