Sunday Scribbling: Hi. My name is...
Hi. My name is Imelda. We were offered the chance to introduce ourselves, or anyone or anything else we felt like, and part of me said "No, keep yourself out of it", but then it struck me that people drop in here to read one post at a time, and many of you haven't been with me from the beginning of my blog in January 2006. Even those who have, never got a proper introduction. They have learnt bits and pieces about me in a piecemeal fashion, and perhaps they don't know some of the things that friends IRL (in real life) learn as a matter of course.
My name is Imelda, and I avoided using it for a long time after I'd started my blog. I went by GreenishLady because I'm Irish (green... see?), and I like to do what I can to look after the environment (if you don't count driving a big petrol-thirsty car, and air travel - Hence, the "ish"), and when I began to blog, I felt totally uneducated, quite.... Green. Lately, I've realised that many online names with "lady" in them are held by people whose behaviour would be considered anything but ladylike. See... I was quite naive and green in my choice of name! And in real life, I'd rather be called a woman than a lady, but I liked the ring of GreenishLady.
At a party or social gathering, I dread that question: Tell me about yourself! What? What do you want to know? Do you want to know whether I'm gaining or losing weight? How many siblings I have? Where I'd go if I got in my car to go for a half-hour drive? An hour? A day away?
[Neither gaining nor losing. Stuck and likely to stay 40 lbs overweight unless I do something serious, systematic and sensible about it soon:
4 siblings - 2 sisters, 2 brothers, all of whom I'm on good terms with, each of whom offer something special to my life. I feel blessed in the family I've come from:
Half-hour from me is a long beach, with the bonus of a walk through woodland on the way back, so that's where I'd go within a half-hour drive (if I didn't choose to go up to Grianan of Ailleach, an ancient fort, from which the views are spectacular, and where an atmosphere of peace pervades the stones):
An hour away, I'd go to Glenveagh National Park. Mountains, lake, castle, gardens, heather, and the chance to spot a golden eagle; I might drive the back road by Muckish mountain to Falcarragh, travel back through Dunfanaghy.
A day... Too many places to choose from. But the Giant's Causeway calls me at times of sorrow. It gives me a sense of being a small part of a large world, makes me feel that time goes on, goes on, and that everything passes, even sorrows. So today, if I didn't have other plans, that's probably where I would have gone.]
Random facts about me:
I'll be 50 in December. I'm a Sagitarrian. Or else I'm of that sign the name of which I can't remember... (is it Ophiucus?).
I'm the mother of a 21-year-old son, whose privacy I protect here by not naming him, and making only glancing references to him, although he is the most important person in my life (I am immensely proud of the man he has grown into).
After 19 and a half years of marriage, my husband and I separated 4 and a half years ago. I call him my erstwhile husband, my former husband, but as we are not divorced, not my ex-husband (I know, I know... semantics).
I weep easily and frequently. I've just, just, two days ago, lost my dear little dog, Trixie (I say lost. I had to have her put to sleep. I say put to sleep. I mean put down. I am heartbroken).
[I probably shouldn't write when I'm feeling like that. ]
I love to travel. And I've only just gotten started. I've loved Israel, France, Lanzarote, Italy, Scotland... but the surprising, the unexpected love-affair that started last year is with California.
I've done The Artist's Way (following Julia Cameron's 12-week course) twice. In 1998, and again in 2006 along with an online group, (which was how this blog came into being). It was a life-changing experience both times. I credit it with my present work (in all its forms - paid and unpaid), my writing, the publication of my poetry collection; with the broadening and deepening of my experience of the world.
I don't usually write in my blog about my spiritual / religious life. I've been a Baha'i since my teens, and still, though many people want to know what that means, I'm always concerned that they'll think I'm trying to push my beliefs on them. But this is not just an important part of my life. It is the foundation, the rock on which I stand. When everything else moves and shifts, my faith is a comfort. and a sustenance. My community (to which I seldom refer here either) are a family around me. I've been over 30 years trying to develop and maintain a daily practice of prayer, of meditation, of saying the name of God 95 times, and it's a cyclical thing, to which I return over and over again. I know when I am in the habit of doing these things, I feel centred, I know what's important, and yet, I can allow the details of life to distract me, allow me to slip, to forget, until I come back, I come back, and there I find Him, waiting for me. Constant.
I watch too much TV. I promise not to, but I get sucked into Big Brother. I watch Supernanny, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, silly comedies. I no longer watch any soap operas (which doesn't count for much, since I replaced them with cookery programs, gardening programs, househunt programs...)
After my marriage ended, I took a long time to clear my home of my erstwhile husband's belongings, to repaint and refloor, to replace old furniture. It's been done, though, gradually, painfully, to the point where there are a few small remaining tasks, and by Christmas, it will be complete.
I buy art. Not big, expensive art, but it feels like such a luxury to see a piece and decide "I am worth it. I have a right to surround myself with beautiful, soul-nourishing art", and to buy it. The day before Trixie died, I bought a piece by a local young artist, to be a comfort and a reminder. During my marriage, it would have been considered a frivolous waste of money, and I relish the freedom to do this now.
Friends, I am afraid I've given you scattered glimpses yet again. To introduce oneself is a difficult thing. I'm Imelda, and I want to know about you. I'm looking forward to going through the Sunday Scribblings list and meeting some new friends, and getting to know something more about friends I've already encountered here. But if you have questions, feel free. I'll see if I can answer!