The diamonds in the dustheap ~ and ~ Bipolar Days…

2015-04-01 DustheapQuickArtPixlr

“I note however that this diary writing does not count as writing, since I have just re-read my year’s diary and am much struck by the rapid haphazard gallop at which it swings along, sometimes indeed jerking almost intolerably over the cobbles. Still if it were not written rather faster than the fastest type-writing, if I stopped and took thought, it would never be written at all; and the advantage of the method is that it sweeps up accidentally several stray matters which I should exclude if I hesitated, but which are the diamonds of the dustheap.”

~*~ Virginia Woolf ~*~
April 20, 1919

Anyone who has followed not only my blogs but my writings and small press publications, as well as the journal classes I have taught for 40 years, will recognize this quote because I return to it every now and again, it is a touchstone for me, perhaps because I do indeed do so much writing in many forms that, were I not to do so much, I wouldn’t find those diamonds that matter.

Almost any blog post you read here I have cut by 1/3 or 1/2 and they are still too long for the most part. If it was a book I would be far more brutal in the editing but I find with the blog posts, especially the ones on this 8 year old blog, Maitri’s Heart, I kind of let my heart flow onto the virtual page and let the piece be padded, all too often, with a little too much emotion and soul-searching, not to mention all the times that I cringe because what I write seems far too redundant for my own tastes. But I have never been able to figure out that balance that you would have in a book. In a book I write my backstory one time, but in a blog post if you haven’t followed me for years, and the backstory is relevant to the post, it’s hard for me not to weave the past in, and I don’t like that, and I’ve never figured out what to do about it. I am not holding onto it willy nilly, it is simply the foundation for almost everything that I write and I fear new readers who are coming along all the time would be lost without these few facts. Please feel free to leave suggestions or comments about this.

Also, sadly, for many, my paragraphs and stream of consciousness writing are painfully long, (Strunk and White are turning over in their graves, bless their hearts, as we Southerners say, transplanted or no, I’ve been here since I was 26 so I count the South my true home.) but I mention it here because it is key to this piece, and the way my bipolary brain and life hippity hop down the bunny trail. I have dashed off a little watercolor, at the top of the post, for illustration.

What I have realized, suddenly, and to my great horror — one wishes this may have been discovered oh, say, 30 or 40 years ago — is that, kind of backwards and upside down to the way Virginia Woolf described it, instead of diamonds in the dustheap kept privately in a diary in my bipolar life it seems I kind of dance along like some whirling dervish with the dustheap poofing up all around me (Those things in thought balloons in the drawing above.) instead of waiting for the diamonds as they finally surface.

My deepest apologies.

I used to laugh and tell people my absent minded professorish bumbling through life was very like Pigpen in the Peanuts cartoon strip. Sadly it is all too close to my real life. If it’s true that process is more important than product one might keep it to themselves and subject the world around them to the latter. Unfortunately I do not and it looks like this…

pigpenThank you to Charles Schulz and copyright
*Peanuts* and picture a pug instead of Snoopy.
They never have proper credits on the web!

I am struggling so hard right now. As I have written here already the new meds I’m on are kicking me in the keester. I am unrelentingly exhausted, fuzzyheaded, and while I have been able to paint, words have not been my friends. I started this blog post nearly a week ago knowing exactly what I wanted to write about but every time I started my blurry bipolary bits and parts shook their fingers in my face and said, “Uh-uh, not yet sister.” Sometimes I want to bop both of those poles in their noggins. Fortunately I am going to the doctor tomorrow to get this sorted out and my beloved daughter Rachel is going with me to act as translator for the bits & parts and ask the cogent questions I don’t have the wits to ask.

The meds however have nothing to do with the Pigpenish issue. It just is. So I wanted to talk about this because, well, mostly it’s embarrassing. Everysinglesolitarything I ever say is absolutely true and real in the moment and mostly thereafter. Some things shapeshift, somethings disapear for awhile and return later, but I have to be fully in whatever it is I am doing at the moment (the dustheapy parts) so that I can generate the diamonds.

This has been heartbreaking for the lovers of The 100 Ladies whom I promise will never leave but seem to have gone on rather a long hiatus when my wild woman art phase started which in the last week seems to have morphed in several different directions. This is why I have now named the art part of my life Limitless Possibilities Art because truly, in this brain, the possibilities are indeed limitless. Everything I do is well intentioned, deeply felt, and absolutely serious in the moment or for a certain period of time. I just flashed on the thought that it’s like someone who goes shoe shopping and tries on 100 pairs before finding the right one. I will always be writing and I will always be making art, it’s just that most people have a silent, wordless processing plant that it all goes through before they speak about it. This avoids much embarrassment and looking rather goofy and unreliable later on. I am absolutely reliable if goofy in many respects. Please don’t give up on me. I am running as fast as I can so I can get there by yesterday.

I think my bits and parts are on a short leash. If I write many more words they are liable to end up on your computer screen. They certainly won’t stay on mine, they are starting to act like Mexican jumping beans and I am swinging by the bottoms of each letter trying to hold any word down here at all.

Suffice it to say that I am screwbally but I have a good heart. More than that will come at a later date.

So long and thanks for all of the flamingos.



If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Whatever you are writing or painting or petting or planting, you are loved. We do not expect you to walk a straight path. It is all the twists and turns that make following your journey so fascinating. Wander on, dear friend, and know how grateful we are that you share the path.

  2. This is wonderful, Maitri. You remain one of my sheroes. I’m glad to be part of your tribe.

    Sue O’Kieffe

  3. Your bits and pieces
    cohere, a constellation
    uniquely your own

    never apologize for circling round and about, creating arcs of aesthetic magic and
    human struggles we are all hear to learn from! carry on dear artist woman

  4. Daisy-Winifred says:

    How do I whisper this gently and with much love…well here goes, art, Art, ART really needs no prefix, suffix or any other kind of fix, it is whole un to itself and the whole is huge, so large in fact a lifetime exploring it will occupy a humans lifespan but almost certainly will only have had its surface scratched…then there is the artist, Artist, ARTIST. yep, you guessed it they too really need no prefix, suffix or any other fix, they are whole un to themselves and the whole is huge, so large in fact a lifetime exploring the how what and where will almost certainly not end with a full stop but a why?

    The whole you is engaged in process and processing, that you produce , publish and pontificate is just a part of art and artist, I think the only person who may be embarrassed or saying ‘oh too much too much’ is you my dear. No need, really. Don’t push yourself in to boxes that involve you trying to explain the unexplainable just acknowledge the need for your self to make marks of communication be that in splodges of paint or spaces between letters and let those splodges and spaces speak to your audience in there own way. When splodge or space is set free your work is done, you may add brief directions to a magic place but I feel that the journey of another can never be directed by someone else as hearts and eyes see very different things no matter what they look at.

    A child needs only to feel and express joy be that in a jig, a jump in to a puddle, a cascade of colour left on a finger daubed wall or by lying on their backs on a starlit night and swimming through the universe in their imagination.

    Imagination, joy, transcendence, are all expressed in art and artist. No matter that ‘baggage’ may be carried, curated as part of any work produced it is the artist and the art that people will see, hear and be touched by…BUT they will be touched in their own way, in their own time and you my dear have no responsibility for that save for sharing what you need to and leaving it peacefully in the knowledge that you need not explain yourself or even offer a back story. We all live in the moment, no matter who we are it is the moment that shapes our response and the moment that offers the response to another.

    Noting briefly that art or artist is made of various materials using particular methods to harness the materials offers a way forward if the other person wants to take that route but does not in itself become bigger, maybe even a barrier for someone to get to know the art and artist for themselves.

    Much of what you share will resonate with anyone as the human condition is much more F**ked up-fragile-feeling the way forward rather than sorted-suited-scandalously on track.

    The creative process for anyone is full of highs and lows, fear and panick and often before a foot has managed toeven get out of bed, then their is the euphoria where work carries through days and nights of production only to find the bin overflowing with ‘twaddle’.

    Concentrate on the art ( I do mean all mark making when I say art), and the artist – you and let the readers of your work both splodges of colour and spaces between letters discover meaning, challenge and joy. Let us your ‘readers’ fathom things for ourselves and let us each respond, ask a question and say thank you as we feel the need to.

    You know the hushed murmurs and silences in a gallery can be a very powerful kind of magic especially if you are the artist whose art is being shown but it does take a little courage to let the audience see and hear in their own way. All the art can do is realise a thought, express an idea, own a moment then let it fly whilst it feeds and encourages others as it has will continue to do for you.

  5. Hugs, Maitri. I don’t have any eloquent comments; there’s no creative energy in me right now, but you’ve already wonderful thoughts and comment.


  6. You are quite lovable.

    I ramble on sometimes in my blog (over nothing, seemingly) and feel embarrassed afterward, as if I’ve revealed too much of nothing.

  7. Thank you all so much dear friends. Your kind comments warm my heart. I am sending each of you a warm gentle hug…. <3

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