Pacing and Papers 

My Own Notes from the Underground: Defying Anxiety, Anger, and Depression 29 Dec 2020 

Today I think I had promised a blog on pacing, the restless walking back and forth, that for me indicates racing mind; faintheartedness, and irritability, this is the state I’m in as I’m  bouncing  from one task to another without actually starting the intended project. So many fears, so many voices inside the head… 

But I remember reading about the Sumerian peoples; and according to Sir C. Leonard Woolley, in his account of their behavior in relation to their religion, they acted in a state of anxiety, fearfulness. And when I think about an account I read about Ancient Grecian Culture, the same thing, that the society of men were living in a state of deep agitation, and this gave rise to such men as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato , philosophers who advocated for Reason as a way to counter the dysfunction, official and common, in their society.  Again, there is no society on earth, that has not not-recorded this distressing phenotypical, marker of human behaviour--this agitation seems to be a mark of man, without the True God. Is this the actual mark of Cain? And God himself, to attract us to Himself, He promises us peace. And in this context of ancient man, we understand, we could get an understanding about how revolutionary that promise in of itself was, Peace?!!!?, and not only peace, if you can fathom it, but a Peace beyond any earthly understanding. 

What religion on earth at that time promised Peace? And why would God make a point to promise Peace? 


Art Project:  I am still working on making the underpainting…didn’t get to that yet. 

Music: The Keith Whitley Song is coming along, I spent last night watching the movie Wonder Woman while I practiced the more difficult parts of the piece to distract my anxiety I was able to compare this Diana to an event that occurred with the Mother of God, when she landed on an island where Zeus and Diana were worshipped, and which became Mount Athos. Thus I feel compelled  to do a review of that 2017 film, and why I simultaneously like and dislike the film. Also I’m feeling somewhat very peaceful about my song American Spirit…I was so stressed when I was recording it…now I feel very peaceful…I don’t know what to say about it, it feels good to perform it now. 

Art Prints: I want to make 6 more thumbnails for my art print for sale project, however, I’m now working on my Christmas Cards, and I dyed some paper in preparation to print on it.  I’m going to do some on just white paper as well, but here is the result. From right to left, I started off with onion skins, then elderberry juice, and paprika, added to the onion skins and then turmeric.  The dye solution got weaker and weaker and you can see that in the different shades of the paper; I was able to revive the dye power by reheating the solution and added a splash of vinegar, it worked for the Turmeric, I will see if it will work with other natural dyes in the future. 



Reading Today: Time and Despondency_Reclaiming the Present in Faith and Life by Nicole Roccas. 

“For many of us despondency is the oldest and most pernicious spiritual struggle of our lives. Looking back on my own experiences, my first and faintest memories of despondency predate those of praying. There is a real possibility that for some, despondency is a more or less congenital condition, shaping our spiritual perceptions almost from birth.  Perhaps that’s why turning away from it can feel like dying—it is a death (albeit a slow and gradual one), a surrendering of perhaps the only way we have ever perceived the world. But this death is also the way of new life. 

[Rocca’s] understanding of despondency  is indebted to Evagrius’s centuries-old reflections, which lend perennial insight into this ‘unnatural slackness of the soul’”  His interest in the topic was not merely intellectual but personal.  He actively endured his own bouts of despondency and, as a spiritual father, shepherded others out of the depths of despair with the desire to help “make the human being capable of loving again, and thereby capable of God.’  Countless beloved theologians of the Orthodox tradition have embroidered upon his insights, among them  St. John Cassian, St. Gregory, St. John Climacus, St. John of Damascus and St. John Kronstadt. Like Evagrius, they saw despondency as a monastic concern, yet their wisdom is relevant to anyone for whom apathy, boredom, restlessness, and distraction have become hurdles to spiritual growth.” *


I just wanted to add here that the Fall of Man could be thought of as the  the start of the Ages of Anxiety in other words, Anxiety is a mark of the Falleness, the Brokeness of Mankind, and thus is not that unusual. What is unusual, is Peace. The point is True Peace or False Peace, which do we choose.  Will think about that more for a note.

Anyway, Thus Ends my Notes for Today. May God Grant You All A Fruitful Day in the Lord.

Segovia Scales 

My Own Notes from the Underground: Defying Anxiety, Anger, and Depression 08 Dec 2020 

Tonight I am completing a day. Sunday went okay…made it to Church on time, and Saturday, I was 30 minutes late.  Was already, dressed with coat on and keys in the pocket…afraid to leave the safety of my little apartment/art studio, with an emphasis on studio.  Finally I left… facing the wrath…. Made it through, kept the tears back, managed to smile, and recognize one word from a hymn I’m trying to learn in Russian. Progress.  I’m getting the prokeimenons down for the 8 tones we repeat, cyclicly. Now I think it is time to move on to memorizing the Troparions and the Kontakions. Monday,  Started “the Routine” which gets me into a schedule where I can complete Art Projects and Tasks that keep me busy, and moving forward, such as taking the Hillsdale Free Online Course on K-12 education.  Some of this stuff I have been exposed to via my godfather, who was doing a study on the philosopher John Dewey, when I became baptised into the Church. They mention John Dewey. 

Sunday I got to the scales, Segovia scales and realised that I actually learnt them…I can move through them more smoothly now, and that is a good thing. I guess.   I’m self taught so it makes it harder for me…how to apply. Learning the traditional Greensleeves, and I want to incorporate that into my modern flamenco arrangement of it. 

Art Project: So I am thinking about the underpainting for this piece: and watched this video: 

 (I have to admit that this is entertainment for artists  types…but I like how he uses yellow and then purple, which are complementary. For my acrylic  project I think I’m going to go with this, but for my oil project I’m going to explore the Zorn palette. 

Music: Scales: Did them. Working on a country western song, written by Keith Whitley. Goal: to do Segovia scales every morning as part of the morning ritual…at night will work on one song and one classical piece, that is all I have time for tonight. Once I have them memorized, move on to other technical skills I want to learn. In the evening, end the day with learning a folk song and a classical piece.  

Art Prints: Making Thumbnails for Art Print project, will continue with that tomorrow.  

Reading Today: Time and Despondency_Reclaiming the Present in Faith and Life by Nicole Roccas. 

“Beneath the many symptoms, Evagrius believed despondency arises from desire and anger—anger toward what is present, desire for what is not. Out of this two-pronged dissatisfaction comes a lack of care, a total apathy and indifference. Yet I think we could also say that there is something more primary than desire and anger at stake: pain. Anger is a covering for our pain; we stop caring when we are wounded by the laceration of exicstance—whether that comes in the form of sadness, fear, diappointment, or shame.  The human condition—the condition  of bearing theimage of God in a world of brokenness—could be summed up as learning to live (and love) in the midst of pain, learning to dwell where there is shame, toil and adversity. 

“Such a way of being does not come naturally; we instinctively minimize hurt and conceal our shame.  The first thing Adam and Eve did after eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was to cover themselves.  This tendency to avoid the reality of pain has filtered down even to the muscular and molecular level—our bodies readily sink into poor posture to sidestep the sting of sitting up straight, and over time our muscles grow weak and loose from ill use.  Such is thecase in our souls, too—when our minds abandon the pain of caring, our spiritual tendons grow slack.  We lose the capacity to focus, behold, encounter and love, which likewise provokes a toxic kind of emptiness—a vacuum that attracts all manner of distraction, restlessness, rumination, anxiety, fear, and lethargy.” So that’s the reading. 

Anyway, Thus Ends my Notes for Today. May God Grant You All A Fruitful Day in the Lord.

Day by Day 

My Own Notes from the Underground: Defying Anxiety, Anger, and Depression 10 Dec 2020 

Okay, today was better. But for some reason having a hard time getting to bed before 1:30am. The good news is that I was able to knock out some articles, for my Blog, and tonight After painting a little, and doing some print thumbnails for to develop another print artwork,  I’m going to finish my news vlog, and try to gather news for a Sunday analysis, vlog.  They say you have to at least post twice a week.  

Today I decided to sell two or three of my very limited edition Raven art print.  I’m going to sell them for 75.00 each on Facebook, via the stories feature they have.  Thinking whether to have it be an auction like sale or a retail sale. If Auction sale it will start at 75.00. Spent some time today setting up the store.   I had to figure out how to sell both the art and the song on the same page on Facebook. Bandzoogle already has it figured out for you. Must figure out how to sell the Art and the Song on that page, they only give you one button, and the button to my musician page you cannot change. It goes straight to my news page on Youtube. 

It’s always something. Life on Earth. Get used to it. My friend sent a recent release of Tom Petty. The Song "Something Could Happen" I guess we are the only two people in the world who like Tom Petty because we guessed rightly that at a young age he may have been an abused child. 

Art Project: Today’s Progress. 

Music: Still did not get to the scales of the music and the practicing of the guitar. Will speak on that in a few minutes, perhaps. It’s a battle, and I don’t know why. I might get there tonight.....God willing, well, I'm sure but it's me that is the problem. 

Video: Finish the videos. Hopefully, I can report on that tomorrow. 

Art Prints: Making Thumbnails for Art Print project. The plan is to do six. My motif inspirations are Orthodox Church Ornamentals and Plant Life. Not very original. I hope to make these a series of two prints, with one color or two-color or three-color process. sell for 100 a pair. 3 sets of two. I have to make six more sketches before I get down to work.  Getting excited about it.  How many of each set, probably just 15 of each set of two, so a total of 90 prints. Yes, that will be a lot of work, and I won't post them in the store until they are all done, which will be around Springtime, I think. You want to take your time carving these things.

Reading Today: Time and Despondency Regaining the Present in Life and Faith :

"The apathy of despondency is not to be confused with apatheia, the condition of being untethered to passions and demons, which the Fathers praised.  In despondency, we fail to care about things that should actually matter to us, such as cultivating a life of spiritual effort or seeking the well-being of our neighbor.  Once apathy infects one corner of our lives, it quickly metastasizes elsewhere.  As soon as we start neglecting prayer, we find it easier to disregard our chores, or our children, or the homeless man on the street." Roccas

Having been in and out of therapy since around 6 years old, I find it interesting that this authour starts the talk about despondency, in how it makes you somewhat self-centered, and unable to care for others, much less able to care for one's own soul. That connection to the other emphasized right from the beginning.  I think a little of the time that I have when I have been in so much pain, and not able to see the pain of so much fear so that I'm unable to let others in.  Or even to let go of those who which to claim me as their own, but otherwise, who are of no functional relationship to me; and my adherence to them on their misunderstandings of reality will surely separate me from God if I allow myself to be led by a such false loyalty.



Anyway, Thus Ends my Notes for Today. May God Grant You All A Fruitful Day in the Lord.

Another Bad Day, So Embarrassed 

My Own Notes from the Underground: Defying Anxiety, Anger, and Depression 08 Dec 2020 

Today was another bad day. This time not until 11 am, did I get out of bed,  with the mysterious crashing of my easel which got me up thinking my cat was the culprit. No she looked too calm, and there was no no "ah hah look on her face, or "spooked" look on it either.    Amazingly the damage to the easel was extremely minimum, so I’m taking it as a divine warning.  On some level, Depression indeed is a decision one makes…a habitual one, but one none the less. So I put on some mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss; I showered last night, which was a plus because I could feel myself descending into the darkness last night… 

Somehow the evenings are the darkest for me…. 

So tomorrow I hope to report a better morning, and a better evening. Where I go to bed at 11:30 pm, I get up at 4:30 am and I make the internet more productive for me. 

But Today: 

Art projects today: continue painting the one American Spirit Under Attack Painting, and then for an artprint project, start working on the Christmas Card Design, drawing it. I got inspired today by a printer I am following on Instagram. 

Music the same as yesterday, which I actually didn’t get to, so I have to do it twice today. 1 hour now, and 1 hour before bed, and also I need to set a new alarm for 8:45, because I don’t want to be stuck doing work at 9 pm when it is time to pray. 

Evening Prayer Rule: That means to stop any project by 8:45 pm.  Save, Get up and walk away and prepare for the 9:00 pm Time to Pray alarm.  

It’s is hard clawing back to a will to live, especially if it was crushed at a very young age, and one clung to worldly ideas of “life”, it is difficult to on one’s own to heal a crisis of the will, to be, not as the world would have you be, which is a type of death but to live according to life: the life that is death to the world within us…this is the path…and I could be pretending that this path is easy for me, not ugly, nor messy, inelegant, or foolish,  or not pathetic, or not dangerous in a  ruthless and cruel world, where everyone is happy; no it is no not without my warts and blemishes and wounds which I wear on my sleeve, I'm not that happy girl that can make you laugh, I'm that girl whose warts show up  very publicly at times anyway, where my warts are shown to me, and I must live in deep abasement for the thing that I have become without my knowing it even though I have tried so hard to out run it. 

The Album I like right now is : The Fisherman's Woman.  Emitianna Torrinni  

So here is another reading from “Time and Despondency …oops. I misplaced it…. This happens sometimes. I think it will be a pacing day today, but I hope to get some tasks done today that will position me better for tomorrow.   I will explain the pacing tomorrow. But since I have found the book, I will read a paragraph from it:  Yesterday we had the description of Despondency. Today, Evagrius gives it a name. Acedia.

 So to commence: "Evagrius gave the beast a name: acedia.  In English, Roccas uses the term despondency,--It evokes for her, the sticky web of sadness and rumination, the ""strange laziness and passivity of our entire being which always pushes us down rather than up."  Roccas 

And that is the reading for today. As I was writing this, I was thinking about what was my trigger.  And yes, it is sad to admit, it was me grappling with loneliness. But I chose this loneliness, there is the loneliness of the artist, which is necessary to do art, but there is also the loneliness of not being loved, which is soul-killing. I thought at one time, I had found such a person, but my wounds, sabotaged it all  I have a deep inability to trust the providence of God.

But God has given me much despite this loss.  I hope I do not fail HIm in the one thing that He Has given me: Work as an Artist. ... 

Anyway, Thus Ends my Notes for Today. May God Grant You All A Fruitful Day in the Lord.

xenia williams dba Tersa Rian Notes From the UnderGround 2020 Dec 7  



My Own Notes from the Underground: Defying Anxiety, Anger, and Depression 07 Dec 2020 

So today is Monday, and I got up very late….around 8:30am. 4 hours later than I had planned.  Yesterday in spite of myself I got to Church on time.  The day went well, except at night I did not go to bed until 1:30am…better than most nights when it has been around 3 or 4 am. Stressing. 

 I had a nightmare about a political figure on the left, and I don’t want to talk about it right now.  I think I can parlay it into some type of political art.  It had to do with what is the concept of family…that the left is trying to perpetrate onto us, something alien, and not from God. Okay, it was Obama and he kept turning into a woman, and then a man, then into a black man or woman, and then a white man or woman,  and not answering my questions .  

I’ve been having interesting dreams lately.  The other day there was a dream about the Choir Director. She is a very good human being…and she pushes me. Even when I feel as though I’m unable. Singing is so emotional for me…she makes me sing past the panics. And in public. And before God…it’s amazing I’m able to…. A blessing. I must count my blessings. All my life, people have been trying to convince me that I do not have anything to give, and if I did, who would want it… and what I have is not good enough. Perhaps God gave me something, and perhaps He is the one to receive it, but not only for Him, because He wants me to share it, too. That’s just like God, to demand such things. I’m learning that He somehow makes us limp through the brokenness to get to the wholeness.  But the PaNICS!!   THIS blessing is dragging me through the brokenness of my panics. Listening to her, Obeying my choir director is confronting a broken person from my past. And I can’t use the past  as an excuse… 

Promise I’m making today:  to every day do something with the art. And the music. And to dress up for work, at home work,  in a very casual way. I bought some mascara. And some eyeliner a while ago.  Just bear with me here…..this is a Krista West sanctioned moment, an Eastern Orthodox Woman. I will perhaps Explain in a future blog. 

Music: Today it is scales, and the fretboard, and a folk song, and getting the classical guitar in tune. Preparing for Friday Night, songs from my childhood show. Try to think of something witty to share, like a HeeHaw riddle, but a even cleaner show.  See my Friday Show on Instagram to see how well I practiced, starting on 25 December 2020.   (Yes, I know that is Western Christmas Day). 

Art: Today I began the repainting in acrylic of my American Spirit Painting. My friend said I made the head too big…so I wanted to correct that. Starting it all over from scratch. Amazing I got through ArtSchool.

ArtPrinting:  Last night I prepped the press bed, (got rid of some scratches, and put in some guidelines on a piece of acetate, and taped it to the bed).  

Reading To Share: Today I will begin reading  a few words of the book Time and Despondency, Regaining the Present in Faith and Life,  a book about Depression from an Orthodox Christian perspective. I suffer from Depression and I'm reading this book during this Fast  to try and continue my progress against it:  

 From the first paragraph from the book which describes Despondency: 

“Restlessness, Rumination, Torpor, Sloth, Distractibility, Disinterest, Despair—these are the symptoms of a ruthless interior sickness whose spiritual ramifications were first described by Evagrius Ponticus (d.AD 399), a humble ascetic father deep in the Nitrian Desert of Egypt. Evagrius observed that some monks were unable to endure solitude—not to mention prayer, labor, or other quotidian tasks—for any duration. He would find them outside their cells, visiting others, or staring listlessly at the sun.  They disdained their surroundings and any tasks placed before them.  As Evagrius monitored these monks, he came to realize they suffered from a crippling inward condition that gradually drained all vitality from their lives.  In their ennui, monks sought to escape through excessive sleep, socializing, or aimless reading.  Yet even these pastimes quickly lost their appeal, pushing the monks further into their desperate, anxious idleness.” Nicole Roccas. 

I'm warbling through a cover of Woodstock here.  I think I Christianized it a bit.  Anyway...

Thus Ends my Notes for Today. May God Grant You All A Fruitful Day in the Lord.

Pick One Actionable Thing You Can Do In Your Community..Besides Start a You Tube Channel 

Prayer is All we've Got Folks, yesterday today and forever...except in the forever times I think prayer will be more of a praising type of endeavour.  But so is doing, we have got to be doing something as well, and while voting is a very good and essential thing, look around you.  What are you grumbling about, what they are teaching in the schools?  Figure out what you would like to see done, and figure out that one thing YOU can do to move that forward.  Meeting with liked minded people and making actionable plans, keeping each other accountable?   Do this as a project guys, together, and don't forget to go to Church.  


The only reason the otherside is so rowdy right now, is because no one is doing anything, also on the ground to stand up to them;  And I don't mean just rally, I mean engaging in the system in a way that insures the "system" works as it is suppose to work, and not how our enemy wants to distort the "system" to make it work for them and their UnGodly agenda. 

Think about it, Folks.  


It's fun to virtue signal on FB, or show up for a rally....but it more necessary to get up out of the arm chair, and make real spiritual and practical investments, which include genuinely praying to God, to get us out of this pickle we are in.


My two cents for the day.

I Don't Know Everything, and that is Such a Relief!!!! 

So I think I been doing a lot of thinking about how I interact with people and why.  I am a motherless daughter, and a fatherless one as well.  I have been treated as an object for all of my life.  The funny thing is that the people who are treating you that way, they are being seen too....I see what you are doing, and I've learned that being a non-person in the eyes of others, Well it has become comforting...and the horror of horrors,


But it still creates incredible pain and panic within me.   So that I can still have these reactions, prove to me that we are not created to be treated as objects or commodities, as mere symbols in someones ideology. We are creatures with self-determining nature, we are made to the specification of an Archeype, and we ar loved by HIm who created us all to be unique, and somewhat dependent on each other, and definitely dependent on HIm, who will never fail us. 


And I have learned that I have had to change my orientation, that is, recognize the need to be validated by others, but transfer that need to be validated to God only.    Then I will never fail....and if I do, the Lord will not crucify me, abandon me, or mock me because of my shortcomings,  He will heal me as He as promised.  


And I don't have to know everything to be loved by Him, I don't have to be the best, (although I definitely strive for perfection and self-mastery);  I just have to be me, the way God intended me to be, and that has to be enough or I will be in danger of losing my soul.

So, Yea, Practice in the Time of Chaos 


this country has been for the last four years experiencing upheaval after upheaval. This president has been attacked so blatantly, even brazenly by people who have lost all sense of decorum, it has been somewhat, to say the least shocking initially and now numbing to watch.  I voted for this president, and although he's not perfect (which president has been perfect? Someone tell me!); he nor the country deserves what I can only characterize as a prolonged siege with the intent of destabilizing him and the people who voted him in.  And I think he is different, I think he is willing to die for this country, and that is where his strength is coming from. From his actual love for this country and its people...and no he is not Jesus,  but I believe his love is genuine. 

And that counts for something. I suffer from depression, and it has been very difficult for me to watch how the media is manipulating this, the deep disrespect of the president, would they have been able to censure the tweets of Eisenhower, Carter even?  The deep disrespect for authority, just because he  champions Christian values, and successful by his own labours, they want to tear him down...but this is deeper than that. Because presidents and their family are symbols, the represent the ideal in the society that they lead, and I believe it is this "ideal" that is being attacked, and the ideal is based on a Christian understanding of the family.  This attack signifies to me that what we are witnessing is a war on the fundamental values of our society, and an intent to mode it into a post-modernity. The war has been in waves, and we did not rightly understand the riots we've been experiencing over the decades. But our enemies have been watching, waiting, and planning for when this rioting behavior could be weaponized to take out a presidency, to destroy and bring a people, a country, whose leaders have not been perfect to their knees. But all of this was going to be righted with President Donald J. Trump.

What I mean to say is that. He is planning to clean the government of those people who sold out the country, who were advocating and implementing the policies of Herbert Marcuse in the CIA, the Allen Dulles of  NAZI pandering Ethnic Outreach Republican Party, NeoCons, the Ayn Randian Republican Party, the Democrats were in bed with the communists all over the world since the progressive era. that's what I gather with my research anyway, and he was going to get rid of all that...MK Ultra....all of that, he was going to clean it up, except the people on the ground don't want him to clean it up. That is the great irony. 

Growing up in a dysfunctional group homes, and such, this dysfunction is causing such great anxiety in me, and also sleepless nights.  I want to be able to do something...but I feel powerless, and I feel people around me don't know get together and do the planning, strategizing...they keep asking us for money, but not to actually mobilize to retake our local political offices, and educational boards, and they don't help us to do that, they just ask us for money, and our president is being attacked, and I'm afraid for him, and for this country. Because it won't be the same, as when JFK, MLK, Malcolm X and RFK were assassinated. Because life seemingly went on, people got up went to church, and went to work, while Hollywood worked relentlessly to erode our Christian values, and we somnolent  allowed our selves to be seduce until the addictions created addiction culture, but also turned us back to Christian faith to heal us, and now what?  Is it too late, we are still attacking Christian countries...and Trump is not able to turn the tide against that because this is 1000 years of history coming to the fore...and we ignorant are barely aware of the significance of this fight..

so I have a lot of fear, and I'm struggling to keep the fight in my heart, even though my faith is undying, I'm weak, and I worry for the very near future....

Keep Praying.


Entering the Arena of the Performer 

Coming out of a period of when I have not done much with my music, and finding myself now with the space to look to it again with the view of doing some busking again, I do feel stronger technically, and confidently.  It may not look like that, but I know what I have to do now to basically have some fun with this. I'm starting out with Friday NIghts Songs From My Childhood which I publish on Instagram, raw;  and reacquainting myself with the songs that have inspired me growing up, and also realizing how subversive they were.  As a Christian, I could see now how there is a lot of philosophies that Blessed Seraphim Rose speaks so eloquently about, and which, I myself wrote about in a thesis I finished, about the same time I was beginning to acquire the phromena of the Orthodox Church.  Although I'm planning to enter Art Education at Buffalo, SUNY, I also hope to keep creating folk music that reflects the values which I have adopted as a lifesaver from so much confusion. 

Christ Is Born!!!!! (for thou and thine on the gregorian calendar) 

i did this woodcarving print some time ago while still living in Eugene Oregon. Unfortunately with all my moving about I lost the original woodblock-plates!!!  However, I will be carving this piece again, as well as many others in the future and perhaps you would like them, that is, prints of them, sold exclusively here?   well, if you are interested shoot me an email, and I will see what I will be able to do!  

And nonetheless to all of you collaborators,  fans and visitors,   I wish you to  have
a peaceful Holiday Season!

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!