just one of the (lost) boys

i am forever
amazed
at just how bad
i am
at being a mom
it looked
so
easy
(it is so not)
it looked
ideal
(it can be…sometimes)
i pictured my life
as a mother
in technicolor
donna reed
mrs. cleaver
carol brady
…or at the very fucking least
shirley partridge….
but
no
here i am
somewhere between
neverland
&
the lord of the flies.

of this self-portrait, poppy happily reported, “it looks almost like you!”
yes…yes…this is how i look as a mom.
head on a stick & everything.

(i do totally dress like that)

did i mention that i recently had a dream where i was angry at my parents for leaving me & my four kids unattended without an adult?
eventually, in the dream, i did remember that i am 48 years old…but, seriously, most days i feel like a lost boy.

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emotional cargo pants

sometimes i think
i must be crying
someone else’s
tears
must be feeling
someone else’s
pain
must be haunted
by someone else’s
ghosts
how could one person
feel
this
much?
maybe i am cursed
maybe i am blessed
maybe it is
my destiny
to pocket
not just my own
suffering
but a piece
of everyone else’s
as well
people who don’t have
all the pocket space
i do
i must be a pair
of emotional
cargo pants
used to carry
all the woes
of the
world.

you know,  emotional cargo pants to go with my sweater of depression. to be found in my neurotic wardrobe.

this one’s a bit messier than usual. the thought was difficult for me to express in the right way. i suspect there is a spectacularly poetic way to do it…but i am falling short & struggling with it.
additionally, my rapidograph pens were being assholes….as is in their nature, but i still love them.

growing a new smile

i found a fairy wing
in my coffee today
i don’t know how
it got there
i can only
hope
like a gecko
the creature in question
can grow
a new one
i found a smile
on my face
today
i don’t know
how it got there
it seems
years
since it last
wandered
on
i can only hope
like the moon
in the night
it continues
to light
my
way
through the dark.

when i was just a girl

when i was just a girl
not yet a woman
i hung a sign on my wall
declaring
“i am destined
for greatness”
one day
a male friend
scoffed
“what? you’re going to marry
adam ant?”
i was
beyond
offended
(still am) as if! as if
a woman could only be great
through marriage
when i was still a girl
not quite a woman
i spent eight hours a day
writing
& writing
novels
first in longhand
then typed
it took about nine months
to birth one
when i was just a girl
not quite a woman
i was broken
already
broken by an
abused
childhood
an abandoned
childhood
i was broken
but
i was
still
whole
until one day
i discovered
the “greatness”
of men.

to say i was an awkward child would be an understatement. to say i was a strange child, also, understated.
needless to say, boys were not knocking my door down.
i was shy & dressed funny.
which was probably the best thing for me. i was safe from myself. however, once i figured out the whole boy-catching thing, things went downhill for me pretty fucking fast.
i let them tear me apart.
i gave them the best parts of me.
and i have been recovering ever since.

on the bright side–i am recovering.

progress

i am almost finished with this commissioned piece.
i like it. it reminds me of shel silverstein (who happens to be one of my favorite male artists.) so i felt happy about that. i also love being able to get messy with my ink.
i just emailed the people who requested it & quoted a price. then vowed to myself to start doing that before i accept a job.

so there’s that.

also! i find myself, when thinking of good things to come, thinking of artwork rather than relationships. which is a big step for me. i tried to express that in my last journal  page “a letter for me,” but i think maybe i didn’t say it the way i meant.
i am trying to explore these things further in my art journal, but i have just gotten started.
meanwhile…
my minions are back from their week at their dad’s and i am struck by how i go from living in an isolation tank to living in a house full of feral monkeys. it’s quite a shock to my system.
something i should maybe start preparing myself for…other than just buying alcohol.

yesterday i heard my ten year old boy (iggy) say of my seven year old girl, “misha is running a fight club–” i did not catch the rest of the conversation. i just hid.

then while i was doing yoga for ptsd , iggy & fidgit put on a movie i got for them and then iggy was in the doorway lamenting that the movie was black & white and how could i do that to him as i know he just hates black & white….
i assured him it would turn to color as it was not a black & white movie, and i kept doing my yoga.
fidgit then appeared in the doorway after some loud scuffling. he said something about iggy attacking & injuring him but all i could think to do was ask (of the movie) “is it colored yet?”
to which he replied, “no, but it will be soon.”
“good,” i answered right before he began wailing about my not caring that his bruise would soon have color.

for some reason that communication mix up really struck me as funny.  i started laughing & could not stop.
i would think i was losing my mind…but i am going to blame the yoga. yoga tends to release things for me. usually i cry. it felt nice to laugh like i did not know how to stop.

even though i probably further traumatized fidgit. (it still kind of makes me laugh though)

why i’m not a sex worker

so someone over on tumbr asked me to illustrate a story for his girlfriend’s book. this is the work in progress for that.
however, as usual, i said “yes” without agreeing on a rate/price for the artwork.
i mean, i love doing art.
i love seeing if i can illustrate someone else’s ideas.
it’s fun & challenging for me. i like fun. i like a challenge.
but, yes, i need to start being more professional & less quixotic sometimes. like…when i’m done with this, there is going to be that awkward email where i have to say, “um, in order to get the finished piece, i need money.”
and what if they are all–you never said it cost! and yes…they should know artists do not work for free nor donate their talent (except for a good cause.) but i still dread that point when i have to ask for a fee.
crap. i should have settled it sooner.
right?
i can’t afford to give it away for free.
(that’s what she said)

meanwhile, for another commission i am doing without settling on cost first, i am googling images of every cool sea creature i can think of to make a set of greeting cards and getting excited about painting them.
however, there is probably no way someone expects to pay as much as i think they should pay for a hand painted series of greeting cards.
and i do know this person–which makes it even harder for me to ask for what i feel my art is worth.

crap.
i need an agent.

a letter for me

today is a sunshine
feeling
on my soul
as i am
sideswiped by
some
free floating feeling
of hope
a little glow
of
happiness like a letter in the mail
but not a love
letter
not a secret admirer
hoping for a
woo
but the letter i see in my heart
a letter telling me
how wonderful
&
talented
how amazing i am
a letter for me
& me
alone
i do not crave an “us” when
this happy happy hits
my heart
this anticipation
of good things
to come
no
i crave a me
all i want
is me.

i realize yesterday i was talking about wanting to be taken care of. and, yes, i do long for someone in my life to love & care for me in the way i need that. however! when i was feeling hopeful on the day i wrote this, i was not hoping for romance. i was hoping for…how do i say it? fulfillment? reaching that place in my life when i am…i dunno. it’s so hard to explain. i felt it in me when i wrote this. it got expressed as a letter in the mail. that special feeling of a letter in the mail.
but a letter that completes me…as a person? does anyone know what i mean? also, this picture was all pen on paper–no forethought. i just put pen to paper & drew. so…brick mermaid? i’m not sure. maybe i will interpret it at some point.

meanwhile, a couple days ago i was driving in my car when i remembered intentional communities. and then thought about how maybe there was a community that would welcome livestock as well.

sometimes i feel like my brain is a very poorly routed labyrinth.
how did i forget about intentional communities? i lived in a cooperative house for four years where my passion for cooperative living was ignited despite the horrible drama of said house.

so i started researching over on the intentional communities site i have always used. and i have found there might be a place for the minions & me & all of our pets.

but the point of my bringing all of this up is that there is a place called teaching drum in wisconsin where a community of people live on property and teach outdoor skills. i went to check out what they are hiring…beekeepers? goat milkers? duck wranglers?…office administration. oh.
then i thought…do i qualify? i have no experience with anything. no one will hire me….

but i started writing my resume and you know what? i have a lot of fucking experience. and some of it even happens to be in an office & doing computer-y stuff. holy fuck, y’all. i have done a lot of things–learned a lot of things–in my 48 years breathing air on this planet. writing a resume incorporating life experience & informal jobs/education can be empowering.
huh.

i have a lot to offer to an intentional community.
maybe this is what that letter in the mail feeling is about. valuing myself.

blunt

my life is just
a series
of fuck ups
sorry you got caught
up
in that
maybe
they should just
launch me to the moon
send me
to the bottom of the sea
get me as far as fuck
away
from
anyone
everyone
i can possibly
harm.

i am so very sick right now. in a literal sense. my face hurts from my sinuses being all jenky. so i did end up binging some netflix because i’m not good for much else. but at least i was watching a good show–get shorty–as it has been made into a series now. so totally worth the binge.
and i do like an irish accent.
but here i am sick. and now my washer is broken. amid all the other things i need help with in my life & all i can do is lament that i have no one to take care of me…never did really…and it so totally sucks.
this journal page started as a text to my first husband who has started contacting me again after a long silence that began with my telling him i wanted to smash his head.
i’m not the best ex-wife…or wife…so why do both my husbands keep coming back for more? so confusing.
anyhoo.
i didn’t think i would hear from him again. usually if i just look at him funny he does a quick retreat, much less my threatening the consummate condition of his head.
whatever.
i don’t need another ex-husband in my life.
i need someone who is going to stay
& take care of me…but that is a hard idea for me to swallow…
that anyone would ever do that for me…because…well, i’m me.

a simple but damning curse on mankind.

stuck like this

i can feel
the broken parts
inside me
clenching into a
fist
determined
not to be
removed
not to be
healed
staking their claim
to my ego
to my
self
a vice-like grasp
on every
thought
that dares to
venture
out
testing the waters
of my personality
today
“you are a useless
&
awful
person,”
they whisper…but
to me
it sounds like
a scream.

okay. so i write these pages as the thoughts tumble through my brain. so the date on the page is the date i wrote it. i illustrate them in the order i write them.
some days i have several thoughts screaming to be heard.
some days my brain is nice & quiet.
it often happens that i have several pages of script before i get an idea for what image should be with each page. usually i am a day or two or even more behind on illustrating my thoughts.
so! it often happens that by the time i illustrate a thought, i have recovered from it. if that makes sense. i mean, this whole ordeal is just a long, drawn-out exorcism.

ta-da.
(in other words–i feel much better now…but this thought is a valid one…the battle inside me. parts of me wanting to heal–other parts fighting it tooth & nail.)

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