a new moon

from the crescent moon
i learn
to focus
to discern
the fragile light
from the boundless blue
twilight
to find an eyelash
of hope
pale
but growing brighter
slender
but growing bolder
with each day
with each
sunset
from the crescent moon
i learn to hear
the whisper of magic
in the chaos
of the every
day.

today is the birthday of my brother who was killed by the republican party 14 years ago. i will bake him a cake & drink a beer with him & watch an action flick with my kids who know we spend this day with my dead brother.
it never really gets easier, losing someone, you just have to learn to live life as a person who lost someone. live the best way you can.

over the river & through the woods

to candice, thanksgiving had become a torturous holiday of infighting, smoke filled rooms, droning televisions, & overcast skies inside & out.
food the color of the carpeting in her maternal grandmother’s sad apartment.
uncomfortable silences and meals that sat heavy long after thankfulness was forgotten.
all her boyfriends took it personally that she would not follow them on their annual treks to the houses of relatives who would make jokes at someone else’s expense causing candice to flinch from her invisible corner as some of the barbs (i’m just joking! can’t you take a joke?) hit a little too close to home.
candice dreamed of a day that the third week of november would blend seamlessly into the rest of late fall, no longer poking at the scars of her so-far survival.

so i have some thanksgiving baggage. i stopped going to my family thanksgivings as soon as i was able. i stopped eating turkey. i sought out thanksgivings full of music & non-traditional dishes with people who were also orphans of society.
one year, boycotting my first (& estranged) husband’s beige & dry family thanksgiving, i went out to a bar & asked everyone what they were doing for the holiday until i found a cutie who was going to a get-together of friends (hosted by a local chef.) i tagged in on his thanksgiving. the rest of that thanksgiving is a story for another day….
anyhoo
i like cooking (this year i tried to make potstickers for the first time) and i like drinking and i like hanging out with friends…but i still dread the holiday each year with flashbacks to a colorless palate of foods & people who were only spending time together out of obligation.
one day i hope i have banished all feelings of suffocation this holiday brings to me.

a fairy tale life

i am searching
for a way
to tell a story with my art
as the true story of me
unwinds in my heart
& head
retold
with a new voice
i try to find
the best path
forward

my process for this one (& for “escape”) is to stain a piece of watercolor paper, find an image in the stain, and bring that image/story to life with pencils, oil pastels, ink, & acrylics.
i like what is happening.
& it is kind of a blend of techniques i have used as well as new approaches to art.
maybe i should throw in some collage?
i guess as i figure out who i am…i figure out how to express what i need to express.

9X12 ink, oil pastel, pencil & acrylic on watercolor paper…suggested price of $75

what now?

i was thinking about how i am reluctant
to sketch more ponies
right now
even though i think
i do a good job of it
& it might have more mass appeal…
i think back to that art professor
who was all like
yeah
but what do you
really
want to be doing?

what
do
i
really
want
to
be
doing?

creating stories with my drawings
telling stories
crafting worlds
& characters
merging my art & writings
in the most perfect way
possible.

drawing these pictures,
i wondered, who are they?
what do they want?
what would i do if i set them
free?

puzzle box

who i am
is
changing
how i do my art
is
changing
how i see myself
is
changing
it’s like
one of those puzzle boxes
where you move
one piece
&
all the other pieces
shift
into
place
dominoes
that seem to be
falling
but in reality
are creating
a bigger picture.

something is shifting inside of me. which is awesome, but i have to remind myself that just because i finally start moving, i can still get stuck again…or often, when one problem is fixed, another rears its head.
so now that i am starting to heal the ugly me & let her believe she is pretty, who will show up next?

i feel pretty III

i used to worry
that people
would think that i think
that i am
pretty
now
i think
i will go ahead
& know
that i am
pretty
& not give a rat’s ass
whether they agree with me
or not.

i’m not going to go out & join any pageants or put together head shots for modeling…but i am going to stop ducking my head & acting like i’m offending people by showing myself in public.
so far so good

i feel pretty II

if i am ugly
that
justifies
my feeling
like a misfit
an
outcast
i am more
comfortable
as a pariah
than as a
popular
so
i created
a monster persona
shave my head
&
bare my teeth
you best steer clear
of me
(they i can know
why i feel
so alone.)

i keep thinking back to when i started feeling this way. feeling like i didn’t belong & was surely the ugliest thing ever. a lot of it happened in grade school. i was a sensitive child, & i was weird. other kids didn’t really get me. so maybe it was easier for me to tell myself i was ugly?
easier than believing there was something deeper causing my pain?
my parents sabotaged my ego
my peers finished me off
& i stomped on any good parts of me that survived the rest of it….

i feel pretty

i always cry
when i hear the song
“jolene”
but
do i have a right to?
i have lost a lot of men
& boys
to other women…
but i have
also
been the one
they come back
to
the one they choose
when there is a choice
to be made
part of me
wants to be
clings to
the idea
of being
ugly
unwanted
outcast
but part of me also knows
though i am
an outcast
i am also
quite tragically
one of
“the beautiful ones.”

even just transcribing this from my journal to this blog, i balked. what? who am i to say i am beautiful? no one is going to believe i am beautiful.
so uncomfortable with that identity!
when i went to forestry camp as a teen, i was embraced immediately by these two girls who said we should all stick together because we were the prettiest ones. i couldn’t get away from them fast enough (quick before they see i am really ugly!)
& i promptly found the freaks & outcasts to spend my week with.

yes, i would rather spend my time with the freaks & outcasts, but i need to stop telling myself i am ugly. i need to believe i am–despite being unconventional–beautiful. i need to believe that other people can see my beauty.
i know sometimes they won’t, but as long as i do….
i mean, ultimately, i just have to stop telling myself i am ugly.

its like i have my heart in my hands & i am trying to convince it that it is not so broken that it cannot fly….

muted

you ruined my day
&
i can’t even tell you
because
it will just blow up
in my face
i’m muted
by my fear
of what you will say
what you will do
how you will react
if i tell you
you ruined my day….
you ruined my life
&
i could scream about it
until my face is blue
but
it won’t change
a thing
no matter
what i do
you will never care
never
notice
you ruined my life.

ah, quality time with the ex.
it’s emotional abuse–making someone terrified of speaking up. manipulating a person to the point where they are afraid to speak for fear of how you will react.
it is an emotional abuse i am very susceptible to & have extensive experience with…
& it pisses me off.

two-fer

“makeover”

who am i
if i am not ugly?
who am i
if i am not
self-loathing?
how do i imagine
myself
as anything other
than a
monster?
i have told myself this
story
for so
so long
how do i write a new
ending?

“in the cards”

the cards tell me to
let go
(let go let go let go)
of something
no longer
true
the cards tell me
i cannot see
my true potential
through
warped lenses
the cards
however
do not
tell me how to let go
they do not tell me
how to see myself
through a lens
not
contorted
by self-loathing.

my tarot cards are always telling me to let go of something & i’m all, “i have let go of everything….” except, i realized, my self-loathing & stubborn belief that everyone looks at me and sees some hideous monster. that everyone can tell i don’t belong. that i am ugly to the core.
can i let go of a belief i have held close for most of my life?

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