meanwhile…

while i work on my fourth book
a gentle reminder
that i have published
(with a lot of help from tara caribou at raw earth ink)
three
count ’em
three books in three years

they are all available through lulu as i am not a fan of amazon.
links are on my love for sale page.
also! you can contact me for an autographed copy šŸ™‚

begin again

grizzly bear dreams
daring me
to trust
to love
to open the door
that i slam
shut
in fear
that door
i use all my strength
to hold
shut…
what happens
if i open
the door
& discover
my grizzly bear
is
a
teddy bear?

these are the first two pages of a brand new journal.
a brand new world
a brand new me?
i have dreamt of grizzly bears in the past & was able to analyze myself back then & realize that the grizzly was my fear of motherhood. then i stopped dreaming of them & haven’t dreamed of them in years.
but the other morning, i woke up to another terrifying grizzly bear dream. i am never harmed in the dreams, however, i am extremely scared & take measures to avoid being attacked.
in the case of this most recent dream, i slammed a door shut & begged others to help me hold it shut.
upon waking, since i identify with grizzly bears & have a medicine card deck (identifying the grizzly as protector of my feminine) i am able to be aware that the grizzly is not a threat to me & being my feminine protector, grizzly bear advocates for self-love (as well as love of others & motherhood.)
so i am afraid of loving myself? i have been working on learning to love myself…which i’m guessing resulted in this dream, reminding me of how silly it is to be afraid.
so!
i began to envision opening the door and hugging that huge grizzly bear head instead of trying so hard to keep her out of my life.

the violence we inherit

i wonder as i replant all of the basil babies
my son’s cat
dug up in the night
i wonder
was there a voice in my dad’s head that day
a voice that urged him to stop
or to at least take a beat
& think
about what he was doing
as he loaded his gun
or was he too loaded himself
sound voices unable to reach a brain fevered
with the excitement of an excuse
to do violence
what did he think aboutĀ 
as he blew out my cat’s brains
& destroyed the last of my childhood dreams of love
dreams of feeling loved
of feeling safe
as much as i want to do violence
to my son’s cat
i will not
i know the feeling will pass
i know it is important not to hurt my son
know if is wrong to hurt an animal
who is just doing what animals do
i hope my son
feels loved
i hope he feels safe
i hope his cat appreciates that even though i amĀ 
sometimes void
of the empathy that normally haunts me
i am able to recognize right
from wrong
however
even though i assure myself that i am not
my father
i am grateful to the cat
for having the sense to hide
before i found my damaged seedlings
so that belief
did not have to be
challenged.

i don’t remember how old i was when it happened. i’m pretty sure a lot of the details were told to me. but i don’t remember by whom. all i know…or all i was told…was that my sister had put nester the bunny, my baby brother’s pet, on the deck in a cardboard box. my sister did this so she could clean the living room. she cleaned in an obsessive-compulsive way. she cleaned because it was something she could control. she cleaned to survive. so nester was put in a cardboard box on our deck so my sister could do what she had to do.

my cat was a farm cat as my parent’s didn’t believe in house cats. my cat was a big tomcat covered in scars. i loved my cat like nothing else. 

my cat found the bunny and with his own set of survival skills, he broke nester’s neck. this is what i was told.

i remember that midnight then ran under the deck to hide. i am not sure how he knew to hide. but that is where my dad found him. telling the story for years after, my dad would say my cat was laughing at him while my dad pulled the trigger.

what about me?

where was i? was i screaming? was i crying? i remember knowing. i knew my cat was going to be shot. what did i do? was there anything i could have done?

i was already damaged by this point in my life. recent readings have me wondering if i suffer from attachment disorder due to emotional & then physical barriers that kept my mother from bonding with meĀ as an infant & into my childhood.and the violence my father was capable of kept me in a pretty constant state of fear.Ā i am pretty sure i was just hanging on by a thread at this point. my dad had already been responsible for at least one otherĀ instance of killing someone i loved when he put my pet mouse out in the rain.Ā 

i think this was it.

the straw that broke the camel’s back and left me unable to love. to trust. to bond with another living creature.

…until i had children of my own and found a fierce love somehow…somehow…still burning inside me.

“foxy” 16X20 inking on canvas…$200

one year at madness manor

i could stare at the hills
for days
lost
in the green
every shade of green
lost
in the dappled
shadows
i could stare at the hills
for days
like i have finally
found
what i have been looking for.

when i was a kid i would literally sit in my yard and stare at the horizon. my horizon then was actually the levy of the mackinaw river and the hills around the river valley as i grew up in one of the few places that isn’t flat in central illinois. i would stare at the trees on this levy, my horizon, as a way to survive the horrors of my childhood. staring at the horizon, i would plan my escape and imagine just getting up and leaving. i spent my childhood just waiting for the time i could finally go. run the fuck away.

now, when i look at the horizon–which is much closer now but very similar to that river valley in illinois–i have no feelings of escape. i just feel…content. home. peaceful even.
like i have arrived.
i somehow made it after thirty-three years of searching.

i am home.

quixotic updates

i am working on this new ink on canvas tentatively titled “foxy.” i really like working on canvas & now that i am down to my last free canvas, i am thinking of buying more for future creations.
that bunny keeps hopping into my art lately. i have even started a children’s book starring him.
fun fact. after i wrote the text for said children’s book, i went to my sun porch, looked out the window, and watched three bunnies eating dandelions in my backyard. i stood & watched for at least ten minutes. if you have never watched a bunny eat a dandelion, you are totally missing out.

in other news, i went through all my journals looking for “fodder” for books & stories. i have decided to focus on one project at a time instead of being easily distracted & starting new projects without finishing old ones. after the children’s book illustrations are done, i will focus on finishing the text & doing illustrations for my novel, a better life through sock puppets.
i am trying to give myself credit for what i have achieved. i let myself be proud of the fact that i found so many random ideas & sketches worth working with! including the above gem from 2016.

so i am not moping. i am rebuilding that fucking tower & giving myself credit for doing a good job with it.
as they say in my home state of wisconsin–forward!

note to self

i wanted to try finger painting with my inks.

crap. yesterday i drew tarot cards (again) & got “the tower” as my future card for the third time in a little over a month. i feel like i am supposed to be learning something but it turns into a negative feedback loop as i feel defeated every time i get a sign from the universe to stop being a fuck up…and then it’s all i can do to not be a fuck up.
am i lying to myself? am i building a house of cards that is just going to fall down? do i need to scrap everything & start over?
these are the questions prancing through my brain at 2am….

plus ever since i was rejected by an employer, i am convinced that everyone hates me. why not the universe as well?

so my finger painting was not nearly as inspirational as i had hoped it would be. now i just want to curl up in a ball & cry until i can’t cry anymore.

i’m a loser, baby

always being a fuck up
is difficult
enough
why should i expect
any more
from myself
if i know i am going
to miss
the boat
why should i even try
how do i turn the race
around
so my last place finish
is first?

i drew “the tower” card in my tarot deck again & this was my immediate response. bleah. self-loathing is exhausting.
but on the upside, i really am trying to figure out how to turn the race around so my last place finish is actually a win.
it would be a pretty neat trick if i could figure it out.

i’m a boy watcher

funny that it isn’t
that
different
15 year old me
standing at my locker
talking about boys
with my girlfriends
51 year old me
standing in my front yard
talking about boys
with the divorced neighbor lady
nothing has changed
while everything has changed
& i wonder if those boys
still
have the power to crush
my heart
& i wonder
do i still have the power
to grow a new heart
& try
again?

keep your distance

what’s wrong with me
it oozes
from my skin
i am different
they can tell
you can tell
there is something
wrong
with me
take a couple of steps
back
keep your distance
i might be
contagious.

spring is here & i am spending a lot of time digging in the dirt. which makes me happy.
so why am i so sad?
i was hired to work at this nursery which was super exciting for me because i love plants & was excited about learning even more about plants & landscaping. they hired me without even meeting me. there was an online application & a personality test. i was sure i failed the personality test, but the owner seemed excited about me & hired me.
then there was an orientation. i went & thought i was okay…. but there was a bit of a cold reception….. guy told me he would call me to schedule me in. that was over a month ago. first i was all like, it’s just the unseasonably cold spring. but then it got warm. then there was mother’s day. then on my trip to a different nursery (because i can’t bring myself to go to that one) i noticed how fucking busy it was now that spring is suddenly upon us.
but no job.
and i really can’t help but to take it personally.
now i just feel sad…& pissy.

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