slowly

my seven year old
wants me to imagine
a block a mile long
“that’s a long block,”
i tell him
“no. you just need to walk
slowly,”
he tells me
& i realize
that is how
i have begun to live my life
slowly
so it will last longer
instead of wishing away time
like i did
when i was younger
now i walk the block
slowly
turning steps
into miles.

this has been a profound realization for me. i was talking to my kids about my pregnancies which went 42 plus weeks instead of 40. and i thought about it. i do things more slowly. like how i wasn’t even able to have a successful pregnancy until i was 34. like how i (historically) have looked at least 10 years younger than i am.

i do things slowly & will probably live to be like 120 years (barring accidental death.)

my favorite stephen king story is called “mrs. todd’s shortcut” and is about a woman who drives fast on backroads & begins going through time/space? and even begins to get younger with all her shortcuts.
i think about it as i drive the winding backroads of the driftless. i love taking winding backroads and driving slow (not fast) as i just enjoy the ride.
because i think, going slow is the key to a longer life.

so sorry

i’m sorry things are rough right now
i tell them
i’m sorry
i’m always saying
sorry things are rough right now
i tell them
wondering
what will ever change
in order
to eliminate my profuse
apologies
are things
really
ever
not going to be rough?
what would that even look like?
i become a best selling author?
an internationally respected artist?
i find my prince charming
and his gallant steed?
& that’s when i realize
any hopes
for smooth sailing
are basically
fairy tales
& i cover my bases
by apologizing
once more.

seriously. is rough just the way my life is meant to be? do i keep doing it to myself? i mean, i could have kept renting & not have to deal with a house in need of attention…but of course, then i would still have the stress of renting….
and if we start down the road of coulda shouldas we are going to fall right down a rabbit hole and i have already spent way too much time in that rabbit hole….

so!
things are rough. they might always be rough. i guess, what i just need to do (to use yet another metaphor), is to develop my sea legs. ride out those rough waters.
enjoy the fucking ride even.

get the flock outta here

a wolf
but not in sheep’s clothing
(they itch too much)
a wolf trapped
in a pasture
letting the grass grow long
to the disgust
of the flock
hiding in the flowers
that the neighbor sheep
long to mow down
a wolf
in plain view
terrified of being noticed
of being
chastised & condemned
for being
who she
is.

(this is about me)
i’m freaking out about city ordinances & the fact that i really just don’t fit in. i grew up in a small town. i suffered for it. so now i move into an even smaller town?
maybe it will all be okay.
but, meanwhile, i am going to be hiding in plain sight, having some panic attacks and visions of angry mobs.

contrast

i am a spark of light
in a clay pot
i am my own prison
my own fortress
i am proud of my
heavy thickness
it keeps me safe
i am ashamed
of my
heavy thickness
it holds me back
i want to break out
of me
i want to hide away
inside me
i am lightening
in a bathtub
putting out my own
fire.

i was hoping to express something deep here. a feeling. the struggle i have inside me…with me. both physical & emotional.
i’m not sure i was successful.

i do like my illustrations lately though. i feel like i am doing some character development. building up to something new.

for what it’s worth

“what will you do for money?”
the question asked
when i quit my last “real” job
“i’ll get by on my good looks,”
is the answer given
“what do you do?”
“where do you work?”
“who’s your employer?”
n/a
i scribble
or
i’m a writer
i’m an artist
i’m a mother
(aka i have no income)
what is money
really
what is worth
what am i worth
to you
with no employer
with do husband
do i
still matter?

i decided at a very young age that i did not want to be part of the rat race. i watched my parents work full time & come home to watch tv. go to bed. wake up. do it all over again. buying expensive toys. worrying about money. never being happy or satisfied worrying about what they did not have….
i have worked many many many jobs. i have supported myself and still done what i want to do. i never really joined the rat race…. then i had a baby, fully intending to go back to work, but realizing that being a mom was what i wanted to be doing.
except that doesn’t pay. it’s not worth anything to anyone other than the mom & the child…& eventually society if the child becomes a functional & thriving member of said society…but, no, not worth anything.
so i became good at not spending money.
and good at not making money.
but still i have to answer this question. “what do you do?” as if it defines me.
i am a mother, artist, and a writer.
does it matter?

dreaming green meadows

my anxiety is an electric storm
sky full of clouds
bursting
static with lightening
my anxiety is a thick heaviness
holding me together
pulling me under
pulling me apart
as i try to just
breathe
just breathe
breathe through the panic
the terror
my heart pounding
out of my chest
the phone rings
the door knocks
& my insides shriek
while i pretend
i
can
do this
face another day
a deer in the headlights
frantically
picturing green meadows.

i had to text my ex-landlord to remind her to give back my security deposit & almost died. (maybe not…but it felt that way.)
why do i always assume i am doing something wrong? that i am a bad person? that i don’t deserve what is mine?
why do i freak out with fear when i am put in the position of asking for something i am due?
like i am committing some unforgivable crime in the asking?
as i secretly wait to be crucified….
like the other day when i was getting my dog license in my new village…the city worker asked about my lawn. my reel mowered/scythed lawn. suggesting it was longer than allowed by the city. and now i peek out my window, waiting for the mobs with torches to tell me to stop fucking around & mow my lawn properly…even though i am pretty sure it is within regulations…mostly anyway….
fuck anxiety.
just fucking fuck it.

(i have no idea where this illustration came from. i just kind of emptied my head & it sprang up in there. i like it. i miss doing comics & think about comics often…just haven’t drawn/written any lately…though i am back to using my art pens more than my bamboo pen….)

every day

the day began
like every other day
& ended
like
every
other
day
…this went on
for quite some time.

one of my little voices is the omniscient narrator voice. sometimes it pipes up with stuff like “the day began like every other day…” as if to suggest something grand is about to happen in my life.
and then i just have to laugh and add on the rest.
and then cry a little.
just a little.

(i was trying to go for the creepy madonna & child style of art.)

day twenty-six at madness manor

day twenty-six at madness manor
and i want to bury
my minions
neck deep in the backyard
i want to go back
in time
and live out my life as an old maid
a spinster
a parallel universe
where i feel a sad emptiness
for never having had
children…
breathe
center
ground…
remember
they are as out of sync
as you are
as stressed
& discombobulated
as you are
& they are up your butt
all the time
these days
because they haven’t figured out
where else
to be.

madness reigns at madness manor as we all try to live in a house that is not quite a home yet. tempers flare. i am told every day by at least one of them, “you don’t care about me!”
“i wish we never moved here!”
and much worse…
sigh…
the adjustment period.
why does it feel like it is a neverending story?

half and half

i am half amish
half punk rock
100% anarchist

i’m not sure those numbers add up…. i have started telling people i’m half amish. using a reel mower & scythe to tend my lawn. hand saws. hand drill. wanting to build shelves without power tools. wanting to have an oven that uses wood instead of electric or gas. wanting to heat my home with wood. rejecting appliances and clutter.

i told the kids to tell people we’re luddite.

as i try to change the world from my little corner in wisconsin.

sparrow

my little wings stretch
i grow weary with effort
sadness so heavy

i wish i didn’t feel so lonely
but i do
i am not sure i will ever find
a soulmate
another
soulmate
how many soulmates
have i thought
i’ve found
only to find
myself
alone again
alone
all over again.

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