elephants in the clouds

i suspect that i am an empathetic sociopath.
i suffered a lot of emotional abuse as a child, and now i find it difficult to bond.
with people. with pets.
i think i bond with my kids? i think i do. sometimes i shut down…but then again, my kids can be really overwhelming.
the thing is is that i am so so quick to withdraw. first sign of trouble & i shut down. i turn my emotions off.
i don’t have a lot of friends for this reason. it is difficult for me to make friends. i always have walls…and moats…and trapdoors.
i love the idea of friends.
but i just don’t know how to do it & i always suspect people hate me & then..you know…trap doors.

today i felt this overwhelming & heartbreaking loneliness. i don’t mind being alone, but oh my god i am so lonely.
is it because i feel like i don’t relate to others?
is it because i have trouble believing anyone could really care about me?
is it because there is so much unrest in the world these days?
so much isolation? social media creating isolation? social movement causing isolation?

i went on facebook today and posted this post:

i feel lonely in this world
lonely to my bones
it’s not just me
none of us seem to know how to communicate
how to start a conversation
it is all reaction
and hurt feelings
who is to blame
a witch hunt.
and worst of all
people die…people suffer…people are oppressed
animals are abused and driven to extinction
the environment is destroyed
while we bicker.
can we just start over?
hello, i’m a bisexual bigender white pagan anarchist feminist
single stay-at-home mom on state aid
no–wait–i’m a human being.
different from you, but also the same
& i’m so so lonely.
will you be my friend?

and i immediately felt better. i felt like i put everything out there that i was afraid of saying about myself. those things that might make me troll bait.

this is the crap i do on social media. expose myself. lay everything out and wait to be crucified. fortunately, i surround myself with people on facebook who are understanding & nurturing…for the most part.

either that or they are a little afraid of me.

i have been known to scare people…and i’m okay with that.

& in that vein…here are some clown balloons.

Advertisements

parade

this is my first use of tan toned paper. i like it better than the gray tone. and i used a white ink stain again for the toned paper.

at first i wasn’t sure about this one. but by the end i really liked it.

i finished the inking earlier, but i had to do bedtime before i could write this post. so i thought about what i would post as i lay in bed getting poppy & misha to sleep. i thought about telling y’all about my friday, where in addition to getting a fucktard for a president, i also got an anonymous religious tract in the mail addressed to me. my legal name. therefore probably from someone i know, but like i said…anonymously sent. not even a note saying, “hope you don’t burn in hell!” and a smiley face.

motherfucker.

and then while i was reeling from those two things, plus having just gotten home from the store and having to put away groceries while minions scream for treats, i missed two text messages from my ex who then both emailed me & messaged me on facebook in a panic. i fell into a conversation with him as i tried to be human & show some concern for his state of anxiety, but then he kept saying things like, “it won’t be like it was before.” and lamenting the past and promising change and i ended up having to put on the caps lock (i hate capitol letters if y’all haven’t noticed) but i felt i had to be clear. i don’t think he understands that we are broken up and i am never ever ever ever ever ever ever going down that path again.

so i used caps lock.

but he still didn’t get it.

anyhoo.

that’s what i was going to post about. but then i felt all mellow looking at my white ink on tan paper and decided to just talk about my picture instead.

it’s pretty, right?

turquoise sun

i didn’t go to the women’s march yesterday. i thought about it. and if i still lived in madison, or somewhere where the closest march was not an hour & a half away, i would have been there. but waking up and getting four kids ready and packing food because we can’t afford to buy food. and filling water bottles. and driving. and finding parking. and herding four kids through crowds.

i let it overwhelm me.

if you read yesterday’s post, you know my mindset was not in the best place for movement.

after a day of reading facebook posts about the marches around the world, i did feel i wanted to be there. my mood lifted. seeing the solidarity. seeing the positive feelings. feeling the lift of potential darkness. glimpsing hope.

i realized one thing. i do march every day. i live my life the way i want the world to change. i truly do. i am marching every day. raising four white kids (three of whom are boys) to understand that all people are equal and all people deserve rights and respect. raising four children to honor the earth and live a low-impact lifestyle. teaching them to work with the environment to grow their own food. i can’t list everything i do right now…my mind doesn’t work like that–i will think of more later when i am doing something else. (i will eloquently explain what i am trying to express now later…in my own head…as i do yoga or dishes.)

i am marching every day. and i will continue to march. always. i will always be marching for women. for people of color. for lgbtq people. for the disabled. for the environment. for anyone who isn’t being listened to and honored. i will be marching.

look (don’t look)

as i let my dogs out into this unseasonable & warm january day, i started sobbing. beautiful weather sponsored by big oil. beautiful weather thanks to climate change. this same beautiful weather in the middle of illinois in the middle of winter, means droughts in other parts of the world. hurricanes & tsunamis in other parts of the world. famine & wild fires in other parts of the world. and if this beautiful weather continues here, the plants will be fooled into thinking it is spring and then a cold snap will kill them as they try to bloom. this warm january day means scorching heat in the summer…or even in the spring.

that’s what we are. we are enjoying the beautiful weather…despite the consequences. refusing to change and ignoring the consequences. the environment is just one level of the game we are playing…and losing.

i have been depressed for three days now. with reason. the world is a mess. my country is a mess. but turn on the tv & everything is okay. turn on the news and it is someone else who is suffering. not you. so, carry on.

look2

sometimes being an empath really really really fucking sucks.
i can feel the pain in the air. the pain of this world.
i can feel it.
and it hurts.
if it hurts me, imagine how it feels to whomever, whatever is actually experiencing the pain.

and while i am getting enough sleep, i am tired to my bones.

img_3206

em is for messy.

you know how some things stick with you?
i don’t know if i read it in just one book. or if it was a re-occurring theme in books about the noble poor, but the summation in describing said poor kids:
they clothes were worn, but clean.
as if by keeping them clean, their mother somehow made up for the sin of being poor.
& for some reason this seems to echo in my mind decades after i would have first read it.
now, with four poor kids of my own.

when we go out, which isn’t too often because we are homeschooling homebodies. even my extrovert prefers being at home–he just requests that i bring people to him.
so we don’t go out too often
but when we do, as soon as we get somewhere, i notice what my kids must look like to others.
we shop second-hand (even if i did have money we would still shop second-hand) and i let my kids dress themselves. i let them choose their style. i let them choose how long or short they have their hair. i encourage them to be individuals. sometimes misha only wears princess dresses when we go out…sometimes she wears star wars pjs.
i like this about them.
but then there is the public eye. which might not even be a legitimate thing. it might just be a filter i have created to judge myself by…and now to judge my mothering skills via how my children appear in the public eye.
if you understand that at all?
i have a little voice saying to me, “your kids look pretty damn scruffy.” and i have to silence it. i have to silence it by remembering who i am and what is important to me.

don’t blame them; their mama is an artist & very distracted.
don’t blame them; their mama believes in low-impact living & does not buy extra cleaning/stain-removing product…and even before that:
don’t blame them; their mother is a terrible laundress.
don’t blame them; their mama feeds them real food that is messy–not packaged neatly & individually.
don’t blame them; their mama encourages them to play like children, to get messy.
don’t blame them; their mama has them do chores that involve the outdoors & dirt.
don’t blame them; their mama believes that there are more important things in life than making sure you put on a good appearance for the public eye.
more important things to spend your time doing than worrying if you are clean or not.

plus!
art! gardening! pets! livestock! exploration! adventure! cooking! baking! mucking about!
we do a lot of messy things around here.

okay…so i just had to get that out of my head because it was rattling around in there all morning. it has probably been percolating for weeks if not years…now it is out.
whew!
exorcism complete…now i can get some art done.

zen garden

social media is a blessing & a curse to people like me. i like having that connection. that easy connection. i like being able to share my thoughts and be inspired by others.

but holy crap. the negativity can suffocate you. the mass negativity. it’s devastating. the specific & personal attacks are even more devastating. seems people are quick to judge, quick to point fingers, quick to react when it can be done in a space such as social media.

i’m guilty too. yes.

so i’m dropping out of groups on facebook that have any sort of angle other than sharing information. and even then, i want it to be information about things that cannot turn political or social. plant identification. i’m still in that group. permaculture…i’m there, but maybe that is pushing it?

today i went on facebook. such a bad habit. i use it for news & entertainment. such a bad habit. but it can be fun and there are people i love there and it is such an easy platform for my art…

it is like an amplifier of what is wrong with us. as a country? as a people? everyone is turned against everyone else. my parents did this. they pitted us against each other because it was easier to control us that way. and that is what our country is. we are all turned against each other. we largely leave alone the group of people we should actually be fighting, and we fight among ourselves.

so fucking fucked up.

i know i am guilty of it as well.

but what would it look like, if we negotiated, compromised, worked together to create laws and guidelines to our society that largely benefited everyone. everyone.
healthcare for everyone.
clean food & water for everyone.
a decent wage for everyone.
equal rights–seriously–for everyone.
better energy for everyone.

you know who it benefits if we are all sick & dying. starving & desperate? you know who it benefits if our environment is destroyed in the name of big oil & corporate greed?

no one. not even the fuckers raking in the money. no one benefits. i don’t care if there is some bunker somewhere where they plan to wait out the collapse of society & the environment. who wants to live in a bunker? seriously.

so that’s what’s on my mind today.
as i shower.
as i ink.
as i bake scones.

you, me, the rest of the world. let’s work together. really. what could it hurt? what do we have left to lose?

img_3193

dark flame

when i was nineteen i went into therapy for the first time. i was dating a man who would lock me in his basement/bedroom to keep me from leaving. escaping is one of my go-to defenses, so this was pretty devastating to me. he was one of the most awful people i knew and i knew this before dating him–and still felt attracted to him. so i started therapy.

i was unhappy without knowing i was unhappy. i mean, i considered myself an optimist even though my mom said i was a pessimist and another boyfriend labelled me a nihilist…or was it a fatalist?

anyhoo. i was unhappy without realizing it. or maybe it was that i had hidden my happiness so far away that i had forgotten where it was. i was also afraid. ever since i was a little kid. terrified of the dark. so afraid!

but in therapy, one day, it felt like a miracle, i found my happy. and i was no longer afraid. i didn’t realize i was no longer afraid until later that day…or that week…when a lightbulb needed to be changed in a storage room in the attic of the rooming house i lived in. to whomever was with me, i said, “i can’t go in there. i’m afraid of the dark.” and then, without thinking, i walked right in, fearlessly.

the miracle felt like a glowing in my chest. i could feel it like i can feel myself blinking, breathing, my heart beating. i could feel it in my chest.

i confessed to my miracle-worker of a therapist that i was afraid i would lose it again. that it would go away. i compared my fear to the story flowers for algernon. where someone is given the gift of intelligence, and then has to watch as it slips away again.

she assured me that it was mine to keep.

and it has stayed there. i check on it. sometimes it is small & hard to find. sometimes it is bursting out of me.

lately i have begun to wonder if i can share it? can i spread it around? infect others with my own happiness?

i remember that i have at times infected others with my seething anger. pushing & pushing it out of me until it clings onto someone else and i am free of it….

two days ago, i accidentally pushed too much of my happy out and left myself empty.

yesterday i left my happy unprotected and allowed someone to crush it.

today i am recovering. wondering how to do it right. do i keep trying? do i hide it away again? i don’t want to  hide it away anymore.

when i open myself up, i can feel it in my whole chest, glowing. a brilliant flame. it feels amazing.
so how do i share it without depleting it? without losing it to careless strangers?

darkflame1