one of those lives
where it feels like
you can’t do anything right
living by example
trying to change the world
but your bees die
your garden grows
away from you
and no one can find
the duck eggs
you’re ready to throw in the trowel
on this homesteading gig
go back to town
have neighbors who don’t poison
the fields around you
kids for your kids
to play with
long walks to parks & libraries.
sure you have to give up
big clear skies of endless stars
& listening to the coyotes & bullfrogs
sing at night…
bury away a couple dreams…
you’ll dig up new ones.
i am sucking hard at homesteading right now. and this will be the third time i have used the joke “throw in the trowel” without one single chuckle.
a bee stung me
in the face
mowed down my ditches
i had left wild
with hopes of cultivating
for the bees
& then crop dusters
somehow within their
dive bombed the fields
leaving poison in their wake
& all i could do was worry
for the bee who stung me
for her sisters in the hive
for her sisters foraging
in the ditches & fields
because i know
without a doubt
& can see
despite my eyes being
almost swollen shut
that their lives
are vastly more important
vastly more meaningful
it is not that i think my life is meaningless. well, relatively speaking it is as well–but i was saying all human life is meaningless. seriously. what are we good for? we hurry around this planet acting so important & superior…but what do we do?
we are a plague worse than any other.
we destroy land.
kill off species after species.
why? what is our purpose?
the bee is an honest & hardworking creature. one with purpose. look to the flowers & fruit. that is the bee’s work.
have we ever done anything half as important as that?
my misery is evolving into epiphanies about the misery of all of us. this is exciting, right?
ps. check out my face!
i did this picture by spilling ink
and looking for images
in the shadows & shades of the ink
i spilled this ink
to send another love note
to a person who doesn’t want me
but at least i’m making art
while i mope
and try to find my way.
meanwhile, i really need to do another page of moses jones. it’s time for that once-a-month page.
but my garden is weeded. my minions are fed. my ducks are laying. my bees are buzzing. life goes on.
i’m going to be the only blog
where someone makes art
talks about said art
draws & writes comics
& ink blot compositions
writes poorly constructed poetry
denies it is poetry at all
tells you her dreams
and analyzes those dreams for you
shares her tarot readings
and other pagan witchy rituals
talks about homesteading
sustainability & low-impact lifestyles
trying to be a locavore
goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, & geese
maybe turkeys too
and other demons perching on one’s psyche
isolation & life as a pariah
also randomly volunteering recipes
& book reviews
while begging someone to talk to her
or at least to marry her
and she may or may not
mention her menstrual cup
and how that is working out….
this is my solemn vow to you, dear reader. also, i challenge you to find another blog that offers you all that. and if you do know one, get me in touch with them so i can run away with them & we can be red-headed pirates together.
(i decided just today that i want to be a red-headed pirate…so my to-do list is to become a redhead & then become a pirate.)
speaking of dreams. i have been having crazy-ass dreams. i’m not sure what’s going on there. and i keep making out with dusty in my dreams and then waking up all pissed off. i need to figure out why i am having those dreams…and remember what fish mean in my dreams. i used to know, but i seem to have forgotten, and now i am having fish dreams like crazy.
also, i just put in a kencove fence to make more pasture because i am not sure i have enough hay for my ruminants. it occurred to me, just recently, that i could actually buy hay in the summer and store it for winter. however, i did not do that and now everyone is running low on hay (or have already sold it to someone else) due to the cold, snowy winter.
but the day was warm & pretty, and i put up this SO EASY to put up temporary electric fence. so now i have a third pasture. yay! and dreams of getting more so i can pasture in another chunk of yard where weeds & canada thistle have gone crazy mad.
plus i am working on a comic about a chicken who died this winter.
yes…a dead chicken comic.
it’s gonna be good.
so yesterday morning
i had a dream that is a reoccurring theme for me
the dream has me
trying to reconcile with dusty
to be with him again
so i spent yesterday
does my subconscious really really?
want me to reunite with dusty?
& i guess my subconscious was listening
because this morning
i had the same dream
but with a different ex
to be in love
happily ever after
now i know it’s not dusty
my subconscious is messaging me about
but i am still in the dark
is it as simple as my own desperation
to be loved?
to be happily ever after?
or does it go deeper….
i’m not getting art done. the minions are crazy, & i am crazier. i need to get art done. because, well, deadlines…and because it is something that keeps me sane….
but late summer is acting like fall and i have bees to get ready…goats to find a stud for…lambs & turkeys to butcher…winter gardens to plan…chicks being born and deserted by their fickle mama hens…
i did get around to signing up as a place for travelers to come & help out. i am on helpx and on wwoof. today a couple of girls contacted me about hanging out here in september.
did you know that not only can i feel like an imposter as an artist, but also can i do so as a homesteader?
i’m all like–is my homestead actually a homestead? are they going to be disappointed in my homestead? like take one look and go–you call this a homestead???
relationships, art, writing, motherhood, and homesteads…it’s all one experiment in rejection….
speaking of, a work of creative non-fiction i submitted to a magazine that was doing a theme that screamed of my story, rejected my story before the email submission had even cooled…and i cried…and then felt like an idiot for crying when there are people losing their homes to fire, flood, and fascism….
but it still hurt.
ps. if anyone is good at dream interpretation & wants to take a crack at my dream, please do so!
a friend asked me to illustrate her story. this is an ink i did in my process of figuring out how i want the characters to look. it’s just a mess around rough draft, but i really liked how it turned out. my months of doing ink stain work has shaped my drawing skills and given me lots of fodder for other projects.
i’m excited about working on this project. it is my first chance to work as an illustrator. other than my own stuff, that is.
i like collaborating. i always have. i have found that i work well with others. either flushing out their ideas or letting them help me flush out my own.
i hope that this is the first of many collaborations & illustration gigs.
i haven’t gotten much art done.
i have tried to milk sheep with minimal success.
i have been growing seeds for spring.
i have been putting in beehives.
and raising up more chickens.
and planting potatoes…(no picture here because planting potatoes is not really a photo op)
ah. the life of a homesteading artist.
and sheep, chickens, and bees.
and, of course, the dysfunctional relationship that i am working really hard to avoid dealing with.
i finally finished this.
it’s the 12th of february and i have only done 3 inkings.
but that’s okay.
sometimes maybe i get stuck.
okay. lots of times i get stuck.
yesterday, however, i made 10 valentines & mailed them out.
10 of these in one day. that’s something. they are all just an inkstain with one inking done by pen. no ink brush. no final scribbling with the pen. so a few steps shy of what i would call a finished inking. but i did 10 in one day. i did that.
fuck christmas cards (i always forget to send them)…but i sent out valentines…you know, to 10 people. more next year if i get some addresses written down.
so that was fun.
but i’m still a wreck. i wake up every morning thinking i will be able to handle the day. but by sunset, i’m pretty sure i did not handle the day very well.
and i need to learn how to milk a sheep.
i’m such a half-assed homesteader. i’ve got sunflower micro greens, potatoes, and spinach growing in my sunroom despite my inability to remember i have things growing out there.
i have spinach & lettuce growing in my cold frame despite my inability to capture and formerly punish the groundhog who keeps raiding it.
and i have broccoli somehow growing in a hoop house despite my inability to keep the structure sound.
and i have livestock reproducing in my yard despite my inattention to the process.
plus i’m going to put in bees and a full garden come spring?
when will i draw? i’m going to have to actually pay attention to my homestead one of these days…not to mention my parenting.
i might be a bit overwhelmed.
i might be a bit stressed.
i might be a bit lonely and wishing i had someone here to tell me that i got this.
because sometimes i just feel like i’m drowning in it all.
alone & drowning.
but i finished another inking.