squirreling away

a few weeks ago i drew a medicine animal card
from my deck.
it was a squirrel.
today i went to draw a new card
while i was shuffling
i dropped a couple cards
i picked them up
the top one was the squirrel.
i finished shuffling & drew
a card for today
it is the squirrel…
hmmm.
no mixed messages there
prepare for the future
says the squirrel card
be ready for change
says the squirrel card
agreeing with my last tarot reading
where my near future was the moon (change)
& my final outcome was a death card
inverted
(do not fight change.)

wow. what does the universe have in store for me? i have started looking at a back-up iowa town. a bigger town. a cheaper town. more central than north, but still north & west of where i am…which i feel is the direction i need to be going.
like the other town i am thinking about, this town gives me the good feelings when i look at it on a map & think about it as a  home.
so there is that.
an ad on craigslist has a potential house already…a house that i am being offered as a “contract buy” for a small amount down.
do i want to buy a house? in a city? near parks & rivers & a short drive from camping & old friends?
will they still be eager to sell to me when they realize i’m living on luck more than money?
decisions
decisions
i know i want to be out of  here. all signs point to yes on that one.
but do i want to be a homeowner & gamble on that?
be tied down to a property…but also have the freedom of a place that is mine…..?

let me meditate on the energy of the squirrel…let’s see what happens there.

oh! & for a dollar a month, not only can you help me with this life decision but also can you see my first ever inking of a penis! (ish…it is kinda faint) in a post about my most vulnerable of feelings….love….

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the turkey stands alone

yesterday
all of my livestock went to live
with a very nice red-haired farmer
who knows what the fuck he is doing
& isn’t just winging it
like some kind of off-kilter homesteading maniac…
i think i learned
many many things
from my livestock experiment 
(not to be confused with my motherhood experiment)
although some of what i learned
is very similar to my motherhood
experiment…
yesterday
my yard emptied out
no more ducks…chickens…goats…or sheep
just the turkey stands alone
and i feel 
a lot
sad
but also
a little
relieved.

i’m telling the minions…it’s a new chapter…a new episode of our lives. change is not necessarily a bad thing. change can be good. really really good. 
but it’s still sad.

meanwhile, i have gotten a little done over on my patreon page.

and a birthday card & a patron card

my own reflection

alone
who can i blame
but me
alone
my screams
fall on my own
ears
alone
i look at my reflection
really look
this time
not me reflected
in someone else’s
eyes
but
me
standing before
myself
will i hold
myself
up
or push me
down?

i’m thinking of changing my look. i think i could pull off some faux fur. and maybe martinis might be in order.
i have been sober many days now…it is not pretty.

i am going through some stuff.
what? no? not you!
yes, but different stuff. like my usual stuff is sorted & put away, and now i am on to new stuff.
i feel like i am trying to wriggle out of an old skin…but i am struggling to get that fucker off my back.
lots of anger & snarky behavior…which then causes a spiral of guilt & oh-my-god-i-suckness.
fun fun fun.

i wish i knew how many layers this onion has…how many more levels i have to do before i win.

this is a card i’m sending to my sister for her birthday (shhh)

cable-knit sweater

i pull on my depression
like an off-white
cable-knit
sweater
thick & heavy
like an irish fisherman
would wear
& i pretend
it looks good on me
it’s comfortable
at least
my depression
well-worn
though it is getting
a bit ripe
from being worn
so long
i snuggle deep
into my depression
fantasizing
i can stay there
deeply mired
&
barely aware
of the daily
struggles
that
knit
me such a
snug
sadness.

originally posted on august 29, 2018…i really liked this one & thought it might look good with bamboo pen for the invisible exhibitionist…& i do like the way it looks, but i imagined doing it with a small head being enveloped by the sweater…. however, as usual, my head got away from me.
i might try doing another version–as i love this image & verse so much–but i did like this version enough to post it here.

my mood lately, i wish for that sweater…it’s more like uncomfortable underwear mood right now. something isn’t fitting right, but it’s too much trouble to change my clothes…that’s my mood.
maybe i’ll do a page on that.

boxcar willy

i have found
i can start a poem
about one of them
&
end the same
poem
on notes of an
other
i have found
i can start crying
over one of them
&
then forget
which one
i am crying
about
maybe
that long
train of men
is just the same damn
boxcar
going past
going past
going past
while i stand
stuck
at the
crossroad.

this has happened a lot as i have let go of the notion that seymour was any different than dusty.
now i get them confused.
i feel the same sense of loss…the same frustration…the same sense of abandonment…the same anger towards the both of them.
i have noticed patterns in the men i end up with. but now i am beginning to suspect it is just the same guy, going out the door, putting on a hat & fake mustache, and coming back in.
or–at least–that’s what it feels like.

i don’t want to be a racist

i grow
but it is not
enough
i evolve
but i still have
a million years
to go
i check my thoughts
my actions
my reactions
who am i
i am not
who i am
i do not embrace
change
for the popular
or the political
i embrace change
because
it is
the right
thing to do
to grow
to evolve
to be ready
to work
a million more years
if i need to.

i grew up in an extremely racist area of illinois. a sundown county. my parents were rarely blatantly racist, but it was there. subtle racism right alongside the subtle sexism & homophobia.
my town was white white white. in high school i had a biracial classmate, and we all thought he was very exotic.
i am grateful for things like sesame street and fat albert for showing me worlds other than my small town at a young age.
but it wasn’t enough to stop the programming. the racist thoughts from rooting in my brain.
because, even though i abhor racism, i still have racist thoughts.
i used to use it as proof that i was a bad person, but then i read that what one is programmed through upbringing, culture, & society to think is one’s initial thought in a situation. the thoughts that come after, is that person’s efforts to rewire the programming.
and those little voices are loud & persistent. they don’t tolerate my racist programming at all.
yay for that.
but, holy crap, when will the programming go away? will it ever go away?

the programming also pops up with sexist and homophobic opinions, which i find especially weird since i identify as a bisexual feminist. i guess i shouldn’t be surprised that i was programmed to also hate & judge myself.

i mean, after all, hasn’t this art journal project been all about exorcising those demons?
but i am so incredibly uncomfortable writing about this and sharing it with whomever reads it. i feel like such a bad person.
but i will continue.
it is one thing i can do.
i can change.

INKtober twenty-eighth

i am autumn
i am change
i am ready
to rest
to let go
to prepare
for
spring.

…if i survive winter.
i felt calm, hopeful even, when i wrote this as i watched the wind blow across the blue sky outside my window.
then something cracked & damaged inside me shifted. my rabies flared up.
now i am not so sure that i am anything other than a dead mom walking.
maybe i am not meant to rest.
like my own dear mother always said, “no rest for the wicked.”

beauty & the beast

i stumble.
& when i do
i look to him
to catch me
& he’s all
“oops
butterfingers!”
as i go splat
sometimes
for good measure
he kicks me
while i am down
so why
when i stumble
every time i stumble
i still expect him to catch me?
why do i still
hold that burnt out
torch
why do i still whisper
“happily ever after…”
in my head
hearing that voice
“this time…
it will be different
this time…
he really has
changed”
so much  that i have employed
another voice
just to shout at me
“hey lady!
this ain’t fucking
beauty & the beast!”

don’t mind me. just working out some angst towards the ex. you know how it is. i think i’m almost done.
it’s that happily ever after that keeps me down.
not being able to let go of the dream of a perfect family. the great american sitcom family. yeah, there’s some rough times, but in the end, we all love each other.
except…
not.
no matter how i look at it. there is no possible way that what he thinks is love, is love. love doesn’t hurt people. go ahead, argue with me about it. but if you love someone. truly love someone. can you really rationalize hurting them? much less do it on pretty much a daily basis?
but, stupid me, it has taken a long time to learn this.
a lifetime of protecting myself enough just to fall on my face again when i believe a person has changed. when i believe a person actually loves me. when i believe a person couldn’t possibly hurt me…again….
sigh.
this ain’t fucking beauty & the beast.
yes, people can change.
but only if they want to.

just leave me alone

you want me to be the mirror
to your healing
but i can only see the person
you have always been to me
you haven’t changed
you’ve just gotten better
at faking
you want me to be your validation
that you are
different
but i can only see the toxicity
the same toxicity
with more sugar coating
i know you are hurting
i know you are afraid
but i cannot save you
cannot heal you
cannot bear you
in my life
anymore.

dusty just won’t fucking stop. funny how once i wanted this attention so badly. once i would have eaten up his words as if they were the only thing keeping me alive. i wanted to hear him say these things to me so many times when he was cold to me. when he was treating my like second..third..last choice….

of course he is saying the words, but they are lies. he is saying the words, but if i don’t listen & respond & believe, he quickly switches back to the old script. the script where everything is my fault. the script of blame.

dusty can’t keep his disguise on with me for very long if i don’t play along.

he does this thing.
he will woo & woo & woo & flatter & lament his own faults & stupidity…and i will say “no, i’m not buying it. goodbye.”
and, literally, the very next thing out of his mouth is:

we need to decide what to do about the kids.

or something to that effect. something that triggers my anxiety about losing my minions. ever since fidgit was a baby–whenever things get rough & i say i am leaving:

i want the kids half-time.

why is that a go-to move if he is so eager to fix things between us? if i play along and pretend we have a future, he never pushes the child custody envelope. he never asks to see them more than one week out of a month. i know he loves seeing them, but he often resents them as well. yes, sometimes i resent them too–or no–not them–but my decision to have children with him. i resent that he has control over me via the kids. i resent that i do not have a partner willing to support me as i mother our children–willing to parent beside me, sharing the work of it equally. i resent that. being only human, sometimes my resentment effects my mothering…i wish it didn’t.

he has anxiety now. i never noticed it before. maybe it’s because he has cut back on his pot smoking?? but now he has terrible anxiety and it emerges as obsessive texts to me, begging me to talk to him. it is ridiculous. i mean, i am sorry he feels anxiety…i can remember trying to cling to him to ease the madness of my own anxiety…i wouldn’t wish that on anyone.  but i am trying to take care of four kids and a small homestead and a sick turkey and a neonatal kitten and a household of laundry, dishes, meals…and he is freaking out because i haven’t texted him right back.
half the time i don’t even know where my phone is.
i feel sad that i have learned not to let myself feel that need to soothe him.
i feel angry that after everything he has done to me he still turns to me to soothe him.
i feel hopeless that anything will ever change between us.
he says all the right words–but if they don’t work–he says all the wrong ones.
and he has rewritten our history to suit his own needs.
i think he might be delusional.
the alternative is too scary to think about…that he knows exactly what he is doing….

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