another page! i like how this one turned out. i don’t always like my work (shhh, that will be our little secret) but i really like this page.
(yes, my art is messy–mostly on purpose–but, again, some of the ink stains are actually from my scanner & my seeming inability to clean it)
my brain is being pleasantly peaceful & neutral. which is great for me…but usually means no new art journal pages as i have nothing to obsess about right now.
but! i decided to take the opportunity of having a vacation from angst to do a new page of moses jones.
fun story…just as i was finishing this page & thinking how i like the way it looks, i spilled a full bottle of black ink onto the page…and my journal…and the floor.
again, my brain took it in stride (i might have someone else’s brain right now) and i quickly chose to salvage the page first, the floor next (not realizing i had also spilled ink on my journal) and then my journal once i realized it was in a pool of ink.
so…thankfully my art is usually messy, but if it seems a bit messier than usual….
& moses jones pages tend to be darker than my other work. but this one might be a bit darker than usual…in more than one way.
i only cried a little while inking it.
so i re-did this page. it’s from december of last year when i was in a very dark place and realized that no matter how much i wanted to throw fidgit’s cat out the door for being a jerk…i could not risk breaking my son’s heart.
it seemed relevant to right now.
i am not a cat person.
much of the emotional abuse i suffered as a child was animal-related. pet-related. i wrote about it while my parents were visiting last winter.
it is something i still struggle with.
we had one cat–pepper–who we adopted from a humane society when fidgit just had to had to had to have a dog & all that was allowed on our lease was a cat.
i will admit that pepper is good–for a cat. he tolerates my minions & never* poops outside the litter box. he is also an asshole who likes to knock over water glasses & bounce on my bed when i am sleeping, but fidgit loves him.
pepper moved to rural illinois with us.
so then all the kittens started showing up. when i was a kid, that’s how we got new pets, they just showed up.
however, i did not keep the kittens; i took them all to the humane society knowing i cannot deal with cats in a healthy & mature way.
then roscoe happened. he was just hanging out on the side of the road. you know, a country road where seeing a cat corpse is not that uncommon. so there is roscoe, about 8 weeks old, clearly some barn kitten out for a stroll.
i stopped the car & picked him up.
i have a quick bond with certain cats. almost always brown tabbies. almost always rude & lovable all at the same time. usually a little bit wild (i will have to tell you about moose sometime–actually she is probably on my post about my cat curse….)
roscoe was one of those cats.
i resigned that we would have two cats.
unfortunately, roscoe had fleas…which i’m pretty sure is where my current fleaocalypse started. also, he did not know what a litter box was (being a barn cat) and had to be trained over a few weeks to use a litter box.
then, not even a month later, shortly after i had successfully litter box trained roscoe, an orange classic tabby kitten popped out of the cattails by the pond when i went to hang up clothes. i’m pretty sure she was dumped off as cats often are in the country. there are the barn cats & then there are the dumped city cats. ginger seemed to be the latter. and, iggy wanted her. and i was stupid & tired & too easily worn down by iggy’s ability to work his angle…. i agreed to it against my better judgement and knowing i do not get along with orange tabbies.
and i never was able to bond with ginger.
on tuesday, after much grief & heartache and talking to iggy & the other kids about it, i took ginger to the humane society.
i was right.
i cannot handle having that many cats.
i thought about taking all three in. part of me really wanted to take all three in. end the cat chaos. the cat battles. end my seemingly constant hating of myself for not being able to deal with cats. i mean, taking the cats to the humane society, that’s at least better than shooting them in front of my kids (right, dad???)
while ginger was with us, litter box issues became common–when she would get stressed out, she would stop using the box…and then roscoe would stop as well. i had it fixed though…i had it under control & then my uninvited house guest from hell messed with the litter boxes. she actually put one box outside & shut the door to the others, leaving my cats with no boxes. i fixed the situation as soon as i became aware of it…but it was too late.
ginger started not using the box.
and roscoe stopped using the box.
and i started losing my mind.
i was hoping that with ginger gone, everything would go back to normal.
i don’t know if it was the flea spray…or if the situation is out of my control…or if my cats just hate me, but yesterday, roscoe & pepper (*first time ever) both stopped using the litter box.
and i fell apart.
i spent so long talking myself out of just getting rid of them…all they had to do was use the litter box….
i tried to talk myself back into getting rid of them. this is a big house. a carpeted house. it is not my house. there are too many unfinished areas–dead zones–in the house for a cat to have an accident without my realizing it.
i wanted to give up.
and then i started wondering what kind of example i am setting for my kids. i mean, it’s bad enough when i throw a fit because the cats are cats (yesterday morning i went into the kitchen around sunrise. there is not much natural light in the kitchen & it was rainy out. i did not turn on the lights. at one point i kicked something on the floor–so i turned on the lights to see the jagged bottom of a broken glass jar just next to my bare foot…and broken glass all around me–thanks, cats.)
but what does it say about me if i don’t even try (again) to solve this problem? i have to try again.
so i am cleaning & organizing a room where the cats can be quarantined and re-trained again to use their litter boxes.
i am trying not to ask myself what happens if they keep having accidents?
i’m trying to believe i can do this.
i have to do this.
i have to win a cat battle. i have to show my kids i can be a good cat mom. i have to show my children that problems can be solved…that taking time & having patience are good things.
i have to.
this same window
i spend my day
from the light
this same window
i used to sit
as a child
staring at the dark
for my father
to come home
for my father
it’s a different window
though it is
only light comes through
i scribbled this thought down a few days ago, and remembered it today while reading JGomez’s beautiful & powerful piece “Disintegrate Elsewhere.”
my father always came home…and his homecomings were generally stressful…if not terrifying. a family walking on eggshells while a father waits, determined to take his temper out on someone. i learned to be quiet. i learned to be invisible. i learned to not draw the disturbed glare of his blue eyes.
i watched as others took the brunt of his temper. wishing him away. wishing to feel safe.
i live in the same house…but it is a different house now that he is gone. i wish little me had gotten to feel the peace that i am now, finally, able to feel.
i am feeling
instead of killing
i have been thinking a lot. go figure. it’s my favorite past-time.
this week, i took two of my lambs, my first two lambs, and i learned how to butcher them.
i had so much anxiety leading up to it. dread. serious contemplations on vegetarianism.
then the time came, and i was fine. i was more than fine. i was doing things i never knew i could do.
and it made me think about how emotional detachment has always been part of my damage…but sometimes…sometimes…it really comes in handy.
i started thinking about “dysfunctional life skills.”
the things we learn in order to survive a fucked-up childhood or an abusive relationship. those weird super powers. sometimes they cause us pain…other times they save us.
i want to explore this more.
but right now i am binging on jessica jones
and wondering why i am so attracted to the character kilgrave. is it just because he is played by david tennant? or is it another part of my damage to seek out other darkness? or is it just that i am empathetic to a fault and want to save those other damaged souls?
an empty house leaves too much time to think.
i don’t want to do this anymore
every life decision
is just my setting myself up
i don’t want to do this
but i have built myself
& i don’t know how to get out
& then i find myself thinking
well…there is that one way out…
the one we’re not supposed
& then i think
but when i read
i can’t help but think
this was just about as low as i got this week. of course, there is no escaping my life. it’s not like i can drop the animals off at the humane society & my kids off at the orphanage & go live on the french riviera…
instead i have to do the hard work. you know, learn how to cope. learn how not to resort to being an asshole & then hating myself & hating my life.
i guess i need to do that.
ps. though i like to draw myself nude because it seems to portray how vulnerable i feel. i have this weird (catholic?) fear of drawing my pubic area. i was pleased with myself for fashioning a “fig leaf” of sorts in this self-portrait.
as they lay sleeping
my heart squeezes
& i think,
i won’t be a crap-ass mom
i won’t lose my mind.”
then morning comes
& the demons inside me
come out to dance
with the demons
i have a really bad habit of not waiting until the page is dry to take a picture. plus these are all on journal paper with the idea that i will do a bigger & better version on some nice watercolor paper or canvas even (ink on canvas is a gamble) if i ever get a chance & like the original enough.
my page is all wrinkly & weird looking.
this is a dark subject that i have kind of made light about. because…well, i have trouble taking my pain seriously.
but tomorrow is another day.