INKtober twelfth (beached)

i am paralyzed
no matter which way i go
i am certain
i will fuck
it
up
i am trapped
my life
a torture chamber of indecision
i want to go
i just want to take off
run away
say “fuck it”
& start all over…
but if i do
will i soon regret it?
will i always
always regret it?
i don’t want to be
alone
anymore
but i will
surely
choose
the wrong company
the wrong companion
&
i will
find
myself
missing my solitude…
there is nothing
nothing
i can do
right
i am frozen
frozen
in fear
of
being
me.

so the official inktober prompt of the day (which i am by no means required to use in order to participate in inktober) is “whale.”
while i love drawing whales & am especially fond of humpback whales…it seemed more suitable for me to beach myself.
so this is me
beached.

on a similar note–i realized today that i have no idea how to spell “12th” as a word…good thing my 12 year old knew…(wait–i think i see a pattern)

& i am going through a rough patch. i find myself thinking i should quit the homestead adventure…or, at least, curtail it…. i also want to quit illinois & head back north/northwest (not in a hitchcock way.)
but all this is waaaaaaaaaaay easier said than done when one is broke but with a yard full of livestock living rent-free.
also
i want to be closer to my ex-husband…in more ways than one…& history shows that to be a bad idea…but i am notoriously bad about history.
both of these things are weighing heavily on me. resulting in mental exhaustion & severe bouts of crying as i question every motive i have and every bad decision i have ever made.
it super sucks.
i’m not sure i want to be me right now. i feel like i’m just a complete fuck up waiting for my next fuck up.

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cat battle

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.
so
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.

don’t walk away

though i feel comfort
at the thought
of a no-more
a
never-more
i am invested
in this story
& long to know
how it will
unfold
will i laugh?
will i cry?
i will not stop
turning the pages
of my life
even if at times
i feel
like
setting the book
down
& walking
the fuck
away,
i come back
i come back
i pick up
where i left off
my story
this
is not
the end.

whenever i say “don’t walk away” in real life, i actually sing it. rick springfield, y’all. (rick springfield rocks!!) i have done it so consistently, that my kids have started doing it as well.
maybe it’s my theme song now.
historically, my theme song has been “boots” as sung by nancy sinatra…& “born to run” as sung by frankie goes to hollywood (sorry bruce.)
maybe it’s time for an update.

credit for my drawing, of course, goes to lewis carrol who may have been a perv but who wrote & illustrated at least one of the best stories. this is one of my favorite favorite illustrations amid the original lewis carrol drawings. i once thought of getting it as a tattoo.

ps. i also consider “you got lucky” by tom petty to be my theme song.
pss. that’s the extent of my flirting…watch out, boys.

dare me?

i am thinking
of venturing out of my house
and down the road
and into the horizon
to find a venue
a cafe or a gallery
who thinks my art
just might
hang
on
a
wall.
maybe make me
a buck or two
get the name
emje
out there
and into ears
&
onto lips
or
at least
get me
adventuring
out of my house
& down the road.

so i have some art i think i could display…like in a public place. i have my series of “whimsical inkings
and i also have the starts of a self-portrait series on water color paper (does anyone know the world’s record for self-portraits?)

 

plus the ink on canvas self-portraits i have been accumulating…i think i have a show-ish.

so that’s my plans for the beginning of the month. maybe hit first friday…maybe rub elbows with some art lovers. maybe make some connections/set up a showing?

in other news…
my terrible funk seems to be lifting and i am no longer imaging my life as anna karenina vs. the train.
so that’s nice.
my house is infested with fleas & i lost a beehive to a massive wax moth infestation…but i am squinting and maybe? maybe see a light at the end of the tunnel?
my mindset is slowly shifting back from “holy fuck why is my life so weird?” to “i love my weird-ass life.”

i am deciding what extra weight needs to be thrown to keep the ship from sinking…but i think i may have successfully deterred any upcoming visits from diabolical parents…so i might not have to pack up so soon?

everything is in flux right now.
everything.
but i am slowly transitioning back from severe motion sickness to enjoying the ride…so…hold on y’all.

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.

my ophelia fantasies

why do i find
thoughts of death
my own death
by my own hand
so comforting?
when i am
weeping & wailing
& life seems so
so fucking unbearable
i just think of laying down
in the stinky
green
pond
back yonder
the one
the ducks
won’t even swim in…
just a short nap
y’all
then i’m sure
i will be as right as rain.

this is a comic i did. one page of confusion perfume. i wrote it a long long time ago…before i was a mom.
time has passed. things have changed. but i still have my olphelia fantasies.

badgers

i feel…
isolated
depressed
overwhelmed
hopeless
like life is too much
like my little problems
are just too fucking
much
i try to remind myself
other people
have more to deal with
than
my stupid life
but
i’m just so tired
tired of struggling
tired of being
alone
tired of believing
every decision i make
is just going to make things
worse
because
every decision i have made
has just made
everything
worse.

(but i made this badger inking.
i did do that.)