without hope

i don’t know
what i could possibly
be hoping 
for
what would even cure
this
thick
bleak
sludge
i call my soul
what could ever change
my hopeless situation
i mean
it’s
hope
less
that is
without hope
that one thing
pandora supposedly kept
from escaping
her box
hope
hope is gone
because really
i’m pretty sure
it was never there
to begin with.

this is from the other day when i was in a deep dark place, deciding that i should just do away with hope because what had hope done for me lately?
in case you’re wondering
or conference calling me with the suicide hotline
i am feeling less bleak today. 
i mean, if i think too hard, i could probably recall my reasons for eighty-sixing hope. however, i am going to try to float a bit above that abyss for now…until i trip & fall into it again.
until then….

ps. it doesn’t make sense. if pandora opened the box & let loose all the horrible things onto humankind…but slammed it shut before hope could escape, wouldn’t that mean hope was locked away from us? or that the awful things flew away from us? one or the other? why was hope in there with all the horrors anyway? wouldn’t it be kept in a box with love & kindness? or why keep hope in a box at all. let the little fucker run free.
i mean
i get it–but it doesn’t make sense.

credit to arthur rackham whose depiction of pandora i borrowed  heavily from.

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courting death

self soothing
is thinking about 
the blade against my skin
self soothing
is a match 
to burn it all to the ground
self soothing 
are the words
rolling around 
in my rotten brain
no one has ever loved you
anyway
self soothing
is a free fall 
away from my nightmares
and into a comforting
emptiness
love
love is the easy answer
if by easy 
you mean
impossible
death
makes more sense
no longer fantasizing about love
saving me
only 
hoping
for
death.

death. the ultimate distraction. no. i don’t really want to die. most the time i plan on living forever. but some days there is something deep & dark inside me. an overwhelming lack of hope. 
it has a lot to do with escape. that’s what the thoughts of death are. i mean, when i was in the midst of it, i thought, what if i didn’t die–but just disappeared?
it was all the same to me. well. actually disappearing was more desirable than death.
i am sure other mothers feel this way. i am sure none of us like to talk about it. i talk about it because i have to.
if i keep things inside, it only gets worse. 
squeeze it until it bleeds…& then it can get better.

i am not sure how i feel about this illustration/self-portrait. i feel like i am…too sexy? is death sexy? i wasn’t going for sexy. i’m not sure it is even sexy. trust me, i do not feel sexy. 
i do like the illustration…it feels comic-booky to me. i just feel like a fraud for having drawn/painted it.
don’t ask me why. 
i don’t fucking know.

seven hundred years

sometimes i feel 
like i have been alive
for seven hundred years
i barely
remember 
yesterday
so for all i know
i’ve been alive
forever
&
i wonder
if i’ll ever look back
on these days
of struggle
of isolation
from the comfort
of a soul mate’s 
embrace
look back
in wonder
& awe
how did i ever survive
such desolate
times
to feel peace 
in my heart
while remembering
a time when peace
was a fantasy.

this, and a few more pages to come, were written yesterday when i was feeling especially hopeless & suicidal. good times…. being a single mom with next to no support system. i need to tell y’all, do not try this at home.

strangely, once i accepted that there was nothing to hope for, i felt a bit calmer. that’s me. finding comfort in the concept that i will never find comfort. 

this page does not have my standard issue self-portrait…unless you consider that that is my soul flying under the full moon. 
owls symbolize being able to see what others cannot. i identify with the owl, though i assume everyone else can see what i see. 
which, i guess, is not the case.
so!
i make art.

i may have gotten a little carried away. i think i painted my words out.

color me lonely

if lonely is a color
surely it is black
wait
or gray
gray like that shirt
that makes me feel
institutionalized
not orange 
like my favorite
swanky 
sweater
if lonely is a sound
it has string
instruments
definitely
string instruments
maybe vocalizations
but
no words
if lonely is season
it is
late
fall
i know you would say
mid winter
but
late fall
is when everything
leaves.

INKtober thirtieth

i can feel my brain
clawing
desperately
looking for a way
out
a rat
scrambling to escape
a watery grave
or an all encompassing
flame
smelling her own
singed fur
choking on the smoke
realizing
her fate
a wolf
gnawing off her own
paw
to be free
of the trap
where do i think
i will go
who do i think
i will be
if i escape
myself?

so.
been feeling a bit angsty these past few days. i have not yet gnawed off my own arm, but it has been a close call a few times.
i have hated almost everyone i can name who is in direct contact with my life.
so much hate. so much anger. i just want to disappear sometimes. get a mind wipe & start over somewhere i have never been.
innocent & free.
sigh.
but now it is the witch’s new year. day of the dead. a waning moon. and new possibilities on the horizon.
fine.
let’s see what tomorrow brings.

fun fact: one of my eyebrows is higher than the other & one of my ears is lower than the other, so i cannot wear a pair of glasses without the glasses appearing to be crooked.

INKtober twentieth

i wish
i could be
in love with you & feel
good
about it
instead of felling like i am
about
to step
off a cliff
&
onto a land mine
which
instead of killing me instantly
& with no pain
will just tear me
to pieces
letting me die
a
slow
painful
death
cold & isolated
in my sorrow.

okay, my witchy & mystic friends, tell me…yesterday, while standing with dusty at sunrise, i watched (and then shouted & ran towards it) as a hawk flew down & tried to take off with one of my young chickens.
then, as i drove to the feed store with iggy & poppy, a hawk flew along side our car for about a quarter of a mile.
then today, as i drove to the farmer’s market with my minions, a hawk flew off of a post and practically right into my windshield. i actually ducked inside my car for fear of  being hit by a hawk. (the hawk, however, did not make contact with my car)

what is the universe trying to tell me?

dusty came down to our house for poppy’s & fidgit’s birthdays. he spent one night & returned to wisconsin. there was some physical activity between the father of my children & me. i have been celibate (man, it took me forever to remember that word just now) for about a year & a half, so i was overdue for some…and i don’t regret it…but i also don’t think there is a future for dusty & myself as a “couple”…despite our smoking hot chemistry.
nothing changes. nothing stays the same.
i felt defeated after he was gone.
nothing changes.
and today when i tried to explain my lack of hope to him…it quickly turned into a mud slinging free-for-all.
yay.

so is that it? are the hawks just telling me to pay attention? to listen to the signs i am given? to trust my instinct?

ah fuck.
i’m going to die alone.
but at least the universe hasn’t given up on me.

INKtober seventeeth

i just feel so sad
i cry
& i don’t
know why
but still
the tears come
will there come
a time
when my very being
is not
composed
entirely
of tears?
just because i open
my heart
does not mean
i am someone
you know
i am
quite
unknown
possibly
unknowable
i don’t want to be
alone
but maybe i
cannot
be
anything
but the loneliest person you have ever met.

i still haven’t recovered from the show the mysteries of laura being cancelled…you know, three years ago–but i just found it on netflix and i know it isn’t really that great of a show…but i was emotionally invested nonetheless. c’mon–i’ve seen every episode ever of friends (when originally aired even!) you know i have my shallow bits.

okay.
so i know it has everything to do with dusty & my lingering love for him. my hope for a thing called “us.”
though there is every chance in the world that i will never be successful in any relationship ever.
but who is? you ask. well, from where i’m sitting…everyone.
or i feel like everyone i see is successfully human & relate-able while i am some funky misshapen thing from outer space….

i don’t feel like arting & inking…but i did this anyway–because it is inktober & i’m trying not to be a drop out because how fucking hard is it for someone with my neurotic & compulsive inking habits to not ink something every day?

i am not sure my art journal page nor my blog about it makes any sense today. but, you know, i’m more worried about what the fuck i am going to disappear into on netflix now that i have watched every episode of the mysteries of laura….

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.

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.

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