one year at madness manor

i could stare at the hills
for days
lost
in the green
every shade of green
lost
in the dappled
shadows
i could stare at the hills
for days
like i have finally
found
what i have been looking for.

when i was a kid i would literally sit in my yard and stare at the horizon. my horizon then was actually the levy of the mackinaw river and the hills around the river valley as i grew up in one of the few places that isn’t flat in central illinois. i would stare at the trees on this levy, my horizon, as a way to survive the horrors of my childhood. staring at the horizon, i would plan my escape and imagine just getting up and leaving. i spent my childhood just waiting for the time i could finally go. run the fuck away.

now, when i look at the horizon–which is much closer now but very similar to that river valley in illinois–i have no feelings of escape. i just feel…content. home. peaceful even.
like i have arrived.
i somehow made it after thirty-three years of searching.

i am home.

quixotic updates

i am working on this new ink on canvas tentatively titled “foxy.” i really like working on canvas & now that i am down to my last free canvas, i am thinking of buying more for future creations.
that bunny keeps hopping into my art lately. i have even started a children’s book starring him.
fun fact. after i wrote the text for said children’s book, i went to my sun porch, looked out the window, and watched three bunnies eating dandelions in my backyard. i stood & watched for at least ten minutes. if you have never watched a bunny eat a dandelion, you are totally missing out.

in other news, i went through all my journals looking for “fodder” for books & stories. i have decided to focus on one project at a time instead of being easily distracted & starting new projects without finishing old ones. after the children’s book illustrations are done, i will focus on finishing the text & doing illustrations for my novel, a better life through sock puppets.
i am trying to give myself credit for what i have achieved. i let myself be proud of the fact that i found so many random ideas & sketches worth working with! including the above gem from 2016.

so i am not moping. i am rebuilding that fucking tower & giving myself credit for doing a good job with it.
as they say in my home state of wisconsin–forward!

note to self

i wanted to try finger painting with my inks.

crap. yesterday i drew tarot cards (again) & got “the tower” as my future card for the third time in a little over a month. i feel like i am supposed to be learning something but it turns into a negative feedback loop as i feel defeated every time i get a sign from the universe to stop being a fuck up…and then it’s all i can do to not be a fuck up.
am i lying to myself? am i building a house of cards that is just going to fall down? do i need to scrap everything & start over?
these are the questions prancing through my brain at 2am….

plus ever since i was rejected by an employer, i am convinced that everyone hates me. why not the universe as well?

so my finger painting was not nearly as inspirational as i had hoped it would be. now i just want to curl up in a ball & cry until i can’t cry anymore.

i’m a loser, baby

always being a fuck up
is difficult
enough
why should i expect
any more
from myself
if i know i am going
to miss
the boat
why should i even try
how do i turn the race
around
so my last place finish
is first?

i drew “the tower” card in my tarot deck again & this was my immediate response. bleah. self-loathing is exhausting.
but on the upside, i really am trying to figure out how to turn the race around so my last place finish is actually a win.
it would be a pretty neat trick if i could figure it out.

i’m a boy watcher

funny that it isn’t
that
different
15 year old me
standing at my locker
talking about boys
with my girlfriends
51 year old me
standing in my front yard
talking about boys
with the divorced neighbor lady
nothing has changed
while everything has changed
& i wonder if those boys
still
have the power to crush
my heart
& i wonder
do i still have the power
to grow a new heart
& try
again?

keep your distance

what’s wrong with me
it oozes
from my skin
i am different
they can tell
you can tell
there is something
wrong
with me
take a couple of steps
back
keep your distance
i might be
contagious.

spring is here & i am spending a lot of time digging in the dirt. which makes me happy.
so why am i so sad?
i was hired to work at this nursery which was super exciting for me because i love plants & was excited about learning even more about plants & landscaping. they hired me without even meeting me. there was an online application & a personality test. i was sure i failed the personality test, but the owner seemed excited about me & hired me.
then there was an orientation. i went & thought i was okay…. but there was a bit of a cold reception….. guy told me he would call me to schedule me in. that was over a month ago. first i was all like, it’s just the unseasonably cold spring. but then it got warm. then there was mother’s day. then on my trip to a different nursery (because i can’t bring myself to go to that one) i noticed how fucking busy it was now that spring is suddenly upon us.
but no job.
and i really can’t help but to take it personally.
now i just feel sad…& pissy.

football season

he is like lucy
with the football
assuring me
he is totally
one hundred percent
here for me
everything
will be okay
so i trust him
i run forward
& the earth falls away
& the wind is knocked out of me
& i am flattened…again
as he lets me know
it’s my own fault
while he places the football in place
again
& tells me
i should believe in him.

i am so hoping that i have broken the pattern. that i am no longer going to run up & try to kick that football. that i am able to walk away and keep on walking.
the man is not my friend.
he is not my family.
i cannot pretend otherwise, or i will get the air knocked out of me
again.

congestion

my nose & my chimney are clogged
is it me?
how do i get things
moving
without filling a house with smoke
or a handkerchief
with snot?

that free verse moment was brought to you by a congested head which is too tired & too muddled to continue its thought….
i keep forgetting i am a powerful amazing goddess…instead only seeing my lumps, bumps, and grey hairs.
however!
i have begun…or rather stopped…stopped pretending. in my relationship with the dad. i have stopped playing the game with him that we are some happy family despite the years of betrayal & my having divorced him. once literally and a dozen times more figuratively.

“hallmark moment” one of the many inkings to be found in my new book the invisible exhibitionist!

i have found that i have this desire to want to make people happy.
what the fuck, right?
okay, it might be a good desire…except for the fact that one person cannot actually make another person happy. and also the fact that i will then try to grant their wishes at the expense of my own happiness or comfort. and, sure, when it’s my kids, yeah, i can make the sacrifice on occasion…but when it’s my ex-husband? the one who is quick to turn on me? the one with the laundry list of grudges towards me? the one i cannot trust any further than i can throw him?
fuck that.
so i’m not playing house with the ex anymore. seriously. i’m stopping.

the beautiful artwork at the top of the post was done by my lovely daughter.

the invisible exhibitionist

the invisible exhibitionist was, in part, my response to social media. being a highly sensitive introvert, social media was especially difficult for me. why was everyone happy but me?
so instead of posting selfies with perfect hair, i inked how i saw myself, warts & all. instead of photos of my delicious meal or fantastic vacation, i posted free verse that glorified all of my short comings as a mother. as a daughter. as a friend & lover. 

i didn’t want to show everyone how well i was doing, i wanted to reassure others that they were not alone in their struggles.

the invisible exhibitionist is available through lulu.com or contact me for an autographed copy. 

image is “feral” one of the self-portraits from my book

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