looking for answers

it was the early nineties when i had the dream.
i had been in therapy for awhile
terrified of the dark &
miserably unhappy
but one day it lifted and like a light switch
i was happy & no longer afraid–of anything
it was around this time i had the dream
was it before?
was it after?
are the two things related at all?

the dream was disturbing
a crazy-ass dream
where i was a mighty warrior
a tiger
and other clans would send warriors to fight me
i would mercilessly slaughter them
sometimes though
the other clans would send me young girls
to be with
as a way of collecting
my seed….

fucked up, right? that’s a fucked up dream for a 21 year old girl in iowa. i have been thinking about it a lot lately. wondering if the dream & my becoming happy & brave, have anything to do with each other. a past life remembering healing a present life hurting.

in the dream, i was represented as a tiger–but i was human. recently, googling like crazy, all i have been able to figure out is that tiger is representative of warriors and the such in china.
so i started reading up on china’s history to see if i can figure out anything about this dream…but i find myself more drawn to the mongols, of course.

i keep looking to so-called professionals & friends, but as usual, no one ever answers my emails. so i guess i’m on my own.
my own master
the answer to my own question.

the above illustration is a sneak peek at my patreon page post for today. i also have a glimpse of this post on longing to open from the other day:

as well as the very first postcard being sent out to a patron!!

oh! & all of these illustrations remind me that today is the spring equinox
balance between day & night…balance between light & dark…balance between rest & change.
wake up, it’s time to grow
happy ostara!

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gorey laundry

my dad
he was
embarrassed to be
my dad
he thought
i was weird
different
abnormal
my dad
he was
embarrassed
of me
of the way
i dressed
of my being
outspoken
with opinions
contrary
to his own
my dad
he was
embarrassed
to be my dad
embarrassed
that i wanted to be
a writer
an artist
he tried to convince me
of the mistake
i was
making
he did not believe
i could possibly
succeed
i would be a failure
…how embarrassing
he was
embarrassed
of me
my dad
a man who did not
show his hand
a man
who kept so much
hidden
my dad
he could not bother
to hide
his
embarrassment.

i was to give a speech at my high school graduation because i was the salutatorian of my class.
my dad did not want to go to my graduation because he was sure i would embarrass him.
on my perfect little sister’s wedding day, i was put in the uncomfortable position of being her maid of honor. my dad’s words to me?
“don’t embarrass your sister on her day.”
he told me i would regret following my dreams. he told me that no one actually follows their dreams. he told me i had to be practical.
my dad.
spent so much time pushing me down.
when i eloped with a stranger (because i just wanted to believe that someone could really love me,) he said, “you’re not my problem anymore.”
i guess
now that he’s dead
i can say that right back to him.

thanks to edward gorey for this illustration inspiration

i could tell “worse” stories about my dad. about his alcoholism and his violent temper & how terrifying my childhood was…but the weird thing is, though that stuff was terrifying…it didn’t hurt nearly as much as living a life knowing what he thought of me.

ding dong

i was at the doctor’s office yesterday as i have been avoiding a physical for a number of years. you would think after four kids & not even knowing the number of people who have seen my lovely crotch in baby related matters…i wouldn’t be fazed by having my lady bits cranked open & ogled…but maybe one never learns to enjoy that experience….
anyhoo.
my doctor–literally–said to me, “tell me about your mother.”
it was everything i could do to not launch into a re-enactment of the scene from blade runner...you know the one–and if you don’t, you better get the fuck to a library & check that movie out (the original one.)

i can’t remember where i was going with this.

so my dead dad was going to be shipped back to illinois (aka the place where i live) to be buried with his family in the local catholic cemetery. i have had a stress headache about it since monday. i have been cleaning (i hate cleaning–it seems i do not have a domestic bone in my body) & dreading the descending judgement of my family who would be returning to our childhood home & how i would be viewed. bracing myself for enduring snide little comments about cobwebs & dust & having microwaves & coffee makers (i also hate most appliances other than blenders) brought from the basement to clog the counter space. and do i need to take down my pagan alter & put away my art & witchy things?

then this morning i got word that my mom has decided to cremate him & keep him in texas.
i suspect she is doing it as a last ditch effort to keep him away from his mom whom she was always jealous of & who is buried in the cemetery he was headed for….
but! whatever reason that crazy lady has for keeping my dad in texas, i am grateful.

when i heard my dad had died, all i felt was relief. like the scene in wizard of oz…then dread when i realized that his death meant i would have to see my family.
though i am lonely & isolated, i am not so desperate for company that i would relish a visit from my family.
knowing my little world is safe once again, i feel at peace.
yikes, right?
either i am the most awful person in the world…or…i dunno. maybe i am the most awful person in the world.
ah well–fuck it.

oh, & here are snippets of projects available over on my patreon page…an art journal page plus the final page of “fetish” & two more pages of “stolen”

death wishes

i usta sit
by darkened
winter windows
this same window
i now make art
with the light of
eons ago
i stared at the dark
reflecting little me
reflecting damaged me
back
waiting for him
to come home
praying
he would not
come home
death wishes
for daddy dearest
&
only forty years later
wishes
granted.

yesterday as i was driving back from dropping off the minions, my cell phone rang & “pure evil” came up on the screen.
i did not answer.
when i got home, i listened to the message. my mom, telling me that she thought he was asleep, but that my dad is dead.
that’s my mom, phoning around for a reaction before actually calling the paramedics.
so…my dad is dead.
don’t say you’re sorry, because i am not & if you say you’re sorry, it will only make me feel like a bigger shit.

caged bird drawing

clipping digital
coupons
entertaining children
with my drawing
skills
(at least someone
appreciates
them)
baking bread
washing dishes
cooking meals
wiping butts
dreaming
of
being
fabulous
while living life
in the body
of a low income
middle aged
single
mother
of four
i took the bait
without seeing the
trap
i made my nest
without seeing the
cage
now i sing my
song
but
nobody
hears
me.

more moping.
you would think, after thirteen years, i would have a hang of this motherhood thing.
but no.
i still look & wonder & cry that i am alone at it.
alone & broken.
maybe in a parallel universe i have a supportive husband who did not make my life hell for shits & giggles.
maybe in the parallel universe, being a mom does not feel like a trap & a cage.

white picket fences

do oddballs
get happily ever
afters
hallmark family photos
where
the dad
is smiling
being a dad
do weirdos
get second
chances
after they choose the wrong
guy
hallmark family photos
where the stepdad
is smiling
loving the kids
as if they were
his own
do freaks
get white picket fences
&
sunday dinners
&
a shoulder to cry on
instead
of one
that
turns
away?

feeling a bit like the orphan looking through the window of a happy family.
i know there is no such thing as normal & hallmark moments…or is that just something we misfits tell ourselves to make it through the night?
i know social media is designed to make everyone & every life look perfect & enviable…
but i still sometimes cry, knowing that there really is–on that profile page–a man who knows how to be there for his wife & kids, and that there is oh so definitely not a man like that in my life.
never has been
in my life
not my dad
not either of my husbands
not one of the dozens of men i’ve dated….

and i cannot bring myself to believe that the odds are that tilted against me. then i know it must be me. then i feel stupid, awkward, ugly, & unwanted. not even an orphan…i am a stray dog with three legs and matted fur bound to be euthanized when no one adopts me.

crap.

i would apologize for the melodramatic pity party…but i feel too sad & gross.

just for the record– i am almost never naked in real life (and my wings are not so visible)…the nudity is symbolic of my bearing myself via my art journal self-portrait series. also, it is an effort to normalize natural bodies. or that’s what i tell myself. maybe i just don’t want to bother drawing clothes….

absolution

the one who
wronged me
the one who
betrayed me
the one i
still
love
i laid at his feet
to seek absolution
for my sins
against
him
i held his cold feet
in my hands
i bathed his cold feet
with my hair
with my kisses
he reached out to me
still believing
he
loved
me
but in all the wrong ways
…nevermind
i seek forgiveness
realizing that his sins
against me
are a black mark
on
his
soul
his own soul
to save
the only sins i need to worry
about
are my own
my own
sins
forgiven
i am
free.

the previous post i wrote in my bedside notebook just before falling asleep. this post i wrote upon waking. only while posting them here did i realize both are about sins & forgiveness…maybe that full blood moon shining on my catholic shadows?

this one is written about the dream i had before i woke up this morning. one of a re-occurring theme of my seeming to beseech my ex-husband for love & attention while he is cold & distant.
but this one took on the flavor of mary magdalene bathing jesus’s feet.
which i found to be awesome in its symbolism
(speaking of which…i once had a sex dream about jesus in which he got up & left after he finished but before i did, leaving me frustrated–to return to his flock of women–if i remember right…)

it seems like i have been trying to decipher the re-occurring dream theme about my ex-husband for years.
however, i think this is it. i think i have to let my sins against him be forgiven and not concern myself with his sins against me. i mean, they are his sins. he has to live with that. i have to live with my own.
so maybe its time i let them go.

thank goodness my subconscious finally decided to go with the mary magdalene theme so i could figure out what it wanted to tell me all these years.
though my ex-husband would enjoy it way too much to perceive himself as a jesus figure. he always loves it when someone tells him he looks like jesus (the blue-eyed version)–which happens way too often. fuck, what more would a narcissist want than to identify himself as the savior of mankind?

smoke & ashes

i don’t think
my lonely
could get any
bigger
i mean
where would it go
even?
that much
lonely?
it would fill
a hot air balloon
& float it
to the moon
i wish
i could
send my lonely
to the moon
root it out of
its nest
in my
heart
burn it
in a bonfire
on a dark solstice night
turn my lonely
to smoke & ash
& wait for the light
to
return.

with big feelings come art journal pages. as i learn how to celebrate my brother instead of mourning him…the other pain rises to the surface. the pain of a broken heart.
a broken marriage.
a man who could not be the person i needed him to be and instead became a monster set on destroying me.
devouring
me.
the lonely is so large right now as i don’t know how i will ever find love again.
but my heart still wants to look.

the better to eat you with

“you’re so pretty”
they say
“thank you”
i reply
“but listen to this….”
& i pour
out
my heart
every enchanted thought
waiting for them
to be dazzled
by my rhinestone
soul
“you have a beautiful
smile”
they say
as they see my lips
move
without
hearing a word
“my smile is a reflex”
i tell them
when i feel
frustrated
angry
overlooked 
misunderstood
invisible
my smile shines 
as my inner light
diminishes
“you have nice eyes” 
they tell me
i sigh 
“the better to see you with”
i reply
just before 
i eat them up
wondering how
they did not notice my sharp teeth
while they were admiring
my smile.

this is another shower thought–meaning, i thought of it while i was in the shower & then had to memorize it in order to get it written down before it slipped down the drain. 
i need a voice recording device in my shower. except then i would never listen to it because i have that common aversion to my own voice.
so i need a chalkboard in my shower. 

also, i think this poem could go longer & have more to it. my art journal project limits my original thought to the length of one page with room for an illustration.
however, in editing, i can always elaborate. 
i think this one might need some elaboration.

okay. so my to-do list has me working on creating a finished, publishable version of my art journal. right now i am focusing on re-creating the art for it and later will look for the written pages. 
also, i am working on editing & putting together a collection of short stories for publication.
why am i telling you this? because, for the past year or more i have posted almost daily, sometimes three times a day. but now, with all this editing & finishing, i am not posting as much. 
but i don’t want y’all to wander off & forget about me. 
i hope to get posts up a few times a week. i will definitely be posting finished art journal illustrations as they are done. 

okay. 
let’s get into trouble, baby. 

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