it was a dark & stormy night…

as tornadoes and thunderstorms tear up an early december evening in illinois, i contemplate my newfound faith in myself.

it turns out that i am not content to take myself seriously solely an artist. the writer inside of me is also demanding attention.

whenever i start reading a lot of fiction (which i have been doing lately,) my inner writer gets stirred up. anymore, i can’t help but to take a story apart as i read it to see what works & what does not. this is actually a trait that has only recently developed in me. it used to be i got so lost in a story i didn’t know which way was up. which–it turns out–is a bit of a handicap as a writer.
being able to now analyze and dissect stories has me thinking i should be reading more of my own writings.
like this pile of works from the late 80s & early 90s. two books, some short stories, and flash fiction pieces written before i knew there was such a thing as flash fiction. 
my sister bound the one up like that. it is 300 some pages of double spaceed content–so not as huge as it appears.
note that i was using yet another version of my name for that one.

so!
the minions are away. i have two art commissions to work on. other than that, i will be poring through short stories, forgotten novels, and journals & journals & more journals with the crazy idea that i might have not one story to tell but three? four? more?

i know, you’re thinking “baby steps!” but i think i am just going to jump on into the deep end–you know, knowing how much i love a challenge. 
(i am my favorite challenge)
plus as a gloriously blooming late bloomer, i got some ground to cover to get to where i need to get to.

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when i was just a girl

when i was just a girl
not yet a woman
i hung a sign on my wall
declaring
“i am destined
for greatness”
one day
a male friend
scoffed
“what? you’re going to marry
adam ant?”
i was
beyond
offended
(still am) as if! as if
a woman could only be great
through marriage
when i was still a girl
not quite a woman
i spent eight hours a day
writing
& writing
novels
first in longhand
then typed
it took about nine months
to birth one
when i was just a girl
not quite a woman
i was broken
already
broken by an
abused
childhood
an abandoned
childhood
i was broken
but
i was
still
whole
until one day
i discovered
the “greatness”
of men.

to say i was an awkward child would be an understatement. to say i was a strange child, also, understated.
needless to say, boys were not knocking my door down.
i was shy & dressed funny.
which was probably the best thing for me. i was safe from myself. however, once i figured out the whole boy-catching thing, things went downhill for me pretty fucking fast.
i let them tear me apart.
i gave them the best parts of me.
and i have been recovering ever since.

on the bright side–i am recovering.

tumbling down

i have lived my life
like falling down
a flight
of stairs
except
of course
i was totally pushed
or
at least
tripped
before i fell into my own life
half-assed
&
so totally
not
paying attention
hitting each step
as i fell
(i’m picturing one of those
circular, iron
staircases
you know
one with lots & lots & lots
of unyielding steps)
now i am
sprawled
at the bottom
of my own
life
…fuck it
time to get up
i guess.

so i was living in madison, wisconsin, attending UW madison, studying art & writing. i was pretty happy…except dusty didn’t like to work & did like to have girlfriends on the side.
i was having trouble affording rent in madison…and was losing myself to my fucked up relationship with dusty.
i told dusty he could choose between his girlfriend & me, the mother of his children & his supposed soul mate.
i told him i would leave madison if he did not choose me.
he did not choose me.
so as 2015 ended & 2016 began, i packed up the minions & moved 2 hours north to rent from a friend in manitowoc, wisconsin. there i started to get involved with the grocery co-op they were starting as well as getting involved in the local farm to school program & the local community garden. i felt like i was finally finding the community i wanted to be in.
six months in, after learning that my parent’s place was available to me, my “friend” kicked me out of her house. i still don’t know why. but dusty (who since i had left him all of a sudden decided to choose me) was on board with moving to illinois and had me convinced that the end of times was coming with the 2016 election. did i want to homestead–or was it a reaction to an unstable economy & society? a paranoia that dusty fed every chance he got….
did i want to move to rural illinois…or did dusty? he came with me and lived here for six months before i kicked him out.

now i’m here alone with a yard full of animals that cost more than they benefit…with a house that is too much for me to care for…with no support system or community in sight….

and i’m pissed off.
i thought i was doing what i wanted to do, but looking back, i think i did what i had to do as well as what other people wanted me to do.
and i’m pissed off.

i know that i can live like this if i have to (butchering my own meat & raising livestock.) and i do want to continue with living sustainably and continue growing my own food, but i was doing that when i lived in town & had access to a community. i don’t have to isolate myself to bumfuck illinois to do that.

crap.
dusty always was good at covertly isolating me. now i’m locked in some fucking tower waiting for him to rescue me?
fuck that bullshit.
i’m building a ladder.

queen of hearts

i don’t like
the way my heart
quickens
when i see your name
i don’t like
that my first instinct
is to hide the crazy
to trod
gently
to not
scare you away
i don’t like the yearning
i feel
when i see your eyes
when i read your words…
the last thing
i need
is another
broken heart.

i don’t know why i don’t draw dodo birds more often. they are so awesomely awesome (see how poetic i can wax.)
this idea for a self-portrait was way more difficult that i thought it would be. my brain could not do the upside down. i did the best i could & assured myself that y’all wouldn’t judge me my little fuck-ups.
i like it though.
i could totally be the queen of hearts.
or not.
better not.

so i had a small crush on someone, but–after a few days of being ignored by said crush, i let it go. which is a big step for me! instead of pursuing, i said, “fuck it.” i let myself know that i don’t need to–or want to–chase random cuties who are emotionally unavailable.
nope.
not anymore.
done that. done that. done that some more….
and i’m done with that.
i deserve better.
you heard me.

be happy

i’m trying on my life
like a new pair of jeans
ugh!
these are too tight
look how fat they make me
look
i will never wear these
why did i think these would
fit
me?
i’m trying on my life
realizing it’s my favorite
pair of jeans
worn in
in all the right places
& look how cute my butt looks
i’m going to wear these
every day
everywhere
&
just
be
happy.

i think, often, when i have this one precious week to myself, my head is able to clear and i figure a little bit more out.
i used to get into relationships so that i wouldn’t have to think about my problems. it was so much easier to focus on someone else’s problems.
it is funny to me to realize i now crave this time alone to examine my own problems and actually try to fix them.

just makes me feel so grown up
in all the right ways

my epiphany is that–consciously or not–i did choose this life. i was not hijacked by it–though i do believe, in a way, it also chose me.
but this is where i want to be. ultimately. i might fantasize about running away…a lot…maybe more than the average person, but this is
where i want to be.
who i want to be.

(and i know this isn’t going to magically fix me & make me happy and make me all gung-ho when usually i feel like crying. i know i’m still going to get pissed off & lonely & depressed…but i think i needed to accept that this is my path–this is where i am supposed to be. and start walking it so i can get where i’m going already…unless life is about the journey. then i guess i just need to stop moping in the ditch and hop to it.)

not so bad

if i stop
to take inventory
i’m not doing
so bad
not so bad
if i stop
& take inventory
i see that
i’m actually
kind of
amazing.

if i stop
to see who i am
i see that
i’m not so awful
not so awful
as i’d thought
if i stop
to see who i am
i see that
i’m
actually
quite a good person
after all.

last night i kept myself from being drawn into a fight with dusty. a fight via texting. a fight we have had many times. furious messages flashing back & forth between his smart phone & my dumb one. (his messages flash a bit faster than mine.)
i did respond, with minimal engagement, to let him know i was getting his texts and that my feelings on the matter were indeed final. if i don’t respond, he will become more & more hysterical & paranoid. i can’t have him doing that while he is with our children.
but obvious ploys to evoke a response, i let them slip past me like keanu reeves in the matrix.
so i was actually quite proud of myself for that.
and
though i have an almost full bottle of whiskey, i chose instead to do yoga and have a cup of jasmine tea.
look at that, y’all. it’s like i’m growing up or something.

bonus for anyone who made it this far…i did a rough draft/sneak preview of moses jones page four. very rough…in fact, the final draft might not look anything like this….

mjepisode3p4rough

keeping my tomorrows

i used to think
as our song said
“i would trade all my tomorrows
for one single yesterday”
but today
today i realized
as i proclaimed myself
free from my own
haunting
i realized
i want all of my tomorrows
all of them
i don’t want my
yesterdays
the past is gone
but tomorrow
tomorrow is a new day
a new day
with you.

before i quit facebook, i had a male friend tell me, “you can do better” in regards to my obsession with seymour.
i don’t know if this friend knew my obsession was with seymour & disapproved of seymour (i knew them both in the same years & in the same town…but i didn’t know this friend very well at the time) or if he was just poo-pooing decades old obsessions in general.
said friend than went on to say, “but of course, janis joplin spent her entire career obsessed with one guy.”
what a coincidence. because it is janis joplin that sings the song that seymour & i would always call our song…”me & bobby mcgee.”

in the shower just now, singing that song, i was thinking…we should have picked a different song. but you know how it is when you are young and nothing can possibly go wrong with your enchanted romance.
later in our relationship, i picked a different song for us. one that felt like i felt when i was with seymour… like christmas.

and after we broke up…i stuck with the cyndi lauper to describe how i felt and this was the song that i related to seymour. (yes, i know it is actually a prince song…but my favorite version is the one cyndi lauper sings)

it was only recently–in the past handful of heartbreaking years with dusty–that i started feeling haunted by “me & bobby mcgee”…finding myself thinking that i actually would trade my tomorrows to have a day already gone just to be next to seymour again.
which is not a good way to feel…that kind of remorse & regret. it’s a dark place. a sad place.

so!
i am pleased to report that i don’t want to trade my tomorrows anymore.
i don’t.
i want to keep my tomorrows.
i want to hold onto my hope & tell regret to fuck the fuck off already.

i am who i am

i know who i am now
i am silly & sad
i am fierce & fantastic
i am passionate & magical
i am a fucking unicorn

i have been reading my journals from when i was in my twenties. it is different this time than from any time before when i have looked back, even a few months or a few moods, to see what i wrote.
even in the journal i am reading the younger me complains about previous entries–dismissing herself as melodramatic & dumb.
but not this time.
this time i find myself enjoying my journals, seeing my humor & my warmth, my passion and my ridiculous amount of hope.
thinking i was a pretty cool person.
huh.
i guess my self-portrait art journal project worked.
also, my exploration of my feelings for the long-ago boyfriend who captured my heart & never let it go again.
accepting all that. accepting myself warts & all. accepting my socially bizarre attachment to someone who is no longer in my life.
all of it.
it brought something to light for me.
it brought me to light.

i totally accept me
i completely love me
& i ridiculously celebrate me.

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