fool’s errand

i am a fool
a noble fool
i am a joke
a quixotic
mama
fighting the giants
in my mind
on a quest
to win the hand
of one so true & fair
my own fool’s errand
my own heart’s calling.

i really like this inking & am thinking i will do a version on canvas.
this is more on my thoughts on accepting my foolish status in a world where the ridiculous are not celebrated (though they should be.)
i have been calling myself “quixotic” for years…but this is the first time i have stopped to really embrace that title.
and to give thanks to the universe for letting me see the world through my rainbow colored glasses.

it’s always inktober in my heart

in 2016 i did inktober for the first time…
after thirty-one days of inking
daily
i could not stop
i did not want to stop
and six years later
i am still inking
almost every day
it has saved my life
it has made me a better person
it has helped me grow & heal
so
thank you inktober
you’re my hero.

i do not really participate anymore mostly because i only realize it is inktober several days into october. however, generally i have inked every day without realizing. mostly because i ink every day of the other eleven months of the year as well. when i don’t do art, i can tell, i start to go a little (more) crazy.

last night i had a total meltdown. like sinking lower than i have sank in awhile. terrible monster mom meltdown.
so what did i do? i inked it out…and i felt better…i started the healing process.
i will probably share that inking with y’all considering one of the reasons i share at all is because i want the ugly to not fester in a dark place but to come into the light…however i need a little time to process.

in the meantime, i wish you all a happy inktober.

the above doodle might look like watercolor–but it is totally ink 🙂

me & bobby mcgee

how did i ever
let you go
all those years back
now
i look at you
& wonder
at the fucking audacity
of twenty-something me
who threw you away
as easy
as a bag of chips
i’d lost my taste for
do you know how
frustrated
i am
at the me
that wasted
my chance with you?

i changed this up from the original because i am not really angry with twenty-something me. i know i was acting out of a sense of self-preservation with almost no foresight. i thought i knew what i was doing. but i was a fucked up kid & really didn’t know.
i don’t blame me
i don’t blame him
it just is what it is. a sad story.
our song was “me & bobby mcgee” which is a really stupid song to have. self-fulfilling prophecy anyone? except i would not ever trade all of my tomorrows for one of my yesterdays.

& in truth, the reason he won’t talk to me today, is something done by forty-something me. i don’t remember exactly what i said or did to turn him away, but we were kind of friends before that. i was in a very bad place at the time. again, i don’t hate me for it, but i wish i could have had some foresight…could have realized that my dumpster fire was mine to deal with & not lashed out at others…oh well.
maybe fifty-something me will get it right.

a new day

“it’s a new dawn
it’s a new day
it’s a new life
& i’m feeling good…”
sings the radio
as i realize
what the universe
has been screaming
at me
these past couple of years

“stop running away from the past”
stop
walking away
stop
locking up my heart
& denying the love
i know
to be true

stop
& open
let go of what was
& listen
to what is
let go of the hurt
& the anger
open
to the possibilities
of love.

i have been struggling with foot pain…first my right foot, and when it healed, my left foot developed the same problem.
then i broke my knee.
i have long suspected that it is more than just a physical thing. most my life, i have manifested physical ailments when i am ignoring an emotional one.
i have been trying to figure this one out for a long time & have felt more urgency recently thinking that if my knee break didn’t make me see it–what would the universe do to me next?
my full moon tarot card spread advised meditation.
so i meditated.
i am an antsy person who cannot sit still for very long; focus has always been a challenge, but i did a simple meditation.
in my meditation i learned that i try to do it all myself. i try to not look to other people for what i need. however, i cannot meet all of my own needs. i do need other people.
i need someone to love who loves me.

i had this once.
i miss it like crazy, but i tell myself i am weak for missing it. that i am weak for still loving this person. that love makes me weak & girly.
i struggle with my girly heart…thinking i need to re-enforce the walls around it & not fall prey to love.

but my meditation told me the opposite. my meditation told me i need to let love in.

huh.

i guess it’s worth a shot….

what i promised myself

sometimes
i swear
i can feel something powerful
working through me
when i do my art
i cherish those moments
even though i worry
i will spill ink
all over my
magic.

i really really like this inking. maybe i will price it higher? hmmm? i am trying to value myself more while also recognizing that folks don’t have a lot of art money lying around.
i was kind of thinking of new year’s and resolutions etc. as i inked this one. how do i want to grow? who will i be when i am finished? right, i will never be “finished” but, you know, what will i make of this upcoming year?
by the way, my dove turned into a hawk. i think that is a good thing.

“what i promised myself” 9X12 ink on watercolor paper…$45

letting go

balance
again
i find
a need for
balance
when to let go
when to surrender
& when to be
responsible
not delinquent…
learn how to ask myself
“what is the worst
that could happen?”
and let fate
take its
course….

i wrote this ten days ago when i was all “i’m so zen”
then a few days back, i lost my mind to that rabid bunny that creeps about in the dark places of my mind. i became all about control & trying to make things–force things–to go my way when clearly they just weren’t. i could feel the zen still there under the rabid bunny action…but there seemed to be nothing i could do to subdue said bunny.
until i let go
again.
so it’s finding that balance. between zen & rabies. between snarky & enlightened.
it’s a process…..

itching to leave my cocoon

itching to leave my cocoon
itching to bloom
i’ve been in here too long
safe & snug
throughout my cold & dark
transformation
into a bright eruption
a moth to the moon
a bee to a flower
my purpose
awaits.

stream of consciousness verse. that’s basically how my brain works. if you ever have a conversation with me in person, it’s not too different than reading my brain outbursts here & in my art journal.
disjointed thoughts
mixed metaphors
backstories
in all the wrong places….

but i digress! i am itching to get out of my cocoon. i feel like that is what my time here at my childhood home has been. i feel like that is what my submerging myself into my art journal exploration of my dark & drippy psyche has been.
i’ve written out all the parts of my brain that i can right now. i’ve written them out to make room for new thoughts.
revolutions & epiphanies await.
just have to shake free of the rest of this
chrysalis
rise from my tomb
& go.

for a front row seat to all the amazing things i will do…just a dollar a month, y’all.https://www.patreon.com/emjemccarty

scribbles & doodles & coloring pages

as i drink my tea
forsaking the coffee
(which taunts me
yumminess
paired
with
addiction
& achy kidneys)
i eat my toast
with jam
and referee
squabbles
while considering
my own scribbles
an itch at the back
of my mind
something undiscovered
something untapped
i can feel
something
wonderful
if i can just get my pen
& brain
to work as one.

i was watching flowers on netflix, a delightfully dark british sitcom. the patriarch of the family flowers writes dark children’s books about trolls. the illustrations immediately drew me in. so i started doodling some trolls of my own to see if i could.
today i found this other doodle on the brown paper that i use in between sheets of my journal to keep the ink from leaking onto blank pages. i doodle on it sometimes, but hadn’t looked at it in awhile. i found this drawing appealing in the same way as the troll illustrations.
however, i am not sure where to go with either one of them. so i guess i will just keep messing around until i figure it out.

meanwhile, i have become misha’s artist on demand for coloring pages. she had me do two more this morning and has requested a mom & dad dragon with baby dragons after i do a picture of myself & her dad riding a swan.
i asked if the swan could be flying while i am pushing her dad off of the swan, and she began pretend crying & ran from the room.
sigh.
the things i do for my minions (i don’t want to be near that motherfucker even in illustration. i can barely look at the illustration for “absolution” from a few days back. ack! but now i have to ride a goddamn swan with him….)

ps. unlike her brothers, misha is not colorblind. just to be sure, i asked her about her colored page, “what color is the grass?” she replied, “orange.”
& i said, “awesome.”
my girl.

progress

i am almost finished with this commissioned piece.
i like it. it reminds me of shel silverstein (who happens to be one of my favorite male artists.) so i felt happy about that. i also love being able to get messy with my ink.
i just emailed the people who requested it & quoted a price. then vowed to myself to start doing that before i accept a job.

so there’s that.

also! i find myself, when thinking of good things to come, thinking of artwork rather than relationships. which is a big step for me. i tried to express that in my last journal  page “a letter for me,” but i think maybe i didn’t say it the way i meant.
i am trying to explore these things further in my art journal, but i have just gotten started.
meanwhile…
my minions are back from their week at their dad’s and i am struck by how i go from living in an isolation tank to living in a house full of feral monkeys. it’s quite a shock to my system.
something i should maybe start preparing myself for…other than just buying alcohol.

yesterday i heard my ten year old boy (iggy) say of my seven year old girl, “misha is running a fight club–” i did not catch the rest of the conversation. i just hid.

then while i was doing yoga for ptsd , iggy & fidgit put on a movie i got for them and then iggy was in the doorway lamenting that the movie was black & white and how could i do that to him as i know he just hates black & white….
i assured him it would turn to color as it was not a black & white movie, and i kept doing my yoga.
fidgit then appeared in the doorway after some loud scuffling. he said something about iggy attacking & injuring him but all i could think to do was ask (of the movie) “is it colored yet?”
to which he replied, “no, but it will be soon.”
“good,” i answered right before he began wailing about my not caring that his bruise would soon have color.

for some reason that communication mix up really struck me as funny.  i started laughing & could not stop.
i would think i was losing my mind…but i am going to blame the yoga. yoga tends to release things for me. usually i cry. it felt nice to laugh like i did not know how to stop.

even though i probably further traumatized fidgit. (it still kind of makes me laugh though)

random thoughts…my daughter

when i became pregnant for the first time,
i was dismayed to learn it was a boy.
“i don’t know anything about boys!” i thought.
then i had another boy.
and finally i was pregnant with my girl
realizing
“i don’t know anything about girls either!”
i used to call myself–gender confused.
this was in the early 90s before gender
was much discussed.
but i knew from the time i was five
i had both in me–boy & girl.
yet
somehow
i also had neither…
only to realize this when i became a mother
to boys & a girl.
so like everything else, i winged it
i just raised them as people
people i respected & loved
people free to develop into whomever
they were born to be.
i remember when fidgit started playing with
trucks & guns
“i guess he is a boy,” i said,
maybe stereotyping a bit
but later, he grew his hair long
got his ears pierced
and started studying art.
still a boy, i could think.
but my girl…
my girl…
she is a girl like i was never a girl
and i want to celebrate that.
i do.
but i cried today as i shopped for her
seventh birthday present
a children’s play make-up kit
really?
but i know it will make her happy
just like every time i bought a play sword for my crazy boys
& their dad looked at me like, “really?”
here’s the thing
i want my kids to be happy
i want them to be who they are
even if it is not who i am….
that’s the tricky part about being a parent, i guess…
one of the tricky parts anyway.

the photo is me in my early 20’s. fighting gender norms has always been very important to me–especially since as a teenager i found i was more comfortable in my dad’s clothes than i was in mine. i have never worn make-up (except on halloween) & i do not own a pair of heels. but now i have a daughter who drools over thrift-store pumps & uses an art marker to apply lipstick…which some people do. some people like pumps & make-up…i’ve just never been one of them. so maybe it stings a little that my little apple is falling rolling away from the tree? but if it is who she is & will make her happy….

sigh.

heaven help me if she decides to start shaving her legs.

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