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.

a slightly tilted me

something about me is off
a shifting
my magic is askew
yesterday
i was ignored by a librarian
& rebuffed by a mechanic
normally
strangers are strangely nice to me
yesterday…not so much
yesterday i forgot & left the lid
off of one of my temperamental pens
so intent i was on doing battle against
naughty cats
& my pen dried out
& my other pen wouldn’t work
& i felt as if my hands were cut off
yesterday i kept trying to continue a conversation
that i don’t know why i’m having it
but i keep trying to connect
where maybe there is no connection
maybe i am a solitary
witch
& maybe i mess it up
by fighting it
by always fighting
my life & ways….

i recently ordered a new copy of everyday magic & gave my old copy to my son. i ordered a used copy of it and when it arrived there were post-it notes marking all of the love spells. it’s weird. you would think that whoever brought in the used books would have removed all of these post-its. they are sticking out of the book all over the place…. i felt sad for the previous owner of the book. so desperate to find love…and apparently she gave up.
then i started to wonder. maybe the post-its are for me? maybe i was sent a book full of love spells for a reason? maybe i am doing this all wrong? my life….

i feel like i am doing everything all wrong lately.
trying to online date. exposing myself to the callousness of strangers. making myself too too too vulnerable.
trying to connect with people on facebook (yes, i am back on facebook because i am trying to promote mistress of mud–a lovely lovely book i illustrated)
however, i joined a women homesteaders group recently on facebook. because, well, i’m a woman. i homestead. i am desperate for community. and then i’m over-connecting. it’s weird. this fine line for me. wanting to connect…but not wanting so much exposure. wanting to be noticed while i stay safely invisible.
commenting & posting, i feel over-connected.
exposed.
and i start to wonder if i should just say “fuck it” & get off of this over-connected mass of loneliness we call the internet. live in real time.
(but here i am…blogging about it instead)

and i was contacted by a guy on okcupid. it went against two of my rules for me to contact him back. his profile picture (& only one) was of him shirtless in bed. my “eww” rule. also, he had barely written anything on his profile & he had only answered the minimum of match questions. so i couldn’t do my “deal breaker” look-see in his match questions. like guys who don’t believe in evolution…or racist/sexist guys…or anti-feminism guys. that sort of thing. oh! guys who think you should never be comfortable farting around each other. what the what?
so i broke my rules to contact him back. why? he’s a redhead. something in the way he looks in what may or may not be his real profile picture.
so i message him to see what he wants.
he says he would “love” a conversation.
so i try to start one…& he won’t let me. every time i try to start a conversation, he responds in the bare minimum of words possible.

i think he might be an alien.

so that up thar is a picture of my first black lamb with her daddy. i always wanted a black lamb. ever since i was a little girl named “mary.”

IMG_0577

here is her twin with his mama.
lambs are so cute.
i look at them & think, “how am i supposed to eat you?”
like i’m the big bad wolf.

so i need to figure out what is askew in my energy. too much alcohol while the minions are away? over-exposing my solitary witchy ways to the world at large via internet? still not being able to embrace chaos though i have cats & kids & goats eager to be my companions on that path? running away from myself?
am i running away from myself?
who am i?
who am i?
what do i want?

fuck a duck.

on the look-out for the next ex

relationships…

all i think about is relationships i don’t want to think about relationships why do i think about relationships so much?

bleah.

i recognize that part of me longs for the balance of a relationship.
i recognize that part of me loathes the idea of needing someone else.
i recognize that part of me is so injured that the idea of letting someone else in is terrifying.
i recognize that part of me is so damaged that i do not trust myself to choose a healthy partner.

ack!

this post is my letting go of obsessing about relationships.
sort of.
last night i dreamed about two exes.
back up…
recently i sent a series of “crazy” messages to my ex–the one i have trouble letting go of even though we broke up 21 years ago. i was angry because i keep asking him for help, and he ignores me. okay, sure 21 years, but he is always happy to respond when i am flirty & fawning…but not when i sincerely ask for help. when i sincerely ask for a friend.
i have spent 21 years apologizing to him.
for every fucking thing i did wrong when we were together.
and recently i realized something.
he has never once acknowledged that he did anything wrong in our relationship.
maybe he just doesn’t give a fuck.
maybe he doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.
maybe i am wrong to expect we could be friends after everything we went through. maybe our strong connection was just imagined, and i need to let it go already.

let it go already.

last night in my dream he wanted to talk to me about my “crazy” messages to him. first he wanted to do it in a crowded room–so i asked for a private conversation.
once we were alone, i felt the need to hide, covering my face with a scarf and–literally–sinking into a wall.
he started talking to me, but then was distracted by a celebrity entering the scene, and steered off to talk to that person instead, weaving tales to entertain this new person and completely ignoring me.
and then i got up & left to go make green bean casserole for my kids. i didn’t care. it was status quo for us and i was done with it.

i guess i’m ready to let it go.

other thoughts on relationships were addressed by chani and his weekly horoscopes where i was told (as a cancer):

Being thoughtful about who you partner with will help you to create more thoughtfully. Being deliberate about your collaborations will make them more effective. Being conscious of how your insecurities and your need to please can get in the way of protecting your energy is a game-changer.

You can’t take every partnership up on its offer. You can’t pour your energy into every vessel that has room for you. You can’t make good on your promises when you over-extend yourself. 

almost every relationship i have had i have actively sought out empty & cracked vessels that could not possibly accept my love…or i have found them on my doorstep and been like, “okay, i guess this is my boyfriend.”

hence my fear of even stepping towards a new relationship. if i like a person, they are probably damaged…& if they choose me, they are probably damaged.

sigh.

so i read up on the red flags. i read up on the narcissistic tendencies that i seem to attract. i read things about nice guys vs. good men and i try to keep these things up front in my mind…just in case i ever actually meet anyone.

meanwhile, however, you know…four minions and a homestead full of livestock. plus art to complete and vegetables to harvest….

but for those of you that think i should just forget about relationships and focus on kids & homestead & art, i have this to say:  i feel like that would be denying a part of me that deserves to be taken seriously AND i need to do the work. whether i am in a relationship or not, i need to do this work to heal the damage i have in the area of relationships or i am going to wake up one day & realize i am in another fucked up relationship.

speaking of which, i am letting dusty visit this week for misha’s sixth birthday, so–right there–reason to keep fresh what i want & do not want from a relationship.

a poem for the full moon

my anger clings
to me
so tight
i can’t breathe
i can’t breathe…
i want to shed my anger
like a skin
i don’t want it anymore
i don’t need it
anymore
i want a new
fresh
skin
to welcome the world
to paint pictures on
to tell stories with
to experience love
& wonder
& all the beautiful things
that my anger
keeps at arm’s length
in some misguided
attempt
to protect me
from life…
i want to shed my anger
like a skin
& be born again
light
free
& happy.

poodle doodle

i wasn’t sure this drawing
was actually going anywhere
but it’s meditative
to doodle
so i doodled
i doodled a poodle

okay…that sounds…off.

i’m alone in a big house
my minions are gone
to be with their dad
for a week
i’m drinking beer
picking fights on facebook
and doodling poodles.

this is probably why the universe
sent me so many kids
to keep me honest
and to keep me
out of trouble.

here is a recap with the ink stain (and a flaw from my closing my journal before the pages were dry.) and the beginning of the doodle.

letting go

i like this one.
i wasn’t sure.
but i do.

i spent a lot of time
during inking it
to not-so-gently remind
the minions
that i do art to relax
and, for the love of god,
please stop bumping my elbow.

when you do art
to stay sane
it’s kinda counter-productive
to have four busy minions
buzzing around you as you do it.

letting go
i’m trying to let go
of my control issues
of my anger
of my patterns of misery
trying to let go
and remember why i am here
if there is in fact
any reason for me to be here
surely my minions figure into that
pretty big
and loud….

i like these chaotic inkings
the ones with god knows what
going on in them.
these are the ones that i find little treasures in
the weird little details.
these are the inkings
i learn the most about my self with.
these are the ones
that i surprise myself the most with.

i rely on instinct
zen art & ink stains
i let my brain go
and look for what i
normally
might not see.

ps. ink stain & yesterday’s work on this inking:

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