pages 15, 16, & 17

just two more pages to go
and INKtober starts on sunday.
whoa.
am i going to do it again?
it was really good for my art last year…in fact, i can’t believe it is time for it again already. it seems like just yesterday.
i did buy more paper & more ink.
because…well…you can never have too much paper & ink (what if a zombie apocalypse happens & i can’t get to the art store??)

speaking of zombie apocalypses–i was planning on doing moses jones after i was done with the mistress of mud.
and/or playing around with just using brush & ink….
but i suppose i could do both of those things during INKtober…
yes?

meanwhile, bees to get ready for winter.
tomatoes to turn into canned sauce.
basil to make into pesto.
pumpkins & squash to harvest.
lambs & turkeys to butcher.
winter gardens to plan.
new pastures to build.
oh!
and i am planning on buying and raising by bottle a billy goat all my own….

and, of course, raising & unschooling four minions….

speaking of all this. i am entertaining the idea of renting the basement out to dusty on the conditions that:
1. we are not in a relationship
2. he pays rent & buys his own food
3. he gets a job
4. he quits smoking

what could go wrong?
see, it’s just that i need need need the help, and no matter how hard i try, i cannot seem to lure peoples of a non-dusty nature to come here & help me.

sigh.

i know it’s not a good idea. but i will kick him out again if it all goes south.

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from the journal of…

i just realized why i am feeling
so profoundly sad
& heartbroken
lately
i met two of my husbands
& one of my fiances
in septembers past…
september is either a very good
or very bad
month for me
romantically speaking….

and since my romantic value is so intertwined with my heart value…with my self value….

thanks a fucking lot culture that makes women worthless unless they are valued by a man.

fuck me.
or…
don’t fuck me.
i am unfuckable.
just a baby vessel who is spent already and who draws stupid pictures anyway.

there is this song that comes on the radio that makes me want to run over the artist with my truck. james arthur’s “say you won’t let go.”
man, that song pisses me off. it’s like a man proving he’s mr. perfect, caring man…like there is such a thing.
puke.
i am just feeling very oh-so crappy about love & romance & relationships & i just kind of hate everybody right now (not you though.)
if good love exists, i have never actually seen it.
which just pisses me off.

like, what did i do?
did i crush puppies in a past life?
what lesson am i supposed to learn here?

i’m pretty useless these days.
i have produced some art, but i not-so-secretly fear it sucks.
i am a terrible mom.
i just want to crawl in a hole with a bottle of whiskey.
i’m pretty sure i have no friends
or else i’d be saying this to them
not torturing you with it.
and when strangers smile at me in public, i think they must be confused.

sorry if i have sung this song before.
sorry if you are tired of it.
i just feel like crap.

and i hate my art.

while my brush gently inks

have i told you how much i am enjoying this project?
& how frustrated i am with my own work?
the double edged sword of art…

IMG_5345

as i work on new pages…i go back and re-do pages i am not so sure about.
the third one there, in progress, is a re-do of this page:

page 7

because i realized
1. she should be on a mountain–not a meadow
2. her baby is creepy like those baby jesus babies that look like people instead of babies
3. her robe is not the way i want it
4. and her hair is driving me nuts

plus, i redid this page:

page 5

to look like this:

page 5(2)

and now the pages look too similar….

what’s my deadline again?
let’s hope it is a soft deadline….

okay, back to watching the ink dry….

pages seven, eight, and nine

i’m feeling a bit crappy today.
i didn’t get morning sleep, which is where my good dreams are–the ones that speak to me. and then light bulbs burned out and my camera left out in the rain by a belligerent 11 year old and all i can do is worry about money to replace these things and i don’t have any money and i am so so tired of people treating me like crap….

so here are my latest illustrations.
i like them & i hate them & i just want to go back to bed.

and i have no beer & no coffee
and, again, no money.
poop.

my empathic heart

when my empathic heart
opens wide
it is a kaleidoscope
of emotion
washing over me
burrowing inside me
traveling through me
borrowing my tears
& my smiles
my sorrow
my anger
my elation
& no drug–or other person–could ever
make me feel
like i do
when my heart is wide open
& i am safe
to feel
just feel
the world around me
all of its beauty…its light & its darkness
this is me
this is mine
this is who i am & who i want to be
an open heart

when the minions are away, i have the opportunity to do things i cannot do when they are here. this is one. spreading my art all over the kitchen table. i love doing that. then i work on it, walk past it, add to it, debate over it, smudge & splatter and just be my art. ink ink everywhere.
makes me happy.
other things i do when i am alone:  talk to myself, revel in the bathroom being clean, binge watch shows on netflix, focus on myself & my healing….

sometimes being alone is a good thing.

i love my kids…but i hate being a mom….

i hate being the one in charge
i hate being the bad guy
i hate having to be the one who makes sure we don’t run out of
toilet paper
clean clothes
toothpaste
shoes that fit
food
i hate being the one that has to make impossible ends
meet
i have to
no one else is going to do it
i have to find ways to fix
messes that seem impossible to fix
i have to referee fights
that seem to have no end
i hate being referee
i hate being mom
i want to not have to worry about everything
to not be the one who is supposed to have all of the answers
i want to find room in my heart
for me
to not feel overwhelmed by them
i want to be able to breathe

it’s not them though
is it?
it’s not being a mom so much
as my being damaged
damaged by life
damaged by parents, damaged by exes
never taught to love myself
in the way a person needs to be able to
so that person can be a good mom
neglected by my own mom
leaving me unable to cope
abandoned
abused
by the man who was supposed
to do this with me
be there for me
now
i just want to hide, heal, and lick my wounds
but as a mom
i just can’t seem to
there are just too many other things
that need to be
done….

page11

yesterday i collapsed in a heap and all i could think was, “i hate being a mom. i hate being a mom. i hate being a mom.” it was both a relief to think it…and horrifying.

i didn’t always hate being a mom…if you read my wordpress profile thing-y here, it sounds like i used to really think i was a good mom….
(i wish i could remember that feeling.)

though it was a cruel awakening when i became a mom and realized i was working harder than i ever had before–but i wasn’t getting any pay or benefits. after a lifetime of supporting myself, i was now dependent on a partner who was–well–crappy. he would tell me my position as a mom was pointless and why was he the only one earning money? he would tell me to get a job. i was exhausted to my bones–and he was telling me i wasn’t earning anything therefore i was lazy…useless? and he wasn’t the only one. our society echoed him. subtle or blatant, i got the message loud and clear.

i was a mom now–and now i did not matter.

page12

gone was my independence. my ability to just pack up everything i own and go somewhere new. just go. whenever i wanted. be free whenever i felt caged. now i was anchored. by one..then two..then three..and finally four little anchors.

gone was time to myself. my crappy partner put that last nail in my coffin. no art. no writing. (right now i have a five year old begging me to color & i really really don’t want to color–i want to exorcise this demon–i want to write.) no exercise even because no one would let me. seriously. i was not allowed to do the walks i used to do daily to clear my head & keep my weight down. if i wanted to go–everyone wanted to go with me–and it became an unbearable circus…

page13

i know there are people out there devastated because they can’t have children. i used to be one of those people. i wanted to cry every time a friend or a sister got pregnant. i tried for 10 years before i got pregnant. i dreamed of being a mom. i dreamed of having that love in my life. of course, i thought, being a mom will fix what is wrong with me.

but i wasn’t careful about with whom i had my kids. that was my mistake. my biggest mistake. i didn’t realize how much that would change things…taint things. that partner who doesn’t value you–or your role as the mother of his children.

it’s devastating…at least for me…it has damaged me so deeply sometimes i feel like i am unable to love at all.

but i love my minions. i do. as much as i hate being a mom sometimes–i never stop loving them.
so that’s something, right?

something salvageable?

page15

(these illustrations are more  from the project i am working on “the mistress of mud” with a friend of mine. yesterday i posted that i hadn’t gotten any work done, but i realized i actually had…and i did the one at the top of the post last night as i played around trying to emulate david mack’s style.)

where am i?

the last time i smiled
was two years ago
in pictures since
it’s like i’m trying to smile
but i can’t
my smile is gone
he took it
& which is the greater sin?
that he took my smile–
or that i let him?

& daddy 034

there it is. my last smile. two summers ago when i first left dusty due to his refusing to stop seeing his girlfriend…of course, since i had left him, he was being super sweet to me…and that might be why i am smiling. fuck it. fuck that bastard.

i feel so lost lately. i am on auto-pilot. spirals of self-pity & anger. is this part of healing…or just another level of my own personal hell?

i don’t like that i have lost my smile. sometimes my smile was the best part of me. once when i worked as a baker behind a big glass window that people would knock on and i would smile at them (okay, that makes me sound like a zoo animal–nevertheless), a person slipped me a note that said, “i would walk a million miles for one of your smiles,” and i’m sure i still have that note somewhere.

who am i without my smile?

sometimes i wonder when exactly my heart fell into its current state of decay.

i try to do dating sites, but then i think, “who the fuck would want to deal with this?” meaning me, my life, my being trapped on a homestead, my four overwhelming minions, my general fucked-upness….

i have $45 in my bank account. i am seemingly unable to figure out how to make money. which is another trap. poverty. do i continue to borrow from my credit card? that seems like a bad idea…but what happens when i need gas for the truck? or toilet paper? there are only 4 rolls left. do i go pick leaves? switch to cloth?

a friend told me about a grant for moms who are artists or writers. i am both. i could enter in like four different categories–at least–i have that much material. since becoming a mom, i have done more art & writing than ever….
but what if it all sucks? surely everyone else is better than i am.  i could never win a grant. no one will publish me. i always get the, “we really enjoyed this, but…” rejections. which are probably just standard rejections designed so i don’t stick my head in the oven.

i started working on the inking shown at the top of this post a couple of weeks ago.
this is as far as i have gotten.
and i haven’t gotten any more work done on the project i have half a summer to finish….

what is the matter with me?
how do i pop myself out of this puddle of misery?
i’m not dancing. not smiling. & my dreams are a soup of anxiety.  the highlight of my week was getting two dairy goats. since then i have actually told them, “you complete me.”

i think maybe i was a shepherd in a past life…or a herd dog.