i feel pretty III

i used to worry
that people
would think that i think
that i am
pretty
now
i think
i will go ahead
& know
that i am
pretty
& not give a rat’s ass
whether they agree with me
or not.

i’m not going to go out & join any pageants or put together head shots for modeling…but i am going to stop ducking my head & acting like i’m offending people by showing myself in public.
so far so good

i feel pretty

i always cry
when i hear the song
“jolene”
but
do i have a right to?
i have lost a lot of men
& boys
to other women…
but i have
also
been the one
they come back
to
the one they choose
when there is a choice
to be made
part of me
wants to be
clings to
the idea
of being
ugly
unwanted
outcast
but part of me also knows
though i am
an outcast
i am also
quite tragically
one of
“the beautiful ones.”

even just transcribing this from my journal to this blog, i balked. what? who am i to say i am beautiful? no one is going to believe i am beautiful.
so uncomfortable with that identity!
when i went to forestry camp as a teen, i was embraced immediately by these two girls who said we should all stick together because we were the prettiest ones. i couldn’t get away from them fast enough (quick before they see i am really ugly!)
& i promptly found the freaks & outcasts to spend my week with.

yes, i would rather spend my time with the freaks & outcasts, but i need to stop telling myself i am ugly. i need to believe i am–despite being unconventional–beautiful. i need to believe that other people can see my beauty.
i know sometimes they won’t, but as long as i do….
i mean, ultimately, i just have to stop telling myself i am ugly.

its like i have my heart in my hands & i am trying to convince it that it is not so broken that it cannot fly….

muted

you ruined my day
&
i can’t even tell you
because
it will just blow up
in my face
i’m muted
by my fear
of what you will say
what you will do
how you will react
if i tell you
you ruined my day….
you ruined my life
&
i could scream about it
until my face is blue
but
it won’t change
a thing
no matter
what i do
you will never care
never
notice
you ruined my life.

ah, quality time with the ex.
it’s emotional abuse–making someone terrified of speaking up. manipulating a person to the point where they are afraid to speak for fear of how you will react.
it is an emotional abuse i am very susceptible to & have extensive experience with…
& it pisses me off.

two-fer

“makeover”

who am i
if i am not ugly?
who am i
if i am not
self-loathing?
how do i imagine
myself
as anything other
than a
monster?
i have told myself this
story
for so
so long
how do i write a new
ending?

“in the cards”

the cards tell me to
let go
(let go let go let go)
of something
no longer
true
the cards tell me
i cannot see
my true potential
through
warped lenses
the cards
however
do not
tell me how to let go
they do not tell me
how to see myself
through a lens
not
contorted
by self-loathing.

my tarot cards are always telling me to let go of something & i’m all, “i have let go of everything….” except, i realized, my self-loathing & stubborn belief that everyone looks at me and sees some hideous monster. that everyone can tell i don’t belong. that i am ugly to the core.
can i let go of a belief i have held close for most of my life?

messing around; getting dirty

i have just been craving
some literal
hands on artwork
so i found some pencils
to add to my inks & oil pastels
i haven’t used pencils in forever
i poo-pooed their eraserability
but now i find myself desiring
the scribble & smear
of charcoal pencils
i can’t help but wonder
what it means
about me….

(up top: “escape” 9X12 pencil, ink, & oil acrylic on watercolor paper…suggested price of $75)

tender toes

is it today?
nope
not today
maybe tomorrow
you can pull yourself
together
pull yourself
up
by your bootstraps
maybe tomorrow
you can stop
moping
because
today brings
headaches
heavy hearts
& tender toes
but tomorrow
tomorrow
could be golden.

i learned in a writing workshop something i knew instinctively: sometimes you have to just sit back & not write
“procrastination” is part of the process of creation. that slow simmer…percolating….
i would do it too when i was studying for a test. i would stop when i felt full & just let all the information i had been inhaling settle…digest….
i can only assume it is the same with healing. sometimes you just have to put yourself on the back burner and not think about it. not worry about it. just sit quietly.
even if your brain is screaming at you for it. telling you you’re doing it all wrong….
sometimes you just have to take a break.
i haven’t been doing much artwork. or writing. or yoga. or hiking. reading my tarot. or much of anything.
but that’s okay.
there’s always tomorrow.

twisted

i’m so far
out of whack
i am the letter “i”
but i look
like a “z”
i am so twisted
i don’t even want
to do the little things
that unwind me
do
the little things
that keep me
going
recovery from this mood
seems
impossible
seems
unreachable
when each morning
i wake up
thinking
“today i will get it
together”
but ultimately
i spend the day
just trying not to
fall apart
all over again.

i am thinking this is part of the journey more than a bump in the road. like i have to rest right now. maybe i keep hurting myself because i won’t stop trying to go too fast & too far.
so i’m resting.
just
resting.

it’s susan i’m choosin’

i have been in the blahs
trying to figure it all out
has me worn
out
plus i think i just broke my baby toe…
why is the universe
so set
on hobbling me?
or is it my own wish
to keep
my own mortality
so close in mind?
whatever is going on
it sucks
i just want to fucking walk

just walk….

the day after i realized i have almost no limp left from my broken knee, i kicked a wooden box of blocks as i walked through the playroom on my way to the bathroom at 5am one morning.
fuck me running
or rather
fuck me sitting because i can’t run anymore…will i ever run again? is this what getting old(er) feels like? losing what we once took for granted?
sigh.
it was actually the second injury to that poor baby toe. last week i kicked a stack of wooden boards while in my kitchen (random stacks of wooden boards are hopefully a temporary decorating habit of mine & will one day be used to build things, but until then, they remain tripping hazards….)
i thought i had broken it then…but a few days later it felt fine. so then i kicked something else with it & now it is black & blue & refusing to bend.
crap.
crap crap crap.
yet still i try to negotiate treaties with my monsters & build bridges with my demons…just not very enthusiastically right now.

the drawing up top is another play around with oil pastels & inks. maybe if i can get oil pastels & inks on the same page, i can unite the powers that are inside of me & bring an end to the civil war within?
the title is a reference from a movie i watched a lot as a kid, finian’s rainbow.

playing with pastels

sometimes the inks just aren’t messy enough. i have been playing with pastels and having a lot of fun. i am not sure where i’m going, but i am really liking some of the results.

the mother & child is a mix of ink & pastels. also i used ink in the skies of the horse drawings.

14 journals in 7 years

i just finished journal number 14 and am cracking open journal 15.

when i lived in a housing co-op, years ago, i found an 8X11 art journal in the free store. i took it and started using it in an art class i was taking at uw.
then in 2016, i did inktober for the first time and got in the habit of inking daily.
now i have a crate full of words & images that have spilled out of me. explorations of all the shadows inside me.
art journaling is now a total way of life.

here are some pages of finger painting as i finished up journal #14…

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