this is my life

i was squatting in a stream this morning to wash the mud out of misha’s clothes when i thought
“this is my life”

how did i get here?
which twists & turns & choices made
led me to this place

i am both grateful for a place to be
to figure out my next step
& anxious
about where that next step will take me.

to help support my journey in exchange for art & writings by me…check out my patreon page.

today on my patron page i share two art journal pages & my recent brush with misanthropy & theories with how isolation feeds a dark part of one’s soul.

surviving myself

i’m staring out the window of a bus
a bus parked forever more
in the hills of western wisconsin
clouds, forests, wildflowers, birds, & bugs (so many bugs)
are right outside my window
& all i feel
is paralyzed
trapped
unable to move forward
because renting requires income
getting a loan requires income
& i am on a bus
with four kids
my ex-husband trying to lure me
back to him
back to life
in an apartment
with him
& each day
i think a little more seriously
about committing
that crime
about sacrificing
myself
to make sure my kids
have a roof over their heads….
i just wish i could look at this amazing view
& feel free
& feel inspired
& feel hopeful
instead
of feeling
doomed
but right now
i have no idea
how to be
that person
how to be
anything
but miserable
& alone.

so i do still have a patreon page where–in theory–y’all could help with my income issues….

though i am not posting as much as i usually do as i am struggling with depression right now as well as the instability of being homeless–er, between homes, rather….
but i will try to get pen to paper & get some new posts up over there soon.

& for my next trick…

surviving myself
may be
the best trick
i have ever done
now you see me
now
you still
see me
i’m still here
manacles
straight jacket
cement shoes
submerged in a tank full of every tear
i have
ever
cried
&
i climbed back out
i
survived.

harpy love song

my heart
shrieks
for you
like a falcon
on the hunt
echoing back
it sounds like a
harpy call
so desperate
lonely
& bitter
i cry to the sound
of my heart
shrieking
& wonder
who could ever
ever
be lulled
by the sound of it.

there is a struggle happening in my heart as i try to find that ever elusive balance between light & dark…hope & despair.

as i contemplate my impending search for a new home for my minions & me & the money involved, i think again, how nice it would be if you would be my patron….

i post almost daily over there & you can read those posts for just a dollar a month.
for five dollars a month, you get all my posts, & i send you a handmade birthday card.
for ten dollars a month, you get all my posts, & i send you two cards annually.
for twenty-five dollars a month, you get to read all my posts, you get two cards, and a commissioned 8X10 inking.

my own reflection

alone
who can i blame
but me
alone
my screams
fall on my own
ears
alone
i look at my reflection
really look
this time
not me reflected
in someone else’s
eyes
but
me
standing before
myself
will i hold
myself
up
or push me
down?

i’m thinking of changing my look. i think i could pull off some faux fur. and maybe martinis might be in order.
i have been sober many days now…it is not pretty.

i am going through some stuff.
what? no? not you!
yes, but different stuff. like my usual stuff is sorted & put away, and now i am on to new stuff.
i feel like i am trying to wriggle out of an old skin…but i am struggling to get that fucker off my back.
lots of anger & snarky behavior…which then causes a spiral of guilt & oh-my-god-i-suckness.
fun fun fun.

i wish i knew how many layers this onion has…how many more levels i have to do before i win.

this is a card i’m sending to my sister for her birthday (shhh)

cable-knit sweater

i pull on my depression
like an off-white
cable-knit
sweater
thick & heavy
like an irish fisherman
would wear
& i pretend
it looks good on me
it’s comfortable
at least
my depression
well-worn
though it is getting
a bit ripe
from being worn
so long
i snuggle deep
into my depression
fantasizing
i can stay there
deeply mired
&
barely aware
of the daily
struggles
that
knit
me such a
snug
sadness.

originally posted on august 29, 2018…i really liked this one & thought it might look good with bamboo pen for the invisible exhibitionist…& i do like the way it looks, but i imagined doing it with a small head being enveloped by the sweater…. however, as usual, my head got away from me.
i might try doing another version–as i love this image & verse so much–but i did like this version enough to post it here.

my mood lately, i wish for that sweater…it’s more like uncomfortable underwear mood right now. something isn’t fitting right, but it’s too much trouble to change my clothes…that’s my mood.
maybe i’ll do a page on that.

looking for answers

it was the early nineties when i had the dream.
i had been in therapy for awhile
terrified of the dark &
miserably unhappy
but one day it lifted and like a light switch
i was happy & no longer afraid–of anything
it was around this time i had the dream
was it before?
was it after?
are the two things related at all?

the dream was disturbing
a crazy-ass dream
where i was a mighty warrior
a tiger
and other clans would send warriors to fight me
i would mercilessly slaughter them
sometimes though
the other clans would send me young girls
to be with
as a way of collecting
my seed….

fucked up, right? that’s a fucked up dream for a 21 year old girl in iowa. i have been thinking about it a lot lately. wondering if the dream & my becoming happy & brave, have anything to do with each other. a past life remembering healing a present life hurting.

in the dream, i was represented as a tiger–but i was human. recently, googling like crazy, all i have been able to figure out is that tiger is representative of warriors and the such in china.
so i started reading up on china’s history to see if i can figure out anything about this dream…but i find myself more drawn to the mongols, of course.

i keep looking to so-called professionals & friends, but as usual, no one ever answers my emails. so i guess i’m on my own.
my own master
the answer to my own question.

the above illustration is a sneak peek at my patreon page post for today. i also have a glimpse of this post on longing to open from the other day:

as well as the very first postcard being sent out to a patron!!

oh! & all of these illustrations remind me that today is the spring equinox
balance between day & night…balance between light & dark…balance between rest & change.
wake up, it’s time to grow
happy ostara!

ghosting illinois

in the spring of 2016
i lived in manitowoc wisconsin
i had begun volunteering
at a community garden
working with
farm to school
& helping to launch
a cooperative grocery
things i had wanted to do
most my adult life
i was doing them
joining a community
on the icy shores
of lake michigan

circumstances changed
my landlord decided
she needed more space
my ex decided
we should try again
my parents moved away
and i had a free place to stay
who doesn’t want
a free place to stay
but
as we all know
nothing
is free

i’m trapped in illinois
isolated
no community
no urban scene
any where near
for
gardening
& creating green spaces
i am stranded
right in the middle
of a giant fucking green space
(turns yellow though
when the corn has tassles)

i want to ghost
illinois
move to a town
large or small
but a town that needs
someone like me
a town that wants
someone like me
a town that loves
someone like me
a town
maybe
in iowa?

throwing a dart at at map. what about decorah iowa? it has nice assonance. i do enjoy a good ass..onance.
i don’t know. any thoughts? anyone?
i have to stay within kid-swapping distance of their dad in southern wisconsin…but i don’t want to be too close. plus people in wisconsin do not like me very much.
i used to live in iowa city. for the first four years of my adulthood i lived in iowa city. and i did love it. i ended up ghosting it because i was 22 & the world beckoned & my therapist wanted me to stop dating & focus on healing…so i skipped town & moved to illinois (briefly) & binged on boys before beginning a state-hopping escapade, full of boys.
but that is another story.
i liked iowa city. and i like the idea of going back to school & being close to friends…but i also like the idea of finding a small community in a picturesque setting.
hmmmm?

i’m hoping to be out of here by my birthday (july 12–mark your calendars!) as both a big happy birthday to me and as a fuck you to my folks who are headed back up here to wrap up loose ends.
i know, really mature…but you should meet my parents before judging my desire to avoid them at any cost.
plus my kids are still traumatized from their last interaction with my parents.
(never ever ever should have moved back here…but that is a lesson learned)

an open book

he says
i never told him
why
when actually
he just never
never listened
to all the times
& all the ways
i did tell him

i have always
been
an open book
that no one wants
to read
i make the words
louder
the pictures
brighter
only to have my cover
snapped
shut
that much quicker

i try so
so hard
to be seen
to be heard
fearing the attraction
i have never gotten
but craving
that
validation
so badly
so fucking
badly

this was originally posted in may of 2018. i re-did the illustration. now it is another finished piece for my the invisible exhibitionist project.  it was based on an egon schiele painting.

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