buffering

“keep your distance”
is what my energy worker
tells me
is lurking in the energy field
just next to my skin
& i know
it is true
true of me now
& for as long
as i can remember
i don’t let
anyone
close
i am an open book
friendly even
sometimes…
but there is always
that invisible buffer
to keep you
form getting
too close
to me.

ah yes, the walls of the emje. carefully built & tended.
of course, in my tarot yesterday, i drew an upside down warrior who told me: putting up walls is a sign of weakness–not strength.
poop.
i guess i might need to dismantle the catapult and bake some muffins…
but seriously, after a lifetime of keeping everyone away, how do i learn to let people in?

messed up

if i identify
as broken
if my narrative
is
what a mess
i am…
what then?

just trying to work the feelings out. that fucked up self-talk can really do a number on you.
i really don’t know what i would do without my being able to ink it out.
art therapy, y’all.

dove soup

the dove sits on the telephone wire
watching me do yoga, poorly
like i was feeling out of sorts
& yoga only confirmed
how badly my mind & body
are aligned. how ungrounded
how uncentered i am
& the bird watches all of it
through my picture window…
usually a lone mourning dove
is a comfort
an echo of my own lonely heart
but today it feels like a taunting
a mockery
& all i want to do
is shoot the damn thing off of its
spy’s perch
& have dove soup for lunch.

deconstructing

i feel like anger
has been woven into me
& now
i need to undo all these fibers
work backward
get the knot out
the fucked up stitch
& re-weave myself
into the person
i need to be
the person
i want to be
but
fuck me
it feels like so much work.

of course, if i don’t do the work, that will drive me crazy. looking at the mess of me will bug me until i finally do do the work.
and i will do it.
i will. just, right now, i could really use a nap.

“lydia”
8X10 ink on watercolor paper
$45 ish

to give a fuck or…

opposite this page in my journal is a list of ALL the people i have been “romantically” involved with from love letters to handjobs on amtraks to every position ever….
it is exactly the same as the number of u.s. presidents!
i was looking for a pattern. i think i secretly have a math brain because i do enjoy me some patterns.

in other news. i picked up a copy of mark manson’s the subtle art of not giving a fuck at the suggestion of my friend & fellow blogger, jason sandberg.
it’s pretty much a philosophy i have been following forever with many life suggestions i had already figured out through all my obsessive naval gazing…but it’s still nice to hear someone else say it.
so now i am wondering what i have to do to get a quote from mr. manson for my book the invisible exhibitionist where i expose everything in my own struggles with and embracing of a couldn’t-give-a-fuck mindset. hmmm…. anyone know him?

something i am examining from mr. manson’s book is that i have chosen my own struggles. sometimes, when i am wallowing in my sinkhole–completely overwhelmed, i act as if my life is not of my own choosing…when it so much is. four kids & a fixer upper…life as a starving artist & single mother…. that’s all on me. i did that. like, on purpose even. now what?
i will let you know what i figure out from this.

i

fraud alert

seeing my books
on discount
hit me much harder
than i expected
i am already too fragile
of late
my exhibitionist
more exposed
than invisible me

i’m trying to fly instead of falling…but i just keep tripping over myself. what the what. i hate this. i guess i need to take a breath & not push me too hard…but i can’t let me slip backwards either.
in other news, i had to fire my handyman as i am sinking further & further into debt and guessing i have to figure out how to fix madness manor by myself?
so tired of doing things by myself….
and as getting by on my good looks is not panning out…i had to get a paying job, but at least it is working with plants. of course, now i have to worry that i am not actually qualified to work with plants….
there was a personality test with the job application. i was sure i blew the personality test. who the fuck would hire me?
but they did hire me.
why? i’m not sure i would hire me.
and after i post this, i am headed over to the viroqua public market to drop off more art because my drawer at home is overflowing. now my spot at the market will be overflowing…i only sold just one last month.
i googled how to promote myself….
fuck.
i peeked out…couldn’t find my shadow…and now i’m headed back into my hidey hole.

coming soon!

tara over at raw earth ink sent me a sample of things to come for my next publication
the invisible exhibitionist!
so exciting!
for you who weren’t with me from 2017 through 2019, i was obsessively inking self-portraits & vomiting free verse in an attempt to root out the damage that kept me broken.
i wrote about everything & anything that went through my head or that i felt inside me.
i exorcised as many demons as i could find
& ended up making friends with a few of them.
i did almost 500 pages of self-portraits.
during 2020, i hung up a show at a local art spot & more than one person told me it should be a book.
so!
it’s going to be a book.
every time i read what i wrote back then, it makes me cry all over again. i was a raw as i could be.
and i share that rawness in hopes that someone who needs to see it will. in hopes that i can help at least one person not feel alone.
i am looking forward to seeing it all together in one book.

song sung blue

these pieces are from a year ago
many art journal pages
lamenting my lonely heart
yet i somehow survived
& i will keep on
keeping on
from one valentine’s day
to the next.

up top: “song sung blue”
bottom left: “chances”
bottom right: “fear of success”

9X12 inking on watercolor paper
$45 plus $5 for shipping & handling

a fool’s game

i’m already ready
to jump
it would be a bad idea
to push me
don’t bet on me
the odds are
astronomical
i’m already ready
to run
don’t open any doors
i live comfortably with one foot
out
already
faith in me
is a fool’s
game.

art journal pages as i try to determine what stays in my hot air balloon & what to chuck out so i don’t crash. yesterday i was a ship…today i am blowing in the wind. fragile and full of hot air.
i can’t guess–day to day–what is going to happen in my head.
i’m okay with that…but how can i expect someone else to be?

up & down

in order to not lose myself
in the needs of others
i have to prioritize…
being the captain of my ship
i have to prioritize
my ship
& crew
& me
the captain
if i want to weather the storms
that blow through
if someone who is not
me
or mine
needs attention…
well
there are times
stormy times
when i just can’t give it
&
i refuse to apologize
for that.

something i am working through. that up & down of trying to have a social life without compromising my home life & inner life.
it’s a balancing act
and sometimes i just have to shut my door & put up the sign reading, “go away; mental health break in progress”
on the bright side, i get a lot more art done when i’m in my hidey hole!

up top: “heart song”
bottom left: “less than amazing”
bottom center: “lost”
bottom right: “my funny valentine”

9X12 inkings on watercolor paper…$45 each

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