eat me

i would make
a terrible martyr
i am more akin
to jonah
who had to be consumed
by a whale
before he could embrace
his destiny
oh!
to be eaten by a whale
sounds like a relief
compared
to celebrating
the path
dancing down that path
triumphant
in who i am
& what i need to do.

last night i was ready to give up. i went to bed crying. i don’t know what i’m doing. i feel like everything i do is meaningless. i try to take care of myself, but i still look like crap thanks to having four kids and whatever fucked up genes i have that accompany child birthing with seemingly permanent excess fat loads. i’m all like, who would ever love me? i look like crap. who am i kidding?
and then let’s take a look at my art…my so-called art. my terrible writing. do i even make sense? it sucks. i feel like i am a five year old scribbling in a closet hoping that someone notices…angry that no one notices…crushed that no one notices.
i went to bed crying.
i was going to stop.
stop art.
stop ever expecting love.
stop trying.
i was completely & totally planning on giving up on my so-called life.
no hope for love.
no hope for recognition.
no hope for ever earning an income despite working my ass off every day and going to bed exhausted every night….
my life is futile.
my life is a joke.

then. last night as i was crying in the shower, a spider stared me down. a big furry one. it seemed as disgusted with me as i felt.
then. as i sat dejected at my desk this morning, a swallow flew up to my window. three times. three times exactly.

so being a witch…i try to pay attention to the universe’s messages to me. like with the number thing. if you believe the universe is a living & connected thing, then like master ugwe says, “there are no accidents.”
(i that like better than “everything happens for a reason” which is difficult for me to believe…but, there are no accidents? that kind of makes sense.)
and a bird, a specific bird, flying to my window three times, that seems to be a message.

so i got on google and found this site and this information on swallows as a spirit guide. basically asking, are you fucked up? sad? disconnected from your true self? swallow is here to restore your happiness & to help you embrace your journey in a playful and carefree way.
well fuck me running, that resonated.
so i figured i should check with what spider was telling me in the shower. and there it is. finishing what i start. following my destiny. weaving my magic.
not being overwhelmed.
not quitting.

sigh

okay.
how do i do it? how do i embrace my destiny? how do i dance down my path instead of lying down in the weeds next to it & waiting for something to eat me?

to be continued…
(i wonder what spirit guide will show up next…or just fucking eat me.)

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incomplete

i started doodling and, for a change, it wasn’t me i was doodling
(that’s what she said)
but then it was me…i mean
i snuck into my art journal doodle after all.
then i wrote about it.
usually i start with the words…and then i draw a picture…

that’s all i got today.
but i kinda like my drawing

oh, i have super powers

my super power
is my honesty
my super power is my
crazy thick & out of bounds hair
my super power is my sense of humor
my super power is my
sense of
survival
my super power is my giant
enormous
hands & feet
my super power is my hope
my imagination
my incredible strength
my super power is my sense of wonder
my stubborness
my massive
tremendous
eyebrows
my super power is how i want to live
forever
how i can find a four leaf clover
the way the trees & clouds
talk to me
my super power
is
me…
(my secret weapon is my smile)

sad aloneness

sadness
aloneness
& i wonder how many times
in how many ways
i can say
the same thing
& not be heard?
the comfort
of my invisibility
suffocates me
i want out
i. want. out.
can you hear
me?
please
get me out
of
my own head
before
i decide
i never
want to leave.

i think maybe this project has reached a conclusion…or maybe it will go on forever.
maybe i will go on forever
comforting myself with my own suffocating sadness

or maybe i will start an illustrated memoir.
i should really start an illustrated memoir.

okay.
so…i need an agent & a cheerleader.
someone who can tolerate large doses of bitter animosity & self-pity.
also, must enjoy loud children.

my journey

my life is very much a journey
sometimes
it is a river current
dragging me along
sometimes
it is a careful path
i have forged
sometimes…
not too often…
it is someone else’s path
i follow
sometimes
i love my journey
& am so so excited about it
sometimes
i want to turn around
& it takes all my strength to continue
…i doubt i will reach the end
in this
lifetime
but i pick up my walking stick
& journey on.

my cat curse

as i seek balance
a little of yin
a little of yang
i find that my life
is a braid
not a teeter totter
bits of me
winding together
into a tapestry
making me beautiful
& bringing me peace

have i told you about my cat curse? it is a sad story. i am cursed so that if there is a kitten to be found–i will find it…and for some reason…it is usually a brown tabby of some sort.

but that isn’t the sad part.

midnight was my first cat. as you can guess, he was a black cat. i got him as a kitten when i was eight? nine? my sister adopted his brother, tiger, a brown tabby. tiger died before he could grow up. he was slammed in a car door. one of my early (but not my earliest) pet traumas.
but i digress.
midnight grew up to be a massive tomcat. being country people, my folks did not neuter him or let him in the house. he was always coming home with bits & parts of him missing from fighting, and i loved him fiercely.
one day my baby brother was given a pet rabbit. one day my older sister put the rabbit on the deck in a cardboard box.
midnight did what came naturally to a big–never a housecat–tomcat who finds a prey animal in a cardboard box outside. he broke nester the long-eared rabbit’s neck.
my dad promptly, and with a smile, shot my cat.

salem was my next attempt to love a cat. he was black also. i got him from a pet store when i was barely old enough to be a grown up. he came complete with an upper respiratory infection. his sickness repelled me in that i could see his mortality…and i failed to bond with him. i found him a new home.

sylvia was a black kitten given to me by my ex-boyfriend when i asked him if i could cat-sit his brown tabby, mishka,  while he went to study abroad in russia. i didn’t want a real cat. i wanted a temporary cat. sylvia was adopted by my roommate.

then i started finding kittens–or were they finding me?

jack was a brown tabby kitten i found while i was visiting home in illinois and walking country roads. he followed me all the way home. i took him to the vet to get shots, and he mauled the vet who then told me, “this will never be a pet cat.”
i never returned to that vet, and i was able to find jack a home with my sister & her husband where he lived to be an old cat.

gruesome was a brown tabby kitten i found in northern kentucky where i was squatting with my redneck boyfriend. gruesome had the upper respiratory infection that many cats get–he was crusty & snotty &, well, gruesome. i reluctantly agreed to my horrible, awful boyfriend’s proposal that we should just put him out of my misery. then i changed my mind & decided that i would take gruesome & leave my boyfriend…but i was too late.

gomez was a brown tabby kitten i found in downtown lexington kentucky. when i took him to a vet, i found out he had feline AIDS and could not be around other cats. i thought, “perfect, then i cannot adopt another cat.” and i took him in & my dog loved him and then one day the neighbor’s dog burst into my apartment and chased gomez away. i never found him again.

maude was a one year old torti-tabby i found in athens, georgia when i was taking my girls from the at-risk shelter to visit the animal shelter. we were going to go to the dog shelter, but one of my girls had the wrong shoes on–so we went to the cat shelter and i fell in love with this beautiful cat named “moonshine” and ended up adopting her and changing her name to maude. things were going well with maude until…

lola, a torti-tabby kitten, and  her brother came running up to me in my backyard in rural georgia. lola matched maude, so i thought it was kismit. however, maude had been surrendered after having a litter of kittens that her owners kept–deciding to get rid of maude instead. needless to say, maude hated kittens. she began over-eating and pooping everywhere and i spent a lot of money to save her, but my bond with her was disrupted (as i am unable to bond when i think i might lose someone–it’s in another post about my dead turkey….) and lola was a bit of a jerk–so i never really bonded with her either. i did keep both of them for many years before lola was surrendered to the humane society because i was afraid she would bite the kids…and maude ended up at my mother-in-law’s house where she died naturally.

at some point when i was in georgia–someone i knew found a pair of neonatal kittens and didn’t know what to do. being one of those people who volunteers to do things when no one else will–i took on the kittens and learned how to care for neonatals. they were later adopted once they were old enough.

in wisconsin, working at a humane society, it was discovered that i knew how to care for neonatal kittens, and being that no one else was very willing to take on this task, i started taking care of litters of kittens that came in. i figured it worked for me because i am one of the few people in the world that kittens have power over, and i would gladly give them back to the humane society once they were old enough to be adopted. then came…

moose who was a brown tabby kitten…maybe one week old? (she was so named because i was also fostering a squirrel baby at the time–get it? moose & squirrel?) she was a singleton and the humane society usually just euthanized singletons because they used up the time of volunteers who could be caring for an entire litter, but it was no longer kitten season and i had no other litters to raise. so i agreed to take her on.
another reason singletons are risky is due to the fact that not having litter-mates & a mama to learn manners from, they can turn into violent, little jerks. moose, at six weeks, started showing the personality of psychopath kitty. i had maude & lola…and my huband had a beige tabby named max…but i knew that if i returned moose to the humane society and she bit someone, she would be euthanized. so i adopted her. she was always good with us–only biting company–and remains my favorite ever cat, but after i started having kids, i started to worry. then one day maude had a stroke, and after that moose got even more squirrelly. i was able to place her with “friends of ferals” recognizing that she did not want to be an indoor cat and that she was half-wild.

pepper is a brown tabby me & the kids adopted from the humane society in wisconsin when we lived somewhere where the only allowed pet was a cat and my kids were going insane about wanting a dog. pepper’s shelter name was “talisman.” he is wonderful with kids and still lives with us, but i still struggle with the whole having a cat reality. he has become more of fidgit’s cat than anyone else.

then we came back to rural illinois–stray cat central. both springs we have been here, i have been taking the kittens of a feral calico into the humane society (yes, i know, i need to trap her & get her spayed–it is on my to-do list.)  this spring i even had to use my neonatal skills when we found one of the kittens too soon. i thought i was in the clear for the rest of the year…but then, driving down the road while dusty was visiting, i spotted a kitten. we passed it and ran errands as usual and then driving home, dusty slowed down.”
“are you looking for the kitten?” i asked jokingly.
he was not–he just drives slow sometimes.
“well, there it is,” i said, spotting an 8 week old kitten, brown tabby of course, hanging out on the side of a country road.
dusty, a cat person, stopped.
i got out, and the kitten meowed & ran up to me. little fucker seemed to know me…so as i write this, he sits on my lap. sleeping. watery eyes as he fights off an upper respiratory infection and he is not using a litter box–pooping everywhere–because he is a wild baby who has never seen a litter box and i do not have the money for another pet or for vet bills and it is just a bad bad bad idea…yet somehow i cannot bring myself to drop him at the humane society as i have every other kitten i have found here (seriously, they probably spot me coming & know i have kittens for them)….

am i ready, universe? am i ready to accept this talisman and to let the wounds heal? the betrayals i have felt by my pets when they have turned out to be…mortal & flawed? the deep anger i have at myself for my own human flaws and inabilities to love and be a good person?

am i ready now?