death of a turkey…

when i was a kid
there was so much violence
so much abuse
so much animal death
my pets gone–just like that
that i learned to disconnect
to stop loving
to stop caring
to stop bonding
and as an adult this continued
this disconnect
i had trouble with relationships
sure that they would leave
or god forbid they had self-destructive tendencies
it was too much for me
i disconnected
i could not bond
and i would try to have pets as an adult
but it was easier to hate them then to love them
love is a fragile thing
so easily killed
i was repulsed by neediness…repulsed by being needed
i closed down
shut off
i often wondered if i could ever even have kids?
was i capable of love at all?
sometimes i still wonder….

shortly after the above picture was taken, a raccoon killed one of my turkeys and injured the leg of another. i named the injured turkey isabeau and took her into my house. i dressed her wound, fed her blue berries and honey and put apple cider vinegar in her water and bathed her when she got too stinky.
months went on. spring turned to summer. her leg healed, but she stopped walking. her non-injured leg became palsied. one wing became disfigured by her always laying on the same side. i would try to put her on her other side–or in a sling–but nothing seemed to help.
and while her brothers & sisters grew huge and mature

she remained frozen in her juvenile state, a third the size of them.

i felt myself turn off. i mean, i cannot pinpoint the exact moment, but it happened. i started being annoyed by her. frustrated with her. dreaming at night that she finally got up and walked again, while watching every day as she just kind of flopped around. i admired her perseverance…but in the end, she just gave up.

i just wish i hadn’t given up first.

i thought i would be relieved when she died. she had become a burden…a difficulty…one more thing to take care of on a busy day. i mean, i knew she would die eventually. there was no way she could continue on like that–what if she tried to lay an egg–that alone would kill her–painfully. she was so vulnerable….
and now she is no longer suffering….

so why do i feel like i failed her? because my heart shut down? because i could no longer muster the energy to care about her even though i was still caring for her?

i don’t like that i learned to shut down when there was danger of pain by abandonment (be it death or whatever.) i want to feel the pain & live through it. i want my heart to warm back up and not be so quick to disappear.

i cried today. i did not expect to cry over my dead turkey.
but, like most mourners, i am not crying for her…i am crying for me.
as i try to assure my kids we did everything we could for her…in my cold heart i feel as if i should have done more…i wish i were capable of having done more.

 

birdie

i finally finished this.
it’s the 12th of february and i have only done 3 inkings.
but that’s okay.
sometimes maybe i get stuck.

okay. lots of times i get stuck.

yesterday, however, i made 10 valentines & mailed them out.

img_3333

 

10 of these in one day. that’s something. they are all just an inkstain with one inking done by pen. no ink brush. no final scribbling with the pen. so a few steps shy of what i would call a finished inking. ┬ábut i did 10 in one day. i did that.

fuck christmas cards (i always forget to send them)…but i sent out valentines…you know, to 10 people. more next year if i get some addresses written down.

so that was fun.

but i’m still a wreck. i wake up every morning thinking i will be able to handle the day. but by sunset, i’m pretty sure i did not handle the day very well.

fuck.

and i need to learn how to milk a sheep.

i’m such a half-assed homesteader. i’ve got sunflower micro greens, potatoes, and spinach growing in my sunroom despite my inability to remember i have things growing out there.
i have spinach & lettuce growing in my cold frame despite my inability to capture and formerly punish the groundhog who keeps raiding it.
and i have broccoli somehow growing in a hoop house despite my inability to keep the structure sound.

and i have livestock reproducing in my yard despite my inattention to the process.

plus i’m going to put in bees and a full garden come spring?

when will i draw? i’m going to have to actually pay attention to my homestead one of these days…not to mention my parenting.

i might be a bit overwhelmed.
i might be a bit stressed.
i might be a bit lonely and wishing i had someone here to tell me that i got this.
because sometimes i just feel like i’m drowning in it all.

alone & drowning.

but i finished another inking.