one year at madness manor

i could stare at the hills
for days
lost
in the green
every shade of green
lost
in the dappled
shadows
i could stare at the hills
for days
like i have finally
found
what i have been looking for.

when i was a kid i would literally sit in my yard and stare at the horizon. my horizon then was actually the levy of the mackinaw river and the hills around the river valley as i grew up in one of the few places that isn’t flat in central illinois. i would stare at the trees on this levy, my horizon, as a way to survive the horrors of my childhood. staring at the horizon, i would plan my escape and imagine just getting up and leaving. i spent my childhood just waiting for the time i could finally go. run the fuck away.

now, when i look at the horizon–which is much closer now but very similar to that river valley in illinois–i have no feelings of escape. i just feel…content. home. peaceful even.
like i have arrived.
i somehow made it after thirty-three years of searching.

i am home.

girls girls girls

mostly i’m just staring at blank pages
blank canvases
a busy mind
spilling ink
& seeing what happens….

so this past week i have spent $300 that i don’t have to pay two different plumbers for a total of 15 minutes of work. i am broke as a joke & living on credit and praying to the universe that art sells…that books sell…that this job comes through…that my ex gets a job & starts paying me child support again…that i somehow win the award issued by the sustainable arts foundation despite four or so failed attempts to win it in years past….

i need to learn plumbing…in addition to carpentry & tiling.
or sell art so i can afford to pay for help.

up top: “gretchen”
20X16 inking on canvas
$200 plus shipping

left: “clarice”
8X10 inking on watercolor paper
$40 plus shipping

right: “lambkins”
8X10 inking on watercolor paper
$40 plus shipping

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.

tea & anxiety

my anxiety has been on high
waiting for chimney work
having chimney work hit a snag
taking 2 days instead of one
then having buyer’s remorse about
my woodburning cookstove
& spending a night
having chest cramping panic attacks
while wondering if i wasted all this money
to follow a half-baked dream…
sigh.
i have little voices who tell me that i should take this other path
be unconventional
& other little voices telling me that i am just a huge fuck up
and that i should have done it like everybody else….

but today i feel good. i love my stove & my house is warm and now i know the difference between celsius and fahrenheit (i totally burned my pizza, y’all.)
it’s going to be okay…
it’s going to be okay….

up top: “mother morrigan”
down low: “tea & anxiety”
9X12 inking on watercolor paper
$45

heat me up

day 141
at madness manor
i turn on the heat
using my fancy-dansy
ductless mini-split
on exactly
the same day
i have the cast iron
radiators
hauled away for scrap
meanwhile
with a yard full of stacked wood
& a woodburning stove
squatting on my porch
i am still
navigating
the adaption of my capped chimney
into a working
heat source.

i keep hoping the woodstoves will be installed before the snow comes…but every day i wonder if that is a pipe dream. it’s a bit chilly in madness manor, but i have four lovely minions to keep me warm.

unfinished

i grew up in a house
that was never
finished
a house that was never
whole
the house was built
before i was born
but remained
always
unfinished
incomplete
through my entire life there
after i left
they built a sunroom
remodeled the prison cell style
bathroom
carpeted
the basement
but still left the house
unfinished
incomplete
i cannot imagine
the house i grew up in
as ever finished
but as i look around the unfinished
house
i live in now
i can clearly see it whole
if not
finished.

so how much did it affect me to grow up in a house that was never finished? was it a reflection on my birth family? my parents?
it kind of drove me crazy. two large rooms in the house just became a parking garage for crap. they could have been finished. they just never were.
what does this say?
now i have my madness manor which has missing floor. missing walls…. & i wonder, am i just socialized now to accept an unfinished house…or did i buy an unfinished house so i could finally finish the unfinished part of me?
does any of this make sense?
(it totally does to me)

this is the last page of my art journal started on april 6th of this year. while i was trying to ink my monarch woman, i watched a monarch butterfly flit around the flowers in my yard. seemed kismit at the time 🙂

eight years…

wordpress just let me know it’s my eight year anniversary
whoa
how my art
my writing
& my way of viewing myself
the world
& relationships
has changed in eight years…
maybe not anything earth shattering
but
everything
has gotten a bit more proportional at least

this is a character from a story i played around with eight years ago in an art class. a story i still hope to finish developing one day.
eight years ago i was about to give birth to my fourth & final child. i was in an awful & emotionally abusive relationship with the dad. eight years ago i was attending art classes at uw and had just spawned moses jones. eight years ago i was in a lot of pain.
i somehow survived.
now i love & adore my four little monsters even when they are driving me mad. i no longer go to the dark dark places i went to back then–or at least i can still see the light when the dark decends. i can successfully ward off the wooings of the dad (who just this past weekend tried his hand at seducing me again.) i can suffer through the loneliness knowing i am who i am & am not going to accept anything less. i am working on my third publication. i am (slowly) selling art. i am working on a novel while editing two other books i wrote years ago to see if they are publishable….
and! i have my madness manor & my breathtaking view of the hills around me. i have a home–in more sense than one.
i have found my home.

soul mates

just doodling.
i never really know what i am doodling until it’s doodled.
i never know if i am going to like it or not.
i still haven’t decided about this one.

in other news…i am still trying to figure out a way to make money.
i slashed prices on all of my art.
i was thinking i could start selling baked goods…but i still don’t have an oven or a chimney….
man i need a chimney.
it’s going to be cold this winter if i don’t have my woodburning stoves up & going.
i have a yard full of hard wood stacked.
i have a woodburning stove on my porch.
but i have no chimney & cannot find a mason for the life of me….

oh, and i need income
because i am running low on funds….

so empty

i’m so empty
there’s an echo
as my soul calls out
looking for its other
i’m so lost
i’m like e.t.
after he phoned home
& no one answered
i wonder
if i even deserve
the treasure i seek
is there any reason
i should find
a true love
when so many others
never do?

sometimes i really deplore myself for all the energy i spend on feeling sad & alone.
like i could be doing so many other things!
looking for life’s meaning (assuming it is not to find that so-called other half)…writing the great american novel…working on my comics…working on madness manor…letting my big brain be all it can be…finding a deeper significance to my existence….
but no
here i am sulking about being alone & lonely.
fuck me.

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