begin again

grizzly bear dreams
daring me
to trust
to love
to open the door
that i slam
shut
in fear
that door
i use all my strength
to hold
shut…
what happens
if i open
the door
& discover
my grizzly bear
is
a
teddy bear?

these are the first two pages of a brand new journal.
a brand new world
a brand new me?
i have dreamt of grizzly bears in the past & was able to analyze myself back then & realize that the grizzly was my fear of motherhood. then i stopped dreaming of them & haven’t dreamed of them in years.
but the other morning, i woke up to another terrifying grizzly bear dream. i am never harmed in the dreams, however, i am extremely scared & take measures to avoid being attacked.
in the case of this most recent dream, i slammed a door shut & begged others to help me hold it shut.
upon waking, since i identify with grizzly bears & have a medicine card deck (identifying the grizzly as protector of my feminine) i am able to be aware that the grizzly is not a threat to me & being my feminine protector, grizzly bear advocates for self-love (as well as love of others & motherhood.)
so i am afraid of loving myself? i have been working on learning to love myself…which i’m guessing resulted in this dream, reminding me of how silly it is to be afraid.
so!
i began to envision opening the door and hugging that huge grizzly bear head instead of trying so hard to keep her out of my life.

the violence we inherit

i wonder as i replant all of the basil babies
my son’s cat
dug up in the night
i wonder
was there a voice in my dad’s head that day
a voice that urged him to stop
or to at least take a beat
& think
about what he was doing
as he loaded his gun
or was he too loaded himself
sound voices unable to reach a brain fevered
with the excitement of an excuse
to do violence
what did he think about 
as he blew out my cat’s brains
& destroyed the last of my childhood dreams of love
dreams of feeling loved
of feeling safe
as much as i want to do violence
to my son’s cat
i will not
i know the feeling will pass
i know it is important not to hurt my son
know if is wrong to hurt an animal
who is just doing what animals do
i hope my son
feels loved
i hope he feels safe
i hope his cat appreciates that even though i am 
sometimes void
of the empathy that normally haunts me
i am able to recognize right
from wrong
however
even though i assure myself that i am not
my father
i am grateful to the cat
for having the sense to hide
before i found my damaged seedlings
so that belief
did not have to be
challenged.

i don’t remember how old i was when it happened. i’m pretty sure a lot of the details were told to me. but i don’t remember by whom. all i know…or all i was told…was that my sister had put nester the bunny, my baby brother’s pet, on the deck in a cardboard box. my sister did this so she could clean the living room. she cleaned in an obsessive-compulsive way. she cleaned because it was something she could control. she cleaned to survive. so nester was put in a cardboard box on our deck so my sister could do what she had to do.

my cat was a farm cat as my parent’s didn’t believe in house cats. my cat was a big tomcat covered in scars. i loved my cat like nothing else. 

my cat found the bunny and with his own set of survival skills, he broke nester’s neck. this is what i was told.

i remember that midnight then ran under the deck to hide. i am not sure how he knew to hide. but that is where my dad found him. telling the story for years after, my dad would say my cat was laughing at him while my dad pulled the trigger.

what about me?

where was i? was i screaming? was i crying? i remember knowing. i knew my cat was going to be shot. what did i do? was there anything i could have done?

i was already damaged by this point in my life. recent readings have me wondering if i suffer from attachment disorder due to emotional & then physical barriers that kept my mother from bonding with me as an infant & into my childhood.and the violence my father was capable of kept me in a pretty constant state of fear. i am pretty sure i was just hanging on by a thread at this point. my dad had already been responsible for at least one other instance of killing someone i loved when he put my pet mouse out in the rain. 

i think this was it.

the straw that broke the camel’s back and left me unable to love. to trust. to bond with another living creature.

…until i had children of my own and found a fierce love somehow…somehow…still burning inside me.

“foxy” 16X20 inking on canvas…$200

congestion

my nose & my chimney are clogged
is it me?
how do i get things
moving
without filling a house with smoke
or a handkerchief
with snot?

that free verse moment was brought to you by a congested head which is too tired & too muddled to continue its thought….
i keep forgetting i am a powerful amazing goddess…instead only seeing my lumps, bumps, and grey hairs.
however!
i have begun…or rather stopped…stopped pretending. in my relationship with the dad. i have stopped playing the game with him that we are some happy family despite the years of betrayal & my having divorced him. once literally and a dozen times more figuratively.

“hallmark moment” one of the many inkings to be found in my new book the invisible exhibitionist!

i have found that i have this desire to want to make people happy.
what the fuck, right?
okay, it might be a good desire…except for the fact that one person cannot actually make another person happy. and also the fact that i will then try to grant their wishes at the expense of my own happiness or comfort. and, sure, when it’s my kids, yeah, i can make the sacrifice on occasion…but when it’s my ex-husband? the one who is quick to turn on me? the one with the laundry list of grudges towards me? the one i cannot trust any further than i can throw him?
fuck that.
so i’m not playing house with the ex anymore. seriously. i’m stopping.

the beautiful artwork at the top of the post was done by my lovely daughter.

the invisible exhibitionist

the invisible exhibitionist was, in part, my response to social media. being a highly sensitive introvert, social media was especially difficult for me. why was everyone happy but me?
so instead of posting selfies with perfect hair, i inked how i saw myself, warts & all. instead of photos of my delicious meal or fantastic vacation, i posted free verse that glorified all of my short comings as a mother. as a daughter. as a friend & lover. 

i didn’t want to show everyone how well i was doing, i wanted to reassure others that they were not alone in their struggles.

the invisible exhibitionist is available through lulu.com or contact me for an autographed copy. 

image is “feral” one of the self-portraits from my book

no, you’re emo….

my heart is cold
& smells 
of rotting flesh
the turkey vultures
circle
sensing
my surrender
my heart is cold
& black
with defeat
it feels like a stone
in my chest
pulling me 
down
as i 
fall.

how was your mother’s day? 
why the fuck can’t i not sink into a terrible place on this day of mothers?
let’s not think too hard about it. let’s just have a drink and wait for the day to end.
i know it’s a hallmark holiday. i know it’s petty…but i can’t help but want to set fire to the father of my children and watch the burnt flesh fall off of him when i think about all he had to do was help the kids make me something/buy me something…some token…some little fucking whisper to say i am valued.
but no. impossible. totally impossible. even in this day & age where he likes to pretend he was baptized by dr. phil.
i know that on father’s day i will buy a rosemary plant (because he loves rosemary plants & killed the last one he stole from me) & put a ribbon on it & have the kids make cards & give it to him as if it were their idea….
and i imagine again the warmth that would come off of his flaming body….

i really don’t know if my kids value me or not. i really don’t. and maybe that’s another one of my shortcomings. another one of my flaws. maybe i fucked it all up. i mean, the two oldest are sixteen & fourteen and they can’t even be bothered to bring me something to plant? even after i told them where to go for it?

but i do like to pretend one day they will grow me a pot of marigolds and maybe bake a chocolate cake and say, “hey, thanks for being a good mom. thanks for sacrificing everything for us. we value you.”

ps. my kids did go & get me flowers to plant on the day after mother’s day…of course by then my mental collapse was complete.
my poor children.

of course i was spinning out on mother’s day

sometimes 
you have to dip your toe
back into that
pool of pain
sometimes
you have to take a sip
of your sweet misery
sometimes
you have to
dive in
wallow
swallow
drown yourself
baptize yourself
rise again
& face another day
forgiving 
yourself
but never 
quite
forgetting
who you were then
who you are now
so you never
have to do it
again.

on this seventeenth mother’s day, i obsess about mother’s day number ten. on that day we returned home from a trip to manitowoc after visiting a friend, the dad hurried ahead of me to our apartment. i was unloading the car, herding our four minions, oblivious.
however, once in our apartment, i happened to look out the window to see the dad throwing something into the dumpster. this struck me as odd because the dad never took out the trash. 
so, being in the midst of a fucked up relationship where things were constantly being done behind my back, i went out & looked in the dumpster.
there i found a bouquet of beautiful flowers and a letter from the dad’s crazy stalker girlfriend. but instead of being addressed to him, they were addressed to me. 
would he have thrown them out if they were for him?
the dad had never gotten me flowers (or anything else) for mother’s day because “she’s not my mother.” i was actually touched that his crazy stalker girlfriend had gotten me flowers. beautiful flowers. despite the betrayal involved in her fucking the dad as we tried (again) to be a family.
he could have let me have the goddamned flowers. 
i would have liked any flowers on mother’s day.
but once again my mother’s day was in a dumpster….

comic art therapy

i have been brainstorming this comic for a week or more. which mostly means i doodle faces while i binge-watch shows (my kids are at their dad’s.)

it is still very much a work in progress…but i do like to share my process with y’all.
i have decided on five main characters…five reluctant mothers.
fun fact, the working title for this comic was: motherfucking twats & cunts. so i think i did manage at least to make it a little more accessible by changing the name to reluctant mothers.
the characters are based on mythological creatures…but they are everyday mums as well.

as always, if you want to support my art & creations, you are welcome to donate funds towards my struggles. you can find paypal information on my love for sale page as well as my artist for hire page, and a ko-fi donation link is on my me (nutshelled) page.
along with notta not-a-boy, i will be exorcising my motherhood demons along side my gender demons via comic art therapy.

and i have also been playing with the idea of revivifying my old comic weener’s coop to continue exorcising my intentional community demons….

and i am still working on my novel.
oh, and i’m a mom…living in a fixer-upper who needs fixing up…sigh.
stay tuned

breaking waves

the ocean of me
is trapped
in a bottle
kept on a dusty
shelf
i am the crashing
waves
the storm soaked sea
i am a siren
who has been
silenced
i long to shatter
the glass
of that bottle
escaping his hold
but
he has made me
afraid
of making a mess
he has taken
my boat rocking nature
& left me
feeling
helpless.

contemplations on why i am unable to break the bind that my ex holds me with. i don’t want to be with him, and i wish for a world where i never had to see him again…. but as the father of my children, i have to try to be tame towards him.
but it’s more than that. i feel like he has somehow silenced me. it’s one of the reasons i left him. i am muted when i am with him. i am not allowed to be mean…to be my feral self. he is able to turn me into someone i am not.
but why do i let him do that to me?
that’s the million dollar question.
if i can tame the chaos of my life to meditate on this, i will.
i truly believe, that if i can break the bind he has on me, i will be a better mother & a more confident person.
it’s been almost twenty years of this. such a big part of my life ensnared. it was better for awhile, when i only had to see him on drop offs & pick ups…but since he has been unemployed, he is insinuating himself into my life more than ever…& i let him? why do i let him?
why am i afraid to tell him “no”? why am i afraid to stand up for myself?
i just want to be free again. why can’t i figure out how?

farts

life moves forward
art helps keep me sane
as well as writing random things down
for me
to remember
like
in my household
“it is only funny when i fart”
says everyone.

trying new things

are we just bundles
of cells
hurtling through space
on some rock
whose movements
are all do to an attraction
to a ball of gas?
or is there
more….

crisis of faith. right? who’s with me? but if i don’t believe in something greater than myself…what then? it doesn’t help that i have at least two nihilistic little anarchists running around my house declaring there is no point to it all.

fuck a duck.

i am playing around with ink on canvas as i feel my scorpio’s need to keep on growing & transforming. i have a huge (like 3′ X 4′?) sized canvas i want to do a mural on. but first i am practicing on some canvases i have been hauling around with for almost 20 years.

also, i am going to write one (or two) more pages of moses jones before putting her away. i don’t know if she is done or not, but i want to focus on other projects so i am bringing her to a stopping point so i can move on.

there are a number of projects always whirling around in my brain. i think i need to just throw a dart, pin one down, and get busy.

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