INKtober twenty-fourth

when i have first
swept him out of my life
my heart
every first time
i vow not to be his
every time
i feel
lighter…clearer…relieved
but
he is able to stick
in my heart
in my head
in my life
due to our children
together
the life that is woven
together
&
i do love him
i do
& it isn’t easy
to keep that love buried
it crawls back
out of the grave
& he keeps ready
waiting
for another chance…
one day
i will figure out how
to have love
without
confusion
one day
but i am
over-the-top
filled-to-the-brim
with my feelings
they spill out of me
they spill out
all over
the place
causing chaos
creating confusion…
one day
one day
i will learn
how to have my feelings
without my feelings
having
me.

it’s a bit clunky as verse, this thought. but i was writing it to a friend & thought it deserved to be fleshed out a bit.

i always think i don’t get more done, art-wise, because i am not trying hard enough, but–holy crap–my days are long & hard.
between cooking for & cleaning up after four kids, training a puppy, figuring out a budget on almost no income, doing the bare minimum (sometimes more!) to look after a large crumbling  3 bedroom on five acres with livestock & gardens….
i don’t really have much time for art.
but art keeps me sane.
so i find time.

i’m working on illustrating a story for someone.
also, i just got an order for a set of ten thank you cards (my underwater collection) from my librarian.
plus i am determined to finish inktober.
and need to do new moses jones.
art keeps me busy…er.

on a different note, i would like to brag that my 11 week old puppy knows “sit” & “down” & is in the process of learning “stay” “come” “shake” & “sit pretty.”
she is a quick study.
house training is still difficult, but she is way ahead on her vocabulary skills.

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plus she is super cute even though it turns out that she is part velociraptor.

donovan’s critiques of this page:
“you never wear yellow.”
“you don’t have freckles.”
“you don’t have a hat like that.”
“your neck is too long.”

in fairness, my freckles may be fading with autumn, but he also denied that he had freckles…which he totally does. while all of my children have developed freckles throughout their lives, donovan was born with freckles. kisses from the sun, my mom used to tell me.
freckles are cool.

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INKtober twelfth (beached)

i am paralyzed
no matter which way i go
i am certain
i will fuck
it
up
i am trapped
my life
a torture chamber of indecision
i want to go
i just want to take off
run away
say “fuck it”
& start all over…
but if i do
will i soon regret it?
will i always
always regret it?
i don’t want to be
alone
anymore
but i will
surely
choose
the wrong company
the wrong companion
&
i will
find
myself
missing my solitude…
there is nothing
nothing
i can do
right
i am frozen
frozen
in fear
of
being
me.

so the official inktober prompt of the day (which i am by no means required to use in order to participate in inktober) is “whale.”
while i love drawing whales & am especially fond of humpback whales…it seemed more suitable for me to beach myself.
so this is me
beached.

on a similar note–i realized today that i have no idea how to spell “12th” as a word…good thing my 12 year old knew…(wait–i think i see a pattern)

& i am going through a rough patch. i find myself thinking i should quit the homestead adventure…or, at least, curtail it…. i also want to quit illinois & head back north/northwest (not in a hitchcock way.)
but all this is waaaaaaaaaaay easier said than done when one is broke but with a yard full of livestock living rent-free.
also
i want to be closer to my ex-husband…in more ways than one…& history shows that to be a bad idea…but i am notoriously bad about history.
both of these things are weighing heavily on me. resulting in mental exhaustion & severe bouts of crying as i question every motive i have and every bad decision i have ever made.
it super sucks.
i’m not sure i want to be me right now. i feel like i’m just a complete fuck up waiting for my next fuck up.

inktober starts tomorrow….

i did it in 2016 and it inspired my whimsical ink series which was just me spilling ink & finding images in it.
i started to do it last year, but then petered out. except it did start my self-portrait series….
so, i totally should do it–if for no other reason–to discover/uncover another layer of my art. right?
right.

i have been a bit awol this past week. i am still writing…but i have not done any ink (another reason i should do inktober–to get my pen moving again!)

IMG_1693
i got a new goat (vincent van goat)

IMG_1611
and a new puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (bluejean boogie) who i am just a little excited about & preoccupied with training & socializing…& staring at dreamily…who needs a relationship or a new baby…i got a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_1692

heavy heart

one of those lives
where it feels like
you can’t do anything right
grand ideas
living by example
trying to change the world
but your bees die
your garden grows
away from you
and no one can find
the duck eggs
you’re ready to throw in the trowel
on this homesteading gig
go back to town
have neighbors who don’t poison
the fields around you
kids for your kids
to play with
long walks to parks & libraries.
sure you have to give up
big clear skies of endless stars
& listening to the coyotes & bullfrogs
sing at night…
bury away a couple dreams…
but
you’ll dig up new ones.

i am sucking hard at homesteading right now. and this will be the third time i have used the joke “throw in the trowel” without one single chuckle.

my ophelia fantasies

why do i find
thoughts of death
my own death
by my own hand
so comforting?
when i am
weeping & wailing
& life seems so
so fucking unbearable
i just think of laying down
in the stinky
green
pond
back yonder
the one
the ducks
won’t even swim in…
just a short nap
y’all
then i’m sure
i will be as right as rain.

this is a comic i did. one page of confusion perfume. i wrote it a long long time ago…before i was a mom.
time has passed. things have changed. but i still have my olphelia fantasies.

badgers

i feel…
isolated
depressed
overwhelmed
hopeless
like life is too much
like my little problems
are just too fucking
much
i try to remind myself
other people
have more to deal with
than
my stupid life
but
i’m just so tired
tired of struggling
tired of being
alone
tired of believing
every decision i make
is just going to make things
worse
because
every decision i have made
has just made
everything
worse.

(but i made this badger inking.
i did do that.)

status update: overwhelmed

the minions returned on tuesday–i drive & meet dusty half-way to wisconsin. usually we do the swap at a rest area, but dusty volunteered to meet at culver’s & have a birthday dinner for misha (for anyone not in the midwest of the u.s., culver’s is a wisconsin based hamburger chain–the only chain restaurant i willingly eat at.)
so i spent too much time with dusty for my own good–upcoming pages on that!
and i got my four wild children back for the rest of the month.
add on to that an explosion of ducklings. my muscovies enjoy hatching eggs, but then they abandon the babies leaving me to find duckling bits around the yard. if i am lucky, i find them before they are dead, but it’s about 50/50 at this point.
additionally,
my brain is not able to completely come to terms with life & death on the farm & instead of staying up nights stressing about having to butcher lambs, i decided to get rid of my ram (so no more pregnant ewes) & to just have some fat, happy ewes eating grass. someone offered to buy my ram–luke (pictured above after a horn injury.) luke is a sweet ram & iggy (my child who is convinced i don’t love him–or so he says) is very attached to him. so there is a lot of drama over his leaving. we are all very sad. plus, the couple buying him wanted a ewe to go with him so they could start breeding. so we had to send our beautiful buttercup with him. which is also sad. plus buttercup left behind the other ewe & buttercup’s six month old lamb. so everyone, me–iggy–& all the sheep–have been crying since yesterday when luke & buttercup left.
good news. they are going to live on pasture of a small farm & get to have babies. the other options for sheep aren’t as nice. so i am happy they are going somewhere nice…but feel like a penniless jerk because i am unable to give them a home–forcing them into the scary move & causing all the other sheep (& iggy) to be sad.
but i keep thinking of winter & all the hay i need to buy…plus not wanting to “deal” with lambs when they get to a certain age & i can no longer put off the inevitable….
i’m just in over my head.
seriously.
with four very demanding minions & a yard full of animals to take care of….
it’s overwhelming.
i’m exhausted.

i have pages written & two more canvas ideas…plus! one night while unable to sleep–i started writing more moses jones!! i have been stalled on that since, what, april?
so i’m taking my journal with me to a car maintenance appointment & will try to get pages done/mojo plot written.

status: sort of coping…how are you?

i am trying not to spin out. i’m at one of those–“no wait, this is the first day of the rest of my life” moments.
again…right?
everything i have read today on wordpress has me thinking:

1.) well, i’m not alone
2.) wow, they wrote it so much better

so i’m waffling between it being pointless for me to contribute to an already strong tide of writing…and wanting to jump in & share my uniquely similar thoughts & experiences.

so i wrote a few pages.
but i also have a sink full of dirty dishes.
a carpet that has forgotten what the vacuum sounds like.
a pile of cucumbers on the table demanding i do–what–pickles? why do i have so many cucumbers?
laundry laundry laundry!
a 12 year old glaring at me because i used my sense of humor for parenting & did it wrong.
a 10 year old who wants me to go outside & bounce a tennis ball with him or it is further proof that i do not love him.
a four year old who desperately requires routine so it is imperative that after he poops i must not only wipe his bottom but also foot-race him down the hallway after he flushes.
and a six year old…wait…where’s my six year old? i should probably know where my six year old is….

so
i re-posted a couple of poems that i wish i had written (coming soon–my book, a collection of poems i wish i had written)
and maybe later i will get around to drawing some journal pages?
maybe?

so sad

i’m so sad
you guys, listen
i’m so sad
i feel like part of me
is missing
i know it’s a fucking
cliche
i know i am supposed
to be
stronger than this
but
i’m not
i’m just
so
sad.

tomorrow i turn 48. i am not sure how to feel. like i wrote some posts back, i cry…but i don’t know why. birthdays make me sad…but i’m not sure why.

i used to love my birthdays. i would count down from six months away. everyone would get annoyed with my constant talk of my birthday.

then i lost the love of my life due to my own damage. then i dated a psychotic narcissist for a couple years. then i got married because i thought someone loved me for real only to have him tell me, one month into the marriage, “i don’t think i love you.” then i was divorced. then i married a different psychotic narcissist and became the invisible mom. then my brother died. then i was subjected to a seven year long vicious cycle of abuse while trying to leave the psychotic narcissist.

now i am a single…profoundly alone…mom.
living in rural illinois.
having an everyday struggle with motherhood
while obsessing over that long lost love from the early ’90s.
and i don’t even feel like weeding my garden anymore.

tomorrow i turn 48.
and now i’m crying again.

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