not so much

most days
these days
i want to kill myself
except
i don’t want to die
so i guess
there’s that.

more of that clawing my way out of my own life feeling. i am overwhelmed & frustrated & wanting to feel better but every time i see a glimpse of light, it gets stomped the fuck out. so then i just start fantasizing about horrible things to do to myself…but i don’t really want to do them…so why does the fantasy help me feel better?

velvet sky

i look up at a sky full of stars &
i do not feel alone. it’s all there,
i just have to look. a sky full of
velvet & a soul to match.

this was that same good day as the previous post. i have noticed that looking up at the stars when i am feeling so lost, looking up at the stars helps me catch my breath. when the world feels like it is losing its magic, one long gaze into a velvet sky helps to make the magic real again.

my broken sister

how many times have i written about my broken sister? too many times?
no matter how many times i write about her, nothing helps. it’s not helping her,
at least. does it relieve me of the guilt i feel? like look at my pain, my suffering
as the sister of this fabulously broken woman.
fuck me.

another exploration of the futility of my naval gazing masturbatory behavior via blogging & art journal…. but i just keep swimming, because it is all i know…and because if i stop swimming, i sink.

poop!

transformation is not a beautiful unfolding
it is not a gentle opening
transformation is violent & ugly & overwhelming
i feel like i am going to explode
am i going to explode?
i want to scream & bit & thrash & kick it all down.
i want to eat the world & make it my poop.

yup. that about sums it up. i am going through so much right now. so much. my brain is a bee hive that has been knocked over by a sleuth of bears. i am trying to survive being knocked over as well as trying to scare away those bears. and save my honey. rebuild my hive. protect my queen. so much to do just to survive the right now!
yup, that is the metaphor i am going with.

chaos theory

it’s about
welcoming
the chaos
not trying to control
the chaos
letting all
all the energies
the good &
the bad
move through
breathe through
with
small treasures
filtered out

working on balance in my household. my mothering requires that i not absorb all the chaos in the house or else i become overwhelmed & either shut down or freak out. however, trying to stop the chaos all together is fucking impossible (if you doubt this, i will be happy to send my kids over to your house.) so i need to find a way to filter through the chaos.
accepting it
& surviving it.

from my art journal

i go to see a doctor who is trained in the neurosciences and does a mix of chiropractic work & energy work. when i see him i often find an issue of mine to work on. this time it was when he almost seemed embarrassed to tell me i had a spot in me claiming that i am overwhelmed. he said it was arbitrary to everything he knew about me. then he found a spot telling him that i feel the need to do everything myself. he seemed to feel the spots conflicted. i told him, “you just described me. overwhelmed & trying to do it all myself.”
then i started thinking about it. am i overwhelmed? or is that just a story i tell myself? a handicap i give myself in this game called life? a backdoor to my problems?
these are the pages i wrote about it.

five years later…

excerpt from my short story “jesus fingers”

You feel like you are inviting badness into your life every time you mutter “the little fucker” to yourself and every time you regret not killing it when you had the chance—every time you think about it just disappearing from your life and how easy that would make everything. You can’t help fantasizing though because everything just seems so hard now. So fucking monumentally stressful.

And your body that you were anxious to have as your own again—where is it now? And the days you were anxious to have as your own again? How many more years before that happens now? Five? More? With number three you kept thinking, “Just get through the toddler years this one last time and there won’t be any more toddler years to deal with. Just get through the breastfeeding one last time. Then I won’t have to worry about what I do to my own body—it will be mine again.” But now you sink into despair, realizing it will be even longer. Another baby to soothe to sleep. Another toddler to watch with an eagle eye. Another toilet training. Another kid’s meal to buy if you can actually afford to go out ever again.

five years later

i am defeated
by a five year old
he crushes me
so easily
maybe because
not much of me is
left
he destroys me
so easily
screaming & screaming & screaming
until i am
lying
on the floor
sobbing
i am nothing
as i wish
silently
reverently
that i had never
become
a
mother.

ps.
writing both of these pieces, my short story and this free verse, it helped me to deal with the overwhelming anguish around my conflicted feelings about motherhood.
i wouldn’t trade poppy for the world, but that doesn’t mean sometimes i just don’t want to be a mom.

choosing to survive

except
i chose to be alone
i did
i did not
i did not choose
for my ex-husband to be an 
asshole
but i did choose
to live without an asshole
in my life
which meant
i was left all alone
& lonely
i accept that i have ultimately
made that choice
& am also
choosing
not to simply let anyone
any warm body
be
the company
i so desire
so
yes
i choose
to be alone
even if
i would rather not
be
lonely.

i felt that it was important for me to acknowledge this to myself. to know that i am not just a victim of my life. i make choices to try to be stronger & to try to heal the pain and damage i have suffered. though i believe my decisions of late will help me in the long run, that doesn’t mean i enjoy the immediate effects of them. 

meanwhile, i went to iowa city to check out their developing eco-village. it was beautiful & the people were really cool…but i do not have anywhere near to the money i would need as it requires actually buying a flat or duplex. 
i will talk to them to see if there are any options for a broke-ass mama like me…but i don’t think it is someplace i can move to anytime soon. so i am still trying to figure out my next move, a move back to community and away from the isolation of my homestead.
but i was happy to–briefly–be back in iowa city. i wish i had never left. 
i wonder what that parallel universe looks like….

on the topic of money. i have decided that i have to actually demand child support from my ex-fucker. i mean, dur. or rather, i shouldn’t even have to demand it–he should just be paying it. but that is not ever going to happen. he is paying just a token amount because i let him get away with that & now he actually has a job where he could afford to pay more…but he is not. he is not supporting his children because he doesn’t think he should have to. 
this makes me so sad. 
and i really do hate being the heavy.
and he is so good at making me feel like shit whenever he puts me in the position where i have to ask him for anything. 
oh! 
and i did tell him, when we did the minion swap, that if i were using him as a punching bag (as he likes to accuse me) that would mean i was angry about something else & taking it out on him. 
i let him know that he is not my punching bag because the anger i am directing at him is anger that i have at him–my frustration with him…appropriately directed at him.
fucking manipulative motherfucker. 

panic attack

i am 
literally
having a panic
attack
looking through 
google docs
& files files files
on my hard drive
& months months months
of writings
here & in the physical journals
from whence
they sprung
…it’s
too 
much
too fucking much
how many words 
can there be?
how many 
emotions
vomited
all over my laptop?
now
fuck it
there is one more.

i am serious about getting together a collection to try to publish…but holy fucking crap. there is so much–crap–to wade through. 
do i keep it to the actual art journal project?
do i add in some older stuff?
some sideways stuff?
some stuff i don’t even remember writing? 

i need a personal assistant/editor stat!

this is going to be one of those “kill your darlings” moments i always heard about in writing workshops, isn’t it?

get me a bottle of whiskey & a blowtorch, y’all, i’m going in!

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.

IMG_1737

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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