navel gazing

you look so hard
into
your own heart
using
other people’s eyes
are you lovable?
are you beautiful?
are you special?
are you good?
are you a good person?
do you deserve happiness?
so much time
energy
so much of your own
heart
but you never
stop
you never
look up
& out
to see what is in their
hearts
& to wonder
are they lovable?
special, beautiful, & good?
do they
deserve
your happiness?

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mosaic

peeling away
my
layers
seeing what i can find
underneath
to fuck
around
with
exposing my
own pain
they say never to pull away
the scab
never to expose the tender pink
but i find it is
healing
piecing together
the jagged leavings
years
of neglect
years
of abuse
i am a mosaic
of the bits of me
that
survived.

once again i found inspiration with my expressive figure drawing book. of course the figure i borrowed from was sitting very elegantly & when i tried to copy it, i ended up looking awkwardly sprawled–which is pretty accurate for my appearance. 

an open apology

to all the men i’ve loved before
& to the ones
i didn’t care all that much about
but played with anyway
to all the hearts
i crushed & twisted
pushed & pulled
like play-doh
to shape into something
that pleased me
but they never did
& i was quick to
toss
them
away
far
away
hurl, more like it
shot put champion
with the hearts of men
this is my open apology
to my many men
some hurt me back
some never got the chance
but
i wish
i had been better
more noble
more careful with those
possibly tender?
probably tender?
then bruised
hearts.

i feel like i’m doing a 12 step program. i thought of actually contacting my list–but holy crap there are way too many…and i only know where a handful of them are…and some of them i cannot have contact with for my own safety.
so!
here i am. realizing through old journals, conversations, and introspection, that i was a shitty girlfriend to a lot of lot of lot of guys.
crap.
when i did bother to remember this side of me, i always remembered her as kind of a warrior, kick-ass take no names, awesome bitch.
but
but but but…she wasn’t nice.
i wasn’t nice.
and i think a lot of it had to do with thinking that no one really cared about me so i couldn’t really hurt them.
but that’s no excuse. i shouldn’t have been such a shit–and often to guys who didn’t even deserve it.
i was a shitty girlfriend. i was a shitty wife. i’ve touched on this before, that i saw my mom as a weak victim…and i internalized that i needed to be the opposite. so i was. i broke hearts & abandoned relationships.
frequently.
so this is my open apology.
i have no idea if any of my exes even read this blog–and it might be more rude than nice to tag them all–plus, that would be a lot of tags…but if you do read this blog & did once get walked over or callously treated by me, i’m sorry i was a bitch.

mostly sorry.

(i recently commented to someone that i am better at understanding than forgiving…it occurs to me with this that i am better at knowing i should be sorry than actually being sorry….but i am mostly sorry)

true love

when i was in my early twenties
a therapist tried to get me to
quit
men
& to figure myself
out
instead
i skipped town
& went on a cross-country
20 year long
man-spree
today
after a year (or more–depending)
of no men
i have found that i am doing that work
i mean
i have always had the hobby
of self-analyzation
but with only four kids to distract me
i can really get work done
on me
& you know what i figured out?
i am still
still that twenty-something
year old girl
i am still her
but now–now i have learned
(am learning)
how to be her
how to be true to her
how to be the best me
ever.

would i read this book…?

you know how your own voice
sounds so fucking weird
when you hear it recorded
and played back to you?
my art sometimes
hits my ear that way
i hear my speaking
and it is irritating
and i wish my voice were huskier
and more
melodic
i want my art to sing to me
like tina turner
but
instead
it is off tune and without soul

when i check out picture books for my kids–or look at graphic novels, i almost totally choose stories based on their illustrations.
you can see me in the library pull a book off of the shelf, open it up, blurt “ew!” and quickly re-shelf it with a wince.
so as i am making illustrations for my friend’s story, i keep wondering, would i choose this book?
except it’s difficult. like looking at your own face in the mirror and trying to figure out if you are pretty. what do other people see when they look at you because all you can see is that one eyebrow is higher than the other and your nose is asymmetrical.
ack!
so i don’t know if this is actually a finished page…or just one more step towards getting it almost right…
close enough that i’m not embarrassed by it, at least.

on a side note, i think my inner catholic is peeking out again as i try to illustrate this story.

update: i literally just started this inking, but i already like the sound of its voice better….

mom (2)

bit murky

i grew up with a pond (i actually live there again–next to said pond–after being gone almost 30 years) so i can attest that this inking is actually pretty accurate.

is there a word for someone with a fear of the murky depths? i mean, i swim in lakes & in the ocean…but i cannot lose that nagging feeling about the things i cannot see.

bitmurky1

maybe that’s with everything though. fear of what i cannot see. monsters under the water. faces in the window when my back is turned. creepy crawlers just right out of sight. blessed & cursed with an active imagination.

we could delve deeper.
fear of the unknown.
fear of what i cannot control.

bitmurky2

fear. it’s not a word i really ever associate with myself. i mean, i will do most anything on a dare. i will purposely forge into terrain that makes me uncomfortable. i don’t believe in letting fear stop me.

but i do let it stop me. i have a fear of success. in both art & relationships. i have a fear of swimming into the murky bits of myself and exploring. i have a fear of living up to my full potential.

isn’t that weird? where does that come from?