when i was in my early twenties
a therapist tried to get me to
& to figure myself
i skipped town
& went on a cross-country
20 year long
after a year (or more–depending)
of no men
i have found that i am doing that work
i have always had the hobby
but with only four kids to distract me
i can really get work done
& 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
how to be her
how to be true to her
how to be the best me
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
i want my art to sing to me
like tina turner
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.
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….
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.
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.
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?