the embers of your life

you can’t put a bandaid
on a decapatation
you can’t
try to change that flat tire
as your car
careens off the cliff
bursting
into flames…
just sit back
&
light your cigarette
on the embers of your
life
& wait for the drama
to wane.

the drama is never going to wane. i should just accept that.
but this epiphany did make sense at the time as i was trying to pull it together on my birthday. realizing that trying to get your shit together when you are at your lowest point is probably a non-starter.
except now my birthday is over and i’m still having trouble pulling it together.
fuck me.

something different

i should try something
different
i think
this
obviously
isn’t working
i gesture to the life
around me
the chaos i am
waist deep
in
the disorder
the depression
the overwhelming
sense
of helplessness…
i should try something
different
i whisper
to myself
but for the life of me
i cannot
think
of anything else
i haven’t
already
tried.

dipping my toes in darkness…again. yesterday i was dancing…today not so much. but, you know, the dance of life, the dance we do as we try to get better–two steps forward one step back.
which means, i am always dancing.
but the music changes….

between homes

summer 2015
while trying to convince the dad to move away
leaving a “commonwealth” scam
leaving a doorstep haunted by a predatory woman
leaving a sadness that soaked my bones
just leaving, i begged
or not…
i tried to to convince the dad to move away
somewhere cheaper
far away from his predatory “other woman”
i tried
& failed
he would not leave her
& stupidly
i agreed on a rental that would not be open until
the end of
summer
summer of 2015, between homes
bouncing around
crashing, house-sitting, visiting relatives
only to land again
in my own
sadness

i have been thinking of that summer, if only to remind myself that i have been “between homes” with four children before…& survived.
i am hoping that this time i do not land again in my own sadness.
the dad has been trying to convince me to come live with him again….
right???
what insanity would that be?
i have broken free of him & to give up that freedom would surely mean the end of me…
but, i might have to turn to him for temporary shelter. i am trying to find other options, but having a safe place for the minions to be trumps all other concerns. & where the minions go….
i’m trying to be excited about a change, even an uncertain one. i mean, i am excited about it…but also worried sick. i turn every scenario over & over in my head. i do everything in my head, first, preparing myself for anything unexpected.
this is how i survive.

to help support my traveling circus & our search for a forever home, check out my patreon page where i am working on character development of a comic book hero who has been in my head for about five years now….

and being a patron of mine of the $5 a month or more, gets you personalized art postcards like these:

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.

random thoughts…my daughter

when i became pregnant for the first time,
i was dismayed to learn it was a boy.
“i don’t know anything about boys!” i thought.
then i had another boy.
and finally i was pregnant with my girl
realizing
“i don’t know anything about girls either!”
i used to call myself–gender confused.
this was in the early 90s before gender
was much discussed.
but i knew from the time i was five
i had both in me–boy & girl.
yet
somehow
i also had neither…
only to realize this when i became a mother
to boys & a girl.
so like everything else, i winged it
i just raised them as people
people i respected & loved
people free to develop into whomever
they were born to be.
i remember when fidgit started playing with
trucks & guns
“i guess he is a boy,” i said,
maybe stereotyping a bit
but later, he grew his hair long
got his ears pierced
and started studying art.
still a boy, i could think.
but my girl…
my girl…
she is a girl like i was never a girl
and i want to celebrate that.
i do.
but i cried today as i shopped for her
seventh birthday present
a children’s play make-up kit
really?
but i know it will make her happy
just like every time i bought a play sword for my crazy boys
& their dad looked at me like, “really?”
here’s the thing
i want my kids to be happy
i want them to be who they are
even if it is not who i am….
that’s the tricky part about being a parent, i guess…
one of the tricky parts anyway.

the photo is me in my early 20’s. fighting gender norms has always been very important to me–especially since as a teenager i found i was more comfortable in my dad’s clothes than i was in mine. i have never worn make-up (except on halloween) & i do not own a pair of heels. but now i have a daughter who drools over thrift-store pumps & uses an art marker to apply lipstick…which some people do. some people like pumps & make-up…i’ve just never been one of them. so maybe it stings a little that my little apple is falling rolling away from the tree? but if it is who she is & will make her happy….

sigh.

heaven help me if she decides to start shaving her legs.

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?

demons

my brain is congested. i feel ever so blocked right now. creatively & emotionally. everything i have written in my journal just seems dumb & badly written. maybe some of you are all like, “what’s new?” but usually i, at least, sincerely enjoy my badly versed random off-the-top-of-my-head thoughts & feelings.
but right now they are all crap.
i feel like there is so much to say–but i don’t know how to say it.
or draw it.

so i am working on some re-workings of older stuff while i stare at the blank pages of my current journal in disgust.
(i don’t hate you, art journal…it’s probably just hormones….)
this one–this one here–it is the self-portrait that got all of this nonsense started. i drew it in november of last year. i loved it. and then i just got carried away…almost a year & how may self-portraits later? (someone with a longer attention span than mine can count them–i know i have four pages up there.)
so here’s the one that started it all. a nice little picture of me hanging out with my demons.

IMG_1400

in other news….

today i heard the thompson twins’s song “hold me now” which i have sung along with in every every every relationship i have had.
& today, i realized, i have no one to sing it to.
no one.
i am undeniably alone…like i said in yesterday’s post–even in my imagination.
& then i started crying.

except of course for the single dads who are fishing for women on instagram? what’s up with that?
instagram is so weird.

and i am having nightmares like crazy. i have started having a re-occurring dream about wasps–the insects (i have daily fears of both kinds of wasps–people & insects.)
in real life, i am afraid of wasps. i have yet to be stung by one & one of my life goals is to not be stung by one.
so now i am having nightmares about wasps.
one had a wasp just hanging out on the back of my neck until my big brother (who was killed in 2008) got it off of my neck for me. my big brother has been in a lot of my dreams lately. just as him–not back from the dead–in my dreams he has never died.
then i had a dream that a wasp came & started stinging me on the arm. it didn’t hurt as much as i thought it would but i still proceeded to whack it to pieces as soon as i overcame the paralysis it somehow caused my whacking arm.

so far in my dream analysis i have:
wasp=fear (of what?)
brother’s help/whacking=overcoming fear

but that’s all i got.

last night i had the worst dream i’ve had in a long time. it was completely fucked up & i feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it.
i tried to write about it…but i can’t.

is anyone else feeling this? just curious. i know sometimes stuff like this can be cosmic.

ps. i just found a pad of 12X16 water color paper in my supplies cabinet. so–good news–i can start doing really large final copies of my art journal pages.
bad news–i will have to start using my camera again instead of the scanner i have. which means the quality of my posted art might suffer.

crap.

pss. i think my goat agatha is going to kid soon! she is all belly & her milk bag is getting full! looks like i’m going to be a grandma soon.

IMG_1362

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.

never surrender

it occurred to me today
that if i never
put myself out there
if i never take a chance
i won’t have to be
rejected
criticized
ignored
pushed away
i can live a quiet life
just make art
for me
never
expose
my heart
my self
to another person ready
to break me
never stand up
to be pushed down again
i can keep myself
safe
this thought
felt like relief
for just a moment
& then
i found myself
crying
why does keeping
my heart safe
feel like giving up?

damaged

i’m so tired
of feeling damaged
i’m so tired
of feeling like i’m not worth
your time
like no one will like me
anyway
so why even try
i’m so tired
of doubting myself
of hating myself
of feeling like
i
don’t
matter
& i’m doing it all wrong
everything
wrong
&
no one
likes
me
anyway
i’m so tired
of being
my own
worst
enemy.

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