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?

rough thoughts; rough sketch

he sleeps in my arms now. as beautiful, as peaceful as an angel.
but the last thing he said before he fell asleep?
he looked into my eyes.
he snarled, “i hate you.”
my four year old hates me.
he wishes i was dead.
maybe he doesn’t mean it…probably he doesn’t mean it.
but how could i blame him if he did? after all,
i spent 42 weeks hating him.
i spent 42 weeks wishing he was dead.
what kind of mother am i? not the mother he deserves.
“i hate me too,” i assure him. “i hate me too.”

my fourth child. my quixotic child. he was the only one i didn’t plan. the only one i didn’t hope & wish for. and every day since he was conceived has been a struggle for me. i love him. i truly do, & i wouldn’t trade him for the world. he is an amazing little person…but every day is a struggle. and i wonder what my struggle has done to him.

if you are interested, here is a creative non-fiction piece  i wrote about my pregnancy with him.

when in depression-ville…

sometimes depression can help my art.
wait.
no.
reverse that.
art helps with my depression.
and who better to embrace while severely depressed than my tragic alter-ego, moses jones: superstar.
doing this little bit of this page really helped. before i started working on it i was just listening to goyte tell me “your heart’s a mess” on loop (& i’m all like, “no shit, goyte…way to state the obvious….”)
and crying
so much crying.
i’m sure i will art journal about it…this feeling so fucking alone and of waiting for someone to throw me a line….

oh, wait, i guess i ended up throwing myself a line.
(threw myself a line/drew myself a line…you get it)

so this is where i will be if you need me.
drawing the line.
rescuing myself…again.

out with the old; in with the new

i’m trying not to be sad
today
i’m trying not to lose my mind
today
i feel music in my soul
today
not quite drowned out
by the screaming
crying
sometimes playing
sometimes fighting
children
my artist’s soul
& my mother’s heart
trying to live together
in my troubled
self.

october 26, 2016 is the date inside my old journal. the day i started it. today is the day i end it. there is one page left…but i have already spilled some angst onto it and now just have to illustrate my own pain.

the first page of the new journal, also, is already decorated with thoughts fallen from my head.

i love being productive. i love looking forward to a blank page. i love writing down my silly, sad, sentimental, and sordid epiphanies to ponder with pen & ink brush.

ha.
i am not a poet though.
i thought that today when i could not think of the word for what some of you might call my “poems.”
i am not a poet.
i just vomit emotion, often & as colorfully as possible.

inktober 10th & 11th…ish

there’s a story behind this. but i don’t know what it is.

that was the 11th. for the 10th i phoned it in once more with a half done inking.

inktober10

and it is still not finished.
my life is overwhelming.
i am very angry about being alone. about doing this alone. so angry. and depressed. and feeling like this is it. this is the rest of my life. i am essentially alone–but! i am also stuck with dusty in my life. i am stuck with raising four kids mostly by myself while their dad complains that he wants to be more involved and i have to remind myself that it is a trick. their dad is an angler fish dangling “normal family” in front of me and hoping i will take a nibble. because he never actually gets involved even when he can be involved. he doesn’t. and i have to keep reminding myself of that.
which is a lot of fun.

fuck.

so i’m grumpy and moody and do not feel like doing anything even though i know that doing something would help me to feel better.

just putting pen to paper makes me feel better.

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