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:

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tarot wisdom aka fuckit…this is my life



i did my tarot on the last night before my kids came back having forgotten to do it the other days they were away. i was tired & thought about skipping my monthly check-in with the universe via tarot, but in the end, i lit candles, shuffled my deck, and asked for guidance.

rebirth was my first card. the card representing me at this time. rebirth is also judgement. the past shaping the present. a time for moving forward with new resolution.



next came the delusion card. it is what is challenging/crossing me at this time. delusion….
i didn’t know what it was, but now i am guessing it represents the house i thought i was going to rent. the house that, as of yesterday, sold to someone else.
a decision that did not work out….

in the “present situation” position of my tarot spread came my very most favorite card. one i have not seen in quite awhile.
the warrior card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
present situation…kicking ass & taking names…er, rather, forward moving energy. mastering adverse circumstances through my determination & courage. confronting fears.
fears like living way off the grid with four kids & a bucket to poop in…which is what is happening since our rental fell through.
i mean, on one hand, i like the idea of an adventure & the experience of living in a very unconventional way…on the other hand, i am having difficulty imagining that happening with four kids.
but!
i do have the generous offering of a free space to camp while i look for a more permanent situation. so i should feel blessed for that. and it is summer. the best time to camp.
and once i have a roof over our heads, i’m sure we will look back on this time & have a good talk with our therapist(s) about it.
(i would like to point out that the present situation card has a badger on it which is the state animal of wisconsin–where i am moving to–so that seems to be lining up.)

& lest i forget! my patreon page is still looking for new patrons… here is a glimpse of some of the goodies you could peruse should you fork over a dollar a month:

itching to leave my cocoon

itching to leave my cocoon
itching to bloom
i’ve been in here too long
safe & snug
throughout my cold & dark
transformation
into a bright eruption
a moth to the moon
a bee to a flower
my purpose
awaits.

stream of consciousness verse. that’s basically how my brain works. if you ever have a conversation with me in person, it’s not too different than reading my brain outbursts here & in my art journal.
disjointed thoughts
mixed metaphors
backstories
in all the wrong places….

but i digress! i am itching to get out of my cocoon. i feel like that is what my time here at my childhood home has been. i feel like that is what my submerging myself into my art journal exploration of my dark & drippy psyche has been.
i’ve written out all the parts of my brain that i can right now. i’ve written them out to make room for new thoughts.
revolutions & epiphanies await.
just have to shake free of the rest of this
chrysalis
rise from my tomb
& go.

for a front row seat to all the amazing things i will do…just a dollar a month, y’all.https://www.patreon.com/emjemccarty

works in progress

i survived mother’s day…just barely
noticing via instagram posts
that i cringe when husbands praise wives
& when i see daughters & mothers together
but am okay with sons & mothers
…hmmm
you don’t need to look twice
to see where my damage is….
but i survived
and will live to see
another
mother’s day
& maybe not be such a
train wreck
next
time….

here are some commissions i am working on. i realize, the more i ink, what my style is exactly–& i try to stay true to it.
i am excited to see how these will turn out…& hopefully the people who commissioned them will be just as excited.

and for those of you wondering about my patreon page:


woe is me

living inside
your own head
you forget
about
the world outside
a world that works against
single low-income moms
a world
that won’t take a risk
on you
no matter
how good your heart
might be
a world that is set up
to grandstand your options
telling you to
follow your dreams
but in the end
leaves you
very few choices
the more kids
you have
the fewer
choices
they say it takes a village
they don’t tell you
that the village
will quickly tack up
a “no vacancy” sign
when they see
you
coming.

how’s the house hunt going?
well, pretty fucking hard since i can’t even get out to look for a place…& then when i look at the average application for a rental & they want a job & income & job history…
all i feel is despair.
i have savings. i have enough to pay a year’s rent. i have sparkly clean credit. i have child support payments. i have government aid. i spend less money–with four kids–than the average u.s. citizen without dependents does. i am frugal as fuck. but i have to get face to face with a real person–the right person–to convince them that this is enough…& being seemingly physically trapped here at hotel california…how the fuck do i make that happen?
i was going to try to run out to iowa today to look for rentals & someone to convince that i am a good tenant. the minions come home tomorrow….
despair says, “why even bother?”
but i can’t just run over to iowa with four kids in tow. iggy hates road trips (he got that from his dad–not me,) & i don’t want to budget in a stay at a motel (though they do love motel tv.)
so three weeks until the next time i am able to run to iowa sans minions…meanwhile, the lawn grows free now as the lawn mower died on me. so i should get that fixed. i don’t even know how to go about that. i so so so hate being all alone out here.
yes, i’m a feminist, but fuck me if i want to do everything myself. i want someone here who knows how to do all the stuff i suck at. i want someone in my life who appreciates what i can do & who i worship for their ability to fix a mower…or clean a toilet…or just hold me & tell me it’s all going to work out when it feels like the world is spinning out of control.
sigh.

if you want to contribute to my “income”…. here are sneak peaks of some of the posts you would be able to see as a patron of mine….

the main image is of a character of mine that hopefully will one day have a story….

mother grim

open a beer
or open a vein
whiskey shot to the head
or gunshot
you don’t know
you don’t know me
& how it feels
sometimes
to try
every day
to be a mother
to these ones
every day
every day
every
day
i make this decision
bag of wine
or bag over the head?
relish these years
when they are little
they say
kids grow up so fast
you don’t want to miss it
they say
miss it?
i am deep as fuck in it
living it
despite myself
every day

have you ever heard of “highly spirited children?” yeah. i have four of those.
they are wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, funny, explosive, screamy, dramatic little things. i love them dearly, but sometimes i find my thoughts wandering over to the dark side.
right now they are with their dad–who again–challenged our placement agreement.
whenever he does, i examine my determination to keep being their primary caretaker–to make sure i am not doing it for selfish or controlling reasons.
i discovered that even though i sometimes think i am a crap-ass mom…i completely believe it is best for our children to have me as a primary caretaker. even though i sometimes feel i am going insane with the stress of being a single mom & of raising four strong-willed children, i think i owe them that little bit of stability that being with me gives them.
i have been there for them since day one. i have a commitment to them. so, sure, sometimes i think dark thoughts, but hopefully–expressing those dark thoughts will help me work out those demons so i can be a better mom.
that’s important to me, being a good mom.
not a traditional or conventional mom, but the mom they need me to be. a crazy-ass mom who (most the time) can roll with the punches.

ps. i don’t drink box wine or else i would have known to call it box wine not bag of wine. oh well….

the turkey stands alone

yesterday
all of my livestock went to live
with a very nice red-haired farmer
who knows what the fuck he is doing
& isn’t just winging it
like some kind of off-kilter homesteading maniac…
i think i learned
many many things
from my livestock experiment 
(not to be confused with my motherhood experiment)
although some of what i learned
is very similar to my motherhood
experiment…
yesterday
my yard emptied out
no more ducks…chickens…goats…or sheep
just the turkey stands alone
and i feel 
a lot
sad
but also
a little
relieved.

i’m telling the minions…it’s a new chapter…a new episode of our lives. change is not necessarily a bad thing. change can be good. really really good. 
but it’s still sad.

meanwhile, i have gotten a little done over on my patreon page.

and a birthday card & a patron card

don’t walk away

though i feel comfort
at the thought
of a no-more
a
never-more
i am invested
in this story
& long to know
how it will
unfold
will i laugh?
will i cry?
i will not stop
turning the pages
of my life
even if at times
i feel
like
setting the book
down
& walking
the fuck
away,
i come back
i come back
i pick up
where i left off
my story
this
is not
the end.

originally posted on august 31, 2018

another one towards the one day realization of the invisible exhibitionist.

i tore up so many versions of this. i am still not completely happy with the final…but there is a lot i like about it too.
i am not sure why i went with lewis carroll’s drawing of alice for this one. i do know that i have always loved this illustration. when i re-did it, i worked from my version of the illustration, without looking at his, which is my habit. to work from my own art that i first borrowed from someone else….
if that makes sense.

anyhoo!
i noticed that this as well as my last post are about survival & not doing myself in as the little voices sometimes suggest…so that’s nice.

& for my next trick…

surviving myself
may be
the best trick
i have ever done
now you see me
now
you still
see me
i’m still here
manacles
straight jacket
cement shoes
submerged in a tank full of every tear
i have
ever
cried
&
i climbed back out
i
survived.

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