goodbye

it was as if the island did not want me to be there.
every sign an exit sign.
rain filling the tent
a sky clouding over as soon as we got to the beach
for a swim
crows crying out a warning every morning
relentless flies & pissy park rangers…
i wondered if it was an omen of bad things to come…
only to realize it was a letting go
like the end of the movie
when you have to set free the thing you love
have to chase off the thing you love.
the island was telling me to leave
to run free
& to not look back.

this has everything to do with dusty. i planned this vacation to madeline island with him. kind of a co-parent thing. i thought it would work out okay because things had been going more friendly between us.
but i really do not like being around him.
especially not for an entire camping trip.
we are so different in the ways we live our lives. the ways we see the world. the ways we parent….
it hurts me to be around him. i wish it did not…but it does. i am damaged a little every time i tolerate his bullshit. and i feel like i have to tolerate his bullshit in order to keep the peace.
…and i really really do not like tolerating bullshit.

it was totally his fault the tent flooded. i kept trying to nicely tell him the flaw in his thinking. the flaw that was causing the tent to turn into a leaky water bed…but he kept telling me how it was going to work. i had to wait it out, bailing out the tent more than once, before he would “let” me fix the problem (without any help from him.)

i once surmised of our relationship that if we were ever in a situation where we had to work together to survive–we just wouldn’t. we would be dead.

but i survived.
& the island made it clear to me that i need to let go & stop the nonsense.

day 107

day 107 at madness manor…
i left my house
for four nights
to go camping
a reluctant vacation
as madness manor
sang to me
“please don’t go
i love you so!”
& i missed my house
like i would miss
a friend
what is the fun
of roughing it
in the woods
when i could be
roughing it
at home?

i always find myself wondering why people choose to go camping. vacation in such a way that you sleep on the hard ground, have to walk to get water, poop in a pit toilet, cook over a fire, combat bugs & possibly larger pests….
is it a thing like once you have done it, you feel more alive? feel like you have survived?
my every day is a struggle with survival.
my house is like camping.
so why did i bother to drive for a day to do everything i could do at home?
hmmmm.
which leads to the question–why do i choose to live my every day in a way that most would call roughing it?

when i was packing up to go on this trip that i really did not want to go on, my music mix started playing alt-j’s “breezeblocks”
i really did take it as a sign that my house was going to miss me as much as i was going to miss her.

but i’m home now. putting in heat & insulation & preparing for a winter in madness manor. yay!

tolerating the intolerable

one of my gifts
my dysfunctional super powers
one of the survival instincts
that kicked in
early
was an ability
to tolerate
intolerable
situations
breathe through
breath held
one day at a time
with the prize in sight
always
with my eyes on that prize
…escape
ignoring with all my might
the pain
surrounding
me
until the day
i would no longer
have to.

i spent my abusive childhood waiting for the day i could run away. i moved out of that house the week i graduated high school.
in every dysfunctional relationship, i plotted my escape. tolerating the intolerable until i could safely leave.
all the messed up places i have lived…i pretended it wasn’t so bad until the day i could move away.

motherhood is the only place i refuse to do that…
wait…or am i doing it? holding myself just together enough until the day my spawn finally fly away from me….
fuck…how can i even tell? it has become second nature.

inez malstom

being the embodiment of earthly punishments
used to bother
inez malstrom
but now she gets a slight high
just thinking of it
a case of the giggles even
sometimes
she thinks it would be nice
for once
to be an earthly reward…
but that is probably reserved for someone named
jillian.

i have written so many beginnings to stories. you never know. i might finish it…turn it into a comic, a short story, or even a novel, but for now it lives as a journal page.

i think i recently read in a book a quote by a poet to the effect of: i write instead of screaming
for the life of me i cannot access where i read this. i have been reading a lot of books lately.
nevertheless–this is true for me. my writing & my art are what i do to keep from losing my mind. so i take these dark little thoughts and try to make something beautiful (?) out of them…or at least something interesting.

comfortably conflicted

i am comforted
by the idea
of falling apart
hence
my conflict

more on that tower card conflicting me & my trying to figure out what the fuck…. i am more comfortable falling apart than i am feeling whole. this is a conflict to my healing.

if i complete me

you don’t know what
to do
if you are not
falling apart
pain & disappointment
are your norm
your baseline
picking up the pieces is your
favorite
past time
falling apart
(again)
has become
a conflict
because
you are
afraid to accept yourself
as
whole.

this is my working thought. i keep drawing the tower card lately. the falling apart, crumbling down card. and i don’t feel like i am falling apart…so i wonder why it keeps showing up.
then it occurred to me that i don’t know how to do anything if i am not falling apart. falling apart is what i do. or, rather, holding it together with all my might….
so…what do i do if i am not holding everything together? how do i function without a bus load of stress running me down? there is fight & flight…where is the relax?

what goes up

i’m up up up
again
worrying
again
about the fall
down down down
but
wait
have i learned
from my last
swan dive
have i learned
that
it’s not always
true
what goes up
must fall
back
down?

so i know i will have my ups and downs…i’m just hoping a time comes when i can go up, without then plummeting down due to my issues. lately i seem to be growing, blooming, gaining insights & praises…moving in a forward movement.
which sometimes (most times) backfires into my taking a nose dive into my dark place.
so here is my hope that i can go up without melting off my wings & crashing…. right?

the inking was reminding me of the illustrations found on old school sewing patterns…hence the scissor wings.

warrior

it’s not a body
torn apart
by four pregnancies
it’s the body
of a warrior
cut open twice
followed by two home births
my body
has stories to tell.

something that occurred to me in the shower one morning. i give my body such a hard time…but my body has always been there for me. it was not my body that failed me in childbirth–but the current medical system that does not allow for anything but a textbook birth (hence my being cut open twice because i dared to have 42 week pregnancies.) and after being assaulted by the medical system…twice…my body recovered and got me through two home births. kudos to my body. my warrior body. strong, dependable, magical.

clawing my way out

i feel like screaming
& scratching
& clawing my way out
of my life right now.

right now being the key words. i know things will settle down for me again. i know they will. and that is a huge step. my sister is going through a dark hell right now & is unable to have faith that it will pass.
it makes me sad, but it also makes me realize how far i have come & what intense work i have done to get to the point that i know i will be able to work my way back out when i am feeling only darkness & heaviness.

i hope my sister can find that faith within herself.

motherhood

i made it my impossible dream
living with only it in mind
& when i found it
i embraced it. made it my everything
got completely
utterly
lost in it
with time however & happenstance
i began to wear it
as my own crown of thorns. my misery
my impossible escape
then i began to push it away
to deny it like peter at the gate
not me
not this
sleight of hand. look over there
nothing to see here…definitely not me
not like this….
but now i see
it is yet another balancing act
a recipe
i have to be
a little of this. a little of that.
& every bit of me.

i tried for ten years to have a successful pregnancy. then bang bang bang bang…i was a mother of four. i have been on a roller coaster of identity crisis. i am sure the ride will continue the rest of my life, but now i am figuring out how to throw myself into the twist & turns, ups & down.

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