Cry tears, heavy
laden like an army
tanker crushing the tundra.
Let them seep
into your innocence, your
untouched land buried with war.
reclaim your soul and
melt the darkness with their acid light.
Cry tears, heavy
laden like an army
tanker crushing the tundra.
Let them seep
into your innocence, your
untouched land buried with war.
reclaim your soul and
melt the darkness with their acid light.
Here comes a confession: I’m not tidy. It’s funny, I know, but my subconscious works overtime to the extent that I actually can believe that I might be for moments at a time. But I’ve reached a point, now, where I finally cannot, not for even one single moment, really believe that I am all wrapped up tight in a neat little package. I know I’m probably the last to find this out, but I’ll be honest with me…I usually am the last to find things out.
I need a Xanax or I need sleep or I need both right now. Yesterday I slept away an entire drug induced day, which in reality, is probably not much different from many other days I’ve had spent awake. Things are starting to line up. Getting cleaned up, it’s tempting to say.
I’ve never been one for drugs. I’ve never been the dependent type. I’m the one who loves to take shit and turn it into something else, like I’m a human compost or something. Just give it to me, I’m totally unphased by shit and can turn it into something else. Art or a poem or something. Or a shapely body from all the metabolic processes it brings on within me. I can take on anything!
So here’s my next confession: I’m also a liar. I can’t deal with shit. I can’t take it on or process it. I bury it and it goes nowhere. It does nothing useful and I put on make-up, in various forms, to face the world. I’m shit-faced, I could maybe say. I’ve been living my life as an addict.
I’m addicted to the part of not being human, not feelings my feelings or knowing who I really am.
I might have even married my perfect counterpart.
Shit really started happening and I saw shit. And I said, “Oh shit!” And shit hit the fan.
Our household has a nicely splattered decor of shit all over in it now.
But that’s not the best of it.
The best of it is yet to be revealed.
I’m up to * here* in shit.
It’s not always necessarily a person’s exact fault when life has gone to shit. It can start at such an early age, the age before choices are really clearly made. It’s the age of instinct and survival. The age of not knowing any other way. Like the age when you shit in your pants and that’s just the way it goes.
Then all the sudden you get a knock on the door and holy shit you’re, like, going on 33 years old.
“Fuck, you mean the shit is still there?! ”
I’m sorry for the expletives. I’m blaming it on the drugs (that are helping me breathe) today, but it might be something else tomorrow. We will all cope in the best (and first) way we know how until there is another way, I suppose. So judge me if you must. I might not like it, but it probably won’t make that much of a difference if you do.
I have judged myself plenty enough, you can trust me on that one.
I’m behind on all of my ceramics assignments. And what do I say to that, “Shit!” Yes, it compounds. It grows. It does not go away.
So, I’m working on breathing through all this shit. There are not readily available lessons for this. I may be swimming in it, but the local “Y” does not seem to back the demand for this type of training.
I am off to the pool of coping which I am surfacing in.
Cope cope cope. Sometimes all that’s left is coping an hoping and keeping the faith that one day, whether subconsciously or not, things will be much better.
It is hard to feel needy. The only thing I might wish is for it to be a little harder, though. Hard enough so that I wouldn’t feel it at all.
I thought I was going to be able to write about this, but maybe the moment has passed. I’ve been distracted.
It won’t be enough of a distraction to not get back to needing at 11pm or 3am, however.
Personal neediness doesn’t seem to pay much matter to personal convenience or sleep. It rears it’s head in the darkest hours of aloneness when the heart is searching and aching to soothe itself. Or it stomps its feet in the between times of trying to care for a hungry toddler or a hormonal teenager.
When do I not need?
In flash scenes from “What about Bob?” and the thought of seeking comfort from another human suddenly becomes the darkest of devils. Especially considering the convenience factor of when the feeling is at it’s strongest, which for me right now seems to be nearly all the time. Just not this moment when I’m trying to access it to write it out of my system. No, now I am totally self-sufficiently ineffective.
My lips have been frozen all day. I googled “cold lips” and the first thing that popped up was a link to Yahoo! Answers from a person asking:
The most popular response was that this person was, indeed, anxious, regardless of being aware of it or not.
I guess denial can only go so far.
But not only have my lips been cold all day, they have also had that slight twinge of cyan.
So maybe my subconscious is trying to help me out by not breathing. Because, hey, it’s not like life and death or anything.
Which brings me to the topic of death. And life.
But that brings me back to neediness.
And I am not needy at all.
In my lifetime I have been told I am miserable.
I’ve heard it from more than one person. I’ve heard it from people in my family…and I’ve heard it from people who have no way of knowing me, for instance, my daughter’s step-mother, because she has always refused to speak to me or acknowledge my existence…beyond, of course, assuming that I am miserable.
Whenever I have heard this I have always been speechless. It always has hurt me is such an unreachable place I don’t even know what the feeling is that it brings up for me. It’s so unexplainable and I’ve never been able to understand being informed of my misery, lol.
I still can’t really understand it.
But I’ve been dealing with a lot of things lately. Coming back to life gradually, in bursts. So I’m looking at my past and my history to what has brought me into being born all over again. This privilege I get, that sometimes I have to work at accepting because of the pain it also brings with it. It brings with it the reality of my life.
And so I run into the past.
I don’t run toward my past. I run into my past. (And that is a very big distinction.)
As I move forward, my past is there. It greets me, and I can’t move beyond it without acknowledging that it is there.
And so I’ve been thinking about times in the past I’ve been told or heard that I was miserable and the turmoil and confusion that has always caused to erupt from inside of me. I could never figure out why I was hearing that because inside of me my heart was not miserable. I didn’t feel miserable…but I eventually started believing that I was, indeed, miserable.
“You’re a miserable person.”
“You’re a miserable excuse for a person.”
I didn’t understand.
It did hurt though.
It hurt A LOT.
And I was alone for so many years and nobody ever told me otherwise.
I still couldn’t figure out why that must be what I was.
Because even though I probably should have been, I wasn’t.
However, I experienced my confusion about being miserable as…miserable!
Well, I’m happy (not miserable) to say that something has occurred to me over the past day or so.
I’ve realized that the people who have ever told me that I was miserable were possibly, themselves, miserable in some way. However, I would never say this to another person. I couldn’t imagine telling another person they are miserable, even if they were inflicting (or projecting) misery onto me. I can’t even imagine ever saying it which gives me some sort of faith that misery is not what defines me.
It still hurts so much that people who were designed to love me when I needed them most did not love me enough to be able to see past their own pain.
But I’ve been in therapy for the last couple of years with a therapist who treats me with dignity, and even though receiving respectful, compassionate care has been the most excruciatingly scary, I’m beginning to take some breaths of respect and compassion for myself. It hurts, but this is the part about running into my past I’m talking about. It takes me back to all those places where history got it wrong. My life has been given grace to correct itself.
For all the times I could never reply, I am hitting “Reply All.”
“I am not miserable. I am not a miserable person, and now that I love myself I have no excuse to believe that anymore.”
So to my brother and to my mother, I hope this finds you well.
And to my daughter’s step-mother, I would still sit down and have a cuppa with you anytime your heart will allow.
I’m my own person now. I would love for you to get to know me.
I don’t know how darkness can be so invisible.
But sometimes it is precisely because of its invisibility that darkness becomes itself.
When I was a teenager I had a conversation with the darkness once. I suppose I was a little headstrong, a little unruly. The invisible darkness was the only real force I could rebel against. I definitely wasn’t going to try to rebel against my mother or father. In hindsight, that might have been the better path. (Not that I hope my teenager ever sees that sentence!) But for me, it might have been quicker path into light.
Instead, I stepped, unknowingly, deeper into the pits of emptiness in my effort to be good enough for them…and for me. Really, to be good at all, but mostly to be good-enough for anyone I though might love me if I performed well. Perfectly.
My hand was asked in marriage at 16. And I said yes to the man who was 15 years older than me. And so did my parents.
I bought my own wedding dress with money I earned myself. $300 at David’s Bridal.
I was a childcare worker. I made $8 an hour (I later realized taxes weren’t taken out so when I reported my wages I was taxed more than I ever earned, but that’s another story,) which was a huge salary (hourly) increase from my $7.25 I made at the dry cleaners and I loved children.
Except for later I learned I didn’t really love myself…and neither did anyone else. But not because they didn’t want to. Because they just couldn’t. I can’t entirely blame them. So I can’t entirely blame myself for everything that happened either.
But about that conversation with darkness. I remember it still. I remember laying on my bed in my bedroom in the apartment I was living in with my mother. It was after a fight. I’m not sure if it was abuse. I thought abuse only happened to children at the time, and I didn’t consider myself a child. It was just a fight, and probably my fault. I don’t remember the source of the fight that day. I only remember the conversation I had after it while I laid in my room where I could never bring myself to sleep. (I slept in the living room on the 2 cushion sofa every night with my neck propped curiously forward on the armrest.) I remember my mom telling me I should sleep in my bed because I was breaking down the couch. But I slept there for almost a year (the amount of time I lived there) anyway. So maybe I did rebel some.
I keep getting away from the darkness. Or do I? (Sometimes the question has to be asked.)
The darkness and my conversation. It was a little one-sided with me doing a lot of the talking, but the darkness doesn’t always talk in words. The darkness isn’t always nearly as direct. It likes to be more like a covering over everything so it becomes a mass so encompassing it can be hard to determine where it ends and begins, or to see it at all.
In this conversation, in my contempt, in my teenage righteousness and belief that I could surmount anything if given the time, I told the darkness, “You will never win. You will never get me. No matter what you do to me, I will never give you my soul. You can beat me down, but you can’t have ME. Never. Never. NEVER. Over my dead body will you win.”
And so….I hadn’t learned yet….about the light…and about Life With Light.
I didn’t know what it was going to be about.
I didn’t know what was ahead of me.
I didn’t know all the…all the….things.
I didn’t know.
But as I look back on that “conversation” today, I sometimes feel like it was the first conversation where I was ever listened to and believed. And I figured if I believed the Light could see my heart that maybe the darkness could too, and it would be so clear that I was invincible. I already could feel so little.
But I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I didn’t know. I didn’t know.
And so this head-strong, heart-strong girl spent a lot of time learning a lot of different things about what can be seen and what can’t.
And about how remarkably presumptuous I was.
I worked to make the right decisions. I always wanted to do the right things.
But what do you do when doing all the “right” things turns out to be wrong?
What do you do?
Sometimes you lose faith. But that comes much later, after you realize maybe you made the wrong decisions about which (or whose) faith to follow.
Oh so many things. So many, many, many many many horrendous things.
But the horror tonight should be about Halloween parties. Because that is where horror belongs.
And I am starting to put all the horror and darkness that has existed, that has practically been my life up to this point, where it belongs.
Off of me.
So tonight there is no covering over who I really am. This is me.
Sometimes it’s scary. Especially for me when I look into that magic ball and see where I have been.
I look toward and forward to the future, but I don’t look to know about it all ahead of time. After all, time does not like to be raced.
I didn’t know before, and even with all that I didn’t know about and the perilous journey I was on (but didn’t know I was on, at the time) I still work on just being present where I am in this day, in this moment. It is the only place I can be me. Right here with myself is the only place I can be good enough.
I was thinking about this tonight after me and my husband’s first couples session (for the 2nd time) (and this is my second marriage) with a new couple’s therapist. I was, more specifically, thinking about this after we returned home from our session and after the “fight” we had later.
I’m calling this phase of the journey, Operation Light. I googled it and it doesn’t exist yet 😉 Of course, now it does. So you can join this Operation of Light with me! 🙂
Life With Light: “Operation Light” ….I can see it in….lights, now. 😉
That proposes that it will work.
Operation Light is about infusing Light where ever darkness is even remotely suspected. There’s no danger is suspecting darkness to be everywhere. It is not possible to overdose on Light.
It will work….I’m talking to the Light about it right now.
I have had a little shift in my approach toward life. I am learning to address the Light. The darkness is not worth my time, and definitely not worth me. And it’s not worth you either. I just love people, and I can’t help it. I was well-meaning when I tried to fight against the darkness rather than focus on fighting FOR the Light….I was young and perhaps a bit ostentatious.
But the Light has helped me see that…ever so gently, of course. That’s the way of the Light. Because the Light actually did know what was inside me and behind my efforts.
So when it seems dark and insurmountable, don’t give up.
Don’t ever, ever give up. ” Operation Light” Lovers never give up unless they are giving it up to the Light. 🙂
Tonight I made it through my first Art History test of my entire life…ever. I’m not counting past lives since those details are still emerging. I sure hope I get far enough in this life to take my last Art History test ever…at the end of all the Art History classes I can possibly take.
Art History : Love as Test Taking : Not Love. I’m trying to get in my rational mind now. (So I hope I got that right. Equations and logic aren’t always my thing.)
I learned tonight I’m a crier. I used to be so stoic about crisis. But after I got through a half-day of intense preliminary irritability, crying is all I have wanted to do. I wanted to cry before, during, and after my test tonight.
And I’m glad I doubled up a few days ago on my exercise routine because I celebrated with a trip to Burger King.
Maybe I knew this was coming?
I have craved a thin (Thin, I like the thin ones) juicy fast-food hamburger all week. It’s a far cry from my regimented allotment I give myself of rice cakes and protein bars everyday. Sometimes I do splurge and have almond milk.
So when I drove into the lane-of-no-return and ordered that Whopper I knew I had pulled off something big tonight. Maybe even life-changing. Something is growing inside me.
I craved fast food burgers the entire time I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.
Deeper into the story you would know the last time I signed up for an Art History I ended up with an extended hospital stay before I made it to my first test.
That was in 2006.
It’s like returning to the scene…
Art History didn’t put me in the hospital, but it was the hardest thing to give up. Having to let it go killed me.
I’ve come to reclaim my soul.
Everything is still there where I left it except I have moved from the third row back and to the right of the room to the front row and to the left.
I don’t want to be distracted. I intend to live.
This time it’s just me and art alone in a dark room.
I am working on “filling the well.”
Maybe I’m not a flower person, but I am very confident in my being as a nature person. I can’t really even separate nature from art in my little world. Both seem to make my world a lot bigger (and brighter.)
Nature and art are probably two places and things that can bring out the wholeness in me. We get along reliably well.
Whether I’m in the middle of nature’s fury or in the stormy midst of creating awkward art…I love it anyway.
It’s been too hot here though, with a baby, to get outside much…and I’ve been on an exercise + heat combo restriction since having my freak hematoma surgery a couple of weeks ago anyway. But finally, last night enough was enough and I packed up the jogger stroller and got to clipping along as the sun began to rest its weary head. Then, this morning I high-tailed it out the door as early as possible to miss the mid-day scorch.
I always have my iPhone with me, more to take some photos these days than for safety…which is a nice change of focus. Not that I’m not always watchful and aware, but I’m more aware of my surroundings with the focus of finding beauty in the adventure rather than staying on the lookout to slay hidden monsters in the woods.
(And if there’s any bad guys reading this who thinks they can hide in the woods and get me now, I’ll still kick your ass…I’ll just have a play-by-play photo sequence to show the cops now.)
But back to filling the well….That’s what I have been up to.
I’ve also been up to painting…so I have an update on my “flower painting” I was asking for a divorce from in my last post. …..We’ve reconciled.
Our relationship is transforming.
If you’re interested in my flower painting reality-show I plan to post pics of the changes sometime this week. Not to give it away, but I think it’s a happy ending/beginning.
For now I’ll share what is going into my well from my inspiration hikes…maybe some of these images will show up in future paintings and art…? Stay tuned! 🙂
And now…to make sense of my title…
We (me and my toddler (who isn’t toddling yet (any day now, she’s 13 months today!) daughter) hit the trail earlier than usual and came along some pretty wonderful trail magic right off the bat. We weren’t even 3 minutes in when we literally walked right up on a sweet doe having breakfast. I stayed my distance at first, but it became clear she was quite secure in herself as she slowly meandered down the path with her little hooves clopping on the asphalt in front of me, ha! It was magical and a bit disturbing all at once! I didn’t push my luck because I wasn’t sure if she was so confident she would charge toward us , but she wasn’t foaming at the mouth like Cujo and didn’t have any babies with her or anything so I took a calculated risk and kept my place for the photo-op.
I know it’s possible I might be the only one so excited about shooting a deer. But I have experienced various animals entering into my path in different and sometimes bizarre ways across my life. It seems like when I am in a period of growth, change, transition or upheaval they appear in many ways, usually in succession. Considering I’ve had my fair share of these tumultuous times in my life, the appearance of these animal messengers (as I tend to see them as) has formed a sort of pattern I’ve taken note of. For what it’s worth, deer have shown up before in this fantastical way in my life, but never in a way that allowed me to “shoot”.
I’m not sure if there’s any relation to the actual size of the animal correlating to the size of power of the message…It seems to not matter what the animal actually is as much as the animal appears and reappears in a serious of happenings and in a way that is sure to capture my attention….and different animals seem to send a different heads-up.
Unfortunately, as I write this it’s 3:00 am and I’m probably not in a great place to explain my thoughts about this in depth, but I can’t really post about the deer without at least some mention so that when this comes up again this concept has already been introduced. I have some stories to tell! 🙂
As I took photos I was looking for instances of repetition, rhythm, texture, form and anything else that generally caught my eye for any reason, consciously or subconsciously. I wanted to fill the frame with information to inform my other modes of arting (painting, future metalsmithing, ceramics, etc.) and not necessarily with the goal of creating an artistic photo. But some of them actually turned out being a sort of therapeutic emotional expression for me in themselves which I never complain about!
May the well be filled!
I’m back in business! At least to some degree. Yesterday I went to my previously scheduled Monday night sewing class and felt better for it. I’ve been working on this darned stuffed cat for months. Of course, I did just successfully thread my sewing machine by myself last week. Next up: Bobbin Winding?
One step at a time. That’s what I’m always telling myself.
My awesome (and she really is completely awesome!) sewing teacher announced to the class last night, while talking about when you’re learning to sew, you just start at step one and go from there with one new skill at a time…And then continued her announcement with the exception for me here, who started on about step 4. : ) Whoops.
But I swear when I found this cat pattern I thought it was so cute and it wasn’t that big, and besides, don’t babies play with stuffed animals? How hard could it be, really?!
So…I toted in this (non-beginner) pattern to my very first sewing class and in the past couple of months have fallen in serious intense like with sewing. It’s teetering on love, I think. I’m trying to keep it on the down-low though. I don’t want to get tooooo excited about it just yet. My sweet kitty is still not quite done and she might not love me back…? Oh, I hope she loves me!
If she doesn’t I don’t think I’m going to give up on sewing just yet. I’ll try a stuffed teddy bear next, maybe.
I noticed something else about sewing last night though. And I think it’s an awareness that has grown from the beginning of my stuffed cat project. But last night it was all in the right place and came together and YES, definitely this cat is a representation of me.
Maybe not the cat, per say…but the process of this cat becoming a cat…The cat becoming/forming/growing into what/who it is.
I’m sure I’m taking my connection with this stuffed cat a bit too far for some people’s comfort level, but I’m always looking for ways to connect and, more-so, ways to express the way I’m feeling inside.
And last night at the tail-end of my class this is how my cat ended up…
Of course, I identify with the pins in the body right now due to my recent surgery…and the stitches. The stitches…of course. And I watched as my cat’s arms and tail went inside and the “beautiful sides” (my teacher refers to them as the beautiful sides!) were pinned together before sewing… I thought to myself, “Yes…just like that. Nobody can see. what’s in there.”
Inside that’s the way I feel…(but I don’t necessarily feel beautiful in there.) I am all tucked inside, facing a needle, facing surgery, facing life, facing the unknown. And nobody can see me. “Nobody can see that I actually have a face under here…if they could see inside me here they would see my face!”
Now, I know sometimes people see me. Sometimes people are even there when I’m a bloody mess, all contorted and turned certain ways. But deeper…deeper hidden and hiding is how I sometimes feel.
Having the surgery and the following restrictions on my mobility and the fears about a repeat emergency surgery happening if I don’t follow the rules…and all my body image issues…and the control, or rather the loss of it….has had me pretty “triggered.” I’m primed and ready to go. Anxiety…check. Depression…check. Body Pain…check. NO CONTROL NO CONTROL NO CONTROL….checkcheckcheckcheckcheck!!!!
It’s not true. I know I DO have control over myself. I know that I’m going to be ok in the end. I know that even if I did have to have surgery again I’m (pretty) sure I’d live through it…even the part that comes after where I can’t get my blood pressure up, walk around, pick up and play with my daughter and do my projects.
And I also know that I have my attitude at my disposal. I can choose to stay positive and hopeful at most times. I can keep the faith. I can see the bigger picture through anything. I can do all that!
But then, sometimes…well, sometimes I’m just wrapped up tight inside and it feels like I’m not in my own hands. Maybe that’s just the place we’re all supposed to be sometimes mid-process of becoming who we are?
And it’s then that I’m really thankful I am a human…and not a stuffed cat after-all.
And I’m completely made as me. Lovable, huggable me, already! (Even if I do hide inside sometimes!)
(And I super-super know I am eager to love my creator back…and my creator will not give up on love…because creation doesn’t give up on itself! I didn’t even plan on that…I’ll have to think about this!)
No, not the end! But just the end…for now.
(I wrote this stream-of-consciousness style so I can’t guarantee all of this completely makes sense…have mercy on me! 🙂
I wish that swallowing a multi would fix it all. It swims down my insides and bursts into my stomach with a jolt. A shock…defibrillation. Everyday, the all clear comes…again, again, again. Dissolving and resolving to resuscitate my cells. No cell left unturned. No man for himself. Scratching out of form into my blood. Giving into itself. Singling out no one. Saving the many lives within me.
Am I the only one who ever imagines a vitamin this way?
I am here because the pain is too much. I participated in the recent routine of watching an episode of Breaking Bad with my husband and opening my mind to sleep, but my body isn’t cooperating. The pain has been intense today…it has been growing all week. Growing, growing so fast that I would like to graduate it on out of my body. But then where would it go? Into someone else’s body? Maybe this pain is my way of helping, contributing in a way, to the world.
Maybe I should be able to help it that my body cannibalizes itself. It scares me. It stops me in my tracks. There’s nowhere to go. But here. Here to cope. Here to express.
Therapy of my making.
It does help me. It helps to get it out. And I’m ok with it as long as I stay responsible for it. Responsible for how all this works itself out.
I’ve known a lot of hurting people in my life. Scary people. People who took their pain out on me. And there is a part of me that does understand that now. Maybe it’s a part of me that my multi-vitamin has reached and has provided insight. But mostly, the rest of me still suffers from other’s pain as it attempts healing.
I learned infliction so well though, I think. So easy to administer…like with a spoon.
I try to make myself better, to stop the pain, and yank the spoon out of my hand.
But the hurting is still there. It just moves, moving closer and closer to be fed.
It badgers me.
I will starve it. Starve the pain until finally, even if slowly, it goes away.
Nourishment itself inflicts me.
My body tries to speak to me. I try to listen.
It is hard to listen.
I crave art because it is the safest way to hear. And the clearest.
I’m working on getting working in art. It’s taking time, precious time. Soon though. It will be soon, and in the meantime, I build. I create a space for it to live…to just be.
Thinking about this brings me some relief, even as the internal chewing of my flesh continues.
Some days are much better than this. Some days I don’t hurt like this. Some days there is relief.
And I will keep swallowing the pill.
Photos from a recent trip to the park…all of my park pictures so far are from the same section of path.
These remind me of bones….
Sadly, I have not been spending many hours trying to figure out Photoshop, or even messing around with Instagram. BUT, I have been busy working!
Yesterday my “night job” duties (the time after my daughter goes to bed for the night) consisted of painting the basement….because! Because it’s in the process of transforming into my studio! Yay!
I’m so excited to have a designated place that might be large enough to become a holding place for the art I crave to do. I have a lot of plans for it, but mostly the plans are open and evolving as I speak. I think I have an area picked out for metalworking and another corner space picked for painting…
It’s exciting to think about, but for now my most used studio supply is elbow grease!
Speaking of, I better get back to it since my daughter is down for nap and time does not hold back!
Some picks from the journey… 🙂