I. It’s been too quiet in here today and so I keep channel surfing, but to no avail. Nothing seems interesting enough to press play on and music isn’t doing it either, so I’m just grappling with stillness and silence. It feels like a desert. Like my voice might echo back to me if I used it.
II. It’s okay, though. Like, I’m not in pain or anything today. A little anxious, maybe – vulnerability hangover after an unexpected grief tsunami – but also just whoa. It’s *so quiet in here* and there’s no sound that feels right to fill it.
III. Art Winos later though so this silence will be broken with laughter.
V. Also #Mood
VI. Also #Mood
VII. Warm brie on melba toast is life.
VIII. Pickled herring, too. I know. I’m weird.
IX. I think I’m on a growing edge because I feel very sixes and sevens and loose ends and wispy. Liminal. In the between. What’s next?
X. What’s next?
I. Therapy yesterday. I started out whining that I find it frustrating that I always go into classes intending to *do the lessons* as they are offered as a way to learn new skills and develop my own style, but I always veer off at some point and do my own thing.
“This is a first world problem.” I said. “This is not worth $124.30 an hour.”
I was laughing as I said it.
“What would be worth $124.30 an hour?” she asked.
“I don’t know. Not this.”
II. As we continued to explore this frustration, I had a series of flashbacks to times when I was told to do it their way or else, and the “or else” included varying degrees of emotional and physical violence, including abandonment.
I recognized a pattern.
In my early life, I was rebellious because that was the only way to survive with my big S Self intact. The role I played was that of scapegoat, and I did not accept that quietly.
As the consequences of my rebellion got worse my rebellion turned into fawning. I tried with all my might to fit my square self into the round hole I was being asked to occupy. In time, though, resentment and a sense of wrongness would take over and I would start to call things out. And yes, calling things out would earn me abandonment or violence, but after the abandonment or violence came freedom, both from having to be someone other than who I was and from violence.
In almost every case I can think of, the perceived abandonment was actually a release.
III. Since I started therapy in 2013, I’ve been learning ever so slowly but surely to assert my square self, and in the process, there has been a shedding of all relationships in which I am required to be a round peg “or else”. But there are holdovers. Voices in my head that insist I must do things in a particular way “or else”. These voices assert themselves in arenas like the aforementioned art classes. Do it right or else. This is not serving me at all. It leads me to drop out. I hear myself say to myself “Do it right or don’t do it at all.”
IV. That voice is not my own. It is a terrified part of self that is mimicking a cacophony of old voices that promised abandonment or violence if I didn’t comply and while I understand that the voice believes it is protecting me from abandonment and violence, I don’t need it anymore.
V. I am not a “follow instructions and do it perfectly” kind of learner. I am a “fuck around and find out” kind of learner and when I look at what I’ve learned and how my skills have developed in the years since I started working with mixed media, my way of learning absolutely works. It is also my way of teaching. I don’t encourage “step by step” learning. I encourage people to experiment, to use what I offer as inspiration, to play around until they stumble upon their thing.
Not all of us learn the same. Some of us are going to benefit from step by step “Do it my way before you do it your way” style instruction, but me? I rebel. And that rebellion is holy.
VI. So much for “first world problems” and not being worth $124.30 for the hour. That was an epiphany wrapped in a revelation.
VII. Doing it “right” never got me anywhere. I am where I am because I fucked around and found out. Realizing that and accepting that this is the way I learn best came as such a relief to me, and when I went back to the painty table after my session and looked over the painting above, I decided to share it (where before I felt uncomfortable about doing so) even though it doesn’t resemble the lesson it was inspired by. And the drawing I’d started that morning based on a lesson looked really GOOD to me (where it was frustrating me before) even though it, too, had veered way off from the lesson it was based on.
VIII. I keep thinking that I won’t develop as an artist unless I “do it right”, which is pretty ridiculous considering how much I’ve actually developed as an artist. While some might develop best by digging into drills or skills building intentionally through technical classes and practices, I think I develop best by embracing my inner Magpie and going with what’s shiny that day. Especially given that what really serves me is the process, not the end product, though I also have to admit that I really *love* my end products. My paintings make me happy. In short, I *am* doing it right.
IX. So that was therapy yesterday, and it is so nice to be talking about something other than all the other stuff I’ve had to talk about. There are no fires, currently. I am not “in crisis” (except for the pandemic, but even that is feeling manageable). I am just grappling with stuff like allowing myself to do things my own way without fear of abandonment or violence.
X. Safety. So this is what it feels like.
I. Month end achieved. That was a SLOG y’all, but the results were just gorgeous.
These tutorials all went up in Book Of Days 2021.
This went up in Moonshine & Moonshine Lite for February.
This was for Journal Jam, which we streamed live yesterday. The replay is up on Patreon.
II. Lockdown fatigue is real, but cases are way down in London, so I have been hanging out with Lee a little, which is awesome because he is the best platonic life partner ever. He came over on Monday night and made me a huge Shark Coot with cheese and bread that HE BOUGHT AND BROUGHT and sat up with me ’till 3 in the morning while we watched The Magicians. It was grand.
III. I feel like all I do is work, but I love my work, so it’s okay. I keep imagining all the things I’ll do when this is over, and that feels hopeful and optimistic but also a bit frustrating because I WANT TO DO IT NOW.
IV. Someone dumped me on Patreon because I’m a smoker. I am amused and also a little o.O WTF? My Patreon is AMAZING and if my smoking is a judgmental bish deterrent, so be it. FYI I ALSO SWEAR AND DRINK AND HAVE UNMARRIED SEX WHEN THAT’S POSSIBLE.
Some people. *Shakes head*
V. Watching Catfish. I do not know how people fall for any of this. Denial, man. It’s some powerful stuff.
VI. This is too true.
VII. Indigo Girls are doing livestreams on Facebook and I’m here for it.
VIII. I need to claw my house back from month end. Thankfully, I have help, but it’s exhausting just thinking about even making the list for my house elf, though, so I’m girding my loins and deep breathing and reminding myself that I *am allowed to delegate* and *I am worthy of my own self-care that comes in the form of paying people to do the things I really would rather not have to do*. That was a really long fucking sentence, but y’all, the struggle with this whole “letting myself have help” thing is *real*.
The work to feel worthy continues. Does it ever end?
IX. I find myself no longer fearing dying alone. I don’t know when that shift happened, or how, really, but it has happened. I have stopped moaning about how much I hate being single. I don’t actually hate it. In fact, when I think about having someone in my life, I also think about how much labour there is involved in *waves at all of that*.
I think part of that is because my primary love language is acts of service. I overdeliver, and overdo, and then I resent it when my needs aren’t being met. Part of that is because I’ve never actually had a relationship that met my needs in the long term. Part of it, though, is that men just seem to expect their partners to do all the emotional labour, and that gets exhausting.
I don’t want to be exhausted. I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want to be deceived. I don’t want to be taken for granted. And when I think about being in a relationship, that’s what I think is going to happen, so I’m kind of opposed to it right now.
A lover, though. I’d love a lover. Someone I don’t have to serve or clean up after. Someone who won’t expect me to do all the work. Someone who never shows up empty handed and never out stays his welcome. Someone who’ll be honest with me. Someone for whom my pleasure matters as much as their own.
I suspect that a lot of this “Oh fuck no” feeling around relationships stems from having been so badly burned, and I may heal from that and change my mind one day but for now, I’m all “Oh fuck no”, and that’s okay.
X. The kind of passionate love I’ve experienced has led me down some dark roads. I’m ready for light roads. I’m ready for easy.
I. Painted this happy thing live yesterday with my Coven. It is full of the rebellious joy I have been feeling lately.
It’s inspired by a meme that I saw floating around on Facebook which I will include at the end of today’s musings. Perfect, I think, for Full Moon In Leo.
II. Happy Full Moon in Leo, my moon babes. There are soft pink tulips and a lemon poppyseed cake coming to my house so I can properly celebrate with flowers and candles and cakes and wine.
III. There are six massive containers of chicken and lentil soup in my fridge because I’m cooking a lot lately and now I am aware of my deep need for a deep freezer. I’m looking at an apartment sized one, because my place is a hobbit hole, but first I need to clean out the corner of chaos because that’s the only space I’ve got to put it in.
IV. I am loving the idea of having a freezer stocked with soups and stews that I can just take out and reheat as the mood hits. I have only ordered in *once* this year so far because I am really loving cooking again.
V. I had that delicious soup for breakfast and it was *life*.
VI. Therapy today. It was really good. Solid progress is being made on all fronts. I am presently unfuckablewith.
VII. The new White House press secretary is giving me West Wing C.J. Cregg vibes and I AM HERE FOR IT.
VIII. Month end. Omg doom.
IX. My galaxy projector arrived, and I love it.
X. You were here last night in my dreams. You said “I’m not done being mad at you.”
I chuckled and said “Will you ever be?”
You said “Oh, probably.” and I woke up crying, because I know you hate being mad. I know you hate feeling anything that isn’t good. But I also know this is part of things, and you may be mad for eons, and that’s okay. I don’t need your permission to love you, and I don’t need you to be present, either.
Besides. I’m not done being mad at you, either. Will I ever be?
I. Yesterday was Art Winos and instead of busting out the art journal, I busted out my new make-up brushes and mirror and palettes and did this:
It was so interesting how I responded to seeing myself with a full face. I kept asking my girlfriends if it was too much (they said no). My eyebrows were especially alarming to me. *Lol!*
But, I felt pretty and I really enjoyed the process. I put foundation on WITH A BRUSH. It was COOL. There are three colors of eyeshadow on my lids!
I skipped liner because I am blind in my left eye and I didn’t want to struggle with something pointy.
II. I also did this:
My toes are also done in that slick black, and the whole affair left me feeling like this:
III. In other self-care news I finally succumbed to all the ads in my various feeds for Galaxy Projectors and there is one on the way. I am so excited! I got this one.
I am imagining having friends over for a pajama party (when we can do that) getting really high, listening to something psychedelic, and watching my ceiling.
Fuck off pandemic. I have plans.
IV. Speaking of which, I was talking to a friend last night and I started musing about how fun it would be to refurbish a school bus and travel all over North America for months at a time, stopping in on friends and teaching workshops along the way. I have no idea where that came from, but I found it interesting that I was dreaming outlandishly without anxiety. That signals some deep healing, I think.
How fun would that be, though? I could even slide right on down into Mexico and eat fish tacos on the beach.
Again. Fuck off pandemic.
V. Only 27 cases in London, Ontario today. The lockdown is working.
VI. I am having one of those days where I keep thinking I’m behind in all the things, but I am in fact right on time with all the things. I spent the morning URGENTLY WORKING ON ALL THE THINGS only to realize that I have *eight whole days* to finishing everything up in time for February 1st.
This is happening because September, October, November, & December were a slog through depression and everything took hours and hours longer to complete than I’m used to. Suddenly, I am working at my normal speed again, and lo. That is very, very good.
VI. Today I am making yet another chicken soup. The bacon potato and leek soup will be divvied up between Kimi, Alli & me, and then I will stock my fridge with a yummy chicken minestrone.
I accomplished this by ordering a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, eating my fill of it, and then using the carcass to make a very rich reduced stock, which I split in two. I usually fortify these stocks up with some Better Than Boullion and a metric fuck tonne of herbs, and they are always absolutely yummy.
VII. I think I might set up Zoom cooking dates with my daughter so I can teach her how to make Mama’s Borscht and whatever other things she’d like me to teach her how to cook. This idea pleases me. I could send her the recipe in advance so she can go get ingredients and then we can meet up and cook together.
I’m going to run that by her. I bet it would be fun.
Of course, I’d rather just have her show up here for a month so we can cook all the things together in person, but that’s not going to be possible any time soon, so Zoom it is. AND THEN FOR HER FINAL EXAM SHE CAN COME HERE AND MAKE ALL THE THINGS FOR ME.
Oh, I love this plan.
VIII. Even though my hair is a bit of a mess due to a lack of trims over the last year, it is longer than it’s ever been since my early childhood and I am loving it. I can’t wear it down because it just sort of sits there doing nothing, but when I put it up, it’s all bouncy and feminine and flirty and pretty. See above photos for proof.
Sometimes I feel a little like I’m aging in reverse, but then I take a closer look and I realize that, no, I just look *more alive* than I did before. Whatever. I’ll take it.
IX. I had a little cry yesterday and it was so full of love and empathy and forgiveness for all concerned, and I think that also signals that I’ve done some deep healing.
When I think of you lately, I mostly smile. Sometimes I flip you the bird, but mostly, I smile. I knew I’d get here. I’m grateful I have arrived.
I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. *Flicks Zippo*
X. The content for February’s Moonshine is INCREDIBLE and includes a sugar jar spell for the coven’s egregore, stories told by Brian Walsh, instruction in pathworking with stories, and instruction in mining your own stories for personal ‘heroine journeys’. And that’s ON TOP of all the other stuff we’re going to cover.
If you’re reading this, and you want to sign up, use coupon code covenup here.
That little fella up in the upper left hand corner is our mascot for the year. He is there to remind us all to embrace our inner corvid and pick up those practices and modalities that are most alive for us (OH SHINY!) while we leave the rest. I love how raggedy he is.
I created this using a graphics set I licensed from a designer. You can find the set here.