Obsessions

I. Another day of playing catch up in Full Bush and today we’re talking about obsessions. I *love* having obsessions. I love the way shared obsessions cement friendships & love affairs. If I love you, I want us to share at least one or two obsessions. More is gravy, but I gotta have the fries. Renee and I share Stevie Nicks, our familiars (Sybil and Lola were meant to be best friends), Yellowstone, and self-inquiry. Kimi and I share art journaling & mixed media art, witchery, Viking music (and – ahem – actual vikings), bonfires, fooooooooooood, and freedom. Dani and I share a love for shenanigans, foooooooooood, cottage weekends, laughter (the kind that makes tears run down your legs), flowy dresses, and lovers that make us week in the knees while respecting our personal sovereignty. Sarah and I are obsessed with art witchery. I have a group of artist friends who are all equally obsessed with the act of creation. I have a group of colleagues who are all equally obsessed with creating spaces within which creativity can bloom. Our obsessions are like glue, and because we share these obsessions we get exposed to the obsessions we don’t share – yet – and we get to develop new obsessions. Renee introduced me to Yellowstone. OBSESSED. Kimi introduced me to Amsterdam. 42 introduced me to Amigo The Devil and while I am still *really fucking mad at 42* that shared obsession (among others – perfect Ceasars, slow side sex, the healing power of the gaze of a man who is absolutely besotted with you) will be with me for the rest of my days.

II. I’m not going to lie. It still hurts a little to type “42”.

III. But I’m not obsessed with him anymore. Progress. 

IV. These days I’m obsessed with luring Leonard out of hiding after this long, long winter in isolation. I am obsessed with rereading the entire Earth’s Children series (though that last book is a *stinker* – ugh – what was she thinking?). I’m obsessed with metallic watercolours on black gesso. Luna moths. Lip up girls. The way Sybil holds my hand while I’m napping. Napping and the way napmares are awful but also prophetic and revealing. Slow food. Faux leather tights. The Rose of Sharon just outside my door. The proximity of my place to an *actual river*. The way the geese fly overhead every morning and evening. My future. 

V. I know that one could easily swap out the word “Obsessions” and swap in “Passions” but there’s something a little dangerous about the word “Obsessions” that reminds me that it is my life’s work to be as wild as I possibly can be within the boundaries of safety, sanity, integrity, and consensuality. I love being obsessed. I love following my obsessions down whatever rabbit holes they lead me down. I love fully and shamelessly embracing them and sharing them and talking about them.

VI. I am the kind of teacher I am because I am OBSESSED.

VII. I used to think I wanted to be super zen, but I have realized over the last couple of years that I want to be on fire at all times. I want to be lusting. I want to be pursuing. I want to be a little bit maniacally in love with the world. I want to be thriving. I want to have a glint in my eyes that says “This one is trouble.”

VIII. She’s mad but she’s magic. There’s no lie in her fire. – Charles Bukowski.

IX. Just writing this turned me on. Spring fever. Woooosah! Where’s that Viking I ordered up?

X. I may not be ready for love, but I think I might be DTF. *Lights the candles. Scatters the rose petals. Burns Nag Champa. Pours the wine.*

I’m planning to blog every day this month along with a crew of almost 300 other bloggers in my “Artfully Wild Blog Along“. If you’d like to join us, you are most welcome! Both bloggers and readers are invited to join in the fun! The only requirement is that you agree to comment on three blog posts for every blog post you share in our Facebook Group.

Oh, Probably

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? 

Oh. Probably.

Today Is Tender, But Good.

I. I like blogging on the weekends because it’s quiet in here. Quiet is good when I’m writing from a tender place, and today I’m in a tender place. The following four things are why. Feel free to skip them.

II. Two years ago, I made reservations at the pub down the street, brought cake with their permission, and arranged with the band to have you serenaded. It was a very good night. I remember S saying that she had never seen you happier. She took a picture of us that I sent her a copy of because she loved it so much. Your crinkled up eyes. Your smile. Your delight when the bagpiper came on over and played for you. Do you remember? 

III. I’m glad I gave you that day. Despite everything. Remembering it is good. 

IV. Today, I’m thinking about you and doing the whole “sending love and healing thing” and I trust that some part of you is feeling it, and even if not, well. I’m feeling it and it feels…

V…well, wistful and sweet and good. So there’s that. I’m making chicken and dumplings in your honour. I’m skipping the Caesars, though, because that would be asking for a case of the vodka induced morbs and I don’t have the bandwidth for that. It’s bad enough that Spotify presented me with this song yesterday (fucking algorithms!), right? Right. So, anyway.

Happy Birthday. 

VI. In other news, I spent the first half of the day doing dishes, putting away groceries, formatting content for a thing for Moonshine’s February unit, correcting a mistake in the Darling Human Planner, scheduling the supportive email that will be sent out tomorrow, listening to music (and dancing to some of it so I can get my daily steps in), painting, and nibbling cheese. That’s not a euphemism for anything, by the way. I just really like cheese.

VII. Later, I’ve got Art Winos, and then cards with a friend.

VIII. Numbers are way, way down in London – a fact for which I am incredibly grateful. We’re out of the triple digits, thank the gods, and though we won’t be any kind of “out of the woods” until everyone is vaccinated, I am really feeling hopeful. The nature of mRNA vaccines means there’s true ease in tweaking them to apply to the different variants that are coming on the scene. I really believe we’re going to be okay if we just hang in there, mask up, distance, and wash our hands.

IX. It feels good to feel so goddamned good. Yes, it’s mixed. Yes, there’s a thread of sorrow through it all. Yes, I am feeling all my feels and not just the good ones, but I feel *alive* and that is a huge shift. I’ll take it.

X. All right. Back to painting. Love you.

This Is Also The Way

This edition of ‘ten things’ started over on FB, but I’m continuing it here.

I.Since the break up with 42, I’ve been haunted by the number. Stalked even. I look at the time, and it’s 4:20. There are 42 comments on my posts for an outrageously long time. I have 42 things in my inbox. People mention the number eleventy billion times in a comedy routine or whatever.

When it first came to my awareness that this was happening, I found it painful. As time passed, I began to find it annoying. Then, one night last week as I was drifting off to sleep I got this download:

“When you see his number, send him love and healing. Don’t argue. Just do it.”

So, I started sending him love and healing every time it occurred to me because while *I am okay* I’m not so sure he is and that download, however annoyed I might have been when it first came down the pipe, makes sense to me.It’s been about a week of sending him love and healing every time the number comes up in whatever context (so, dozens of times, really) and last night I had the loveliest dream about him.We were curled up together. I had my head on his chest. We were laughing and talking like we used to, and all of a sudden he sat up, looked down at me with those eyes of his and said “God, you’re a beautiful woman. I love you.”

I woke up smiling and wishing him love and healing.

You all know I’m a bit on the woo side. I do believe that these experiences have meaning and impact. I do believe in the veracity of these kinds of ‘instructions from the universe’ that come in the form of numbers coming up over and over again. I do believe in downloads from our more evolved selves (divine or higher or however you like to think of it). I knew when I got that command to send him love and healing that it would also *help to heal me*.

I don’t know about parallel universes or being in union in other dimensions when one is separated in this one, but I know that dream felt as real as anything I’ve ever experienced, and where before it might have caused me to wake in tears, railing against the loss, this morning I woke in the full possession of truth that the love between was real and is eternal.I’ll see him again one day. Probably not in this life, but some day.

Meanwhile, we both have work to do.

II. Yesterday was AMAZEBALLS. Kimi and I carefully combed through the rules around contact here in London during this latest iteration of “Lockdown” and discovered that we are allowed to bubble up our households since I live alone and she & her daughter live alone. There is no one else in our bubbles currently, and knowing how safe she is (and visa versa) we decided to have a Friday night together here at my place with wine and charcuterie (which we call Shark Coot because we’re nerds like that) and Rufus and whatever else.It was soooooo good. Pictures to prove it.

Click through to see full-sized images.

III. Anyone that knows me knows that music is my love language so introducing people to the music I love really matters to me. We spent the entire night doing just that. Rufus. Leonard Cohen. Martha Wainwright. And then we talked and talked and talked until I finally started to fade.

More of that please.

IV. Today is for getting some work done because yesterday was all about cleaning the house. The house thing felt *amazing*, and I am loving being in my space now that I’m able to keep up with things. It’s always a good indicator that I’m coming up out of a depression when I can’t stand to let my kitchen get too out of hand. Also, I cook.

V. Speaking of cooking, back in 2018, I noticed that the weight I was at was hard on my lungs. I couldn’t get comfortable when attempting sleep. The numbers don’t really matter because I don’t believe in BMI being an indicator of much of anything, but I was feeling like I’d like to be lighter so I started eating differently, and I started to drop the weight.

I fell in love in late 2018 and that weight started creeping back on like it does, but slowly and I wasn’t worried about it.

A few weeks ago a friend asked if I’d lost weight. This was not one of those rude congratulatory comments that I abhor, but rather a question that arose out of love and concern. I told her I didn’t know. I had stopped weighing myself before I moved to London.

This question led me to take a look in the mirror, whereupon I realized that I have been really disembodied for a long time. I never turn the bathroom light on when I’m in there – I even bathe in candlelight. I don’t look at myself, ever, unless I’m filming a thing that requires my face, and that is *very difficult for me* so I get it done as quickly as I can and without a whole lot of eye contact. I had no idea what was going on in my body, or that my ASS had completely disappeared – like WHERE THE HELL DID MY ASS GO?!?!

So I ordered a scale. And, whoa indeed.

I accidentally and without trying found myself at the goal weight I set for myself in 2018. According to ‘the experts *cough* bullshit *cough*, I am still “obese” and my BMI is still higher than it “should be” but I am not buying it. I am at the perfect weight for me right now BUT I am lacking in muscle tone and I am probably malnourished because this weight dropped off due to grief and stress. For the first few weeks after the breakup I couldn’t keep any food down, and then as the depression continued to ravage me, I lost my appetite. My well-known love for feeding myself beautifully fell by the wayside. I would toss a few crackers and some olives down my throat when I got hungry enough to feel nauseated. I would order in crap, eat half of it, and toss the rest away.

This is not an ideal way to lose weight, y’all. I lost muscle. I lost strength. I lost MY ASS!

Bummer. But…

VI. I’m cooking and eating again and while I do want to maintain something pretty close to this number, I also want to build some muscle. I want to get some stamina and strength. So I’m doing stuff about it. Because I’m worth my own excellent care.

V. “Something about it” includes looking myself in the mirror – in the eyes. It means turning on the light when I’m brushing my teeth. It means buying a makeup mirror and a new set of brushes to go with the new palettes I bought myself so I can play with putting on a face. Self-adornment. It means thinking not just about what I put in my body, but what I put on it. There’s a bottle of lotion by the bed that I use on my arms and legs every day. There’s a pack of rose scented face wipes. There’s a little manicure kit. I have charged up my Oculus Quest and I’m going to start playing Beat Saber a few times a week for as long as my body can stand it because that is a super fun way to get myself moving.

VI. I just ordered myself this, too, because truer words do not exist right now:

VII. I am not into the spiritual bypass, but the lessons I’ve learned over the course of the last two years are really serving me beautifully and I *am* grateful. Fuck the pandemic, for sure, but without this pressure cooker I found myself in, there is a lot that would have taken a lot longer to be revealed. These revelations were necessary in order to move me forward, and I’m running with that in the direction of my own prayers.

VIII. I like me. A lot.

IX. My plants are *still alive* y’all! This one is my favorite.

X. This witchy box subscription that I got for myself makes me ridiculously happy. The first box came with a black satin robe with the words “Moonchild” emblazoned across the back. I’ve been wearing it ever since it arrived.

This is the way.

Birds Flying High

I.You know how I feel.

II. All day yesterday, I wanted to have a hot soak to scrub *that man* (and the last four years) out of my hair. I just took delivery on a gorgeous bar of soap made with patchouli and activated charcoal, so it felt like the right time BUT I was so glued to the coverage of the inauguration that I couldn’t drag myself away. My nervous system didn’t say ‘ok, we’re clear’ until I could imagine President Joe Biden tucked in bed with milk and cookies.

I have not cried so many tears of joy in a very, very long time. It was a really good day.

III. This morning, I got up and watched this and lo, it was very good. Adults. Gods, I’ve missed adults.

IV. I had that soak I wanted to have this morning, charcoal soap and all, and lo, that was also very, very good. I am squeaky clean and can we please just never use his name again, like, ever? I know we can’t forget, but we can do the very worst and most painful thing one can do to a narcissist – ignore him completely. Insist that he just doesn’t fucking matter anymore.

Because he doesn’t. Onward.

V. Nothing is perfect, but things are better, and I’m hanging my heart on that. I keep saying “we’re going to be okay” like it’s some kind of magic spell, and maybe it is. I feel it this morning. We are going to be okay.

VI. I love orange juice. This new morning ritual of juice before coffee is *life*.

VII. Before I fell into my doomed relationship with 42, I was doing really well. I was happy. I had good friends. I was open to dating, and pursued that with varying degrees of success. I loved my apartment and my routine. I loved my work. I was a bit lonely, but it was nothing I couldn’t deal with.

As the relationship began, I was holding it very, very lightly. It wasn’t something I was thinking long term about. I expected him to come and go as he pleased. I expected I’d meet someone eventually who could show up fully and partner me in the way I deserved, and when it ended (because I was sure it would end) I expected us to go back to what we were before, because I couldn’t see how it could be otherwise…

…but he insisted that I was his center. His breath. His future. He insisted that we were meant to be, that we were going to have a whole life together. It was just a matter of time. “Soon, love.” he said, over and over again. “Pinky swear.”

It took me a long time to begin to believe him, and but I did, and it began to consume my every waking thought. I did everything I could to make us possible, to pave the way, even while he did nothing. I partnered him emotionally, financially, and by making space even when he failed to partner me. I told him everything even while he was withholding. I was willing to have the difficult conversations, even when he defaulted to humor or deception to avoid confrontation.

I would wonder out loud (because words weren’t aligning with actions) what the fuck was really going on and he would pinky swear that I had nothing to worry about.

I knew he was lying.

Every abandonment wound I had was badly triggered. I became anxious, depressed, no more fucking fun.

I lost my way. I lost *myself*.

But…

VIII. Today, I am fully in possession of myself once more. I love my life. I love my little nest in London. I love my routine. I love my chosen family. I hate the pandemic because it is in the way of the things I want to do, but this too shall pass and I’m looking forward to the life I will create for myself from this haven I’ve made for myself.

The last two years have taught me a lot. There are things I will never choose for myself again. There are things I will always choose for myself. There are boundaries now in place that weren’t there before. My fawn trauma response has been completely exposed for what it is. I know how to stand up for what I want and need. I know how to refuse to accept anything less. I trust that self that knows when someone is lying – to themselves, to me. I will not align with someone else against my own best interests. Self-loyal. I choose me.

I am so proud of myself for how far I’ve come. This whole thing with 42 AND the stuff with my emergency move + the way certain of my bio fam responded to that whole thing AND a global pandemic could have done me in entirely – and if I’m being honest, it almost did – I had a legit nervous breakdown that almost killed me, and I was *absolutely abandoned* by people I depended on and loved when that happened, but you know what they say, right?

Throw me to the wolves and I’ll come back leading the pack.

XI. I grew up being scapegoated. My sister was the golden child, and I was – well – not. That was the theme of my childhood. I was the squeakiest wheel. I was the problem child. I was the difficult kind.

I still am, but now I am proudly so. I am PROUDLY and LOUDLY  the squeaky wheel. I am proudly the one who will ask all the questions you’d rather not answer. I am proudly the difficult one that will not stand for abuse or projection of any kind. I will show up on your doorstep with receipts. I will call you on your shit. I will say no, this will not stand. I will not keep your secrets.

As we left 2020 behind and entered 2021, I shook off all the shit people have tried to lay on me. Every day, I remind myself of the one thing I know for sure: if you see and say things someone doesn’t like in themselves, even if you love them despite those things, even if you stand ready to assist them with those things, they will demonize you if they aren’t ready to deal with it. They will hold a grudge against you for the shit they did wrong. They will project and deflect. Their accusations are confessions. I have seen it time and time again. I *am* an expert in this kind of abuse. I am an expert in how this kind of abuse impacts my nervous system.

I’m not here for it anymore.

I used to be a perfect, willing vessel for other people’s stuff. I was raised to do that. I was the container into which other people’s split off parts got placed. I was the holder of their secrets. I bore the brunt of their unwillingness to do their own work.

I am no longer a perfect container for other people’s unconscious or shadow content. I resign. I rebuke this role now and forever.

Keep your box of darkness. I’ve got enough work to do unpacking my own.

X. Today is therapy day. I like to take these days as they come, since I never know what state therapy will leave me in. I did some Zoom coffees with friends first thing because we have things to celebrate on this bright shiny new morning in January 2021. I scrubbed myself clean of the last four years – all of it – all of them – and let all of it swirl on down the drain and away from me. I’m starting fresh, in full ownership of my little empire.

I am my own safe space now. I’m my own soft place to land.

It’s a new day.

Self-Forgiveness

I. The year is off to a really good start, and while that’s not trickling down into a ‘feel good’ moment, it is a ‘not feeling bad’ moment, and I’ll take it. Programs are up and running beautifully. So many new faces! I’m gobsmacked and in awe of all of you! More of this, please.

II. I got an unexpected bit of leisure time today because Myrna’s internet is being repaired + I slept in and didn’t want to run wild-eyed into Journal Jam. We’ll meet tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, this affords me the time to put my studio back into some semblance of inspiring since right now it is a pit of year-end omgdoom and needs a thorough going over. There are paper scraps all over the floor and a pile of stuff that need to be put back in place. My brushes need soaking and washing. It will feel so good to get it all done.

III. My new office chair is AMAZING and I love it so much. It is deep so my whole butt + crossed legs fit (I always sit cross-legged) AND it has a lumbar massager that I can remove and use anywhere. It is SO much better than my old chair. Here’s the one I got. 

IV. I also got a champagne and rose coloured blue tooth headset so when I am actually ready to start gaming in earnest, I am all ready. I have been experiencing some serious screen fatigue, though, so I haven’t felt compelled. When I do, I have WoW Shadowlands all ready to go.

V. My art winos. Gods, how lucky am I to have them. So much gratitude for your presence in my life. 

VI. My youngest daughter and I spent a few hours on Zoom last night and it was so good to talk real talk and to know that she *knows me* so she doesn’t let anyone else’s story about me impact her, nor does she let *me* tell bullshit stories about myself *to her*. She is wise, firm, honest, and true, and I love that she came through me.

VII. Cocoon. Self-loyalty. Clawing myself back from 2020.

VIII. When you said you were a coward, I should have listened. When you said you weren’t worth it, I should have listened. When you said you were lazy and thoughtless, I should have listened.

I wished I had listened because I have regrets I would not have if I had listened. But I loved you, and I aligned myself with the other words you uttered – the ones I wanted to hear. 

My mistake. 

Butandalso you taught me to tune my ears and heart to where actions and words align vs. where they don’t. You taught me to believe a person when they tell you they are what they are. You taught me about what I can and can’t live with in terms of my own integrity, too, and that will all serve me well if I ever decide to trust anyone with my heart ever again. Right now it feels unlikely because it’s a chewed up piece of gristle in your teeth and under your boot, but I have spent the last decade levelling up and I am continuing to do my work to become the best version of myself that I can be and I believe that someday the universe will put me in the way of the worthy. 

May you heal. May you find your way. May you be happy. Fare thee well.

IX. Self-forgiveness.

X. Today is a good day. I just want to bask in that.

*Pours more coffee. Turns on Mountain Men. Snuggles dogs.*