Rider

I. I am in Full Bush with Renee this year, but I stalled somewhere around prompt six, so I’ve decided to reengage as part of my blogalong. There are 23 prompts to explore, which should pad my blog fodder nicely! Find Renee here. 

II. The first prompt is to write one’s rider, which is that part of every artist’s contract where they go into detail about what they need in order to perform. The first time I wrote a rider (a few years ago now) I kept it super simple, and I now recognize that I had some difficulty with wanting things, saying I wanted them, and dreaming outrageously. I think I’ve grappled with that a lot in the years since, so I’m going to try to really stretch myself this time.

III. In order to get the best out of me, this is just *some* of what I require:

Total honesty.
You must look at me like maybe I’m magic.
Nag Champa incense burning at all times.
Candles everywhere.
A 1968 Mustang.
Knee-high Doc Martens that actually fit.
Thigh-high socks. Black.
Strappy maxi dresses. Many. Also black.
Shawls for colour. Dangly earrings. Stacked bracelets. Chokers that don’t trigger a trauma response. Bras that fit.
Coffee delivered to me in bed after slow side sex.
Orgasms I don’t have to work for.
A total sense of personal safety.
A school bus tricked out as an RV so I can travel the continent. There are twinkly lights. There is ample studio space. I have a hundred stops along the way to meet with nears and dears.
Winters in Mexico or other warm climes.
A lover who lavishes my body with touch and wonder.
A house with a room dedicated to all my pursuits – art studio, library, temple, amazing kitchen, game room, adult playroom, lush bedroom. There are twinkly lights everywhere in my house, too. I love twinkly lights.
Time to write that doesn’t feel stolen from my other pursuits.
More “want tos” than “have tos”.

That feels like a good start.

IV. Yesterday I was reminded why sometimes what feels like a “loss” is actually a release, and I was grateful for the reminder because – whoa – no to *waves at all of that*.

V. Last night looked like Kimi and I and Jambalaya (which was mildly spiced so she could enjoy it – she had seconds, even!) and two episodes of The Stand which was epic, all enjoyed in my sparkly house. The dogs were a) annoying, as they always are when Kimi is here because they love her and b) adorable.

VI. Then I watched New Amsterdam which is *killing me* but I love it anyway.

VII. Tried to get a game of WoW going with the kid only to realize his computer (my old 27 inch iMac) won’t run it. We cry. He introduced me to Stardew Valley, which is cute and mindless, so at least we have something to play while we solve the problem of his lacking a decent computer.

VIII. All my lovely co-bloggers. Whoa, so much goodness.

IX. Art For Earth. I’m going to use my proceeds from this sale to upgrade GG’s computer. Want to help? 

X. I’ve got no art to show you today since I took yesterday off, but I’ll have some soooooooon. Meanwhile, here’s this meme I’ve decided to start throwing up on my socials once every so often as a PSA.

***

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.

A Ramble & A Rant

I.Shiny brand new month! Spring! The month-end list is SLAIN! I feel like the queen of my own domain.

II. March was a bit gnarly – there’s been a lot of ups and downs in the realm of vaccine rollouts. Things are going much more slowly than anyone would like. Variants are on the rise. We’re definitely in a third wave. Ontario is going into a month of tighter restrictions as of Saturday – not that anything changes for me because I have just stayed in lockdown even as things have eased. I am in desperate need of a cottage weekend or a camping trip or a festival or SOMETHING that feels frolicsome and fun, butandalso I am not quite sure how reentry is going to go given that I find the prospect of hanging out with actual human beings pretty much terrifying. I know I can manage one on one. What happens when there’s more than one? What happens when there’s OMG three? Four? A DOZEN? Eeep. I guess I’ll find out!

III. The weather has been teasing me mercilessly with super beautiful warm days followed by chilly wet and gloomy days. This isn’t unusual for spring in Canada, but it feels especially wearisome given that we’ve all been in lockdown all winter long. Today looks like frigid temperatures and *snow*, for crying out loud, so I’m glad I don’t have to go anywhere. There will be tea and puppy cuddles and a hot soak at some point. I’ve also got my one bubble person coming over for an episode of The Stand which I am finding weirdly comforting to watch despite the weirdness of watching a plague on screen while a plague rages all around me. There will be Apothic Dark and a pot of Jambalaya to share. Good times.

IV. GG is out of the hospital and settling in at home. He seems to be doing well, and I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your good wishes and prayers as we navigated *waves at all of this*. Things feel significantly different this time versus his last hospitalization in 2016 – there are resources in place that we didn’t have before + he is much more accepting of the severity of the consequences of going off his medication, so I am experiencing a great deal of optimism and relief. His step-dad is also much more involved this time, which has been a huge relief to me since he lives close by whereas I live an hour away by car.

It is *so good* to be back in regular contact with him, even though we can only visit virtually for the time being. We’re planning on a meatspace visit as soon as we can, but in the meantime, there’s Zoom and World of Warcraft and Words With Friends.

V. Conspiring over things to create and facilitate with Renee in the fall. Also, y’all want a friend like Renee. No one in my life knows how to just *be with what is* like Renee. No one knows how to snatch me when I need snatching like Renee. Love you, Renee.

VI. I graduated out of therapy, and I’m now on monthly maintenance for a few months before reassessing where I’m at. I’m going to miss my weekly Zooms with my therapist a lot but I am ready to integrate all of the work we’ve done over the last eight (!!) years. The way I handle myself these days is proof of the efficacy of that work. I am better than I’ve ever been with stronger boundaries and a stable foundation of self-worth and loyalty to see me through. If I need to resume, I will, but for now, I’m ready to fly on my own.

VII. Brandi Carlile. Gods, I love her so much. Last Sunday, she did a concert (with a fully vaccinated audience) that was live-streamed and I loved every second of it. Every song hit me where I live, and I admit I did a lot of weeping while I whooped and hollered at my t.v. screen.

The Story is my autobiography. I’m also really feeling this song – especially that line about a crowded table.

And speaking of live-streamed concerts, Kimi and I got together last Friday for a Wardruna concert and it was EPIC.

I made corned beef & cabbage for our dinner and that was also epic!

VIII. Having this girl home has also been epic. She has been taking lessons from Renee’s Lola and screams at me on the regular in the most endearing way. She meows and meows and then sticks her head in my armpit and purrs and purrs and makes me feel like I might just be the very best human ever – at least so far as she’s concerned.

IX. The internet amuses me. This has been floating around, and truer words have never been memed.

Having experienced the absolute destructive quality of a so-called “twin flame” relationship, I’ve come to the conclusion that describing ambivalent men as one’s “twin flame” is a really convenient way to shift all the emotional labour onto one party and keep them hooked into a painful game of “wait and see”. Your mileage may vary, and I’ll never tell you what you should or shouldn’t do in the realm of relationships, but I’ve listened to enough of this stuff from various sources to suspect that “twin flame” relationships seem to be nothing more than insecure, anxious attachment styles colliding with avoidant attachment styles in disguise. These kinds of relationships seem to create trauma bonds that keep one party stuck in a holding pattern far, far longer than is healthy.

It also seems to be a way to rationalize away the damage done to all parties where there are power imbalances due to age differences, infidelity or deception involved. When you tell a person who is embroiled in that kind of thing that “soul contracts were signed by all parties” so their participation in the power imbalance or deception is just part of the learning experience, well…that really is a fucking dumpster fire. The whole thing. Garbage. Trash. I’ve been in therapy way too long to buy this bullshit anymore. I’m over it. I’m not here for it. And the next person that uses this language with me in reference to my relationship with them is going to get the door slammed in their face so fast they won’t know what hit them.

Spiritual excuses for abusive behaviours and unhealthy relationship styles make me stabbity.

X. The prospect of Golden Girling in Mexico with Renee becomes ever more appealing.

P.S. Even though I feel like I’ve aged a decade this year, I am still feeling myself.

Here’s some art I’ve made since last we typed.

 

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.

Bring It On

I. Still fighting the good fight with GG in hospital and hoping his brain will come back from this latest break with reality, which is taking up a lot of emotional bandwidth. I’m going in to see him tomorrow. Wish me luck and a COVID-free hospital visit.

II. Journal Jam on Monday was pretty epic. I refused to do anything “like I usually do”, and the results were really edgy and fun. The time spent flinging paint was much needed.

Edited replays go up on Patreon. 

III. Thinking about my sister today. Enough said.

IV. On Sunday, I made a pot roast so I could make pot roast soup, which I will happily eat for days. Something about soup when things are hard just puts a comforting spin on things. I also had my first stoop sit, which I enjoyed all wrapped up in a shawl I bought from Weavers Of Ireland. It was glorious. More of that, please. I’m hoping to lure Leonard back into my good graces. Remember him?

V. Work is good. I’m ahead. That’s a good feeling and I’ll take those where they come.

VI. Sushi with my spirit daughter was good. The restaurant had lots of space, and we felt safe. I stuffed myself on white tuna and left with a happy belly. The same day, I got to see a beloved friend I haven’t seen since September, which was also good (HI DANI LOVE YOU). We’re all emerging a little in the face of vaccines, but still maintaining distance and masking up.

VII. Lots of questions coming up around boundaries and energy and who gets mine and why. Lots of “are you fucking kidding mes?” and “holy nos” being uttered lately. The shedding year continues, and I have no regrets. If you lie to me, you don’t get access to me. If you harm me, you don’t get access to me. If you project your shit all over me and leave me to clean up the mess, you don’t get access to me. Period. No more fawning for this girl. Those days are over.

This feels so self-loyal that it takes my breath away.

VIII. I’m pretty sure I’m getting ready to graduate out into maintenance with therapy, since all I’ve been doing lately is reporting in on the shit that happens and how I handle it (with my newfound do no harm take no shit aplomb). I feel centered. I feel certain of my worth. I’m not easily knocked off course. I still get triggered, but since I insist on relationships with people whose words align with their actions, I get triggered *far less* than I did when I was invested in relationships in which I was constantly bewildered by the disconnect between what was actually happening and what I was being told was happening.

Progress. 

IX. I’m looking forward to another reading with Chris Zydel today. I picked today for reasons I won’t go into but I’m glad I have something to look forward to and occupy myself with. I’m also amused because my Chani App for today says “Call Your Healer”. Hah!

X. No snow when I woke up today. Birdsong. Spring is springing. Bring it on.

P.S. Please pray for GG. <3

I’d Rather Be Feral Than Fragile

I. Calling on all my holy helpers, guides, ancestors, and whatever powers stand ready to assist me in all the things, including healing from this motherfucker of a year and all that entails in this painting for New Moon in Pisces.

It will be my praxis this cycle (from new moon to new moon) to engage in little rituals morning and night to acknowledge their presence.

II. Got my Oculus Quest updated and charged up and did 23 minutes of high octane bashing and squatting with the Supernatural app. I worked up a sweat and the music was just what I needed and when I was done with the workout I did a ten-minute lovingkindness meditation while sitting on a mountain top on a beautiful clear day. This thing might just be the thing that saves my bacon while we teeter on the edge of opening up BUT NOT QUITE YET omg make lockdowns stop.

III. Lockdown silver linings. My hair hasn’t been this long since I was a little girl, and I love all the ways I can wear it now. The waterfall ponytail is my favourite.

IV. When I make a little bit of effort (and I do mean “a little bit” – so like, a little BB cream, a little mascara, a little sweep of shimmery shadow on the upper lid, a little lippy) I feel cute. Note to self: do this more often.

V. I finished Yellowstone last night and now I’m sulking because I have nothing to watch.

VI. I’m painting today though so it’s okay. I’m working on A Year Of Mary and I’m very pleased with myself. Peeks to come when it’s finished.

VII. TERFs disgust me. Transwomen are women. Transmen are men. I’m also disgusted by those railing against the decision (made of their own accord, mind you) of the estate of Dr. Suess to stop publishing six (out of over sixty) titles that are harmful to children because they espouse racist views. Same with those railing against the removal of Pepe LePew from the airways.

When are we going to get that transphobia, homophobia, racism and rapy-ness are not things we should be enshrining? They are things we should be challenging within ourselves and our communities. These are things we should be *protecting* our children from. We should be offering them alternative worldviews in which no one touches you without your consent and no one makes fun of you for the colour of your skin. Those who are comparing Pepe LePew to Family Guy or Southpark are full of shit, too, because these cartoons (while incredibly problematic) are not made for children. Pepe LePew was. I grew up watching rape culture masquerading as “romance” and “comedy” every Sunday after dinner. I am not here for it or for anyone defending it as a charming part of our childhood. So was Aunt Jemima and you all know how I feel about that.

Now can we address Disney’s problematic depictions of BIPOC and the way they whitewash history through their completely inaccurate depictions of Indigenous culture next? KTHNXBAI

#stabbity

VIII. GG is doing okay. More and more lucid every day, and that is doing my heart a world of good.

IX. Yesterday’s plans to go to Bijan’s and get the house done were preempted by finding myself in the flow with a lesson I was filming, so that’s happening today.

X. New Moon is already up for my moonbeams, so I can relax some this weekend. I’m taking a hiatus from things that require me to show up as my best self because I’m truly not fit for most humans right now. I am too reactive, a live wire, zero tolerance, all thorn no rose. The only people I can feel comfortable around in person have fur and four feet. I feel feral and I’m not going to lie. I’m rather enjoying it because it is better by far than feeling fragile.

Invincible

I. I took some time off blogging because I felt like I was just saying the same thing over and over again and it was tiresome.

II. In the time since last we typed, GG was hospitalized. I don’t want to talk about it because a) discretion and b) there’s a lot of fury in this for me. A lot of sadness. A lot of fear. I just want you to hold him and his potential for finding his way back from this in your heart. Help me hold myself upright in the belief that he will be okay and we will get through this.

At least I have some help with all of it this time, and at least this has begun to heal some of the ruptures I had within my family last year, but Holy Hannah. This could have been prevented had that help been there when the issues that led to this hospitalization first began to present itself as an issue, so the fury is real.

Enough said.

III. I’m exhausted, but I think we can all relate to that. Spring is springing but the usual joy that goes along with that awareness is hard to connect with. The usual excitement over upcoming festivals has been crushed by the sale of the venue we usually have those fests at and the fact that it won’t be safe for us to gather until sometime later this year anyway. I’m depleted and I’m trying to figure out how I can refuel now that my usual ways of doing that have been canceled due to COVID.

IV. But I’m making a lot of art. My house is clean. I feed myself. And despite some seriously disappointing (and in some cases traumatic) experiences, I am okay-ish. Lonely, so lonely, but okay-ish.

V. I have enough bandwidth to keep my own body and soul together and not much more than that. I’m more reactive and therefore less available as a result, but it’s either that, or I’ll head right on into another nervous breakdown.

Nope. Not gonna.

I’m as available as I can be within the confines of my limitations. I’m quicker with a “no, don’t do that”. I’m asking for a lot more patience and where I can’t have that, I simply disconnect, because that’s all I’ve got. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, though so if this is you, too, well. I see you. *links pinkies*

VI. All this art since last we typed (and more that I haven’t photographed yet).

VII. My spiritual and creative life is on fire. I had a reading with the incomparable Chris Zydel in which I realized that there is a lot of help on offer from the unseen realms that I don’t tap into because I lack a sense of worth. She reminded me that this help was earned. I have earned it. I can lean on it, call upon it, expect it to show up, and let it prop me upright as needed.

I’m calling the moon.

VIII. There’s always something to celebrate. Friendships that feel like they flow in ways that nourish my spirit. Art and the way it heals me. My relationship with my youngest daughter, which is tender and healing for us both, and affirming in ways I could never have imagined. Music. My plants, which are still alive almost a year after I got them (miraculous). My galaxy projector. Fantastic fucking boundaries. The way my self-work has continued even in the midst of *waves at all of this*. Journal Jams. My incredible virtual coven. Fresh flowers. Vaccines are coming. My son saying “Love you mom” and his recognition that I’m on his side now that the meds are starting to kick in. My gorgeous grandchildren. The way grief ebbs when you just feel your way through it. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Grace. Mercy. An invincible summer within me.

Billie Buns.

IX. I’m ahead with work stuff, and that feels really good. I’m about to throw up the edited replay of yesterday’s Journal Jam for my fine feathered friends in BOD2021 and my patrons on Patreon. You can watch the full-length replay here if you like, but be forewarned. I do a lot of singing and swearing. Once that’s up, I’m going to take the rest of the day off because I’ve earned it. I plan to watch Yellowstone and do some personal art.

Tomorrow, I’m going to film a thing for a thing (A Year Of Mary) before my house elf arrives. We’re going to go to Bijan’s – either before she dives into putting my space to rights or after – because we have a need to buy some art supplies. Thursday is therapy and whatever else the day calls forth from me. Friday is Rufus. The weekend will be about finishing touches on things that are due, and on Monday, we Journal Jam (join The Wilderhood for updates) AND I am going for sushi with a friend to celebrate her birthday – terrifying, yes, but a much-needed break from these four walls. Numbers are pretty well controlled here where I am, so I’m okay-ish with it.

X. My familiar is home. She is as beautiful as ever, got comfortable immediately upon her return, and has been slow blinking at me a lot. I really missed her.

Thanks to Chloe who fostered her for a bit there until I could get to KW to pick her up and thanks to Kimi who drove me there and back. xo

 

#Mood

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.

IV. #Mood

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?