I. Fest left me speechless. I really don’t know how to write about it except to say I came home transformed, re-wilded, ready for what’s next. I love the new site. I loved feeling surrounded by beloveds. I loved feeling beloved. I miss it already and I can’t wait for Harvest.
There was *nothing* missing. Nothing. It was perfect.
II. I came home and did the usual post-fest crash, but I’m back in the swing of things now with some needed additions to my routine so I can keep the magic alive. It’s no longer enough to stoop sit and soak up the sun. My body wants the river. It wants trees and a trail to walk. It wants to move.
Of course, I broke my toe first night of fest, and I’ve done something to my knee, so that’s been a bit of a struggle, but I’m doing it. Slowly and carefully, but it’s happening.
III. I ordered a knee brace. We’ll see if it helps.
IV. I wrote a poem on the first post-fest Friday in order to remind myself that it’s okay to want things in times like these. I shared it on the socials and via my newsletter and whoa. The response has been wild. I guess it hit a nerve?
I Will To Live
As an antedote to despair
I took up pen and paper
line by line
like so –
I will live to see
a concert at the Gorge.
I will live
to have something I painted
in a gallery.
I will live to see
a slim, fine volume
of my poetry
in your hands.
I will live to gather
I will live
to paint with them,
to circle with them
under the same moon.
I will live to
be loved as I have loved.
I will live to
in my own skin.
I will live to
strip down to nothing
how I will be received.
I will trust myself
to someone’s eyes
fully and completely
knowing my trust is well placed
and well earned.
I will live to see you free.
I will live to see us free.
I will live. I will to live.
I will live to
fall apart in
I will live to
be dusted off
and set upright again.
I will live in fury.
I will live in pride.
I will live in power.
I will live knowing
your worth and mine.
I will live to learn
to play the ukulele
because the thought
I will live to write
and play a song.
I will sing out loud
how I sound or if you like it.
I will live to offer my song
to the one who gave me voice.
I will live to dance
around the fire
once, twice, three times
without wondering if
I am pleasing to your eyes.
I will live to offer my dance
to the one who gave me bones.
I will sing because I love to sing.
I will dance because I love to dance.
I will live because I love to live.
I will live.
I will live.
I will live.
June 24, 2022
IV. Notice that line about having my art in a gallery? I got a message from a friend yesterday asking me if I’d like to show in HER gallery, so magicks!
V. I don’t know if I’ve blogged about this in enough detail for this sentence to make sense, but it doesn’t matter. Still no word on my therapist. I live in hope.
VI. Month-end is almost completely done and then it’s time to rinse, repeat. I love the structure I’ve built into my life, but there are times when I start to chomp at the bit of it. Thankfully, I know that my kind of wild needs a schedule and a list to slay and deadlines and structure or I will spiral. Knowing what’s next keeps me moving. I’m grateful to past me for setting things up this way.
VII. I painted this for Moonshine. If you’re into painting as art witchery, you might want to check out my Patreon
where a new painting tutorial goes up each and every month.
VIII. Today finds me grateful I live in Canada but also terrified about the potential “spill up” that might happen since there is a Canadian contingent that has swallowed the red pill and wants what is happening to the south of me to happen here. Today’s Journal52 touched on the fury many of us are feeling. Think of it as a permission slip to feel that fury and let it fuel the kind of action and activism that will help to change things.
Grab the file on Dropbox
IX. I’m taking delivery on a window AC unit today and I could not be more excited. It’s the little things.
X. It’s good to be alive in the world.
I. I’m working on two paintings today because I am in the weeds and I owe things for collabs + for my own programs and I’m supposed to leave for fest on the 15th, which means everything I would normally have to do by the 25th or so each month has to be done before I leave. OMGDOOM.
It’s a good thing I love what I do because I have to do A LOT OF IT over the next few days.
II. This painting is almost finished. She’s got a wicked bad case of the blues so she’s gone in search of water and stars because that’s what we do when we need healing.
She’s one of three lessons I’m creating for Make Create Express, and one of them will be featured in the free tempter session that’s taking place July 9th and 10th. Have you signed up yet?
III. I’m doing everything I can to keep my head above water, including putting honey in my coffee instead of stevia because I need a little sweetness today. The windows are open. The sun is shining. The birds are singing.
IV. Unfortunately, it’s also true that the entire neighbourhood is doing some kind of landscaping so the soundtrack of my life is currently lawnmowers and tree trimmers, and the breeze that’s floating in through my windows is full of allergens, but whatever. It’s cool enough today that I can work without sweating, so I’ll take it. :)
V. I’ve got dinner with Kimi on a patio somewhere (there are *many* within walking distance from my house, so the possibilities are endless) planned for this evening once I slay my list. I’m hoping to have enough done that I can go do that without feeling stressed out or pressed for time. Wish me lucks!
VI. I will be working all weekend. If I get what needs doing done before I go to fest, it will be worth it, so I’m only complaining a little.
VII. FEST. My gods, how I’ve missed fest. I’m also terrified of fest, because COVID is still a thing and now, apparently, so is Monkeypox but I can’t remain in isolation forever. None of us can. Fest will be spent mostly outdoors, and I’ll be sharing a cabin with people who are already in my bubble, so I just have to believe it will all be okay, and if I get COVID again, chances are I’ll survive. Right? RIGHT? Right. Heh. Whenever I get stressed about fest I remember that our fire pit will be on the beach in front of the water. That thought alone is giving me life. TOES IN THE SAND! WATER AND FIRELIGHT! BRING IT ON!
VIII. I don’t miss him every second of every day anymore. The heart heals. Grief ebbs. I’m glad to find myself here before fest because I could see fest being kinda gut-wrenching if I was still missing him all the time. I’m sure it’ll come up while I’m there, but thankfully it’s taking place on an entirely different site, so I won’t be tripping over memories every corner I turn. I’m grateful.
IX. Typing this up was a slog through COVID fog, but it also felt like “brain yoga”. I’m out of practice, for sure, and the words don’t flow like they used to, but maybe if I keep doing it, it’ll get easier? I live in hope.
X. Being in touch with myself feels like a matter of great urgency at the moment, so I’m making space for that as I’m able. I *definitely need* a media break. I *definitely need* to find ways to fill my time that aren’t screen-related. I am *definitely* using media to distract myself *from* myself, which is understandable in times like these butandalso I know that media – mainstream and social – manipulates us with clickbait and hot takes and makes us feel like shit. i quipped (ironically, on the socials) last night about wanting someone to put me in touch with that phoneless guy who is too busy being enchanted by a waterfall to know who he’s supposed to be pissed off by or what he’s supposed to be afraid of BECAUSE I WANT DIRECTIONS TO THE WATERFALL.
I’m only half-joking. :)
If I didn’t make my living here, I’d probably opt out – at least for a while – because I’m starting to feel the weight of knowing too much about shit that doesn’t matter and not enough about shit that does.
We do what we can.
*Wanders off to go paint*
P.S. Schminke super granulating paints (I have the Galaxy collection) are lickable.
Maybe this is can be my waterfall?
I. If you’re looking for the 100 day project stuff, I created a page for it over here because I can’t keep up with blogging every day while I’m also trying to paint every day. Look at me, respecting my own limitations!
II. Boundaries and visibility coming up a LOT for me right now. This all came up in response to my posting daily TikToks and being much more visible than usual and everything that was coming up in response to that decision. I posted about it on Facebook, and I’m going to cross-post it here
You might be wondering why I’m doing this (or maybe I flatter myself by thinking that, but whatever…) so lemme explain:
Recently, I uncovered a nasty piece of conditioning that goes something like “You’re an attention whore and you should sit down and shut up and stop taking up so much space.”
This is clearly problematic given that my business depends on my ability to show up & take up space AND ALSO, as a HUMAN, I have a right to take up all the space I need AND ALSO, I have wonderful things to offer so why shouldn’t I offer them AND ALSO, that voice in my head is old tape and I’m over it.
So, I’m *forcing myself* gently and with a lot of self-empathy to put myself out there as though “out there” is where I belong. I am stepping into being more visible. I’m participating in class groups where I’d generally “take a seat in the back” and observe in silence.
I am coming into ownership of myself as a force for good. I *am* a force for good. I’m trying to act like it. It’s *hard* AND I’m enjoying it.
Also, someone came over here yesterday to tell me that they assume I’m a princess from a wealthy family who is masquerading as a bohemian artist, and I blocked that fucker because the misogyny in that comment was more than I could bear. Even if it was “just a joke”, it was really inappropriate. This is someone whose comments are often paternalistic and condescending, and I was *grateful* for the opportunity to yeet them because every time I see their name, I feel myself shrinking.
I’m sharing this because I want you to know that I’m aware that the more visible I become, the stronger my boundaries are going to need to be. My tolerance for other people’s projections is hovering right around *zero* as I undertake this journey to reprogram my self-talk, so if your comments sound like the mean voices in my head? I’mma yeet you the fuck outta here.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
III. The audacity of that comment…I just can’t even. And I am NOT SORRY for being a “bitch” about it either because I am at least half-wolf and being a bitch in response to this kind of fuckery feels appropriate and measured.
IV. SO if you’re here wondering why you no longer have access to me, well now you know.
V. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I sent a love letter today. Here it is in case you missed it
. It includes the link to today’s Journal52, so go get it.
VI. New bedding.
VII. I always know I’m healing when I’m fucking furious all the time. It signals a shift *out* of a trauma bond. When the anger shows up, when I am thinking flipped birds in the direction of someone I’m grieving, I know I’m on my way out of the woods. This is such good data, y’all. Such. Good. Data. Once I get through the fury, the peace comes and I’m ready for it.
Notice I didn’t say “once I get through the fury, the forgiveness comes…” because the pressure on survivours to forgive is bullshit spiritual bypassing and I’m over it.
VIII. Also, this:
IX. And that’s where I’m at. Actually kicking ass, but pissed off at EVERYTHING and…
X. And that’s okay.
So say we all.
I. I thought I was going to do a really ambitious 100 Day Project that consisted of creating one 5 x 8-inch painting a day that incorporated colours or symbols or words that represented what I needed in any given moment, but I came to the conclusion that this would be setting myself up for a) failure and b) a long, long 100 days, so…
II. …I set up an easel in my living room, dug my heavy-bodied acrylic paints out of storage, and decided to work on a canvas every day for between 10 and 20 minutes first thing in the morning. Coffee, candle, canvas. Every day for 100 days.
Hold me? :)
III. I’m filming these for TikTok and if you’re visiting me here from there HI HI HI! It’s lovely to see you! If you want to get these posts emailed to you, there’s a box up there in the upper right that will get you all set up. Just type in your email and I’ll see you in your inbox.
IV. So, today was day one and I experienced a *lot* of resistance to getting started. I stared at the canvas for an hour first. Then I wondered where my heavy-bodied paints were. Then I whined to myself about how much space this was going to take up in my very tiny little nest of a studio apartment. Then I found my paints and got everything set up. Then I drank a third cup of coffee. Then I lit a candle and drank a fourth cup of coffee. Then I set up a ring light so I could film the process. Then I changed my mind about doing anything at all for the 100 Day Project and I knit three rows on a triangle shawl. Then I shoved three slices of pumpkin pepita loaf cake (with butter) down my gullet. Then I said “Fuck it” and I threw down a layer of cool colours on the canvas.
V. So I guess I’m in. We’ll see what happens.
I am aware that I’ve made this project a lot more time-intensive than it has to be by filming and also blogging the process, but I love the idea of being more “out there” in the world and also who doesn’t love a good challenge, right?
VI. In other news, I am in excellent spirits. I am loving my work. I am really enjoying all of the classes I’m taking (most of them not art-related, which feels refreshing and good for me). I’m not gonna lie – I’m lonely – but I’m using the time well. Loving on my furbabes. Lots of video chats with my kiddos. Reading and knitting. Text convos with the like-minded. It’s not a heavy loneliness. It’s anticipatory loneliness. Like, something is coming. Not sure what, but I feel myself yearning for something, and I’m living in the yearning.
VII. So much is percolating and bubbling up from the nether depths to consciousness now that I’m not half soused half the time. My self-awareness is a bit overwhelming, and I have access to memories I didn’t have before. Some of them are gnarly, and these recollections call for a lot of self-soothing. Some of them are revelatory, and I’m finding myself shifting in response. Self-loyalty. Aligning with my own integrity.
VIII. I’m applying liberal applications of empathy to the self that sits with all that is coming up at this time. She has been holding so much for so long, and whatever she needs to do to clear it, I’m game. Making this kind of space for myself takes courage and silence and while I’ve always had a lot of the former, I am not so good with the latter, but this morning?
This morning, I painted in silence. It was only about 10 minutes, but I did it and the voices that rang in my head for that 10 minutes were *very very kind*.
“Look at you!” they said. “You’re doing it. Good for you, love! Proud of you.”
Now, that’s what I’m talking about.
IX. A new round of Wild Musings is happening soon, and I’m in. What about you? I love this kind of prompted writing practice, as you well know, and I believe it’s a beautiful jumping-off point for art journaling or any other kind of self-expression. Check it out here, and if you’re in, too, I’ll see you there.
X. Here’s where I left day one of #the100dayproject. See you tomorrow!
I. I wrote most of what I want to kick this week off in my newsletter, which you can find here, but there’s some less “newsy” stuff I want to explore, so I’m here today as well because a witch has things to purge and what is a blog but a personal vomitorium?
I kid, but not really. Anyway, let me explain that rather – um – alarming title. I promise it ends well.
II. I was in conversation last night with some shadow-dancers, and in response to something we were exploring (how difficult it is to stand for what we know is true for fear of abandonment), I had a vision. It ain’t pretty, so brace yourself.
I saw all of us trauma survivours (of whatever – you know who you are) as women on the birthing table, in transition. I saw us exhausted, in pain, at the end of our collective ropes. I saw us fully dilated, with our bodies absolutely on fire with the need to push, and I saw us clenching up for fear wondering what would happen if we shit on the table. This thought, this fear of laying a fresh turd right there for all present to see is so powerful that we *do not dare to push*. So we white-knuckle it. We hold it all in however painful it is to do so.
Gross, I know, but stay with me.
III. Along with this vision came this understanding:
If we don’t push, we’ll delay the inevitable, and it will hurt for a lot longer, and while shit is not a pleasant thing to have to deal with, the baby that *needs us to push* in order to come into the light doesn’t care one iota about the fact that we are going to shit on the table, and neither should anyone else who is present in the room, and if those who are present in the room *do* care about the fact that some shit arrived along with a *whole ass human being* we just pushed out of our cootchie, well, those humans do *not belong in the room*.
See what I’m saying?
IV. It was one hell of a vision, and while this whole “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best” thing is not a new revelation for me, it was powerful to have this new (if rather visceral) way to think about it.
V. I was reminded of the experience of having all of my upper teeth extracted.
After growing and feeding babies in and from my body while I was living in poverty, my teeth were too far gone to save, so they had to come out. And I was terrified because like many of us who have a history of child sexual abuse, I do not enjoy the sense of powerlessness that comes over me when someone hovers (looms!) over my prostrate body and does stuff to me that hurts.
I had asked my partner to stay with me throughout the process, which my partner promised to do with the dentist’s approval, but he couldn’t handle it. He said “Your face is getting all wrinkly and it’s freaking me out.” and he *left me there*. I was high on nitrous oxide, terrified, and totally helpless, and *he left me there*.
Same thing happened when I went to emergency with an irregular heartbeat and the doc was afraid I was going to throw a clot.
He left me there, all hooked up to a heart monitor, watching it like a hawk while I waiting for a head CT, afraid I was going to stroke out.
VI. It should come as no surprise that these examples of being abandoned when the shit hits the fan are only the tip of the “abandoned when the shit hits the fan” iceberg.
When my first husband died of pneumonia and my grief over it elicited eye-rolls and exasperated sighs. When the kids in our household were all going through some form of crisis AT THE SAME TIME and he checked out completely, smoked pot and played WoW and left us all to our own devices. When my kid got hospitalized for psychosis and I was left to fend for us both while he holidayed in India.
I know *now* that that fucking guy did not belong in the room. But in those moments, I thought it was *my fault* that he didn’t want to be in the room, because, look. I couldn’t even get the flu as a kid without being treated like I was an inconvenience, so of COURSE it was my fault that he didn’t want to be in the room, right?
VII. I know better now, because, me? If I love you?
I want to be in the room.
I want to hold your hand when the dentist is ripping your teeth out by the roots. I want to help you breathe through the worst while you shit on the table. I want to hold you while you grieve. I want to *show up*. I want to *be there*.
Hell, I want all of that even if I barely *like* you.
So, yanno. It follows that anyone that wants to be in my life has to be able to say the same or they don’t deserve me.
And that’s a thing I know now.
Hallelujah. I’ll take it.
On To Lighter Fare
VIII. When I say “lighter”, I mean “less heavy”. I am lighter. The content I am pursuing and engaging is lighter. The things I’m painting are lighter. The way I play is lighter. While all of *waves at the above* is super heavy, I am following heavier fare with lighter fare as way to practice self-loyalty. I am doing therapy and then engaging in something whimsical so my nervous system has a chance to regulate itself. I’m taking a course on shadow work, and following up with an episode of The Great Pottery Throw Down or Portrait Artist Of The year (instead of the latest serial killer documentary). I’m digging in my own dirt, yes, but I also turn on the tunes and dance it out until I’m a glowing, sweaty bundle of endorphins, and then? I sluice off in a hot shower.
It’s such a relief because I got stuck there for a good long while with nothing but the heavier fare. Too much true crime (what is up with my fascination with serial killers, y’all). All the sad songs. My regrettable past playing on loop in my head. All The Trauma Work, none of the fun, and what passed for fun was really just anesthetic.
There wasn’t much room in my life for the things that give me life.
IX. I wrote a bit about that for this week’s Journal52, which I sent out to my beloveds via my newsletter + uploaded to The Wilderhood, but I thought I’d share it here as well.
GRAB THE FILE ON DROPBOX
It has been an absolute joy to see how people respond to these (brand new for 2022) editions of Journal52.
Lighter Fare. Mmmmm hmmmm.
I’ll take it.
X. As mentioned in my newsletter, I am 73 days alcohol-free. The search for lighter fare has been integral to this journey, because once you stop numbing everything out, everything arises to be felt and dealt with, and that, my loves, is heavy stuff. But, I’m up to it.
See? This is me. Clear-eyed. Self-possessed. Dancing in all of my own rooms without fear. Pushing as needed, shit be damned. This baby is worth it.
*I know I’m aging myself here – we give birth in beds now, but I had the delightful experience of having to hop up on a *table* in the delivery room once, and I’ll never forget it. Boy am I ever glad that’s a thing that’s changed.
I. Yesterday, I made myself a pot of echinacea, turmeric and ginger tea and settled in to do the thing.
II. What thing, you ask? I peeled all the seals off this monstrosity of a Jelly Gouache collection.
Y’all, I am not lying when I tell you that this took an hour and I was *covered* in gouache and my hands were cramped into arthritic little claws of omgdoom by the time I was done. But! It was so worth it!
Today, I’m going to organize them so the blues live with the blues and the pinks live with the pinks and the greens live with the greens etc. Yes, I am a Libra with Libra rising and a Cap moon. *Giggles*.
III. A lot of today is going to be spent doing something I call “Sandboxing”. Sandboxing is putting together all the content for a lesson in a behind-the-scenes spot on my class website that no one ever sees since it’s where I beta test things and make sure they’re all spiffy before you lot file in to enjoy the content. I enjoy this part of my work because I get to see everything I’ve created, curated or collected coming together into one cohesive offering, and that makes me ridiculously happy.
It’s definitely work, but it’s fun work. Kind of like icing the cake.
IV. As soon as I’m sufficiently caffeinated, I’ll be launching into that bit of action for the day, but I wanted to get my ten things done and dusted since I’m enjoying the way they give some structure to my day. It makes me a bit nostalgic, since way back in the day when I first started blogging, I literally poured myself out of bed and into my blog every morning without fail. This was back when Xanga was a thing (and also Livejournal) and the whole world kept an “online diary”. Remember? I loved that. I loved reading my “blog roll” with my coffee and leaving comments and “eprops”. It was like having a little village to wake up to every day where we’d all visit the neighbours “over the fence”.
V. I keep wishing blogging would make a comeback but I get that our collective attention spans just aren’t up to it anymore. No matter. I’mma blog anyway, and like those of us who are opting out of fast food and fast fashion, maybe some of us will opt out of fast socials – or at least, incorporate some slow socials into our routines.
VI. This morning I discovered that a stencil I was coveting is available on The Crafter’s Workshop AND that TCW ships direct to Canada.
My bank account isn’t happy with me at the moment, but my heart is all aflutter over the anticipated arrival of a bunch of new stencils, which I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed. Honest. I also needed the two books of wallpaper samples I bought from Etsy. I SWEAR!
VII. I’m paying a lot of attention to the little things that will bring me a sense of the good life even while Omicron burns through Ontario, and because I believe that art is magic, I made a spread that included some of those things.
All this stamping took FOREVER but like most things that require me to get still and focused for a little bit, it was well worth it.
I have some whipped cream coming in my grocery order today, by the way. Because, of course.
What would you put on your list?
VIII. My kitchen is an absolute disaster and there are a bunch of flat-packed furniture things lying about in boxes waiting to be built. I still haven’t put together the little table I keep going on about, and when that’s done I have two cabinets & two cube bookshelves to build AND a teal accent cabinet that I’ve been meaning to put together since 2019. Yup. Still in the box.
I *will* get to it at some point, but I think I’ll keep the list “work-focused” for this weekend since it is month-end, and getting distracted by things like building flat-packed furniture is not going to help me get month-end done. Just please pray for me that I don’t trip over boxes and break my neck before I finally get them all sorted.
IX. Renee sent me this, and I *cackled*.
X. Since my eyes went all borked and I can no longer enjoy reading actual books, I am thinking about decluttering my bookshelves and that makes my heart ache a little bit BUT I am going to make a list of all the ones I want to read again or use for research and get them as e-books. I will get these cataracts sorted eventually, but in the meantime, the only way I can enjoy reading is if I can adjust the font size to something my borked eyes can handle. I like the look of shelves full of books, but I don’t like dusting them and I’m asthmatic and they never leave their homes in the shelves anymore anyway, so…
…I’ve always had this battle between having a cluttered collection of bookshelves and witchy knick-knacks and craving a temple tidy environment that’s easy to keep clean, and I’m leaning hard toward the latter these days because my space is soooooooo tiny…
…but I *love* every little thing I display on those bookshelves, and I love love love my books – so much so that some of them have traveled with me for decades from country to country to city to city to house to house…
…can you tell this is a bit of a conundrum for me?
Maybe I need a storage unit so I can go visit my books when I get to missing them.
Hoookay. That’s enough of a brain dump for me for now.
Sending Caturday Vibes and love.
P.S. Day 64.