GenXZeneca

I. I had my vaccine yesterday morning and I’m happy to report that it hasn’t been any worse than any other jab I’ve ever gotten. My arm is super sore, and I am pretty tired, but that is better than OH I DUNNO DEAD so I’ll take it.

My second jab is scheduled for August 26th, but there was a suggestion that I might get it sooner depending on how many doses come in and what the uptake is.

I get the hesitancy people are experiencing because the rollouts were handled so horribly and it wasn’t made clear that the rare occurrence of blood clots are *really really rare*. Like, we get more adverse experiences with *aspirin* than we do with Astrazeneca. But, yo. I am GenX. I am fearless. As far as I’m concerned, the best shot is THE ONE I CAN GET IN MY ARM.

Anyway. I’m happy for the light at the end of the tunnel that shot one represents and I will happily roll up my sleeve for shot two.

#GenXZeneca FOR THE WIN. 

II. I’m getting more and more curious about painting landscapes. This feels exciting. I’ll keep you posted.

III. I’m also getting more and more inspired to just simply draw. I’ve got my iPad all charged up. It feels somehow less precious to sketch in Procreate with my Apple pencil – makes practice something I can do anywhere, any time. No “wasted” paper. I just want to populate my paintings with more symbols than I can currently represent. It’s time to get over the whole “I can’t draw” story I keep telling myself. I can draw. Anyone can. I just *don’t* because my fear of failure has been holding me back. That’s enough of that, right?

Right.

IV. I got ghosted by The Viking, but I’m actually okay with it. The whole thing was a good experience for me because here’s the thing – every time he touched me, my whole body tightened up. I felt like I was bracing for something. The wrongness of the connection wasn’t registering with my brainmeats, but it was registering in my body, and that’s excellent data. Still. He can go die in a fire, because I offered him a second chance to approach me differently, and his response was to assert over and over again that I was super hot and he was so, so willing and available for whatever kind of sex I wanted as soon as I wanted it and then to ghost me after three dates with no action.

Ugh. 

In the words of my witch adjacent, “Why men?”

V. More good data, though, is how contented I am to be on my own. I used to love sharing space with other people, but not so much anymore. Not unless I’m 100% comfortable in their presence. If I have to adapt to the presence of another being, I don’t want that being in my presence.

This might be the best gift this pandemic has given me. I’ve gone from experiencing aloneness and solitude as some kind of burden to fully and completely loving it and the sense of safety I experience within it.

Everything from here on out needs to happen on my terms or it isn’t happening.

Hermity girl is hermity.

VI. I still want a commune with all my people, though. It would be so lovely to have a wheel-like habitat where there’s a shared space in the center – like a lodge with a huge courtyard – where we share meals and fires and have parties and then have separate little tiny houses all arranged around it. I’d need two, though. One for living in and one for work, because I love the idea of having those spaces be separate from one another for once in my life.

VII. “I believe in kindness. Also in mischief.” – Mary Oliver

I’m going to work with that quote for the next “A Year Of Mary” painting, which will be offered as a full-length or speed painted tutorial on Patreon on May 15th.

VIII. My grandbean, Amelia, turns 1 today.

LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE LITTLE INUK BABY!!

She puts her parents through their paces, I can tell you. We’ve had to figure out how to lock the phone when we’re doing video chats because she will NOT let anyone else hold it for her when she’s chatting with me.

Here she is with her dad, my eldest son. LOOK AT MY BEAUTIFUL INUK BABY WITH HIS BABY! :)

Gah. I can’t wait to hold that little one in my arms.

IX. My youngest daughter is in iso because her roommate AND her boyfriend tested positive for COVID. Blessedly, no one in the household is seriously ill, but it has been stressful knowing that my baby girl is within sneezing distance of this awful virus. We’re checking in every day, playing Words with Friends, staying as calm as we can.

She lives in Alberta, which is as much of a dumpster fire as Ontario is, and her peoples are all considered “essential workers” so this felt a bit inevitable. I can’t wait until they all have shots in arms so we can all breathe a little easier.

She’s been baking a lot of bread and torturing me with pictures.

X. I’m okay, all things considered. There’s a lot that’s “wrong” but there’s also a lot that’s “right” and I’m leaning hard in that direction because that is what gets me through.

 

I’m Going To Live

I. I woke up this morning and got up to make coffee – naked. This has not happened since I moved out of my three-story walk-up in December 2019. When I moved in with GG, I started wearing clothing at all times, even to bed, because living with one’s adult child will do that. When I moved into this little cocoon of mine in July of 2020, I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown (not kidding) and I had zero sense of safety. In my first few weeks here, we had a smash and grab of all the cars in our parking lot, 42’s truck was broken into and robbed, and a guy sexually accosted me on my front lawn at 10 p.m while I was reading a book on my iPad.

II. I had buyer’s remorse pretty bad after that experience, let me tell you. I was like WHAT HAVE I DONE WHERE AM I LIVING?

III. That night, I circumnavigated the entire house with a box of sea salt and a witch’s heart, muttering a protection spell under my breath like some kind of madwoman. I put salt on all the windowsills. I anointed my front door with oil and protective sigils, and I threw myself into bed and burrowed with my head under the covers.

IV. All has been well ever since, and this morning I leapt out of bed and made coffee, naked. Fed and watered the animals. Received their enthusiastic exhortations of love and devotion. Gave all the morning pets and allowed the morning head butts. Poured up my first cup and crawled back into bed to reply to comments on yesterday’s post and do my “blogger rounds” for the blog along. Naked.

V. I threw on a maxi dress just before I popped in here to blog because I was feeling a bit chilly – not because I was feeling unsafe or exposed or vulnerable.

VI. I’m home.

VII. Yesterday was awesome. I got a metric fuck tonne of stuff done in preparation for month-end, which I have almost finished putting together. I had chicken roti for brunch. Delicious! I got Journal Jam all edited and put up in all the places the replays go up and made the announcements to that effect in all the places those announcements needed to be made. I checked in with GG and my other loves. I played Words with Friends. I binge-listened to Love & Light Confessionals (sooooooooo gooooooooood) and got caught up on the news (soooooooo depressing). At six, I ordered a sharkcoot & a mess of fresh made tortilla chips and four different dips (the guac was TO DIE FOR), and a bottle of rose. Kimi and The Viking showed up at seven for a nibble and a couple of episodes of New Amsterdam. The dogs were in heaven.

Sookie is totally devoted to The Viking already. She just curls up in his lap like she belongs to him, which is unusual for her. She usually has to be all up in people’s faces and won’t stay still, but with him? She plunks down, curls up into a little ball, snorfles like she does, and chills the fuck out. It’s adorable.

Here’s Sookie and her new boyfriend. She is in love.

VIII. Kimi wandered home to her kidlet at 9 and The Viking and I watched an episode of Sense8 before I sent him off home so I could watch the news and settle into bed.

I slept beautifully. Something about those hugs that last more than 20 seconds settled my nervous system right down in a way nothing else can.

IX. Today is for finishing up month-end entirely. I’m going to slay the list so I can get everything up in time for May 1st and then collapse in a heap of frolic and shenanigans (which looks like a fire at Kimi’s place, some special chocolates, and a Wardruna listening party). There may be pictures.

X. We are still in lockdown, but we are measuring the risks against our mental health. We haven’t had a fire since October. Kimi and I see no one but one another. The Viking is also similarly limited in terms of contacts. The numbers aren’t too bad here in London – 70 cases right now. Vaccines are working. I can’t wait to get mine.

The trail by the river that’s *waves over there down the block*.

I have a glimpse of what life will be like after this has eased. I foresee introducing The Viking to my fest family at a cottage weekend in the not too distant future. They’re going to love him. He’s going to slide right on in there like he was born to be there. He’s going to take me to live shows here in London and introduce me to all his favourite venues. I’m going to have lawn parties with my friends and the girls next door. I’m going to go explore the pottery guild. GG is going to come visit and I’m going to stuff him stupid on mama food and then leave him here to dog-sit while I go on adventures. I’m going to lure Leonard back up onto the banister of my front stoop to take peanuts out of my hands. I’m going to go stay with Sarah and her brood for months at a time. I’m going to road trip to Vancouver to hang out with the EastVan Witches. I’m going to have Art Winos IN PERSON at Sal’s house. I’m going to go on long walks by the river and find all the little pockets of nature in the midst of all this urban.

I’m going to live.
I’m going to live.
I’m going to live.

Silver Linings

I. I want to talk to you about Journal Jam because it has been one of the only “silver linings” of the COVID experience.

II. Journal Jam started in March of 2020 when we were all on lockdown and pretty much terrified. I wanted a way to connect with my coterie of Wildlings, be they students or friends, so I decided to take the lesson I taught in Life Book back in 2017 and turn it into a regular live community event.

III. This forced me to teach live – something I was a) sure I hated doing and b) terrified to fail at, but it turns out I love it and I’m really good at it. Who knew!?!?

Teaching live in this way has made me very curious about the potential for teaching in-person workshops in a future where that may be possible. I imagine weekend retreats that include gorgeous meals and bonfires and shenanigans as well as deep dives into art journaling as a spiritual creative practice.

IV. Dreaming about that has given me a lot to look forward to and this dream would *not exist* if not for Journal Jam.

V. Journal Jam has also had a massive impact on my creative life since the randomness of the prompts creates tension that I can break only by following through. In other words, the jams force me out of my comfort zone which is where our most potent potential for growth lies dormant.

VI. It’s also led me to learn new technologies and new ways of connecting with my people. This has been so delicious, y’all. Meeting with you live over the course of this pandemic has been a bright spot. There have been times when my promise to you to show up has kept me anchored to the planet.

VII. This is what came through in the latest Journal Jam.

It is not like anything I would create if I were left to my own devices, and I *love it*. You can watch the unedited replay of this jam here. If you’d like to get a more organized version of Journal Jams with an edited replay + prompts + images of the final work, please join me on Patreon where access is offered to everyone from the $2 tier and up.

VIII. In other news, I missed my second post yesterday because I was completely spent after putting together a bunch of month end stuff. I will try to make up for the 1 missing post between now and the 30th of this month, but I am not going to stress about it. Kimi reports that I’ve skipped at least one post every single time I’ve done the blog along and lo, no one died or even noticed. *Giggles* So, yanno. Gently onward we go.

IX. I found a fantastic podcast (THANK YOU SARAH TRUMPP) about the dark side of the woo-sphere and I am finding it super validating. I have been talking about the shadow side of the Love & Light Brigade for a long time now, and it is very good to see it coming into the collective.

Find it here. 

What I really love about it is that the hostess is very much into and a part of the “Woosphere” so she isn’t coming at it from a cynical or vitriolic headspace. She is a *critical* thinker, though, and deconstructs and examines spiritual modalities to discern whether or not they are helpful or harmful.

I started with this episode on Empaths & Twin Flames. 

X. I’ve got Kimi and The Viking coming over for New Amsterdam tonight, and I’m really looking forward to it. The Viking will probably stay after for an episode of Sense8. He likes to hold my hand. I like to let him.

He’s not my Twin Flame (bwahahahahahahaha) but he is a very sweet friend to have, and I am blessed that he met my amends making for last year’s door slam with curiosity, a willingness to listen, changed behaviour (there was some love bombing going on back then and it *freaked me the fuck out*), and grace.

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

Month-End

I. So I’m in month-end which means I’m scrambling, but I have been extremely kind to myself this month so I’m way ahead. It’ll be fine. It still takes some scrambling, but not the same kind of scrambling I usually have to do so I’m grateful.

II. I am in love with this entire thing. It’s adorable because my friends who saw these pop up on Facebook thought I might be the genius behind them, but I am not! I am, however, totally in love with the genius behind them. Too bad he doesn’t know I exist. :)

III. I put in a request through the Shopper’s Drug Mart form to get scheduled for a vaccine. It felt very adulty. I’ll keep you posted.

IV. Writing class tonight. I’m going. No excuses.

V. Got to video chat with my Bean last night and OMG. He’s so adorable. He fed me his spaghetti through the screen and laughed and laughed when I went OM NOM NOM.

VI. I spaced on blogging yesterday which means I owe myself an extra post. I might do that tonight, since I have a super full day ahead of me and I’ll have some art to share.

VII. Had a Zoom with a couple of close friends yesterday and it was *life*.

I love these peoples.

VIII. This guy is hanging out again, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

LEONARD!!

I’m going to stoop sit for a bit after I clean my brushes in preparation for Journal Jam and see if I can’t lure him out of hiding with some peanuts.

IX. JOURNAL JAM TODAY!

See you at 2 p.m. EDT.

X. I’ll probably pop in this evening before my writing class to give you a peek at what I made during the jam.

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

 

 

Pleasure & The Pandemic

I. I spent a few hours running around in Azeroth with GG last night, and it was awesome. We also had a listening party – took in the newest album from Amigo The Devil. 

Dude made me cry. I love him so much.

II. I slayed a bunch of the list yesterday before I went “off-world” and that facilitated a totally guilt-free escape. Maybe one day I will be able to ‘escape’ as needed without needing to “earn the right”. #Goals

III. I think what I like about writing and reading blogs is that it’s pretty close to writing letters. Remember those? There’s something way more intimate about this kind of “keeping in touch” than the social media kind. It’s like slow food or slow fashion. It takes more time, but that also means it takes more *thought*, more *heart*.

I will never not love blogging.

IV. I have a maintenance appointment with my therapist today, and I’m looking forward to seeing her. I wrangled some demons since the last time I saw her and I’m proud to check in with *waves at all of that*. Most of it has to do with emotional regulation, responsiveness vs. reactiveness, self-loyalty, and recognizing that other people’s projections are not my problem. I am entirely self-possessed. It feels good.

V. I put a sunny-side-up egg on top of a bowl of baked beans this morning and shoved it in my face. It was everything my body wanted. I have leftover corned beef and cabbage to heat up for tonight’s dinner. I’ll probably have some kind of snack at some point, but I can only seem to manage 2 full meals a day. I’ve become willing to accept that because forcing myself to eat more feels *wrong* to me. I eat when I’m hungry, and I eat what I want, and that seems intuitive and healthy.

VI. I was listening to one of my favourite playlists yesterday while editing a video and I found myself chair dancing and singing at the top of my lungs. Sybil was *very into it*, and came over to meow-yell and rub her little head all over my face, arms and chest while I sang. The more I sang, the more she loved on me.

Cats are weird and amusing.

I took this a) in the dark and b) with my camera’s (lousy) zoom, so I had to edit it but I wanted to show you how stately she is when she isn’t drinking the paint water, head butting my hand while I’m trying to fill her food bowl, or torturing her dog.

She says “Mama, you need a pedicure”.

She’s not wrong.

VIII. I want a lover who will paint my toenails.

IX. This Canadian art supplier carries Tri-Art!

X. I did this painting last year around this time and I love her joyful little face so much.

The reminder to lean in to pleasure was timely for me. I feel cut off from my sensuality and sexuality, which seems self-preservative and wise (thank you body) since pleasure of the paired up kind is not available to me right now. I mean *I could* have that kind of fun – I’ve had (very tempting) offers – but no matter how pandemic weary I am, I am not so weary that I’ll put myself at that kind of risk.

So, the libido is like “I’m on vacation” and I’m like “Cool, cool. Just maybe think about coming back after we’re vaccinated, okay? I need shenanigans.”

But not till after we’ve all been vaccinated.

 

Storytime

I. I watched the documentary series entitled “Q: Into The Storm” over the course of last week and WHOA. Fascinating. Everyone should watch it if they want to understand how the fuck QAnon happened, who is behind it, and how *creepy* it really is.

II. Mentioning it on Facebook led to the discovery of Qanon Anonymous – a fantastic podcast that is both hilarious and informative. I found it on Spotify and almost immediately signed up with them on Patreon. This is good stuff.

III. I spent yesterday in a relaxed state, slept well, and woke up this morning feeling refreshed. Got my newsletter sent out + the Darling Human note + read a bunch of blogs with my morning coffee. Now I’ve tossed a corned beef brisket into a pot to simmer all day so I can have it for dinner tonight. My studio is clean. My kitchen is clean. This feels really good.

IV. I’m going to paint today.

V. Storytime.

This train of thought was prompted by seeing this meme floating around Facebook:

I could make quite the list.

VI. I have some tender things on my mind about friendship and lineage and giving credit and the way I’ve seen some people mine other people’s content to pad their own. Renee and I talk about this fairly often because we’re both in a position where people get close to our work because they love what we do and then we find what we do cropping up in their stuff without any kind of acknowledgment of where it came from. It is disheartening, mostly because I don’t think people realize that they’re even doing it. There’s no way to address it without seeming like a fucking asshole, either.

Thankfully, there are those who integrate what we’ve offered and then make their own thing – things that are obviously their own – and even though those things are obviously their own, we find ourselves mentioned in the ‘credits’ in some way. That is beautiful, and that is where I prefer to spend my energy and attention. I have art teacher babies who started out in my classes and have now way surpassed me in terms of numbers, and I am *incredibly proud of them*. Without fail, you will hear them say things like “I got started on this journey with Effy Wild” or “Effy was a huge inspiration to me when I first started out.” or  “Effy was one of my first teachers” or “Effy is the OG Art WItch”.

This kind of acknowledgment makes me feel appreciated.

VII. I had a relationship very early on in my tenure as a teacher that totally fell apart once I realized that she wanted the benefit of my network more than she wanted my friendship. There was this weird period of time where I was paying her half of everything I earned through my network as part of our agreement, but she wasn’t signing in. She was totally absent. She had a million excuses about why, but it boiled down to this:

I was giving her half my income for nothing.

I girded my loins over time and pointed this out – that I couldn’t keep paying her if she wasn’t going to show up, that I got that she was going through a hard time, but I couldn’t subsidize that, butandalso that the friendship was way more important to me than the business partnership, and I wanted to find a way to work it out. She muttered that it was the opposite for her. She needed the money. The business mattered more.

Ooooof.

I was deeply hurt by this. Deeply. But I was not in a place at the time where I could respond in a healthy way – and yo, healthy would have been to say “Well, fuck off then because I am not a charity and I’m not here to pay you to do nothing just because we’re “friends”.”

I was sure I’d somehow brought this on myself. I didn’t like myself enough to stick up for myself. I guzzled a bottle of wine, cried a lot, and then, within a matter of a few months, while continuing to pay her for doing nothing, I started my own thing without her. When I started the new thing without her, and it became obvious that this thing was going to outpace the other thing financially, she blocked me on the socials and talked shit about me to anyone who would listen, even going so far as to “report me” to people I collaborate with.

Ooooooooooof.

It was hard not to take this personally, but in time, I started getting emails from people saying “Oh, hey! She did this same thing to <insert name here>.” Something about knowing that helped me move on from it, but it left a wariness in me that I haven’t shaken to this day.

VIII. When people get close to me through my work, I admit I wonder if they’re there for me, or if they’re there for my network or because they want to be associated with me because it gives them some kind of Effy Bump…

Do they want *me* in their lives or do they want what they can get out of being associated with me? Or some combination of both?

Tender, tender subject. No resolution at the moment. Just some honest grappling served up for your entertainment.

IX. Video chat with my Bean scheduled for this afternoon. I miss his little face so much and I can’t wait to see him and hear him bellow AWESOME MIMI! AWESOME!

X. My family is healing. Oh. My. Heart.

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