I Am Loved. All Is Well.

I. I have reached the age where I hurt myself IN MY SLEEP and have no idea wtf happened. I woke up at 2 in the morning with my right lower back *on fire* and was terrified for a little while there that I had a kidney infection or stone (I’ve had a kidney infection before). Drank some water, went to make sure I wasn’t peeing blood. Moved and stretched to see if it was constant pain or if it eased with positional changes. It did ease – not all the way, but quite a bit so I put myself back to bed with a Robax muscle relaxer on board + my heating pad.

II. Woke up miserable about fifty times before finally crawling (with a whimper) out of bed to meet Sal for coffee over Zoom. Slathered myself in Kimi’s “Venom” which is an analgesic massage oil – very effective and smells delicious – and took two more muscle relaxers. Moved my body in all the ways the pain would let me. Decided that it is, indeed, mechanical low back pain. Feels like I have a charley horse. WHINE. DO NOT WANT.

III. The Robax kicked in while I was having coffee with Renee, and I am much relieved but still putting myself to bed with the heating pad for the duration. If I can move without whimpering in a little while, I’ll throw myself in some hot water and Epsom salts and hope for the best. I also ordered a massive jug of cranberry juice *just in case* but like I said, the pain shifts when I shift, so it is unlikely to be an infection, which would be constant, right?

IV. The last thing I want is to go to the ER in the middle of a pandemic, so wish me luck.

V. I painted this ahead of New Moon in Aries because it will be in my seventh house. It took a long time for this piece to gel because I was offering layer after layer after layer at the thing in a palette I don’t generally work with, but whoa. Do I ever love the finished piece!

It went up for my art witches this morning.

VI. I found season three of New Amsterdam on iTunes, so I bought it and I’m going to dole it out episode by episode for Kimi and me. It’s only fair since she’s the one that got me hooked, so I owe her a debt of gratitude.

VII. I spoke to a friend about a thing that happened recently and like everyone else that I’ve told, she reacted with such disbelief and disgust that I felt intensely validated and seen. I am so grateful for this shift that I’ve experienced where if I feel repulsed, disgusted, or outraged by a person’s shit behaviour rather than hurt and self-doubting.

Yes, sometimes I need to get some feedback, as in “Am I overreacting?” but that’s a far cry from spending years wondering if I’m the toxic one when, in fact, I am the sane one in a toxic environment.

What this person did really is outrageous, and impacted several people who are very dear to me. But. I’m not even going to address it with them because what’s the point? There’s no point. The thing was done. It’s fucking gross. I’m tending to my people and myself as best I can. I had a moment of cognitive dissonance, but then I took a breath, got the receipts I needed to get in order to have proof of what I know to be true, did a massive eye roll and got on with my life.

Today, I am grateful that, with the exception of a few necessary and unavoidable interactions here and there, I can have a life that doesn’t include them at all.

VIII. Fuck that fucking dumpster fire. 

IX. Despite the agonizing lower back pain and the way it has pretty much hobbled me today, I am in a good headspace. I ate a massive Greek salad. It was the size of my head. I worked on a prototype for a lesson I want to teach at some point and realized that I need to go figure out how to draw a fedora on a crow, because that’s a thing that needs to happen, so now I have a project. I had coffee with three beloveds. I posted Journal52 and got a lesson up for Moonshine in plenty of time for the New Moon. My house is clean. I have a galaxy light in my studio now. I have Kimi to look forward to. GG got his Vimeo account set up so he can help me with Journal Jams + his meds are working + he’s doing all the adulty things he needs to go to get his proverbial poop in a pile. The sun is trying to come out. It’s warm outside, even if it has been drizzling for two days. My dogs are content because they have lamb shank bones to maul. Sybil has a window ledge to watch the world from. Robax + Kimi’s Venom is helping with the pain. I have a pot of something rustic in the fridge to portion out and freeze except for the portion I plan to have for dinner. My youngest son called me last night to make some attempts at repairing a rupture. There is such a thing as jumbo garlic stuffed olives in the world. I am officially in menopause (it’s been a year as of this week according to my Facebook memories). I have chardonnay to swill and my Sodastream is all fired up so I can cut it with fizzy water without feeling like I’m raping the planet. I have a new storage solution for my studio which Kimi and I will wrangle at some point in the near future. There is a river just down the street *waves that way*. The hibiscus by my front door is exploding with buds, and so is my maple tree. I have air conditioning. My plants are still alive. There are Spotify playlists. I am loved. All is well.

X. I am loved. All is well.

Also, me and GG for tax if you read this far.

Misanthropist In Training

I. Next up on the tour is “Language” and as I read the prompt, I sighed deeply, because words are one of my love languages. If I love you, I will offer you carefully selected words. Poems. Song lyrics. I will write you letters. I will spend hours in conversation with you exploring the topography of your soul. I don’t do small talk. I do depth talk, though I have really been enjoying the quick conversations I have with my kid every morning – not a lot of depth talk going on there, but lots of checking in lightly – and the quiet Zooms that include almost *no talking at all* – just making in amicable silence. That “comfortable in silence” is also a kind of language, though, isn’t it? It says “I’m safe with you.” It says “My soul can be at ease with you.”

II. Naming things is one of my superpowers. I like to think deeply about what a thing really is, boil it down to its essence and then give it a name. I name my courses this way. I’ve named support groups this way. I’ve named poems this way, and even blog posts this way. I’ve nicknamed people this way. Naming feels like a form of magic to me. Being named, too. I cherish the names I’ve been given.

Voice.
Metatron.
Effybird.
Swamp Witch.
Mamapants.

III. Where would I be without words? Where would I be without this habit of describing and documenting my life in words? So much of how I learn and grow has to do with translating experiences into my own words. So much of my growth has to do with coming up with ways to label what I’ve experienced in ways that let me integrate it. SO much of what I do on a day-to-day basis has to do with the written word. My work. My healing. My spiritual & creative life.

I love words.

Darling Human.
Do no harm, take no shit.
Stay Wild, Moonchild.
I am the storm.
Mother of Wildlings. 
*Links Pinkies*

IV. But there’s a downside to this. I can fall or fly based on the utterance of certain words. I can put way more stock in words than I should. When words don’t align with actions I can go wild-eyed. I will believe your words long after your actions have proven you a liar because I *do not lie*. Not if I can help it. So when people use words to manage me without living up to those words, well, that fucks me over like nothing else.

It’s something I’ve been working on and lately, I carefully hold words up to actions to take a measure of how they’re landing with me.

If you want me in your life, say what you mean and mean what you say.

Otherwise, leave me alone, because I am really fucking tired of falling or flying. Let me be still.

***

V. Kimi was supposed to come over yesterday, but we both opted out. She wanted a day in the sun with her kid (it was gorgeous out there!) and I didn’t want to have to strip my bed in prep for laundry. Also, I couldn’t find my keys (which includes the laundry room key) and I really didn’t want the stress of hunting for them. I opted for the softer world of not caring where my keys are and curling up with things to read and watch. We’ll do *waves at all of that* today.

VI. The Rufus live streams were discontinued and I have been sorely missing them. It was so good to have something to look forward to every Friday, and the sense of community that grew up around those weekly romps through his discography with other fans was just the ticket. There was some hinting around that he would resume at some point, so I’ve got my ear pressed to the rails for that news, but in the meantime, there’s WoW with the kid, right? And I could dip into some of the classes I have stored on my external hard drive. The weather is getting nice enough to do some stoop sitting in the evenings as well, so that could also be a thing.

VII. Ontario went into “stay-at-home” orders yesterday at midnight. I figured that was going to happen, and like I’ve been saying, it doesn’t change much for me, but it *scares* me because I’ve been watching the gov response to the virus carefully and there has been a precedent set for necessary things being delayed until it’s too late. The way vaccines are being handled is such *bullshit* right now, too, since the people going down with the virus and ending up in ICU beds are essential workers, so why aren’t they being vaccinated first? It’s so frustrating. *HISSES* Meanwhile, the thing is mutating all over the place and who knows what will happen next.

Uncertainty. We hates it, preciousssssssss. We HATES it.

VIII. All we can do is all we can do and I will emerge (hopefully) from this pandemic knowing I did everything I could to protect myself and others. Those who didn’t – well, that’s for them to sort out, right? Meanwhile, the gov + stupid people are making this thing last way longer than it had to last and that adds a layer of bitterness to my feelings about the whole thing. It didn’t have to be this way, and yet it is, and wtf is wrong with people?

Some of us are going to emerge from this pandemic with a super healthy side of misanthropy, I think. I am pretty sure I’m going to be one of them.

I used to quip “I prefer cats to people” – a quote from Charles Baudelaire, but I didn’t really mean it. Now?

I really mean it.

GET OFF MY LAWN.

IX. Not you, though. You can stay.

X. April posted this cover of Who By Fire on her blog yesterday and I am all over it.

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

Laughter

I. FBT prompt #5 is about laughter, and I’m here to tell you very simply that I am fucking hilarious and I love my sense of humour. I don’t know where I’d be without it. It is the glue in so many of my relationships, and if we’re not laughing together on the regular, I’m probably not going to stick around. It’s a *need*. I need it. I neeeeeeed it. So, Internet memes, TikTok, news blooper reels, singing goats…all of it. I want all of it.

I don’t watch sitcoms, though. I just don’t find them all that funny/interesting. I do love Hannah Gatsby, though. That’s my kind of comedy. Also, Stephen Colbert & John Oliver. Shared outrage delivered with a punch line suits me just fine.

If you make me laugh, I’m yours for life.

II. #Mood

I laughed way too hard at this.

III. Variants of concern are really freaking me out. Ontario is in trouble – especially our younger population. So is the rest of Canada. *Continues to hunker down so I don’t die or kill anyone.*

IV. Despite that, I am still in a pretty good headspace. I’ve got Kimi today for an episode or two of The Stand. I met with Brian Walsh (my favourite storyteller) to film for Moonshine over the weekend and it was edifying and inspiring. I headed into Azeroth last night to kill things with GG and it was *so much fun*. I had nibbles for lunch – Brie, olives stuffed with garlic, some cucumbers dipped in Asiago and artichoke dip – and PIZZA for dinner. I’ve been craving cucumbers, which probably means I’m dehydrated, so I’ve got my massive gallon water bottle full and I’ll be working on it all day. I took delivery of a second galaxy projector because my studio wants one. I also stocked up on dog food because I’ve been worrying about shortages – my dogs are on Acana Duck Breast and Pear, because Sookie is allergic to grains AND chicken, so I can’t just buy any old dog food. Being stocked up feels good. I painted yesterday, and I will probably paint again today. BOD is already shaping up for May.

I am loved. All is well.

V. Renee has a new e-course and I am SO EXCITED.

VI. The Blog Along is gorgeous. I am loving getting up every morning, making coffee, and reading blogs. There are so many absolutely gorgeous thinkers, artists and writers participating this year. (Waves at my bloggers – HI I LOVE YOU).

VII. #Mood

VIII. The meme above came across my newsfeed yesterday and I yoinked it immediately because yessssssssssss.

IX. My head is all up in work stuff so I think I’ll get on with it. I want to be done what needs doing in time to enjoy my time with Kimi.

X. See you tomorrow. <3

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

Contentment

I. Prompt #4 in FBT asks us to consider our senses. As I sink into morning coffee & contemplation, the first thing that comes to mind is how grateful I am for the work I’ve done to get more and more into my body and out of my head. When you have C-PTSD, being embodied can be *hard*. Living from the neck up can be the default position. You experience the world through your senses when you live from the neck up, but the experience is cerebral instead of visceral – you tend to label what you’re experiencing – “safe? dangerous?” without actually *enjoying* what you experience.

II. Scent is – whoa. In my experience, nothing triggers trauma like scent. There are certain scents I can’t abide. Old Spice. Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup. The way a man smells the morning after a whisky drunk. Certain soaps or cleaning products. Pine Sol makes me nauseous. Windex makes me anxious. Then there’s tone of voice (hearing), or the way someone says your name. Sometimes your *name itself* (which is why I’ve changed mine). Then there are songs that come on and flood you with memories as though the curtain rises in the screen of your mind and plays you a movie you didn’t not ask to see. Then there’s body language (sight) or certain physical characteristics. Then there’s the way someone touches you – gently? carelessly?

III. One of the things I’m currently enjoying is how my senses dish up fewer and fewer unwanted memories. Some of the really deep sense triggers still bring stuff up, but I can mostly avoid those, and when I can’t it doesn’t ruin my entire day. I can nod at it. I see you there. I give myself a hug. I find five things I can see, four things I can hear, three things I can feel, two things I can smell, and I get on with my life.

IV. Recovery from C-PTSD is possible. I know, because I can now use my senses for pleasure. I can enjoy what I’m sensing. I still need to take that moment to label it (safe? dangerous?) but once I’ve done so, I can move into a more embodied experience of it. The way a bumblebee sounds when it’s supping on the hibiscus that grows by my front door. Geese flying overhead. The way the river smells like some of the lovelier parts of my childhood Sundays spent fishing for perch. The way it tasted, fried in butter, with the fresh-cut fries we picked up on the way home on the side. The smooth bark of a willow tree and the sound of the dance it does in the wind. The way it looks like a woman’s hair, cascading down her body, forming a bower or a portal – a way into enchantment.

V. I need this lockdown to be over soon so I can indulge my senses in new ways. I want the slap of clay beneath my hands as I knead it. I want to feel the way it forms under my fingertips and the silkiness of the slip as I wet my hands and keep the wheel turning. I want the scent of a huge bonfire. I want the sight of the faces of my fest family lit up in its golden light. I want to feel the drums in my bones and my blood. I want to dance in the round. I want to stargaze and moon bathe.

VI. Things to look forward to.

***

VII. Things are good around here. I am experiencing a lot of peace and contentment. I am very hard to knock off course. There’s a lot of shrugging off things that come into my awareness that are not my circus, not my monkeys. The things I choose to give my energy and attention to are *worthy* things. Pleasurable things. Lovely things. I made art just for me this past Sunday and had a blast throwing colour around with wild abandon. I visited with my daughter over Zoom – always a pleasure. I spent *hours* in Azeroth with my GG this weekend, and we had such a good time just puttering around. We’re running Night Elves from start, and I’m enjoying how pretty everything is in that world and how fun it is to immerse myself in the lore. I cook things that are a pleasure to eat and order in when I don’t feel like cooking. Yesterday, I stuffed myself full of homemade pot roast soup that I had the foresight to freeze so I’d have something easy to heat and serve. It was so rich and savoury. I sipped a glass of Apothic Dark between bites because the peppery, spicy beauty of that deep-blood red wine is perfect with pot roast soup.

VIII. It’s not been warm enough for much in the way of stoop sitting, but that’s coming and I am determined to do a lot of it. I bought a blanket I can put on the top step to cushion my sit bones. The same blanket will get thrown out on the lawn for safe visits with the girls next door + Kimi + whoever else wants to drop by. I plan to stock the house with things I can scoop and slice and arrange so there’s always something easy to share and nibble – olives stuffed with garlic, rounds of brie, fresh, crisp apples & ripe strawberries. Dark chocolate. Red pepper jelly. Hummus and pita bread.

IX. I used to have so much difficulty with “looking forward”. It made me anxious because there was always the potential for disappointment. I worked some magic on that last year – worked on opening up my own ability to imagine and dream. I can do it now with relative ease and it brings me a sense of contentment. Sometimes I take it into the realm of active imagination and I create a reality I wish to inhabit through the things I write. “Today in my dreams…” I’ll write and then fill it in with what I’m doing in that world. The brain can’t tell the difference between the things we are actually experiencing and the things we imagine we are experiencing, so it provides lovely floods of endorphins to play with reality this way.

X. But when I return from whatever realm I’ve entered, I am happy to be *here*. With my plants and my twinkly lights and nag champa incense and my furbabes and a studio full of supplies and a fridge full of food and music and books and my own excellent company and the company of excellent others.

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

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.

I’m not single. I’m building an empire.

I. I mentioned yesterday that I am playing catch up with Renee’s Full Bush Tour, and today’s topic covers some ways of really being in our lives. The prompt encourages us to notice and document our lives in a way that is already a fundamental part of my personal spiritual practice. If you’ve been with me for any length of time on Ye Olde Internets you’ll know that I engage in a practice I call “What Was Beautiful Today?” as a way to keep my spirits up even when things are hard. This is kind of like a gratitude practice but without the spiritual bypass that tends to come along with those kinds of trends. My habit of writing ten things (which always includes something that answers the question “What Was Beautiful Today?” even if I’m not explicitly asking the question) came out of my time with Isabel in her Writing SanctuariesCredit where credit is due, always. I believe in naming my lineage. 

Since this is already a fundamental part of my life, I thought I’d just note that as part of my playing catch up and move on with my ten things.

II. Yesterday, I ordered in from Cora as a way to celebrate my seamlessly wonderful entry into April. A Western Skillet. A soft poached egg. Hollandaise sauce. Sausages. Cretons. Sometimes self-loyalty looks like shoving a heart attack on a plate into my face. #lowfive

III. All of the astrology upcoming for me personally on this next new moon is about partnerships and relationships and commitment and I am *balking*. Absolutely *balking*. I am straddling being ready to love and being completely unwilling to put myself in a position where I have to make space for anyone that doesn’t have four feet and fur. This song is playing on repeat in my head. So is this one.

I met someone on POF last week who lied to me right out of the gate, and it was so annoying. I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t surprised. I was just all eye rolls and what the fucks and “do not contact me agains” because lying to me is a dealbreaker. This is just more proof of my readiness to graduate out of therapy. What I would tolerate last year at this time (ahem – what I *did* tolerate) is now a total non-starter. Lie, and boom. You’re gone.

I’ve also stepped away from friendships that make me feel like shit, demand too much of my emotional bandwidth without adding anything to the “mana bar” that I can clearly visualize on my forhead – a bar that needs to be glowing with the blue light that indicates a sense of reciprocity and flow in my encounters. If that bar regularly blinks red in the presence of another, I remove myself. Because this is my one wild and precious life and I am in the last quarter to half of it and I am not spending it on encounters that drain me.

Does that make me selfish? Fine. Let me be selfish.

So…

…I’m side-eyeing all this “relationship” and “partnership” stuff that’s coming up for me (New Moon in Aries is in my 7th house, in case you want the data) and I’m going to work it like so:

I am willing to be open to all the ways love comes into my life. All the ways. The four-foots and friendships. The collaborations. If some boot-wearing kilted Viking with good intentions and the ability to throw down and show up shows up on my doorstep, well, I won’t say no, but in the meantime, I’m taking a page out of Renee’s book and declaring “I’m not single. I’m building an empire.”

IV. I am in the market for a new laptop for GG, so I’m doing my research but in the meantime, I’ve sent my gaming laptop with Kimi to drop off to him to tide him over. This means we will be able to play WoW very shortly. I am very excite.

V. Someone I follow on Facebook talked about being told by a friend that they were no longer going to hang out with one of their mutuals because they didn’t like the way that person did their friend harm, and I realized that I, too, have those kinds of friends. I also realized that I *am* that kind of friend. If you do my friend harm, I don’t care how much I love you. I will get your side of the story, sure, but if your side of the story includes abusing my friend, you’re fucking gone. Because self-loyalty *must include* loyalty to others. It must.

VI. One of my friends has been very badly treated by a mutual, and I cut that mutual out because they wanted me to affirm and validate their right to do that harm, and I am not having it. It also turned out that the mana bar litmus test was blinking all kinds of volcanic red, so while it was a difficult moment, it was not a difficult decision. My life gets ever calmer and less fraught with other people’s shit, and yo. I am *not lonely*. I have excellent, fertile, fulfilling connections, and the more space I make for them the more they bloom.

VII. Creating voids can be frightening because we are not sure what to do with the empty space. When we prune a fruit tree, for example, it can look like death. All those branches littering the ground at our feet. All that emptiness, that seeming barrenness. But if you don’t prune the thing, it will die, and when you do prune, the thing bursts into life in its own time.

Space might seem empty, but it is actually absolutely bursting to fullness with possibility. Make space. See what flows in to fill it.

VIII. I dusted off the novel I was writing in 2018/2019 and it has good bones. I’m starting a fantasy writing workshop on April 12th to get some guidance on how to move forward. I reinstalled Scrivener. I am encouraged by a recent reading with Chris Zydel to think about finally writing that f-ing book I keep planning to write.

IX. I regret nothing.

X. I forgive myself for everything.

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.