Telling my inner critic to shut the hell up

I am in bed all morning, I don’t even know what I did, read the remaining boring pages of a 700 page, otherwise good book. Looked for a new book fighting with Amazon’s stupid algorithms, I am quite capable of searching for a book by author, do you think you could follow my theme?  And why do you keep opening a new window when I am searching, I don’t want a new window.  And no I do not want to read number 127 in the series of pulp fiction sci fi novels.  Or the library algorhythms, what the hell this is a book for 12 year olds, do you not have science fiction for grown ups?  NO?  I just want a meaty cannot put it down, science fiction novel like the ones Sherri Tepper writes, no zombies, no vampires, no android sex scenes, no alien dominating male sex scenes.  Just a good story set in outer space.  Nope.  Not possible.

I have a headache and my back hurts.  I had a massage yesterday and have been eating like crap for three days, including divesting my body of water.  I am dehydrated, I don’t even get up to pee from 730-noon, only peeing then because of habit.

The house is dark the coal stove suffering through its last dregs, the house smells like someone spilt sour milk, and un brushed teeth, and feet and cat litter.

I don’t want to go to class.  I don’t want a critique of my work, because the way things are going I will crucify myself after someone says something off hand and thoughtless while I suffer in the dark dungeon of my psyche.

I suck at art.

I should be spending my money on travel instead of art supplies.

I am just getting better every day, I am 48 fucking years old, what the hell does that even mean?

I feel that thing inside me as my leggings do the MC Hammer, and my shirt does the first season of Star Trek TNG as I yank it down again and again.  My nipple itches (don’t ask, doctors appointment tomorrow) I cannot find my eye glasses, I cannot see. My brick won’t reach the plug so I can type and read at the same time as I charge the iPad don’t even get me started on the 8 inch cord they give you anyway.  Where the frick is my phone,  dammit I wasted the whole damn day.  There is dust on the thing I want to take a picture of, there is clutter in the background.  My face itches like crazy.  The dog wants to go out, she won’t come in.

Irritable on the inside.

As I shower I think, it’s time to give up painting.  When I was pregnant 25 years ago a co worker Janet something or other Hartoonian, I think, told me that I would have to spend less on make-up (mascara and lip gloss at the time) and give up painting for something more practical. It might be time to heed her advice.

i am like an over tired infant, arching my back and screaming

or a fourth grade boy shrieking all day at my own madness

shut up, silence peasant, that’s enough dumbass, okay nut job you can stop now, wtf Meg?

I stop and breathe, I notice my aggravation.  This is why they want me on meds.

But right now fat ass you are trying to avoid being a diabetic.

shut up. Just shut up.

 

 

 

 

 

Confidence

Sometimes, as an artist, I feel like a hack.  I wonder if other people feel this way.  It has been a lot of time and money spent on this not very lucrative activity and being a practical person it is hard to justify.  The ends pre-exist in the means, I suppose, where you do it for the pleasure of it, or you do something enough and there will be reward of some kind.  Thursday was a really difficult day of work, and the last thing I wanted to do was go to class, I even stopped to get a cup of coffee, which I just won’t drink anymore after lunch.  But I noticed that the overwhelming stress of the day was eased just by sitting and sketching for an hour.  I could feel the feeling of my blood pressure when it is normal, as opposed to its workday pounding.  And listening to two fourth grade boys having screaming whining tantrums all day just about put me over the edge.

But I want to make money doing it.  I have two commissions in the queue, the third and fourth in a year.  And I have sold several paintings this year, when in the past my only patrons were Andrea (seriously could any one ask for a better friend?) and my sister in law (who won’t pay more than 25 dollars a painting despite her diamond tennis bracelets and Mercedes).   And I have made money with knitted purses and some other projects over the years.

There is this struggle too between creating work that a gallery might want. Is the quality of your surface acceptable?  Is the work good enough?  Do you know people? (I don’t) Have you hoofed it enough in NYC (ugh)  Is your frame a stylish black frame or is it a schmaltzy wood frame, who is your audience anyway?

I boldly ask the professor of my class if I am wasting my time.  He never really answers me, which I guess is an answer isn’t it?

Confidence.

Falling Apart at the Seams

The decision is made and the work is in progress.

I will be more organized.

I begin the research, purchase the app

Organized for All Time

This is finally it.

I have won.

I get up, as usual a half hour after I should.  Not because I have not awakened but because I am thinking about a story or a poem or a painting.

Productive!  Yes!

It is usually the time of leaving that my ends become loose and frayed.

I leave, and realize a mile down the road that I have forgotten my phone.

It is only upon a full house search that I realize it is on the passenger seat.

In the car.

I drive along and just as I have passed the last little drive thru

I reach for my coffee, already twisting my hand for that askew opening

hard and fast rule in place:

light colored clothing is forever banned from my wardrobe

I am signaling for the on ramp, in fact am ON the on ramp

just moments before my faultless car

will surely patronize to remind me that I have forgotten to get gas

again.

which even when I was NOT endeavoring to be more organized

I never did.

yes that delicious sip of hot super power

is sitting on the counter at home,

I saw it while searching for my phone.

didn’t I?

Yes, you did.

And here I look at the clock.

And feel

the pallor of death, the sick, clammy sweaty feeling

that my guts are spilling out and they are too slippery to hold.

Arrived guts stuffed back in

and at the gateway to the LIFESKILL of organized.

said with a sneer.

as the second epic battle in the search for keys begins.

I am gathering dandelion fluff and milkweed seeds

on a blustery day.

I fight my very nature.

Only to get inside and realize

my phone is not in my purse.

But on my passenger seat.

No it is in my hand.

Now where exactly did I put my glasses?

Record Cold

We woke this morning to record cold temperatures.  It was 14 degrees Fahrenheit when I pulled out of our driveway this morning.  Along the river basin, the condensation in the air had coated every plant surface with frosty ice, the brilliant sunshine refracting making it sparkle like a crystal palace.  Beautiful.

I realized at some point yesterday, that all of this emotional stuff is utter nonsense.  I started taking the medication because my depression was horrible.  Of course living with a man boy narcissistic verbally abusive man who was putting his colostomy bag in my face on a daily basis telling me to look at the soup, and walking in the door cursing and swearing, calling me a fat, lazy, slob, and grabbing my body parts during sex telling me he didn’t find me attractive might have had something to do with it.

I am off it.  My mood is stabilizing on its own.  Emotions suppressed for two years, may fluctuate a bit when they come back.

And you know what, screw the person who doesn’t stand fiercely in my corner, screw the person who focuses on my flaws instead of their own.  Screw the person who doesn’t hold me in high regard and have respect for me.  I will not tolerate meanness in my life anymore.  I don’t have to.

I am strong, independent, beautiful, loving, smart, funny, creative and hardworking, the rest is just people casting shade.

And trying to make sure I am doing what they expect me to do.

I will NOT be a victim of this any more.  No “poor me”, there is nothing to pity.

I will sparkle in the shining sun like a crystal palace.

White Out

The weather was a bit of a surprise on Sunday, as we all woke up to several inches of snow on the ground,  April Fools came late!  A pile of juncos were at the feeder, fighting over the remains, which I did not refill because the snow was shin deep.

And I had a lot to do yesterday.

I worked on a painting, finished up the school year book, paid my bills, made food for lunches for the week, made dinner, made lunch which was cold when I finally had a chance to sit down.

I am struggling a little bit with some ideas that are hard to wrap your head around, thinking about thinking, is not easy.

  1.  If you don’t like how people talk to you, and you tell them, “I don’t like it when you…..” and they say, yu are over reacting, or too sensitive, are they respecting your feelings and your boundaries?  Does it matter if they don’t see that you don’t like it, that it was just a joke, but it is still hurtful, are your feelings valid or not?
  2. If you make a decision about your life, which is in the best interest, in the long run, for your health, have a clear, logical plan and have taken the steps to put everything in place, is it okay to take a short term step backwards in order to make sure you are set up for a better outcome in general?  ie you are on a very low dose medication that evens out your moods which have ups and downs but are by no means bi-polar (a contraindication of the drug) nor as severe or drastic as borderline personality disorder, but bear some resemblance to the generalized symptoms, without the disability in daily life (ie you react with anger, but you are not exploding and freaking out, your moods are up and down, but you are not unable to get out of bed or up all night long, you are not jealous of anyone around you, nor are you binging (quite the opposite) and you can hold down a job for a significant number of years though not on medication) In this case you know you need A medication, but are preparing to transition to another that does not effect your health in an area which has become immanently problematic and will not be off said medication for longer than six weeks on the outside.
  3. Are emotions acceptable, I mean if you are working really hard on something and it is not going well, is it okay to express frustration?  If you are observing a person you care deeply about who is about to get into a situation that is unacceptable is it okay to get angry with them, and to be sad about the situation?  If someone is telling you regularly all the things that you are doing wrong, and you have a long sordid history with people doing this to you in order to manipulate, control and belittle you (intentionally and not at all intentionally) and they rarely point out the good in you, and you respond by feeling self conscious and thinking they have an unresolved issue with you, does this mean you are down on yourself?  And to be sad about the situation?

These are my questions as the snow falls, and the roads are slick with plows, salt trucks and sander put away for the season, and brushes hidden in the dark recesses of the car, I thought I wasn’t going to need these tools.  I thought I was done with the dark and cold season.  I thought that spring had come.

Greening

The grass does not get green as fast as other things do, and that grass green is like a smudgy Crayola green crayon, maybe with brown lightly underneath.  This week though the bright yellow green lilies are popping up, the bluish yellow green of the moss is a splash of paint across lawns, and the golden haired branches of the willow have turned a soft lime green.

Lightning strikes across the sky, days are grey and raining, but warm.  Windows open while the coal stove runs.  The air smells sweet. Do we criticize the Earth for flashing out in anger?  Do we question her storms, or do we accept that this is life as it is.

The birds are primally murmurating across the sky, heron stands in the river snatching a giant fish out like a prize, there are birds singing with joy in the trees, peepers in the ponds and swamps calling out for love.

This spring is a time of renewal for me.  I take a break from medication that evened out my moods, put a filter on my mouth and helped me to sleep without waking myself with talking.  But helped me gain weight and an exponential rate, affecting my health negatively, and numbing me to joy and creative inspiration, despite also numbing flashes of irritation or anger or sadness.  What can I live with?  What can I live without.  Is it okay to get irritated or sad, or is it better, to have a stroke or a heart attack and make sure everyone around me is always comfortable.  No.  I chose life.

Meanwhile T. is taking the boys to lunch and to get a haircut today.  Are you jealous of us playing hooky?  Nope I say, not even a little.

Isn’t it funny that I never feel jealousy with this man, but I was always so when I was married?

I think sometimes that the people around us form a kind of triangle, and when they are out of whack, so am I.  But when everyone else is healthy, so am I.  Is this an odd thought?

I feel like my fingertips are yellow green, my thoughts are a bluish yellow green  and my golden heart is pale lime.