All things melancholy · Musings · Strong Woman · Uncategorized · weak woman


there are days when everything hurts, this, fibromyalgia, but I refuse to take pain medications.

i walked alot on Saturday, i mean not alot compared to what i walked five years ago, but alot for now.  just two short miles.  this week has been horrible.  my knees, my right outside edge of my foot, my lower back, my trapezium and my neck.  last night i woke myself many times crying out in pain.

words no longer have the power over me they once did.  but words, damn they can be hurtful and mean spirited and cruel.  words like, lazy.  words like, you are just like ______ (fill in the blank) for a person you strive to not be like, you aren’t __________(fill in the blank) for things that you are, words thrown as weapons, when wit cannot pull up things that are thoughtful and reflective, words that show a person that they have not seen your growth, only bringing up the past to smash you.

and i find myself not floundering and wretched but instead empowered to continue being who i am.

lazy ____ no i do not do as i once did as i sit here recalling scraping and painting the house all summer, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, putting sealant on the driveway, gardening, cooking, doing dishes, taking care of the animals utterly by myself, cleaning, laundry, taking out the trash, taking the trash to the road, literally everything that needed done the house i did or i left a short list for my daughter to do as well.  my grandparents called me lazy when i was about 8.  i wasn’t lazy, i was just being 8, but it stuck, it was used again and again, and still to this day people like to use it on me.  did i mention i am in pain? always?  i still vacuum, sweep, clean the bathroom, cook, do dishes, hose detritus off the deck, garden, shop for the household, which for me as a single person was literally one quick trip a week, but now is a two hour ordeal.  am i a stay at home mom who works two hours a day outside the home and carrying the weight of the whole household in chores?  no, and i have never been.  instead i work 7 hours a day, babysit 10 hours a week, and work on my art which i sell probably another 20 hours a week.  lazy.  that’s me.

when i am angry i tell people.  i don’t sulk and seethe quietly, i don’t pretend like nothing is wrong, i don’t throw out hurtful words, i am smart, i am creative, i am self aware, i try hard to be kind though i fall short at times, i acknowledge my mistakes, i am not ashamed of who i am, i don’t feel inadequate, under appreciated and psychologically and emotionally lonely yes, but not inadequate, not ever.

this blog is a great example of my growth, i try to move beyond my blockages, i try to learn, and grow emotionally, and when i am angry, i don’t try to push my old hurts onto others as labels, and name callings.

pain. inside.

pain. outside.

pain swirls.

the more i hurt from external resources the further i withdraw.  that is what i guess i should be my newest area of growth.

or i could just become reclusive.

i am already halfway there.





My mind is like a pool of water on a river, ideas are swirling around me but the mind is still and calm, like a deep well, a river pothole, cold and dark.

My eyes, they are clouded, by long strings wrapped in a circle, by small black dots that I track as flies and realize later they are not, by short eyelashes swirling in my field of vision.  Eventually, your brain will stop noticing them.  Or perhaps, I think, I will paint them on top of everything I paint.  A final glossy layer separating my eye from my mind.  Can I have those photos of my retina? I ask.  Sure, but you have to show them to us when you are done. I wish I had time to paint, I think, with college graduations, spring gardening and commissions, and perhaps the newest obsession of knitted Christmas stockings.

My ear, it was bleeding, I did not know why, with my eye now a clear pool with autumn leaves floating on top, I feel frightened.  Later, after I am told its just an abrasion, I blame the black flies.  Which is more vicious? Black flies or Yellow Jackets?

My skin, it itches, black flies again.  My nails embedded with dirt as I plant medicinals, bee friendlies, dye plants, cooking herbs, and annuals where Tom has dug up my perennials with the snow plow too many years in a row.  I envision thyme oil, lavender oil, beebalm tea, pokeberry colored wool, and stinging nettles as I dig.  A. helps me pick out the annuals, and plants rocks in the dirt to make them grow.  I lament the absence of bees.  But orioles stab at orange halves and hummingbirds hope I haven’t been lazy about filling their feeders.

My heart, it is no longer strong.  It echoes empty.  It trudges through the sludge.  It aches with each step.  It loves more than it should.  It is just enough to get me through.

So I drink expensive Scotch, and Honeyed Whiskey, and seek out the best less than one hundred calorie beer I can find.  And only drink wine that tastes good.  Even if it is less often than I would like.

I have paintings in my mind though.  And my fingers ache to paint them.

Instead, I paint the yard with flowers and plants.  I paint the world.

Changing Seasons · Garden · Nature · On Being Green · Painting · The three R's


On our way out to an island in Maine the trees were not yet showing signs of spring, but by our return trip the forsythia was blooming in Albany and the willows had gone from gold to green. Maine for me was wonderful, I am certain it was not so wonderful for the man, and for my friend.  Dog ate a toy and managed to barf on a white rug and a brand new mattress.  Of course after that she was fine, she doesn’t barf a lot so of course she had to christen the new furnishings.  grr.  But for me the peace of painting in a place, outside, despite cold temps, downright drizzle and brutal wind.  My legs cold through and my left fingers icy from holding the palette.  Upon return and viewing this work with the work of last summer I am super pleased with this new body of work.  I am really looking forward to the summer when I can go back and paint more.  There were several sites I would like to sit and paint from, just from the brief tour we had by our hosts.

I wandered around my yard on Easter Sunday after two days of spring cleaning, still utterly not complete, and noticed the tulips pushing their heads up past the mud and coal ash.  The tips of the elderberry bushes have started to bud, the rhubarb with its dark green leaves is growing beautifully.  The crocus and hyacinth are blooming, though my transplanted grape hyacinth is not too happy with life just now.  The tansy and the comfrey are looking healthy, and my transplanted lilies look like they just might bloom.

The man made a compost tumbler out of an old dryer drum.  So impressed, he is really an artist in a way, he can fix anything, he can cobble together anything.

The dogs, particularly Marley the little beast, ran to the neighbors house for cookies.  Following L. into her kitchen while I shot the breeze with M. who lifted the lid of his grill to show me Easter dinner, roast venison on a spit wrapped in bacon.  “This is what rednecks eat for Easter he said deprecatingly, though I did not say it, I thought this is what I would consider a superior culture.  He again iterated my option to walk his land and gather plants from his property, along with a hug and a kiss on the cheek, as my man says, M. likes me because he usually doesn’t let anyone on his property.  We talked about natural dyes.  He thought I said natural guys.  So we made a few jokes about manscaping, and ear whiskers….

I looked up the possibility of using rhubarb leaves for dying wool, high in oxalic acid, I think it would be cool to mix them with pokeweed which grows in abundance in the yard, nettles or maybe sumac.  My summer project slowly forming.

I spun my white wool for a while and finished a recycled sari silk scarf.  STILL trudging away at the brown and white log cabin weave on my 32” Ashford.  Blah.  So dull and my tension is wonky and annoying.  So much to do for spring.  So very little time in the day.




It burns us

I am still holding on to the lumpy ash
of whatever organic rot this has been
a heart perhaps,
or a spleen?
sweet breads?
Soaked in tears.

I suckle
the soul eating bacteria.

I repeat the steps,
listen to the silence
ask for help
dig in,
hold it tighter.
let it go.
Push it down.
yet still
it lurks
a paid actor in a
haunted house.

I am Edvard Munch’s scream.




They say no mud, no lotus.  The lotus though it roots in the mud, digs its strong tendrils downward into the thick ooze.

The winter has come and the tuber is dormant, it waits, asleep in the frozen mud, deep, thick and stuck there.  But in its dormancy it is potential energy, it is hunger, it is dissatisfaction, so comfortable, but so unhappy with this state of affairs, it aches for the sun, for the light, for the soft touch of the dragon fly as it lights upon its petals.  And yet it is all this time still a life, a rich, deep energy.  They say that tropical lilies die when it gets too cold.  Unable to survive the deep dormancy required by hardy types.  And it is the hardy type that digs burrows the most deep, surviving in the harsh winter cold.  It is like a frog waiting to thaw.  Waiting here in the mud.  Waiting here in the mud.  Waiting here.







and then suddenly in a rush of thought, you get it, the closure finally happens.

A man I barely know, an acquaintance of very little importance, presumed to know something about me, or else is an utter narciscist, probably the latter, whom I knew in a social setting when I was living with, dying with the pirate and that whole psychological nightmare of pre-teens, and teens surviving world war 2, on the wrong side, but still losing significant family to the death camps, and being transported on trains,etc etc, we never do hear the German side, or the German in Czech side, the Russians raping and killing girls, and then the murdering son, and the son who couldn’t cut the apron strings, the dynamic of a woman who could have children and her domineering sister who couldn’t.  And me trying to make a life with a man who was in many ways perfect for me, and in other ways like being out of a frying pan and into a fire.  And the time I met this acquaintance.  It was not a great time.  And me disillusioned in general with human beings, especially ones who have a very different moral code than me.  And the long held feeling of not fitting in, even though I fit in just fine with other people. Discovering it, acknowledging it and moving on, why waste time on feeling left out and misunderstood?

So that’s the back story,

who leaves someone and never speaks to them again?

Family dynamic.

hits me this morning like a cannon.

a man whose grandfather had two families, one a secret long held and never visited, one a cousins husband openly flagrantly, and a first cousin, the same.  And a sister, mentally ill, homeless, schizoid personality disorder who left a husband in the same manner.  That’s who.

this wasn’t about me.

I have my faults, I am the first to admit it.  But this was about a man who was weak emotionally, lazy, dishonest, young, so very young, and terribly irresponsible with money.

And the woman who was scrambling to survive, even if it meant codependency.

funny how I never check Tom’s computer, how we have separate finances, how he knows how I take my coffee, how I never have to ask or tell him to do work around the house, how I am never jealous.

And my artwork has become realistic, and practical, with the soul squeezing through in the tree branches and the shifting patterns of light.

I suddenly understand.

Thanks Drew.



toes curled in the sand,
in the snow,
the ache of undermedicated anxiety,
deep in my bones.
Depression lurks, breathing heavily at times,
at rest and licking its wounds,
more or less always.

Ankles that ache, and knees that cringe and a hip that more or less walks in unannounced.  Often at three in the morning.

Hello anybody home?
I was wondering if I could pick some of your flowers for the altar?

Gut oh my gut
one scrimmage after another.
Do you like cheese? why yes, yes I do.
oh well guess what?  Not today you don’t
do you like yogurt? I try to eat it every day.
well guess what I have in store for you?

strong shoulders, used to carrying a great weight, neck pushed forward.

Strong hands, capable hands and arms ready to hug.

Head, dizzy sometimes, crystal clear sometimes, muddied by the weather sometimes.
Heart beats a little too fast, a little too hard.

And then there is the hearth.  Think with reddened coals, cozy with pillows and richly embroidered tapestry, warm bed down and wool, embedded in this place.

More or less empty, but welcome to guests, on occasions.
As long as they see that this is my place.

The light from the windows casts a shadow of exquisite beauty,

who knows what all hides in the corners.



We have it all wrong.

See there is this thing, where we look outside ourselves for validation, i do not know where it begins, perhaps with shame, perhaps with expecting good behavior.  In some ways it becomes broken through the course of life.  If you are deep down a good and kind child, and you are blamed for something, saying a word you don’t know is a curse word, writing in the dust of a car curse words, not little hearts and smiley faces of a little girl, throwing a ball on the roof and having it get stuck.  Not a problem, a simple broomstick solution, but to beat the child who did not even really do it, for lying.  No that causes deep deep damage.  You cannot hold up a mirror and see good because when you do you see a person who should be punished.  For nothing.

No blame here.  Just an observation, a curiosity like walking through an antique shop and picking up a wing-wang off a shelf and saying huh, I had this when I was little, or this was the silverware my grandparents used, or this is the doll I played with until its eyes popped out and its pull string stopped working.

Do you love me?  Why do you love me?  What do you see in me?  (That clearly I do not see in myself)

Am I pretty?  As I look in the mirror at my alcohol fueled gut, the jowls on the side of my face, the wrinkles and scowl lines on my face.  Am I pretty?  Why ask someone else?  What do you know, art expert?  What do you know?  I was pretty once, I have nice ears, I have big eyes, I have a nice smile.  Okay, why ask someone else to affirm that?  There is no need.  i already know.

As I hit this hill of fifty I find myself seeking philosophical answers, you can ask on Facebook but really, lets face it, those answers are not philosophical, they are trite and superficial.  I want to have deep conversations about these things.  I want to dialogue on things that have meaning.

Instead I read and play a game on my computer and write stories in my head.  I read someone else’s patterns instead of trying to design my own.  It is easier somehow, to not have to try anymore.  And this is where I look at myself and cringe.  The not even bothering to try anymore.  Who is it for anyway?  No one buys my work.  No one wants to spend time with me.  No one wants to have deep conversations anymore, how is your daughter?  How is your mother?  How is your job?  Never is there a how is your heart?  What are you thinking about these days?  What is your passion?  Where does your heart go in nostalgic moments?  What is feeding or draining your soul?

These are the conversations I want to have.

We have it all wrong, politics, and race and gender and social constructs.
Math and reading and computer coding.

We should be teaching art and drama, music, and dance, nature and nuture, physical and psychological exercises.

Use a program for the rest.

We have it all wrong.



The touch of a lover’s hand as it lingers across your skin,

soft caresses that have no path, no plan, staying intertwined legs, a head, a chast, a poem that teases at the back of your brain, a song lyric, a breath that catches as your eyes close and your mind whispers


you you

you still linger in my dreams

go away I say aloud, Please just go away

as my eyes open you linger like an aftertaste of something sour and bitter

you linger like the graceful touch of skin against nettles,

of the scorch of an iron pan, long after the heat is off

of a necklace dangling over the heat of an oven slapping back against my tender flesh

linger as we do as the sun is setting on still waters the sky scarlet and poppy and crushed violets. Until the mosquitoes nip and suck and whine

lingering as this winter exhaustion unable to stir, returning to bed once, maybe twice in a day.

Hoping to let the dreams remain at .bay, the lingering drool on your lips the only memory of sleep.

I recall your face as you lingered, watching me go.

You did not linger long when you decided to go.

but I linger here.

Wishing for you to linger just a bit, and tell me that you did.



As I head into the last half of my life, I realize I have missed so many opportunities for spiritual growth.  Huddled and hunkered down, gone to shelter to save myself from emotional pain.  Wanting to please others, wanting to be LIKED, wanting to be accepted, I have withdrawn in order to avoid the opportunity for not pleasing, not being liked and not being accepted.

I think this all started when I was pretty young.  I loved to daydream, and the daydreaming became a kind of mental fantasy, acting out stories in my mind, I still do, sometimes it helps me fall asleep, writing these ideas in my head.  But I also withdraw. I pull away to feel comfort, to not feel pain.  It is so much easier than facing the criticism, the disdain, the derision of others.

I don’t actually think I am terribly likable.  I think I complain too much, I think I am too self conscious, I think I have low self esteem.  I think I laugh to loud, or swear too much, or am afraid someone will predate me.  Find my weakness and exploit it.  Tell me my clothes aren’t good enough, or my hair isn’t good enough, or judge my body, or judge my character.

I know I have a strong integral character, and I like my clothes I have now, it has not always been so, but with financial stability comes better clothing.  I could never go naked, too vulnerable.  I do laugh loud, and I do swear too much, and I talk too loud sometimes too, worse as years in echoing classrooms have damaged my hearing.   I don’t think I complain as much as I hurt though, and my pain makes me irritable, and sometimes my need to withdraw from interacting with others makes me both irritable and when it doesn’t come when I need it, hostile.

Now I am battling physical pain.  I don’t talk about it alot, but every minute of every day I am in physical pain.  My hands, my feet, my neck, my elbows, my lower back and knee.  The arthritis in my hands make it hard sometimes to knit, to draw, to weave, to pick up small objects.  Sometimes shaking a persons hand or even getting someone to grab my hand to help me up or down, is excruciating.  My Tom has learned to just provide a hand, because if he squeezes, its brutal.

My go to phrase is that someone treats me poorly because they don’t like me, not because they are not very nice, conscious or aware, having a bad day or just a plain and ordinary asshole.  I think much of this leads back to a childhood of being constantly bullied, blamed for things I did not do, and told I was equally responsible for my brother’s harassing and inappropriate behavior.  Maybe so, but even my sister has apologized for the treatment I received at the hands of she and my brother, because she knows it was not deserved in those times alone, while my mother worked.  I wish I could go back and wake my dad early on in the situation, because the time my brother held me down for over an hour drooling into my face and I woke my father, that kind of harassment stopped.  And when I finally told that he was calling me a cunt everyday, that too stopped.  I wish I could have woken my father when my brother followed me around the house being a shit, or left me alone to fish or hunt for hours, while I tried to handle a 6 year old alone when I was only 12.

So I withdrew, fantasy was more fun, books were easier, day dreaming was more comfortable.  Art is easier, knitting is easier, reading or dicking around on the internet is easier.  Anything feels easier than pain.