Month: August 2014

unexpected productivity

Today, I should have done the bookkeeping, updated my cashflow analysis, gotten a lot of products online for sale, thrown a huge amount of work.  goddessandspirit4

Instead, I barely moved.  Sitting in my comfy chair downstairs in the studio, finished writing a book that I began nearly two years ago.  I felt compelled and able.  My mind could hold the needs of the entire book.  Maybe I ought to feel guilty, but I don’t.  Finishing something – even if it is just a first draft that might be ripped apart later – feels like a gift.

Granted, after the book was safely on my iPad for proofreading, I did a whole lot of social media work for clients and spent some time with a friend over dinner.  Now it’s past 11 pm, and I am starting to think about the possibility of sleep.  In the end, I didn’t touch what I planned do finish, but maybe I redeemed myself with this unexpected productivity.  For this, I am grateful.

too stupid to be my friend

I feel like I should be writing about really important stuff.  Only, I am preoccupied with the stress. My health is crippling my ability to function as a human being.  Thankfully, I still seem to have poetry and pen and ink drawings oozing out of me, but other aspects of creativity have been hampered.  I have not had enough energy to throw; my attention  span (or, rather, the lack thereof) has stalled my novels. And without every medium distracting me from the struggle of running the business and trying to sell my art, I get lost to anxiety.  I am a paradox:  a psyche absolutely at sea without new art coming through me, enjoying this huge engine ready to create, and simultaneously suffering from this massive ignorance as to how to sell my work.

Every once in a while this feels like a strange form of prostitution, convincing people that the work of my hands, something so intimate and personal to me, are worth their money and appreciation.

It is when I am in this kind of state that I make stupid decisions.  I flounder and become easily susceptible to suggestion.  Thankfully, I know it – so I seek out the counsel of others.  My friends keep me reasonable, even if they have to tell me if I go down this path or that I will be too stupid to be their friend anymore. I listen, and every once in a while I even obey.

Depression wears me down.  My limits glare at me.  All I feel competent to do is make art – so I throw myself into it, hoping it will save my life.

 

poem: you wanted me alone

The first draft of this was written over a year ago, but how it still applies:

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He said You wanted me alone.
Childless.
Miserable.

My love for him
flowed deeper than the ocean,
despite the pain of ending,
as he swore that it was impossible
for anyone to love me –
particularly You,
my Lord, my God.

Every single day,
those words float through my mind.
i cross the foot of the stairs
at the peak of which those statements
were first uttered,
and they float back down to me,
echoing ghosts of heartbreak.

No anger accompanies them,
no outrage,
just a quiet wretchedness.
It is hard to challenge
those damnations
while i have been trapped
in this long loneliness.

Every time i have allowed
my heart to rise up in the hope
that love might find me again,
the object of my desire has asked
for my bank account numbers
or hurt me.

Jesus, You have given me words,
You have given me art,
but in the depths of night
when i am alone,
i am aware that the products
of my hands
cannot hug me back.

When he said those things, Christ,
he believed them.
His attitude became proof
that i was utterly unloved.

How much of my begging,
Lord,
has been because of this grief?
Your love had gotten me through
so much trouble and trial
from the earliest days of childhood.

Losing that undid me.

In the years since,
how many times have i come
on bended knee,
begging for you to love me again?

When will this doubt
that i never harbored before
he said those things
ebb away?

When will they stop following me
through my days?

Poem: fragments

Twenty four hours of fragments.falling

Tiny shards of art
that shine and glisten
but cannot quite cohere
into something solid.

Too weak to hold,
the parts come tumbling down,
begging to e picked up,
cleaned off,
and used.

Only the distance
between my hands
and where they shimmer
on the floor
feels insurmountable.

24 august 2014.

poem: Christ, i want to hide

Christ, i want to hide
from all my troubles;
life demands too much,
more than i can give.

Inside this warm womb
where pain is muffled
and words tumble out,
i hide in safety.

Only i’m dreaming
that you would force me
to confront this mess,
to rejoin the fray –

like a fisherman
throwing a small fish
squirming, unwilling
back into the sea.

10 august 2014

poem: the thief

10614261_289799811205071_4508236065730935590_ni laugh loudly.

i have been told
my laugh bears
the dulcet tones
of a braying donkey.
It explodes out of me –
i become so full
with sudden joy
at whatever tickled me,
that i forget
all the struggle.

This is a salvation.

i can lose myself
in the delight
of a beautiful day,
or the clay flowing
through my fingers,
or the majestic dance
of ink across a page,
or the unexpected delight
of a quietly spoken joke.

Subtlety is not my strong suit.
i cannot keep things hidden well.
Compartmentalization can be done,
but at a high cost
in energy and spirit.

Alas, this means that darkness,
when it grabs hold of me,
also enjoys my full attention.
It dominates and crushes
until i can divert my attention,
until i find some blessed distraction.

So i steal what joy i can
particularly on days
drenched in the blues.
I seek out sunshine,
rainbows,
fascination
and smiles.

Like a shameless thief,
i rob from pain,
cramming laughter, flow and celebration
into my experience.

26 august 2014

poem: please

Please.
The word flows like honey
thick with need,
taking on the golden hues
of love and hope.
Please.
It comes form my mouth
with alarming frequency
testifying to my desperation,
to this insecure vulnerability.
Please.
a thousand prayers and pleas,
all giving voice
to my most basic fear:
that i, alone, am not enough.
Please.
i lose track of my wants,
desperation seem so vast and huge.
My heart trembles and skips
and all i can do is reach out.
Please.
Help me.
Please.

poem: what else can i give?

IMG_3269Beloved,
what do you want from me?
What else can I give
on a day such as this?

This morning, the sun rose
to find me
already drunk
on love and pain.

Wonder surrounds me,
the fabric of fiction
weaves itself around
my burning legs,
becoming a sweet balm.
Stories pile on top of me
like cool, blessed blankets.

Words flow like wine.

Even before i can pick up a pen,
they drift from my lips,
songs for spirits and solitude.

Images, too, fill me up.
i can see myself
at my easel,
pallet knife in hand,
color covering
the vast, virginal expanse
with such passionate enthusiasm
my fingers throb
with the desire for paint.

Fantasies of companionship
float around within my chest,
this drive to give my characters
what reality has denied me
makes my heart ache
with the idle questions:
Will his hands be warm?
Will his touch be gentle?

And like a spark
penetrating a mountain
of dry hay,
i am alive with the fire
of poem and dream.
It lifts me out of bed,
pushes me into my day.

i find myself
singing to my animals
about glory and love
as i lurch through the house
on graceless, stiff limbs –
my nakedness clothed
only by these lines.

23 august 2014

Thankful for friends

The past few days have been trying, brimming with more chaos and disappointment than I can easily absorb.  Yet, no fewer than three times, I have wept in gratitude: responding to these difficulties, the universe has stepped up to make my journey better through the timely and wonderful intervention of friends.

danceunderthemoonSometimes, I get caught up in my suffering enough that I forget the wondrous blessing that friendship is.  People who have no duty or obligation to you choose to spend their time talking with you.  When you reach out, they help. They go out of their way to make you part of their life.   How glorious is that?  Really, right now, it feels like the most poignant miracle.

Where would we be without those who reach out a hand to drag us out of the muck?

I will save the narrative of this sequence of difficulties for later blogs.  Lord knows, I can complain later.  I have the skills.

For right now, though, I want to thank those who have called, helped me with the heavy lifting, listened to me whine on the phone or in person, given me advice, shared rather existential conversations with me when the small discouragements lead to ponderous ponderings, and just generally let me be in a close orbit to them for a spell.  Both last summer and this, I have realized that I have more people on whom I can count than I ever knew.  In fact, I think I would have gotten more cause to be grateful if I had not missed a couple of phone calls yesterday from friends down in Virginia while I was selling art at a cooperative up here in Maine.

Make no mistake: my life is possible because of friendship.  These good friends have reminded me that no matter how lonely I get, I am not actually walking this path alone.  I am thankful.

poem: i could wail

Please, Christ,
i could wail,
shake my fists and sob,
rage at this torrent
of worry, grief and fear
that swells and recedes
like a constant tide
in my soul.

Only, I am just as full
of gratitude and love.

Today, after weeks of nothing,
i moved mountains –
well, shelves and boxes –
but that was enough.

Once more, Jesus,
i proved
that if i can move,
i will.

That knowledge is a blessing,
a shield against criticism
and self-loathing.

I give thanks
for all of life:
even the difficulties
that make me grateful
for the moments
of grace and joy.