Be fucking resilient.

Up until about a month ago, I’ve been getting up around 5:30 a.m. on most weekdays to exercise. Since the weather has gotten colder, I’ve haven’t been heading to the gym. I recognize that things are frozen outside right now, and I am feeling super Hermit and that is OK and I give myself grace.

In the morning when I am not exercising, I’ve been exercising my braaaaain. Every morning I have coffee. I choose a tarot deck. I put on some music. I read a paragraph or a chapter from a book. I might light candles or incense or I might just go at it dirty (heeey ohhh).

This morning I knew I wanted to honor MLK, Jr. Day. I read his letter from Birmingham jail in its entirety. I had never done that before. While I’ve been honoring the freeze outside, feeling in tune with my body needs, I knew I should honor this, too. It ain’t always about me, me, me, motherfuckers! The day exists for reverence, for reflection, for understanding. Before I pulled two cards for today’s intention, those words—so relevant today and some likely uncomfortable for a lot of people—were informing the entire intuitive process of reading my cards for the day.

First position (What’s today’s intention?): The Wheel of Fortune  /  Second position (How can I honor that?): Seven of Pentacles

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Interpretation: Despite “fate,” you hold the power and fire inside to fight for what is right. To deny what seems to be imposed. The cycle for justice will continue because life moves in circles /// Honor accomplishments, celebrate small victories, and try not to get down when it feels like all the work is in vain. Give yourself credit.

In my (written) journal I realized that this is a matter of RESILIENCY. Today’s intention ended up as: BE RESILIENT.

And check how interconnected this shit is, y’all (WOO WOO HIPPIE SHIT)! But, the ground is covered in snow and ice. It’s really cold. But there’s seeds in the ground, is there not? Those seeds have an urge to GROW despite adversity. The deep freeze, the daunting motherfucking challenges are inevitable, but they are not impossibilities. They are not deal breakers. That snow will fucking melt. Those seeds will grow—maybe into a flower. Those challenges made the urge to grow stronger. RESILIENT. BE RESILIENT.

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Developing the shadows.

Been on a deep dive lately. Have come to tarot very seriously as a tool to explore my psyche…especially the parts I am not super comfortable with. I’ve been into witchcraft and fringe expression since I was an ill-adjusted teenager. I know that’s not entirely abnormal, particularly for someone in my 30-something demographic. Regardless, it has always had a pull. At that time, I realize in retrospect, I was using it not only as a means to bond on a deeper level with my best friend, but to also escape the massive trauma I was experiencing through most of my pre-teen/teen years. It was a form of strength, power, and internal fire that had been so dimmed and snuffed by my environment and circumstances. I felt like I held the power to make shit happen. Of course, I had watched The Craft a whole bunch, so it was a naive power—but a power nonetheless. It was an outlet.

I wasn’t good at sports. I wanted to be, but I just fucking wasn’t. My family couldn’t afford most things and I couldn’t attend regular practices because I was playing mother to my severely autistic, non-verbal older brother after school while both my parents worked. The two of us would fight because neither of us were equipped to communicate properly. It’s a wonder no one got physically hurt, honestly. When I was 14, my sister died of colon cancer. My brother was in federal prison for things that, later, none of the family could even begin to wrap our heads around (we all came out on the other side of that, but at the time it was yet another log on the fire of my adolescence). My dad was a horrible alcoholic and my parents had succumb to infidelity and abuse.

Magic saved me then and it’s saving me now.

Magic saved me then and it’s saving me now.

As the current state of the union shines a light on the darkness that has always been festering beneath the surface, and exposes what some of us have known about humanity and the capacity for darkness for our entire lives, magic feels like another way to escape again. But it’s different this time, at least for me…

It’s forcing me inward. It’s forcing me to shine that light into the corners of my dirty, not-so-ideal patterns and default behavior. It’s giving me a strength (and that’s the card I keep drawing with almost every personal tarot spread I do lately) to persevere. To continue wading my way through the shit just like I always have. And to make me more connected to a world that I once thought only existed as hostile. It’s not all hostile. It’s starts inside. It starts when you harnass your shadows and recognize they are inside everyone.

Anxiety + Creativity

A bulleted list as it appeared in my phone notes; brought to you unedited to further that closed-in anxious vibe.

  • The curse of social media—mostly Instagram. Comparison. Seeing other artists create and “succeed” making things you know you should be making or better by this point.
  • Comparing years of experience and dormant plans to others that seem…yes seem…to have it all together in a year. 50K followers. Admiration, steady income. Good lighting and a highlight reel that you just don’t have.
  • But, your brain, oh your brain is a virtual feast of creativity. The ideas you’ve never realized are so much better than theirs. But the thought doesn’t count, motherfucker. Make. That’s what counts.
  • Too many ideas resulting in paralysis.
  • The time though? When is there the time when you must focus on your health and your shitty guts and packing school lunches and going to teacher meetings and vacuuming the floor and finally maybe considering fixing the windows or the siding or the many crumbling parts of your house. Or spending a grand on your elderly dog that you love too much. Or going to concerts and relaxing and feeling ok about relaxing instead of guilty.
  • Having writing ideas and sitting down and producing nothing.
  • Or getting sick in the midst of research and a surge of creative juices only to spend the rest of the day vomiting and woozy wondering what you ate and sleeping the day and evening away instead.
  • Going back to work and being so overloaded with the work of others that takes priority because it pays your bills (when you remember to) and keeps food in your mouth.
  • The anxiety of not even remembering to frantically type this into the notepad of your phone in time before the big fish swims away to the sea and the thought is lost forever.
  • Not being able to celebrate the small victories when they do come.
  • The anxiety that writing this as a blog post on a blog that barely anyone reads is a waste of time when it could be energy expended on producing those ideas that are beating the back of our eyes with a shovel day after day.

Weekend Warrior

How much living and creating can I fit in to the weekend? Apparently a lot.
Yesterday was a trip to Cleveland with the purpose of seeing Glassjaw. We haven’t been to House of Blues Cleveland in over 10 years, the last show having been Silverchair on their Young Modern tour. The venue was as nice as we had remembered and a friendly bartender even let us in early. I felt comfortable and tipsy and a-okay.

Here’s some photos from Cleveland/the show—

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NanoWriMo is slow going, for sure, but I’m so proud of  the chapter that I churned out today given how exhausted I am after Saturday. I feel like it is so much stronger than how I started. I will likely scrap everything before it and use it as my opener. I also find that listening to Nine Inch Nails “Ghosts” while writing is exactly what I needed to really propel me into the appropriate mindset thematically.

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We had lunch at my parents’ house today, and my dad gifted Eliot a hand-me-down writing desk that he is mad stoked on right now.


Overall, a healthy balance of creative productivity and mindless fun this weekend. Good stuff.

NanoWriMo – Day 1

I’ve been writing copy all day at work for what feels like an eternity. I did my domestic duties and then I sat down for an hour and wrote some more. AND here I am fucking writing AGAIN.

I’ve gone mad and it’s only day one.

Tonight’s word count: 476

Not abysmal, but not ideal either. It’s a little under two pages done. Massively unedited, but ideas and names and shit are forming, so that’s cool. I imagine when I finally sit down to edit, I’ll take out 25% of that and be left with at least a short story. hahaha

I also deactivated Facebook today to minimize distractions (as well as removing the app from my phone’s home page). I’ve only instinctively went to check it about 14 times or so. Christ, what a ridiculous habit!

xo,

me

Uncaged

Queens of the Stone Age, Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA, September 13, 2017.

Things have been hectic. Things. Whatever the hell I mean by that generic statement. I’ve been busy. Work, picking up a freelance writing job, kid back in school, regular early morning gym sessions (despite my strange inability to sleep properly anymore), trying desperately to catch up on art projects and sewing obligations…this and more + more than that + emotions + more than that. Needless to say, a night to let go and just say “fuck it” hasn’t been an option. A lot was riding on this midweek concert. It had to be good. If my “fuck it” time was ruined, I might very well pack it in and accept life as pure drudgery.

I suppose I could post a setlist, but I don’t really intend to write a traditional review. I want to say how this show made me feel—vibes were in the air. Good vibes? Maybe. Intense vibes? Kinda. Communal/good/intense/irreverent/totally not irreverent at all…just vibes. I felt a whole-ness by the end of the night that I didn’t realize I’ve desperately needed.

The way the city is alit around the venue is truly magical. A light rain added to the ambiance. Josh Homme said was ready to leave himself on that stage and he did not disappoint. He claimed to have a “weird day” and I could relate to that. We had spent the afternoon rushing through Eliot’s hefty homework assignment before leaving him with the grandparents and my anxiety was on full tilt for most of the drive in to the city. I was resolved my mind would wreck the entire night. He continued, “Sometimes I just feel like a caged animal. I need this tonight.” Me too, dude.

I found a spot where I could move freely and danced and danced and danced some more. A fellow in front of me, also dancing and dancing and dancing some more, turned to me during the end of “3’s and 7’s” and passed me a joint “…making us all forget, making us all forget.” At this point, the three glasses of Sangria I sucked down from dinner had worn off, so I happily obliged. Bye, bye, needless worry. Kindly fuck off tonight.

The encore was dreamy. “I Appear Missing,” “Villains of Circumstance” (which translates amazingly live, by the way), and “Song for the Dead.” The energy did not dissipate not once. It laid heavy on the band, on the crowd — a true congregation of weirdos willing to let all our baggage linger like a fog dancing in the lights of the city and the cool evening air.