thank you janice. thank you all for your words.
I am learning the meaning of the phrase “roll with the punches”. sometimes when you stand up for your beliefs people will try to attack you on a personal level because they don’t know how else to bring you down.
it is akin to little children who when angry and flustered will pull out something irrelevant like, “oh yeah? well you have a big nose!”
it is somewhat funny, but as we all know words can hurt too.
but here lies the beauty…
the lesson i am learning is that no matter what, my feelings are not wrong. my whole life I have been in doubt of them. questioned them, barely recognized them, ignored them, rejected them, feared them, stuffed them away, felt them invalid, misinterpreted them, put them after the feelings of others, held them in until I thought my lungs would burst. the reasons for this are numerous and too much to get into here, but because of this, as an adult I have had trouble recognizing them (read: numbness). (I will experience discomfort somewhere in my body, usually my stomach, which swirls, churns or aches). I didn’t know before but these are my emotions sending me a message, “something is up. stop and listen for a moment.” STOP AND LISTEN.
sometimes it takes a few hours for me to understand what the message is. often when I get it, it comes in a flash. big knowing. “oh my god, of course! that’s it.” onto step number two, expressing those feelings. somewhere along the way, you learn (usually the hard way) that you also need to express those feelings and that you have a right to do so. here lies another great challenge but one worth doing.
and so a message to those who will try to bring me down. you can attack my writing, you can attack my spiritual beliefs, you can attack my chosen profession, you can criticize my talent, you can insult my physical appearance, you can do whatever you think of to make me look bad in the eyes of others.
I WILL NOT BACK DOWN.
because from the deepest place in my heart there is an incredible strength, something I have not felt until now. an unshakable knowing that I have a right to these feelings. and no matter what you do to me you cannot take that away. my feelings and beliefs are my own, and they come out of a loving place, a place that wants to heal me and take care of me at every turn. even the anger. i have never really known what it meant to love yourself, until now. it seems so simple, to act in a way that honor’s your feelings and beliefs. to trust what your body is telling you. to stand up for your beliefs even when you feeling like the whole world is against you.
i sit looking at a photo of myself on my desk. I am two years old, with long brown hair and bangs, sitting on my bed wearing my pink p.j.’s with the feet in them, looking shy and apprehensive about the world, (I was an intensely shy child). for the first time i feel such incredible love and admiration for this girl, I want to hug her up and tell her everything’s o.k.
you are strong, and powerful and loved. even if you don’t know it yet.
(adapted from a project entitled “Use this Poster”)
Things learned while collecting found objects on the beach.
1. As your eyes scour the sand you may become quickly overtaken by an obsessive quest to find the most interesting, unique item. Though sometimes it is the simplest of things (or group of things) that are the most satisfying.
2. Always carry a bag of some sort. You will usually collect more that will fit in your pockets.
3. Pay attention to the following attributes…color, texture, contrast, size, shape.
4. When combing the beach it is easy to get lost (and obsessed) in looking at the ground. It is important to stop every now and then to look out at the water.* (*failure to do so may also result in wet feet.)
5. Always check items for inhabitants.
6. It’s fun to bring a friend so you can compare your finds.
I wish the big art galleries would make a special pass for people who only want to look at two or three pieces at a time. They could call it the
Regular readers have by now noticed that I do mention pms on a regular basis, So I’ve created something to help those of us who struggle with debilatating moods caused by extreme hormones. Tracking has become a necessity in my household, and i find i really enjoy the charting of things. Expect some more chart like items (as well as other paper products in the near future).
Read the story and get your own here.
printing done by the wonderful pinball publishing.
wow! I cannot believe the response to this, i have been literally flooded with orders and am scrambling to keep up, (they seem to come in by the minute). thank you all so much for you support. it seems I have touched on a subject that is somewhat ignored, or that we don’t talk about enough. to be honest I thought that being an extreme case (pms) was uncommon, when I talk to other women I sometimes get the sense that my case is unique. but apparently there are a lot of us out there. When the orders slow down I am going to post (on a seperate page) the variety of remedies that are being sent in.
p.s. All proceeds are going to fund printing costs for new projects just like this one.
It is 9:03 in the morning and I don’t know what to write about. The mind leaps from subject to subject (the mess on the desk, the iris in the garden, a dream about a haunted house), and then wonders “why write if there is nothing that needs to be said?” Practice, my dear. The mind doesn’t always know it has something to say until the words start moving through the fingers. I spose sometimes I tire of hearing my own words, not thinking them interesting or particularly colorful. But then every artist feels this, moving through phases, in and out of feeling content with one’s content* (*she writes smirking). Rather than ask is it interesting, one might better ask “is it truthful?”
“When I’m writing in my notebook early in the morning, whose applause do I want to hear? If the words come from my heart, stripped of artifice and the need to impress, it doesn’t matter. But when I try to make these sentences look handsome, everything’s lost. I didn’t get up before dawn to watch a middle-aged man admire himself in the mirror. Is that a new shirt he’s wearing? I’m not impressed. Naked, I tell him. Naked is all I care about. And I don’t mean naked except for your underwear. And I don’t mean naked except for your charming smile.” ~Sy Safransky
she breathes a *sigh* of understanding. (pun intended)
broken bikes (that can never be fixed),
notes wildly scribbled in secret notebooks,
like proust i am an old teahead of time,
pieces of string holding up my collections,
i collect experiences and phone calls, and human pains,
while waiting for the mail.
Isn’t it plain the sheets of moss, except that
they have no tongues, could lecture
all day if they wanted about
spiritual patience? Isn’t it clear
the black oaks along the path are standing
as though they were the most fragile of flowers?
Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart
ever close, I am as good as dead.
Every morning, so far, I’m alive. And now
the crows break off from the rest of the darkness
and burst up into the sky–as though
all night they had thought of what they would like
their lives to be, and imagined their strong, thick wings.
*the first page I opened it up to this morning.
**for my girls
***I heard a great interview with the poet laureate Ted Kooser on npr this week, about why poetry is important. you can find it here.
****don’t cha love asterisks? I do.