Shockingly Original Post Idea (aka thanksgiving)

Hi friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!! I know the holidays can be a difficult time for some, ranging from the normal stress and pressure associated with travel/plans or more intense emotions (grief, loneliness..).  So I hope wherever you are today, whoever you are with, that it is as restful as possible.

I just wanted to share a few of the things I am thankful for this year and then share one new art-related technique I attempted recently.

As for things that I am thankful for… there are so many in this season of life right now that it’ll be hard to list.  And I am thankful for feeling like I can even write that.  As some of you know, I have struggled on and off with depression since middle school and there have been quite a few thanksgivings that I haven’t felt so thankful.  Sometimes it is just so difficult, when you’re in the darkness, to see any light at all.  Especially when there is additional social pressure because of a holiday.  Or when your brain says, “you really should be happy, you have nothing to be so depressed about, what is wrong with you, look at all the people in the world who are so much worse off than you.”  Comparison, though it may seem logical, is not beneficial in those moments.  But I digress…

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family, both biological and in-laws.  I am thankful for their love for me and each other.
I am thankful for how much effort my parents have put into their marriage throughout the last year.  Coming back from the brink of divorce is no small thing and I am so grateful.
I am thankful for my husband who works so hard for our family and who cares so deeply for those he loves.
I am thankful for the time I got to spend with the family who hired me to nanny for them.  I can honestly say that I can think of no other way I would have rather spent that time and I can think of no other family who would have been more loving, more wonderful than they are.  (Love you Caro!) See you again so soon!
I am thankful for my part-time architectural drafting work and for the free time to pursue art/design/collage/sewing/baking/knitting/children’s book writing.  It really has been such a life-giving combination so far.
I am thankful for our new apartment, for no rats, for privacy (and no topless neighbors on the roof outside of my kitchen window), for a guest room I am not embarrassed to have guests stay in, for a washer and dryer in our apartment (!!! goodbye laundromat!)
I am thankful for friends and moments together and laughter and phone calls (even though they definitely aren’t the same as hanging out in person).
I am thankful for the freedom I feel to explore my beliefs and express myself and be who I am.
And I think I can also honestly say in this moment, that I am thankful for the lows… They make the good times so much sweeter, they help me empathize, they provide creative inspiration.  But I am also SO thankful that that’s not where I am right now.

What are you thankful for?

 

And a final little aside: I have been working on developing a children’s book recently and, even if it only ends up on my shelf and the shelf of my beloved little friend, it has been a really awesome experience.  This week I attempted to digitally add some color to a couple of the layouts I had drawn during inktober:

These were just quick digital sketches designed to help me plan how I want to physically paint them with watercolors and it was really satisfying to get to interlace analog and digital methods so seamlessly!

Which one do you prefer?

Thanks for reading.
Talk to you soon!
M

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Shockingly Original Post Idea (aka thanksgiving)

Curation.

Hello, whoever you are who is reading this.  You may be new, you may not have noticed, or perhaps you don’t care, but I just realized that I have been so particular recently in what I have been posting in this blog that I feel I am being exactly what I DON’T want to be: curated, edited.  I want to be honest and real and rambly (that’s not a word, but you understand…one of the awesome things about language  – webster doesn’t dictate what I can or cannot communicate).  I want to be profound and dumb and whiny and inspiring and hopeful and downcast…I want to be REAL.  In everything that I do.  But instead I feel like I am actually being true in nothing.  Instagram gets a different part of me than Facebook does, and I still don’t understand Twitter to be quite honest, and here, on my blog where I feel the most real, I still feel this need to have a certain theme or whatever.   So what if someone scrolls through and moves on because I am too unpredictable in my content to follow.  I shouldn’t care, right?  Except that’s not really how it works.

I can preach all day about facades and honesty and give off the air that I am above caring about it all.

But I’m not.  I care desperately.  And I HATE that.  I HATE that I have been checking my number of followers on IG, that I have been wondering why people have unfollowed me, why I can’t reach 250, when some people hit 1,000 without breaking a sweat.  I am intimidated by the vast number of talented creative people all over the web and IG and etsy.  How will I ever stand out among them?  Why would anyone ever choose to buy a piece of art from me when ten thousand people are doing it better?

Comparison kills.

(speaking of which, so does smoking.  there’s research to back it up.)  It sucks any enjoyment out of the things I am doing because I never measure up.

It’s a constant striving, a constant desire for more and better, but ultimately for most and best.

And so I see that ugliness in me and my reaction is to seclude myself.  To run from other people.  Because then instead of facing that ugly jealousy in myself, that voice saying “you’ll never be as [good, smart, pretty, skinny, successful, creative, kind, artsy, motherly, perfect] as they are. just give up now before you fail.” – instead of confronting those things I go into my metaphorical cabin in the woods.  For a while I am content with the birds and the grass and the sunshine and books and art…but that loneliness always comes creeps back in.  And the part of me that has spent a good deal of time in Christian community says, “well, if you were finding your all in Jesus, you wouldn’t be feeling so lonely. that hole you feel is just that God-sized vacuum” or whatever quote I am misquoting….point being, then I feel ashamed at feeling lonely, guilty for wanting to rejoin society.  And then I step my toe in the water, go on a coffee date or whatever, and find myself tripping down social stairs with my tongue tied around my ankles. “How did I ever interact with humans in the past?  I can’t even tell a story without coming across like a lunatic!” And then I end up online again, where I can filter my thoughts before I send them, photoshop my acne, delete my whining, hide my tear-stained cheeks.  UGH.

My best friend and I have been talking about some of these things recently.  (Even being able to say that I have a  best friend (and an awesome one at that!) is such a blessing.)  And I am doing a lot of reading and thinking related to the digital world for my thesis.  Do we need people?  Are we cheapening our stories and our lives by sharing them in bits and pieces on all of these social media sites?  Is the digital inherently harmful for social interactions?  Can it be done in a way that is life-giving?  That actually allows for understanding and connection and authenticity?  Does that mean narrowing down to just a few places to invest?  (the internet never really ends up working like that though it seems…)  But today I read the blog here  titled “Is Blogging Dying?” by Mayi Carles where she definitely convinced me if there is one online place to invest, particularly if I am going to actually try and start a business, it is on a blog.  Which after thinking about it, makes a lot of sense.  If I don’t like the pressure of chronological posting (the feeling of always needing something fresh and new and better than the last thing) I have some degree of control to alter that here.  Maybe in the end that’s a horrible way to go about having a blog, but at least I get to make that decision for myself, and can choose to change it myself.

Anyway, now I’m really off track… I think being married to a man who rarely (never) tells a story without tangents and mid-thought rambles has rubbed off on me more than I think it has. haha  Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing.  Rambly just may end up being the best description after all.  The opposite of curation. Which is also, incidentally, not a word.

 

Curation.

0bl1v10n

the silhouettes of warm bodies in the lights
flashing, jumping
blue and green, add purple.
subtract green.
red. bright white.
blinding.
the bass throbs in my chest
beating, beating
my heart overthrown
(had it really beat before this moment?
I cannot recall…)

black balcony above
black railings, encircling
shadows hang beneath
in fact, the room itself a shadow
swallowing me
lights stark, blinking, beating

an unexpected breeze wound
somehow
through all those bodies,
all those legs,
and in the darkened room
found its way to my skin
brushed my body,
perched on the pit’s edge.
it whispered of the stars
finding the mute blackness above
offensive

now superfluous sweaters
tied around waists
accentuating hourglass figures—
unable to stop the flow of sand
leaking from cerebral storage
—arms raised with scene in hand
miniaturized, experience captive.
presumably preserved
but the resultant museum
made of yes’s and no’s,
the purest geometries,
discarded the maybes:
framed but filtered,

the ghost is dangerously convincing,
tempting.

unnoticed
the fan above
spins
(distant and lacking affect)
rhythmically
evaporating

0bl1v10n