Winter is gone

There came a time when I had to learn. I had to learn this lesson quite so challenging as it were. I had to learn to let go. I never really had learned this, really. Being the typical Sagittarius with a Taurus moon, I do prefer to have a plan. I’d like to know what’s going on. Read: I like to be in control of the situation. I do. I really do.

If I am in control, I can decide what happens next. I can decide what I will feel next. Right? Wrong.

The truth is, I did not really plan for the sort of life I have right now. But I do not think I was mourning or sad over what I lost; I think I was sad over the loss of control over a situation. The loss of control is what got to me. But then, here’s a tidbit for you: often, we cannot control the situations in our lives.

I’ll tell you a story.

Back when I commuted into the city 25 years ago, I’d often take the PATH train into Manhattan. There was an older gentleman who rode the train, asking for money and donations for a local homeless shelter. He’d come on the trains, and he’d say, “Anyone can become homeless! Anyone can lose a job, or become sick, and not be able to work anymore!”

And this is sadly true. We are not often able to fully control the situations that come into our life. And I always figured that I could. Having lost my spiritual faith for over a decade, I had held on to the idea that I could control things. That only I was the one that determined my fate. That if I worked hard enough, I could control my life. My life was in MY hands, not some pie in the sky spaghetti monster. And partly, this is true. But I do like to have a faith that there is more out there than simply a mathematical scientific way of seeing the world. Perhaps there ARE fairies. Maybe there IS more out there than just what I see with my physical eyes.

Relax, this is NOT a religious blog post, as I am not nor ever will be a religious woman. At all. This is about learning to let go. About really learning to love yourself. I think real love is an appreciation. When you love someone, it isn’t about how many couples selfies you post, or the flowers they buy. When you love someone, it is about accepting them just as they are. And so, in loving yourself, it isn’t so much about anything other than appreciating yourself. Appreciating the good things in yourself, and accepting the not so great ones. It’s all just a part of who you are. We all play a part in the grand design, and you are a part of that. So when I learned to truly love myself, I let go of all the worry and strife I caused myself. I made peace with myself. Accepted myself in the place I’m at.

Before, all I was doing was worrying. Worrying. Over analyzing. Over thinking. Jumping to conclusion that I’d tell my girlfriend about. Then do it all over again. And again. And blame myself for things that would go wrong. Then feel guilty. It was my fault I was divorced. I wasn’t good enough. It was my fault that relationship ended. I didn’t settle. I should have settled. It was my fault. My fault my mother would call me vergaja de mierda as a child (don’t ask me to translate, I really don’t know how to translate what it means into English. Ask a Colombian person LOL).

I just decided that I’m enough, right where I’m at. I decided to stop fighting it. For years I just was okay with the negative feeling. “Embrace it” some folks say. But you know what? I decided not to embrace the depression. I was depressed for years. I was done. Done with feeling negative and faking the happy feeling for my kids. Done with feeling like I was wasting my life crying over what I wanted to happen that so far had not. Done. I was done. I did not want to “be okay” with the negative feeling.

I’ll tell you another interesting tidbit.

When you do yoga and exercise on a daily basis (no I don’t exercise, I’m a lazy sod. I do yoga tho), your body releases endorphins. As you do this regularly, your body gets used to it, insofar as that when you skip a day, you tend to feel like a big blob. Emotions are the same way. I feel like the answer to depression is getting up and moving, even when you don’t want to. Even if you don’t feel like it. You get up. Take a shower. Do some yoga. Listen to good music (may I suggest Frank Sinatra). Do things that make you feel good. Focus on the good. Be grateful. Appreciate life. Appreciate the good things in life.

And as I continued to do this, I realized…..life ain’t that bad. Actually, life is pretty fucking dope. You know why? I get to wake up in the morning and breathe clean air and drink clean water. I get to see my daughters every day. I get to have a body that is not only healthy and rarely gets sick, if ever, I get to have a face that hardly ages. I get to have friends that listen and care.

The more good things I pointed out in my journal, the happier I saw myself. I learned to accept my place in life, and embrace the fact that yes, I am now a Jersey girl. After 20 years of being a Nuyorican, I was finally accepting the fact that I now live in NJ. And…..it isn’t that bad. Gratitude took away the depression I battled for 3.5 years.

I was talking to my niece the other day, and I told her something quite revealing. I told her: depression….it’s like childbirth. At first, it only hurts a little bit. In childbirth, the closer the child is to coming out into the world, the more pain a woman feels. And so for me, it is the same with depression. The closer it is to leaving your body and mind, the more pain you begin to feel. The more things start to come up, things you hadn’t dealt with; it is the universe speaking to you-telling you what you must address. In childbirth however, eventually the child leaves your body, on it’s own will. Sure, you push the kid out. But really, the baby knows what to do, and leaves your physical body. Depression isn’t like that. You can literally be stuck in that painful place of birthing yourself, forever. I chose not to. I got tired of it. Tired of the pain. I decided to be happy, and let things go. Living in the now, as Ekhart Tolle writes in his book. Truly, this is the only way that I was able to see the sunlight again. My younger daughter had a dream one night: that winter was over, and all there was, was spring and summer and fall. And in my life, her dream was quite prophetic. It came true. It was so. Winter is over. Spring is here.

 

 

 

The Lazarus Woman

I. I am the Lazarus woman. In the Bible, growing up in the Pentecostal church, I’d often hear about Lazarus. If you’re not familiar, Lazarus was a man who was ill. Jesus had been contacted by his family, them begging and pleading, please Jesus heal him. By the time Jesus got there, the dude was dead and being buried. You’re too fucking late, they said. Jesus was like, no problem dude, I got this, and brought Lazarus back to life. He brought him back from the dead.

I’ll be honest. I had been feeling a bit down yesterday. Something about finances and financial stress that sort of brought my vibration down just a bit. Maleficent was feeling blue. Anyway, before I go on, I should mention that I am not a religious woman by any means. Not at all. But, I take wisdom from whence it comes.

So yesterday, I go to get my second cup of coffee, and my father has a preacher on by the name of Joel Osteen. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He was talking about Lazarus. He spoke about how sometimes, we die in our life, and then the Universe comes to us, in that time, and brings us back to life. Sometimes death comes, just to bring us back to life.

 

 

In nature, death happens every winter. In winter, the flowers that bloom die. The leaves from the trees, fall from the trees in Autumn and death comes in winter. But this death, it is not a permanent one. Death comes to the flower, only for a moment. Only for a moment, and then spring comes again. And then it flourishes again. It blooms again, in all it’s fragrant glory, worshiping the sun, giving glory to mother earth and father sky. It’s life is an homage to mother earth. Curiously, the flower does not try to be a blade of grass. It does not try to be a tree, nor feels guilty for itself over it dying in the past. The flower just is what it is, and as such, it blooms.

Perhaps we can learn a lesson from nature. Perhaps we go through this. This season where things in our life die. Relationships die. Jobs, perhaps. Maybe both do, and we are left in a season of winter. We wonder, “why hasn’t my spring time come?”

We wonder this. In between the aggravation of life that bogs us down. Waiting for the phone to ring. Wondering why this happening? We become angry. Shake our fists at the Universe. Get angrier and angrier. Why me, we ask. Why this, why now.

The secret? There isn’t any. There is no secret. I hold no answers to this game of life. We hold our lives, measured against this thing called time, this thing called age, and we measure our success or lack thereof, based on the thing we had hoped to accomplish at our age. And then we age. And then we grow older. We hit the age of 40. We wonder what we did wrong.

Breathe, dear one. Just breathe. In this game of life there are often times you feel to give up, but just breathe. Just live in your space where you are right now. Live for the now. Life is so short and our lives do not come with a long life guarantee. All we can do is breathe and have hope and faith for the future. Have faith, and put hands to work. In my times in the Pentecostal church, I did learn one thing: faith without works is dead. It isn’t enough to have faith. Put one foot in front of the other and work. Work by just waking up and greeting the sun. Say hello to grandmother moon in the evening. Be grateful for the things you have. And little by little you’ll find….that there are more and more things to be grateful for.

 

 

If you choose to enter here

So, I’ve been a bit more dedicated to my art these days. Being single does that to a girl, I suppose. Here I made a two page spread in a little art journal I found while cleaning my studio. I promised myself I’d finish one book at a time.

I also posted a new(ish) poem below, also.

If you choose to enter here

know that I am not a safe place.

I am a woman, seeking a partner but

I am a sheep

in wolves clothing

I am June Cleaver

in a Joan Jett exterior

And in my desire to be like God I ran into Satan

Blinded by lust blinded by his lies I thought him to be

the God I sought

I painted him in colors of blue

I made him perfect when he was but a thief and a liar

He was Satan

And I didn’t see it

And

Saw only what I chose to and

Saw only that he listened and

Saw not

That he cared not

That he loved not

That he used me

The truth hurt more

So I lied to myself

And made myself think he cared

Because the truth is he thought me only garbage

And a lie feels nicer than truth

So if you enter here, put not the clothes of Jesus. Put not the clothing of a savior

Be only honest

be only fair

be only mature

grown

be a man

if you choose

to enter here

When Malificent Learned to Heal

She tried to fuck the pain away. The girl, now a woman, feels like she’s still 19…and tried everything to get over him. She tried to forget the pain away.

He left. He left her, as Bob Dylan sings, “standing at the doorway crying”. He was the love of her life, and now he was gone. He was gone, and there was nothing she could do to stop him from being with her. That woman. That whore.

He told everyone that SHE wanted him to go away, and when he left, all her friends fell by the wayside too. She had no one. So she tried to forget the pain away. She just wanted all of the pain to go away. It was too much to hold, too much sadness. Her entire world had collapsed. Here she was, June Cleaver, when suddenly her world collides with Malificent. With Gloria Steinem. What’s a good girl to do? June Cleaver got a divorce and she started growing indigo wings and curved horns on her head, she….was becoming a dark goddess with a soul black as night.

So he was gone, and she tried to fuck the pain away. After so many years of mediocre sex with a passionless man, she was ready for real sex. She couldn’t believe all the attention she got from men. Men seemed to want her. She’d felt ugly and forgotten for so many years, that she scarcely remembered what it was like to feel pretty again. They wanted her, and she wanted to forget; to feel pretty again. She wanted to forget the pain away, to forget the memories of feeling neglected by him, to forget the memory of what his skin smelled like, and what it felt like to kiss his neck. So she tried to fuck the pain away.

She tried to drink the pain away. She never drank when she belonged to him. He never allowed that. No alcohol in the house, due to his alcoholic step-father. But she tried to drink the pain away. She tried to. She had gotten a decent enough job working in Western Central New Jersey, working in an office, and made enough money to go out once in a while. She discovered a bar in South Jersey that plays live music (one of her favorite things), and so she went. And drank. And when she drank, the pain seemed to melt away, even just for a moment. And since she could afford to, she tried to drink the pain away.

She tried to wish the pain away. She was Wiccan, so she could do that sort of thing. She could light a candle and perhaps he’d come back. She’d do a come to me boy spell, and make him come back to her. He could come back to her, if only she wished hard enough. She just needed to consult her cards, and wish hard enough: a purple candle for power, blue for healing, and red for passion. There now; candles were lit. He’ll come back to me, she thought. All I have to do is wish the pain away, and the pain will leave and he will come back. The pain will leave when he comes back. It will. Just one more thing-a rose crystal-for healing true love. The Rose crystal-the crystal of soulmates, twin souls, and love. He was my soul mate. It’ll work, she says to herself as she tries to wish the pain away. She could wish. She could do it. It could happen. If I just wish hard enough, he’ll come back. He just needs a bit of time to sew his wild oats. He was a good boy all his life. He just needs time. I’ll wish it, and it will be so. It will be. It could happen. She tried. She tried to wish the pain away.

She tried to put the pain away in box. And pack it up for later. There now. It never happened. Let’s never speak of it. Never cry over it. Never think of it. It’s away. Far away, in Minnesota with the snow and the hipsters that once lived in Williamsburg. She put it away. It’s in a neat little box, next to the wedding album and pictures of the road trip to New Hampshire. She tried to put the pain away. Away, away. And every now and again, when lovers would leave, she’d take the pain out and look at it and hold it. It felt good to be angry at him. It felt good to hate him. Hate is better than love, she thought. Love makes you weak. Love makes you pathetic. Hate makes you strong. Makes you tough. Makes you powerful. Hate is powerful, and it felt better than the pain. I can be Maleficent. I AM Maleficent. I am the once beautiful fairy queen, turned into a forloned and neglected but powerful witch. I am the scorned woman, with my spells and my anger, I am made stronger. Love makes a woman pathetic, and I am anything but that. So she tried to put the pain away.

This painting is for sale. To purchase, please email me at: thecraftaholic (at) gmail dot com

She tried to heal the pain away. And there it went, she let it go. Finally tired of carrying the burden of hate, finally tired of carrying the load of fear, and sadness and abandonment issues, she chose to heal the pain away. And so with the aforementioned rose crystal-the stone of love-she chose to love herself. No longer would she fuck the pain away. No longer would she drink the pain away, or wish it away. She willed it away by learning one word: forgiveness. Tired. She was tired of the burden of anger and hate and bitterness.  She didn’t want to carry it anymore. She had wasted too many years, and too much of herself on him already. She was done. Done with the hate, and done with looking back longingly at the past that she only selectively recalled. So, Maleficent chose to forgive him. And though she would never forget what he did to her, and though she never would forget the pain, the pain didn’t matter anymore. The anger melted away. She healed, and her heart grew ten sizes that day-the day Maleficent learned to move on. And so, she healed the pain away.

Finally. Finally she could breathe. After two and a half years of wishing for him. After two and a half years of pushing good men away over fear that he’d come back to her. After two and a half years of abandonment issues, and insecurities and fears….she felt free. No longer did she feel the need to chase after unavailable men. She was okay, all by herself. She was okay alone. Okay being in her own space. Just her and her daughters. She was okay now. She was free. Finally. After three years, she was finally free. She could breathe again.

Love a Wild Woman

Love a wild woman. Do it.

Love her in her beauty and carefree attitude

love her when she cries emotional tears over sappy movies you watch a dozen times with her and

they still affect her

love her when she wakes up early to drink coffee and meditate

love her when she has a glass of vodka and orange juice before painting the night away

love a wild woman

love her and do not box her into the image of June Cleaver, she’s

been there done that

does not want that

anymore

love a wild woman

she will spend the days sleeping and painting and laughing

dancing with her children that are wild as she

and the evenings she spends writing poetry and reading Keats to you

love a wild woman

She will laugh in her dark places

her smile is unending

her heart is pure

her love never dies

love a wild woman

though she has been broken in the past

though many have tried strict regulations

she still moves

she still gets up and is ready to love

ready to give

she is a bird that flies

she is a bird, not able to be captured

but perhaps

just perhaps

you can fly with her

as do the children she birthed

those that love her

fly with her

so love a wild woman

She’s worth it

I promise.

Maybe I’m Just Too Much Woman

To be honest, I blamed myself. I chase. I text. It’s my fault. I’m driving him away. I guess I was so lonely I forgot my own worth.

In between lovers I am reminded of how good it is to be alone; to have all the space in my head only for me. But layers and layers of me wish for someone to wrap my arms around, for someone to give goodnight texts to and good morning hellos. In between lovers, I get lonely. I cry sad and lonely tears and feel like the sad and tragic salsa songs that a forlorn Hector Lavoe and Eddie Palmieri sang about. I feel like the song, Triste y Vacia. I listened to that song today. I listened to it and thought of the first man I ever loved. I suppose a part of me always will. I know what you’re thinking. Not in that way. Just in the way that I look at my daughters and see his nose and his “good” taino hair. In that sort of way. But I moved on.

Or perhaps I pick lousy men. Maybe I don’t chose well. I pick men who are emotionally unavailable and have inflated egos. Maybe that’s my thing. Maybe it’s what I like. I don’t know.

Or maybe I’m just enjoying life too much to be attached to someone who will only want to domesticate me. I never ever in my life will allow a man to domesticate me. Not ever. I was June Cleaver for 15 years. That was enough. I do not long to be June Cleaver, I long to be a sort of morph between Frida Kahlo and Gloria Steinem. That, my lover, is who I am. I shan’t be domesticated. No.

Sometimes I find myself talking about my latest someone, telling a friend what he said or didn’t do that every man should, and I cannot believe what I settled for. I settled. I never settle. I always kick men to the curb with the quickness for any deal breaker I may have on my list. Among them: alcoholism, drug addiction (current or former), bad relationship with his mother, and laziness. I cannot nor will not ever date a man who does not work and/or is lazy. No.

I think that I am done with searching. For two years, searching has been fun. It was nice to look and search and date. But it isn’t fun anymore. It isn’t fun to search anymore. It was. It can be at times. But I am no longer interested in searching. I am no longer interested in finding a tie to a person who turns out to not be what I need.

This of course, will lead to a few quiet Saturdays. But I’d much prefer a quiet and sober Saturday to being with a person who does not own up to who they are, or waste my time chasing shadows thinking that they are rainbows. I do not want empty rainbows.

If you are to be with me, understand that I am a wild woman. I am not a safe place. I am not a plane Jane little girl who has a safe little life. Oh, I am a good mother and a family woman. But I am wild. I am a wild woman and I will always be such. This is the heart of who I am. So if you are to be with me, know this about me and do not wish to tame me because you will fail.


I made those. I have them for sale HERE.

Back to Reality

Looking into my creative process is a lot like looking into my head. I have many things going on at once. I really do prefer having a million different things floating around all at once, it sort of helps me think better.

0

This is how I work. I lay out a bunch of canvases all at once, and paint away, scraping a brush on one, and using my fingers on another. It’s the best way, really.

2

All the canvas laid out all at once, helps me think.

4

I also use copy paper sheets, and make art on that, while working on canvas. I really enjoy working on abstract art. It’s a whole experience for me. I drink a glass of Cabernet, put on some good music, shake my ass a little (to get me in the zone for painting) and then I just paint the night away.

Art completes me. It makes me a better me. Without art, I am a cranky sort of girl.

I was thinking today about a conversation I had, and I realized I really do need people to bring me back to reality. Without that, I tend to have my head stuck in the clouds, in NeverNever Land or some such.

Recently someone brought me back to reality as I had taken my “mama bear – don’t fuck with my kids” a bit too far. And they snapped sense into me. Understand, that I was being protective. I am nothing if not a protective mother. But, there was no need for me to protect my daughters in this particular situation. So I went back to reality and came to my senses. I still believe that what I reacted to do was justified, but if I reacted in haste, then I let go. But I am not admitting I was wrong, because I was not. Simply, I should not have been quite so bitchy. Maybe.

Plaster of Paris

 

 

We all have plaster of Paris on some part of our life

In some place within us, there’s a bone that was broken

A promise not made

Or not fulfilled

Each of us has plaster of Paris slathered somewhere

Painted over with hopes and dreams

Sparkles of hope

Over layers and layers of plaster of Paris over the bone once broken by a person

We often call them the devil

Or evil

I wonder if there are bones broken on their body over us

I wonder if the brokenness was mutual

We are all wonderfully broken creatures meandering through life

Wondering where our next love will come from

Or our next broken bone

Wondering how to go through life without the existence of that one

Because we are all broken somehow

We all have plaster of Paris, broken bones and sparkles

We thrive on the sparkly goodness

So that we can somehow fool ourselves into thinking the brokenness isn’t there, that the

Hurt is gone

Erased

Done

But it isn’t. And that’s OK

It’s okay to still be angry

To still feel pain

To still not so secretly wish that the person would suffer the pain they put you through

It’s okay to feel broken

And still want love

Again

 

bear

This is a new painting I recently finished. I have it up for sale in my shop, if you’re interested in purchasing. The bear is a totem of mine, and reminds me of myself this time of year-hibernating and painting and healing in my little cocoon.

Spur of the Moment

At the spur of the moment, my friend Lauren invited me to Salem. It’s fun living in my part of the world, because we live quite close to many major cities. Anyway, since I enjoy photography a little bit, here’s a bit of our trip on photographs:

At the Salem Witch house. That is an original spinning wheel.

At the Salem Witch house. That is an original spinning wheel.

Another wheel.

Another wheel.

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They had a little library!

The local library had a beautiful garden. I love photographing nature.

The local library had a beautiful garden. I love photographing nature.

close up.

close up.

The method to my madness

workspace-desk

There’s a method to my madness, I assure you. It may look like I am a scrambled hot mess by the looks of my desk while I paint, but I promise you I generally know where everything is. Usually. I call it organized chaos. It’s like my life-I know where everything is and where things are going, but sometimes things are messy and chaotic. And that’s okay.

Recently I learned that I cannot go out of my way to try to make a person see my worth. See, if I like you, I come on strong. I text a lot if I like you. If I don’t, basically my heart is cold. That’s just facts. It’s who I am. Just like my messy desk. My desk may be messy, and cluttered, but it is how my art gets made. And I may be talkative and ramble often, but I am that way, and if I chase you, I like you. And if I text a lot, I like you. If a day passes, or I don’t text until evening, you did something the fuck wrong, probably.

Too often we look at our lives much as we do that messy desk thinking we have to go out of our way to make things just so, so that this person or that will align themselves to what we want from them, but I’m done doing that. I’m too old and come too far to have someone else blow me off, and only contact me when they need something from me. But when I need something, they go missing. If I clean up my desk, I won’t find crap. If I go out of my way to be something or someone else for you, I am not being authentic. My messy desk is authentic. It is real. It is a piece of who I am, and it’s raw. I will never be anything less than raw.

I think I came to the conclusion that there are probably no real friends, and maybe no god. I prayed for 4 years that god would send me love from a man-a loving relationship. So far, I’ve gotten a coke head, two alcoholics, a psychopath (by definition, because he had no feelings,-or so he professed last year when we dated-that he had no capacity to feel).  So, I give up. I give up on dating, on love, and even, on friendship. Everyone wants something. No one loves the way I do-at no cost. Everyone looks at their messy desk of life, and puts a cloth over it so no one can see the metaphoric mess of their life. Not me. I am not that woman. I am not the woman to put a mask over anything. I will always be me, unabashedly. And so, I am done trying. If you cannot see my worth after me being here, then you likely will never see it. And I know that I must give you up, since you do not want what I want, you only want to give me just enough so that I’ll stay, without having any added responsibility of actually having to go out of your way in any kind of way. That is not who I am, and I will not clean myself for anyone anymore.

 

art-journal-page-1

I work on many canvases all at the same time while usually also having an art journal handy as well. I prefer to make my journals or recycle old planners. I find it’s more fun to recycle an old planner, or make an art journal out of copy paper or old papers and things.

So that’s a bit about my workspace and how I work. And my philosophy as of late, is that I believe in me. There may or may not be a god in heaven, but if there is, it hasn’t been listening to me at all. In fact, the god you may believe in, has only served me to satan, time and time again. And so, I have hope and faith in myself. I love myself. I know I am not a perfect woman, but I’m good the way I am. Perfectly imperfect. Flawed but beautiful. For so many years I sought approval from people who were obviously not into me, or not paying the proper attention to me, and last night while I slept, I had a breakthrough. And so I am finished. I am finished with seeking others, I seek myself now. God may be dead. Or he/she may not be. And love may exist, but it never has for me. And I say this, not in a sort of “feel sorry for me” kind of way, but as a matter of fact. I think everyone I have felt something for has been extremely selfish.

And so, I make art to heal myself a bit. Soothe the savage beast, and all that.

Currently listening to (courtesy of someone whom I’m fortunate to enjoy spending time with on occasion):