{giveaway winner & a heartfelt post}



I'd also like to extend, to all you who entered, a special price. If you'd still like a print, simply let me know the name you used when commenting, and you can get up to 3 prints for $5 each!! Just because you didn't win doesn't mean you lost! *G*

And I've written a long, gushy, slightly-scared-to-post post to help me clear my mind, but be warened, it's full of vulnerablility, conflicting thoughts, dreams, hopes, wishes, realities, & random song quotes.

While waiting for fabric and clothes to dry, I thought I’d sit down and write.

My hands are vaguely purple, dyed by the mixture of ink and water in a glass bowl, paint swirling as drops hit the surface, plunge in, spread. I take a moment to think - what can I use to mix this? - then thrust my hands into the water and swirl them around.

My fingers are tipped with blue and yellow and orange, from spray bottles and inks, from failed experiments and new discoveries. I’m glad my desk is black, because then you can’t see all the ink mist covering the surface. It comes up when I blot muslin fabric, a mix of colors long forgotten.

Words float on the air:

I do my best,
But I'm made of mistakes.
Yes there are things I'm still quite sure of.

This weekend gave birth to a seed of doubt. I don’t know how the topic was broached, ah, yes - I remember now. Innocently enough, but mine fields always look lovely, with long grasses and flowers and a promise of peace on the other side of razor wire. I can’t fault my mother for her words, her worry, her love. And yet I sit wondering, hovering on the edge, afraid to take a step in any direction.

She worries, she says, that if something were to happen, I wouldn’t be able to support myself. She worries about the non-existent bank account, the times she’s had to help pay for my medications, the lack of credit because of past mistakes. I can’t quite figure out if she’s proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last few years or if it has been an act, a way to encourage like a parent allows a child to climb the stairs so they can learn, on their own, that they can fall.

A few days ago, I was solid. A pillar of resolve and strength and positivity. Of hope for a good year, a year when things I’ve been building a support for so long would suddenly spring to life, rise into the sunlight. And yet...and yet her words have me wondering -

Am I being realistic?

I am no stranger to doubts. I go through bits of jealousy when I see how other people get more hits to their blogs, or sell more seats in a class, or get random notes of praise across social networks. I see people spring up and grow taller than me in a shorter period of time and wonder if I’m doing something wrong. Or perhaps this isn’t for me. Or I’ve not done enough. Or I don’t post enough.

Those little doubts.

And time keeps burning
The wheels keep on turning sometimes
I feel I’m wasting my day

At first I was insulted a bit. Surprised. And then I began to see her point. You see, my parents, both of them, were only able to attend a few classes in college, complete a year or two before things changed and they had to leave. And me, I have a B.A. My mother keeps saying I’m not doing anything with my degree, and I know she wishes she had one, had one to use to get a great job or show to others. An achievement.

I don’t want to stress out about money anymore. Have to compute things in my head to see if I can afford this or that, or go to my father to help me cover expenses.

But how do I do both? How do I get that security and continue to go on, full steam ahead, with all the dreams and ideas and classes and articles that are still inside me? How does this happen?

The only point of contention in this all is my fibromyalgia. She says that, if I found a job I really loved, I could push through it, power past the pain and fatigue. And she’s right - I have done that before, gotten through the hours, kept a smile on my face. Done it.

And yes, I also would dangerously fall asleep on the expressway during rush hour because my body was shutting down, jolting awake at the last moment to avoid a crash. I’d spend my days off in bed, struggling to keep a sane mind as pain confined me to my body.

I know, in my heart, with all my being, that if I did go out and get a job (and full-time, because this is her worry, this lack of stability, of not being able to stand on my own two feet), I would have to give up my art. It’s as simple as that. I’d have time, yes, but no energy to sit at my table and paint, or bind journals, or do experiments. Sure, maybe, over time, with work and health insurance, I’d get better. And be able to do it all. But even entertaining the idea of giving it up, even for a few months or a year, feels like a death in my soul.

So what is a girl to do?

Hold on, hold on
Let me get the words out before I burst

I am hopeful. I have spent two months developing and working on a video production class for crafters and artists. And I wonder if people would be willing to pay a higher price based on my experience both in California and the degree I hold in this very medium of artistic expression. I have dreams that it all works, and would make the money required for stability, would quash the need for a job at all.

And then I think of the other workshops I’ve been developing, and the classes I’m to teach in-person, and the new assignments and ideas and possibilities. If this could all work out positively, I could really do this. I could keep my mother from worrying, lying awake at night wondering about her only daughter.

I really don’t know what to do. How to approach this all. I feel guilty when I spend my time in my little closet studio because it isn’t seen as work, but me being selfish.

I’m going to go for it. I am going to make my video workshop the best damn video workshop you’ve ever seen. It will be easy to follow, inexpensive to implement, and hold your hand through it all so you, too, can create amazing videos.

But I am also worried that if only 5 people sign up, I will be crushed. Perhaps that will be a sign from the universe? I do my best work, try my hardest to get the word out there, and let the Divine show me what path I should be on? Is that how I should do it?

I really meant to post about my new journal, and my mad scientist experiment that’s currently drying in my closet land of art, but I just couldn’t get this all out of my head. I am revealing a huge vulnerability here, and I’m afraid this will make people believe me unprofessional or childish, but as it pentanes, in part, to my readers, to people out there in the world - from fellow teachers to avid class-takers - I’m going to post it anyway for advice and thoughts. Maybe there’s someone out there, out in the world, who can help me figure this out.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you!

Oh my baby don't be so distressed
Were done with politesse
It's time to be so brutally honest about
The way we know we long for something fine
When we pine for higher ceilings
And bourgeois happy feelings

And here we are in the center of the first world
It's laid out for us, who are we to break down?

(songs: I'm an Animal - Neko Case; Dying Day - Brandi Carlile; Lifeboats - Snow Patrol; You, Me, & the Bourgeoisie - The Submarines)