June 30, 2009
phone. If you have an extra computer, know somebody who does or would
be interested in purchasing one of my drawings- please contact me at:
email@example.com I will write again here when i can.
June 29, 2009
6 and get to therapy by 8. My computer would not turn on- it is dead.
I am typing this on my phone. My therapy was hard and painful in a way
that had me crying half way home and i feel like someone has beaten my
chest with a stone. I have pms, cramps and a headache from crying so
much. I stepped in gum on my way home and can not get it out of my
shoe! Not my finest day. Unsure what i will do about dead computer. I
am going to nap now and hope i feel better later. It is only 1:30pm on
June 28, 2009
In the past I have always felt really sad after I cut my hair- I think I was always wishing/hoping that I could be some other way- and if I could look some other way that I could feel some other way too. Letting go of the wish that I am crazy is a hard thing for me to do. I have relied on it all of my life. My parents filled me to the top and then some with the idea that 'what was wrong' with me was: craziness. It has always been not just easier but necessary to believe that I am "not well" and not strong. But I am well. And I am strong. Tonight I am drawing a dinosaur into the drawing I started a couple of nights ago and I am going to listen to a great cd while I work. I feel like I have a long way to go to finish this work of recovering- but maybe it is not as far as I think. Anyway- I will work some everyday and I know that I will come out on the other side of the trauma I survived. I already am.
Here is a great quote I found today:
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas A. Edison.
When I was in Venice, at the end of my residency, there was an open studio for myself and the woman who was my roommate. I was excited about the open studio and I got a dress and new shoes, did my hair, etc. When I came out of my room- my roommate- after having seen me in jeans and the same sweater for three months exclaimed, "Look at pretty Jenny!"
And today with a mix of feelings, but mostly one of enormous relief I shaved off all that hair and thought 'goodbye pretty Jenny'.
The VCCA Fellows Visit the Holiness Baptist Church, Amherst, Virginia
We are the only light faces in a sea of mahogany,
tobacco, almond, and this is not the only way
we are different. We've come in late, the choir
already singing, swaying to the music, moving
in the spirit. When I was down, Lord, when
I was down, Jesus lifted me. And, for a few minutes,
we are raised up, out of our own skepticism
and doubts, rising on the swell of their voices.
The singers sit, and we pass the peace, wrapped
in thick arms, ample bosoms, and I start to think
maybe God is a woman of color, and that She loves
us, in spite of our pale selves, so far away
from who we should really be. Parishioners
give testimonials, a deacon speaks of his sister,
who's "gone home," and I realize he doesn't mean
back to Georgia, but that she's passed over. I float
on this sweet certainty, of a return not to the bland
confection of wispy clouds and angels in nightshirts,
but to childhood's kitchen, a dew-drenched June
morning, roses tumbling by the back porch.
The preacher mounts the lectern, tells us he's been
up since four working at his other job, the one
that pays the bills, and he delivers a sermon
that lightens the heart, unencumbered by dogma
and theology. For the benediction, we all join hands,
visitors and strangers enfolded in the whole,
like raisins in sweet batter. We step through the door
into the stunning sunshine, and our hearts
lift out of our chests, tiny birds flying off to light
in the redbuds, to sing and sing and sing.
June 26, 2009
June 25, 2009
Yesterday I also went and met with an art therapist and there is a chance that I might see her so she can help me with my work. I am hoping I can better learn/figure out how to channel more of my pain out of me and into my drawings and art. We had a brief but good talk yesterday and we talked a little about the idea of me making an 'artist book'. Then I had therapy yesterday evening with Dr. C. I decided last night that I am going to try to make a small book about one piece of something my father used to do to me that was/is incredibly hard for me to deal with.
Also- last night I read "The curious incident of the dog in the night-time" by Mark Haddon. It was not my favorite book ever, but it was interesting.
I will write more soon.
And I wish I could figure out how to change the template of this blog back to the 'Hemingway blogger template'- which I like because it has two post columns right next to each other- but it is black and I can not figure out how to change the color (I would like it to be white). If anyone reading this has any idea how to change that I would love to know.
One last thing- yesterday when I met with the trainer at the gym I told her a little about my past and about the abuse I lived through. She was really thoughtful and kind and said I should be really proud of myself for how far I have come, how well I am doing now and for taking the steps to join the gym. She also said something else I really liked- she said that in order to drive to California you do not have to be able to see all the way from where you are to California- you just have to be able to see what is right in front of you and go from there. :-)
June 23, 2009
June 20, 2009
This past week I walked a lot- maybe about 25 miles or so in 5 days. That is quite a bit for me. A few weeks ago I was overwhelmed by the mile long walk to the bus. Tonight I went out and started walking and then did three short runs and a good length walk. I was about to return 'home' when I suddenly decided that I would 'walk up to the bus station real quick just to show myself I can do it easily'. And I did. Then I came back.
Tonight when I was running I had a memory return to me and I started to cry. It is not a bad memory actually- it was more like a memory of something good that my father then turned into something terrible. Anyway- when I was in middle school I started to run in track and then I stopped for a while and then I started again when I was in high school. Tonight when I was out I started thinking about how I used to run the 400 meter. The 400 meter is a hard run because it is not short enough to be a sprint and not long enough to be considered a long distance run. I think it is closer to the sprint though because you sort of have to run as hard as you can for a distance that is not short- but still as hard as you can and the whole time. Anyway- it was a hard run. And there was a girl in my school who was 'the one who ran the 400'. I mean: She was the one who ran it and won it at track competitions. When I started running it I was always running it against (and always losing it to) her. Except tonight I started to let my mind remember about how I started to become good at the 400 meter. I, who pretend most of the time that I do not even have a body and try to never think ESPECIALLY ABOUT THE LOWER HALF OF THAT BODY I DO NOT HAVE, I started to be good at running that hard race. And one day at a competition I came in ahead of her. I beat her. And I actually remember passing her and the feeling of knowing that I was going to come in ahead of her- and for one tiny second tonight I felt happy at the remembering of that thought. And then there was a deluge of horrible memories that followed. I stopped running in high school because I got pregnant. I stopped running because my father liked my legs and used to tell me that. "Runner's legs", he would say. "Look at your long runner's legs." And I hated myself then because I felt like I had made him want me more which led to him raping me more which led to me getting pregnant for a second time which led to another abortion and all of which MADE ME WANT TO DIE. Also... tonight while I was 'running' I was thinking how there is a 'part of me that likes to run'. And in the past I have always gotten other parts and other ideas mixed up and in and with the part of me that does actually like to jog. In the last several years there have been many times that I have started and stopped running. Every time I have ever started I am always at first shocked about how hard it is to breath when I run. And then I almost always quit running for the same reason: because I start to have knee pain. Well, after walking quite a bit in the past few weeks and quite a lot more even in the past week I started to jog tonight and I immediately thought, "The breathing thing was about the past." Tonight I ran up two small hills and I was fine. I realize now that any panic or thoughts of anxiousness over 'the struggle to breath'- that was really about when my father used to choke me. So I am running up a hill tonight and feeling a little winded, but basically I am totally fine and I think, "My thing in the past about the breathing was actually a memory/thought/feeling/reaction about when my father used to choke me." And my very next thought, after thinking that neither of my knees were bothering me at all- not even after walking all of those miles this week and then jogging- was, "And the thing about the knee pain- that is/was never about running either. That was about having the weight of a man on my back that was twice my own weight. That was about being on my knees and being raped by my father."
Also as I was jogging tonight a poem came to my mind and I could not remember every word, but I could not let go of the word cadence/memory that I held of it either. And then I looked it up when I got home and even though I knew it was a painful poem- it was even more painful than I remembered. Anyway- tomorrow is "Father's Day" so this seems like the appropriate poem for me, today, based on that and the relationship I had with my father.
|The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner|| |
|by Randall Jarrell|
From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
June 18, 2009
June 16, 2009
At the end of a day like today- when I feel like I am starting to see so much better the DIFFERENT WAYS OF BEING ME... and it is scary and strange and painful and confusing- but it also makes a lot of things more clear... at the end of a day like today I want to just sit back, push up the sleeves of my raincoat, roll a cigarette and PUT ON MY TRUCK DRIVER SUNGLASSES IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
June 15, 2009
June 14, 2009
After they played the video the band that was there played the song and one of the pastors said something about our human desire to dance and everyone in the church started dancing. I stayed in my chair and thought... ok.... this is a little much for me now.... but after about 30 seconds I was out of my chair and dancing too. And it was great. :-)
June 13, 2009
June 12, 2009
June 11, 2009
June 10, 2009
I have never just 'stopped by' an airport before yesterday. I realized last night that my wish to escape and/or FLY AWAY from the painful truth about my past is ENORMOUS. My wish to 'get away' both during the abuse and for almost all of my life after it was and is HUGE.
Maybe I need to make drawings not just about the violence and/or feelings of horror, but maybe I could make a series of 'wish drawings'... like "I wish I could fly away and get the hell out of here and away from this painful horrible past".
Anyway- the above is a photo from when I was sitting at the airport having a cup of coffee and watching the planes come and go. I took this photo actually because of the image of the horse on the back part of the plane. I "loved" the way it looked. I kept looking at it.... I have used images of horses a lot in my work to describe how I felt by the way my father treated me- like an animal. So I guess this is a 'wish photo' but it is also a 'even though I wish I could get away I know there is never going to be a way to escape the truth' photo.
When I was at the airport I went into a bookstore and I got a great little sketchbook/journal with a hot pink cover that was on sale for $3.
Oh and the answer to the question is this: Making art. Last night I was talking to a friend and saying how I felt like I wanted to hurt myself FOR DISTRACTION from the real truth/pain that I am already in and he asked me, "What makes you feel better when you feel this way?" Only I never answered him because I was upset/hurt/mad/in pain and I just could not come out from where I was to answer. But the answer is/was: MAKING ART. Making drawings and collages and writing and writing poems. That is going to be my final answer. This blog helps me too- but it is really more making art/writing too.
I need to keep reminding myself and about a thousand times a day that my life started in not a great way but it has started to get better- then even more better- and that it is a journey and in the past I was not able to control my days or most of the events of those days. But now I am. I am able to do and make and say what I want without the fear and terror that I used to live with.
I will take more photos while I am out today. :)
June 8, 2009
Here is the poem from Lloyd:
You are like a rose.
And I love you.
June 7, 2009
June 5, 2009
June 4, 2009
June 1, 2009
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live
as long as God Himself.
When I read that yesterday it made me cry but as I told my friend about it all tonight I also told him this- I told him that 2 years ago when Jessieh came to D.C. I felt so bad I could hardly go out but if I had been able to get myself to go to the museum and I had read that quote by Elie Wiesel I would have probably thought that the first line- the one about the first night "that turned my life into one long night"- I would have almost surely have felt like that was how I felt. But I told my friend tonight that I do not feel that way now- I do not feel as though my life is like one long night that is/was all of the years that I was raped and abused and all of the years after that during which I was silent. I do not feel like my life is still one long and terrible night.... I just feel like I sure can imagine what Elie Wiesel meant when he wrote that though. I feel like that thing he describes so well- the feeling of his life being turned into one long night- I feel like that is what it feels like after a huge trauma. And that is what it feels like to live without the hope of ever being able to recover from such enormous and gross and grossly enormous trauma.
But then after a long long time that feels just exactly like a night without end- then there is the hope. And then there is the knowing that even the hardest night is always always always followed by the light of day.