The Monsters in Our Minds

I have heard there is a scholarly debate around whether “subconscious” is a legitimate or even helpful term.

I thought I’d peek at this from the viewpoint of an enthusiastic layperson, as pretty much a thought exercise. This sort of thing is fascinating to me, how the mind works, how my mind works, how to better understand and make friends with it. I’m curious what all of you think as well.

What started this was a terrible series of waking dreams and hallucinations I had for a few months last year. I was writing it up to be a three-part article but realized it was outside the scope of what I’m trying to do here, so I’m going to make it a short story instead.  I feel that by writing it out, I take power away from it.  Plus it’s just objectively scary, and I think it could make a good story.

Anyway, these visions stemmed from my own mind, from my own fears and loathing, a creature made real from my subconscious.  It was from that dark, repressed place in the back of our minds where things we haven’t dealt with lurk and wait to leap.

It is part of me, yes, but not consciously, something behind that. Something I can’t control until it’s addressed.

“The unconscious contains all sorts of significant and disturbing material which we need to keep out of awareness because they are too threatening to acknowledge fully.”

https://www.simplypsychology.org/unconscious-mind.html

So I found that the term “subconscious” was being reframed in some circles. That the idea of a separate part of our minds that could hide dark or even dangerous thoughts was essentially the equivalent of “the devil made me do it” and needed to be removed as a concept.  I don’t generally defend Freud, but I bristled at this right away.

 

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“You question me?  I am beside myself!”

 

Many years ago there was a fairly heated debate in one of the bipolar groups I was in, regarding how we refer to ourselves – “I have bipolar disorder” vs. “I am bipolar.”

Although I wrote this off as nit-picky, I do think they each made interesting points.

The pros and cons came down to this; “I have bipolar disorder” indicated that it was not who we are. We are standing next to it, maybe even holding its hand, but it is only part of who we are and does not define us.  But those opposed to it felt it was being held at arms distance, that it showed a degree of shame, as in, that’s not really me, it’s this thing I won’t hold.  This is dangerous, it was said, because it allows for “the devil made me do it.”

“I am bipolar” says I own this, it is part of me and I’m not ashamed.  It is not arm’s length from me, it is part of my being. But those opposed to it felt it was making it too front and center, that it was made to be a defining trait that could become a crutch.

Honestly, I have no dog in that semantic race.  I see the points on all sides, but I think it is a waste of our time.  It seems like an excuse to not deal with bigger issues like, how do I get this creature out before it engulfs me, for example.

But I think that conscience vs. subconscious is valid to look at.  It got me thinking about where our dark thoughts live, and how we disavow them.

This thing I saw even in the daytime, was a clear manifestation of my inner doubts and loathing, feelings of worthlessness and burden. I created it and gave it flesh.  I figured it was those feelings and fears lurking in the box in the back of my rational mind that had been ignored for too long and burst out and had to be destroyed by, in my case, a ritual that involved my husband, incense, a symbol of success (my book) and screaming “Fuck you!  I’m not worthless!” until my throat hurt.  But everyone is different.

The debate around the subconscious, or the Id, as I understand it, involves the arms-length argument.  If I keep my demons a separate part of my mind, I have no control over what happened, in any real way.  In any way that I could stop.

The devil made me do it.

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My subconscious, generally speaking.

I never felt that creature wasn’t part of me, I know perfectly well what it was.  But I also don’t feel good about owning it.  It was so horrible and so present that I was afraid I had lost my mind for good.  I was afraid that it was the beginning of watching myself slip slowly into absolute insanity from which there was no coming back.  I was starting to think that this “thing” would literally kill me.

 

It could not physically do so, but could I die basically of fright?  And if I did, would it essentially be deniable suicide?

But if I embrace it, if I stop referring to my demons as my subconscious, if I remove that word and concept, would that be healthier?  Or would it hurt me more, would it make it too present in which case it could stroll back in faster?  And can that even be done, the way the brain is wired?  We can’t keep all of our thoughts in the fore of our minds, it’s simply not possible, I don’t think.

I don’t have answers to any of these questions, as I said, this is really just a thought exercise.

So many thoughts are bubbling up, so many feelings are being addressed, but so few answers. I will, of course, run all this by my therapist, and I might write another article once we talk about it.  But in the meantime, I want to see what you think about it.  I’ve seen that some of my followers on this blog have initials after their names, I’m always excited to hear professional insight.

Whatever the subconscious is called, however it’s conceptualized, I hope that I have calmed it down for the foreseeable future.  The thing that crawled up my bed, the thing I saw in the daytime, the thing that hated me with fire and wanted me dead, scared the hell out of me.  I would very much appreciate never seeing it again.

 

Death, Taboo, and Moving On

Some of my funniest stories don’t necessarily begin that way, and they may not end that way.

Gallows Humor – Explained

I explain gallows humor in that article so I won’t go over it again here, but in a nutshell, it’s finding something unendingly hilarious in otherwise horrible circumstances, things where there really shouldn’t be any humor at all.  It’s a survival technique, generally.

For example, this story begins…

So we went to pick up my dad’s ashes.

My sister, brother, uncle, and aunt went to the funeral home to pick up my dad’s ashes.

Everyone grieves differently, sometimes from moment to moment.  My sister was not in a good place at this point, and I was in full disassociation mode.

Full disclosure – I loathe the funeral industry.  I have nothing but contempt for the business that takes advantage of people while they are in the darkest place of their lives to sell them caskets that cost thousands of dollars that they may have to take out a loan to afford.  There is no reason and no excuse beyond predatory capitalism.

It is with that frame of mind that I walked in and immediately my mind went sproing.  It looked like Barbara Cartland barfed on Laura Ashley, accompanied by the dulcet tones of music that made Yanni sound edgy.

The overstuffed furniture and pillows, the pink and green throw rugs and flower patterned curtains with puffy valances, which looked like a Jiffy Pop dome covered in 1950s wallpaper.

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Pictured – Comfort, apparently.

Already, I was stifling giggles.  It was just so very aggressively absurd.

When we were called into the salesman’s office, my sister and I sat at the desk and everyone else crowded around us.  My husband sat next to me, which ended up being a very good thing.

Before we started choosing the headstone, when the salesman began to speak, I started to lose any semblance of control.  He spoke in this near-whisper, so-very-sincere it practically oozed concern, the kind of voice one practices with a tape recorder to make sure it is just the right mixture of concern and sincerity.  It caused me physical pain trying to keep it together.  Then he poked the proverbial needle into my composure balloon.

He said the word “cremains.”

I had never heard that word before, and it was without question, the funniest thing I had heard ever.  Then he said it again.  And again, with that soothing voice right out of central casting, surrounded by tiny roses that I swear were mocking me, pointing at me with their thorny rose arms chanting “Haha!  You’re trapped!”

My eyes started to fill with tears.  I reached for Chris with my left hand, while my right hand snatched about seven tissues which I  shoved against my face and just, lost it.  I shook with laughter, my whole body lurching up and down and a sound I can only describe as the squeeeeeaaak a straw makes if you pull it slowly out of a plastic lid.  Luckily, everyone interpreted this as weeping, except for Chris who has met me.

In the end, we did what we needed to do, and the salesman handed my dad’s “cremains” to us.  Nothing about that was funny.

All of this is taboo. We have so many around death, but they are things we should be talking about because I know that they can eat at a person, the guilt behind it.

My dad had prostate cancer.  The doctors didn’t catch it until it was far too late.  He lived the best he could during his final years, but ultimately spent the last six months of his life in a hospice.

During this time, Chris and I drove to see him every day.  We left San Francisco for Fremont, about an hour and a half drive, at 4:30 during rush hour.  We did this every day for months.

After a while, I found myself grousing about this obligation. It became an inconvenience, we had to leave work early, traffic is a nightmare, and so on.  Dad did not ask us to do that, it was what I wanted.  But after a while, it became a burden.

When I caught myself thinking that, frowning as we headed to the car, my heart sunk.  How many times did he drop everything to be there for me? How many sacrifices did he make to see me grow up?  I felt terrible.

I got the call from my sister.  We went to the hospice to say goodbye and have an impromptu wake, and I saw my dad lying there, no longer my dad but looked like him. We shared our memories and cried with the staff (dad was a charmer, everyone there loved him) and we went our separate ways to grieve.

The next day, at 4:30, a thought entered my head.  I don’t have to go to Fremont.  We don’t have to make the hour-long drive during rush hour.  We don’t have to do that anymore.

And when I caught myself thinking that, my heart sank.

I was relieved.

I was not relived my dad was gone, that I would never see him again.  I was relieved that my life could slowly return to normal.  That I could finish my work day, come home at a reasonable hour, have a relaxing evening with Chris, plan for Saturday.

I wasn’t relieved that my dad was dead, I was happy that I was alive.

He was in terrible pain, bedridden, couldn’t eat, couldn’t do anything he loved.  He didn’t want to live that way, not even in a hospice with its own very good dog.

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This is Max.

He was an active person, he belonged to so many clubs, this was not life for him.  He was just waiting.  I know this for a fact.

Shortly before he died, dad asked me if I would interpret a dream for him.  He had never done something like that before, a WWII veteran, he wasn’t touchy-feely.  He started to speak very quietly.

“I am in an elevator, but it goes all sorts of ways, up and down, sideways.  The doors open but I don’t get out.  I want to get out, but it’s not the right floor.  So it gets to the top floor, the doors open, and there is such a light in the room.  I want to get out, but I’m scared.  What do you think it means?”

His voice started to tremble slightly at the end, and when he asked the question, he lowered his head, looked over his glasses with raised, fearful eyebrows.  He knew exactly what it meant, but he wanted to hear it.

“Why don’t you want to get out?  That room sounds nice.”

“I’m scared.  I don’t know what will happen.”

“If it feels warm and nice, maybe that’s a good place for you.  A safe place.”

He stared at me for a moment, and then nodded and turned his head.

A few days later he was gone.

He had checked in with each of us.  He wanted to know that we would all be ok, and he wanted us to know that he valued what we are. My brother was an electronic wizard, my sister was levelheaded and dependable, I was the touchy-feely arty person who interprets dreams.

I loved him, I didn’t want him to leave.  But he was in terrible pain, and he wanted to go.  I know that for a fact.  The elevator dream was not exactly ambiguous.

It’s not bad to want one’s life back.  He would not have been happy if we had stopped enjoying the life that we have.

In the end, my dad valued my strangely wired brain.  I believe completely that he would have been as disgusted by the funeral home as I was, and I would have caught his eye, pointed to the plug-in air fresheners that smell of chemical roses, and he would be giggling as much as I.

So please, be as kind and gentle with yourself as you are with your loved one.  Call on whatever it is that gives you comfort, however you cope.  You do not disrespect them by living a good life, you honor their memory.

My dad found his peace finally in his Christian faith.

My uncle asked him what he wanted to pray about.  He replied in an uncharacteristically quiet voice.

“Give me the grace to die.”

 

 

Dear Friends, Indian Weddings, and Many Safety Pins

A dear friend I haven’t seen in years is visiting this week, so I am all about her and the niece and nephew I’ve never met and must dote over like a proper auntie.

We’ve been friends a long time, so there are many memories to be had, but I thought I’d share a few of my favorites from her wedding in Mumbai.

She married an Indian man I approve of (important, he’s got to be good enough for my girl!) Chris and I traveled to India for the wedding. We had never been there or attended a Hindu wedding, so we had no idea what we were doing.  Wanting to be good guests, we learned as much as we could, but there were a few things we missed.

We dressed in traditional clothes, he in a lime green kurta and me in a beautiful cranberry sari.  We bought the sari the day we arrived so we didn’t have time to learn how to wrap it.  They sent us away with detailed instructions, a pin here, a tuck there, how hard could it be?

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To the ladies who wrap these every day, respect!

The next morning, one day after arriving and no time for coffee, we took the instructions and began to wrap.  No problem.

The shop had sent us on our way with a few large safety pins, should be plenty!  One frantic call to the front desk later, and a hotel staffer appeared at our door with many additional safety pins, because there was no way this garment was going to stay on my body without dozens of pins.

So Chris wraps, I hold, he pins, it falls, he swears, he wraps, I hold…this goes on for some time, and I am anxious we will be late.  One does not show up to weddings late.

Finally, it is staying put.  The pallu (the fabric draped over the shoulder) reached only about a foot down, but we figure, well we tried.  It’s fine.  We’re going to be late.

Off to the front desk to ask for a cab.

The lovely lady looks at me, smiles sweetly, and says “Oh, you look so pretty!  Would you like me to help you wrap it?”  I looked up “diplomatic” in the dictionary, and there she was.

Off to a back room to be entirely re-wrapped.

She and another lady set about removing it, disconnecting the pins, and rewrapping.  This took a while, and I’m stressing; we are going to be so late for the wedding.  But they finished, the extra fabric cascaded down my back. I thanked them profusely and scurried away.

Off to the waiting taxi.

Western people, you know that you do not show up late to a wedding. Never, ever. If you do, you walk into the silent, reverent room, all heads swivel to stare at this breach of WASP rules, and the walk of shame begins until you slink down into a pew.  That is what I’m used to.

We tell the cab driver that we are in a terrible hurry, we will be late for a wedding we’ve come halfway around the globe to attend.  He understands and promptly stops for gas.

Once we were finally on our way, dizzy from no food and more importantly no coffee, we arrive at the hotel.  We enter with fear and caffeine headaches and…there’s my friend, the bride, sitting in a chair watching with everyone else.  Part of the ceremony is taking place without her.

She looks up and smiles.  “Oh hi!  There’s coffee and food in the back if you’d like.”

Do you know those cartoons where someone is running away quickly, and all that’s left is a cloud in their shape?  Yeah.

Later the groom joins us, and we tell him that we were so afraid we’d be late.  He smiles and says, a little confused, “there is no late.”

My friend’s sister and brother were not able to make it, so my husband and I stood in for them.  I cannot tell you how wonderful that was, being directly involved, performing a Hindu ritual on such an important day. It was an experience I will never forget.

After the wedding, there was a few hours break until the reception.  Chris and I were deeply jet-lagged and on a stress come-down, so we went back to the hotel for a nap and then a change of clothes.  We were excited to dress properly, so we had bought two different outfits, my evening wear was a salwar kameez, and Chris had a beautiful purple kurta.  Feeling good, feeling proper, off we go to the hotel.

Friend vist 6

We walked in and saw all the Indian men dressed entirely in Western clothes.  To a person, suits and ties, not one traditional outfit to be found.

The swiveled heads I expected earlier happened now, only amused rather than eye-stabby.  Chris later joked with a few guests that no one at the wedding actually knew us, but we had shown up and won’t go away.  The groom’s brother laughed so hard nearly lost the ability to stay upright.  If you live to make people laugh like we do, this was almost the highest praise possible, just under peeing oneself and passing out.

That was in 2011. My friend settled down in New York, but it seems like she is still in Mumbai; I’ve only seen her once since that time and have never met her children.

Now they will be here, and I will do the auntie thing, and there will be presents and bonding because kids tend to love me.

My great hope is that they are not afraid of all the spooky stuff in here.  I’ll make little goths out of them in no time.

See you Monday!

Film and Wonder and Comfort for a Misfit Girl

What are your favorite films from childhood? Some of them stay with us, mark us somehow. The boat scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory scared the hell out me, but left a picture of surrealism I didn’t have before.

I have many of these, but for me, there is one that stands alone, the chocolate to my vanilla, Star Trek to my Star Wars, Beatles to every other band ever.

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The Original Series, of course.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Like so many things in my orbit, it has a deeper backstory than just “I like it.”  Considering that I have bonded with a tiny spring I found on the carpet, this is not really a huge surprise.

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I’m not kidding.  I wouldn’t lie about such a thing.

When I was a kid, I was a very tall, very odd, spectacle-wearing, sci-fi loving, bookish, and awkward nerd.  My love of the fantastic, the bizarre, my gallows humor, poetry, and music have been with me so long that I don’t know what came first, the odd wiring in my head or the odd wiring in my head as a response to bullshit.

Music especially was in my veins.  Both my dad and my sister were/are musical, and it was a constant in my life. Sports, military, guns decidedly were not.  But all I saw in movies and TV were that strong, powerful, square-jawed men would destroy all the alien threats.  This is one reason I love The Day the Earth Stood Still, Klaatu is issuing a warning, and the world comes together to listen after a nonviolent demonstration of power, and a sweet ass robot.

But I digress.

The ideas that I was saturated with were that music and art and literature and especially poetry were for people who don’t fight, but the world is safe from tyrants and giant ants because of manly men.  Men with guns.  Men who fart and don’t apologize.

So in 1977, I was nine years old, and my friend’s parents took us to the movies to see this new film, Close Encounters.  Immediately I was hooked.  My eyes were wide, my mouth slack-jawed, my head jutted forward for most of the film, according to my friend’s mother.

The domestic scenes with Roy and his suburban-hell-scape-dwelling family pulled me out a little.  I “knew” all of those people and it was uncomfortable. It’s also best to not think about the fact that Roy straight up abandoned his family, the equivalent of “I’m going to buy cigarettes…” without the ending “…in a spaceship.”

And Roy’s obsession, the creeping, crippling insanity, using art to make sense of it all, and his ultimate vindication was like a soft creature hugging me from behind, whispering “it’s ok, you’re just as you need to be” into my ear.

Imprinting can be as simple as an overheard response as well.  My friend’s parents were hippies, and when Roy and Jillian were driving towards Devil’s Tower and they saw all the animals on the side of the road, my friend asked “Did the military do that?” her mother’s answer was a scoff and an “Of course they did.  Bastards.” A fertile seed was planted in my anti-authority soil.

Much of the film was smart people doing smart things.  The mapmaker recognized what the signal was, the air traffic controllers coolly handling an unknown potential threat, the French man leading the team having doubts about what the military was doing, these were the heroes.

Oh, by the way, 42-YEAR-OLD SPOILERS!

All of this built to the scene that defines the movie for me, the final scene when the aliens arrive. This is the part that grabbed my heart and my mind and every single thing I was and am.

From the second the nerdy looking keyboardist climbed up on the platform, put on the headphones, and started to play the five tones, I was gone. Those five tones, that salutation to this alien presence, the responses from the mothership, that is enough to inspire wonder and awe from anyone with a pulse.

But it was far more for me.  All the soldiers, all the guns, and the only thing that mattered at all was the nerdy keyboardist and the five tones.

Music was the tool.  It brought them here.  And with it, we spoke to them.  Up a major third, down an octave, my language.  My kind made this.  My kind is important.

My kind speaks to aliens.

When the ship opened and returned all the people, some of whom generations of their families had lived and died wondering where they went (I don’t think too much about that either,) and they chose Roy to go with them, I don’t believe I was ever so jealous.  I wanted to go away with aliens who spoke music.  I sang the five tones to myself, sat on my bed doing the gestures, waiting to be taken away.  In a sense I was I suppose, for a little while.

That film, that science fiction film with some troublesome plot points, was etched into me and has never left.

My husband and I finally made it to Devil’s Tower a few years ago.

As we drove towards it, it grew larger and larger, just like in the film.

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Not pictured, drugged livestock.

My heart raced, my mind absorbed every inch of it, every scrape down the sides.  The mountain is sacred to several tribes, so we tread lightly.

https://www.nps.gov/deto/learn/historyculture/sacredsite.htm

We arrived, got out of the car, and there it was right before me.  Near the end of the film, Claude Lacombe asks Roy “What do you want?” his reply is “I just want to know that it’s really happening.”  I felt like that, just for a moment, I felt exactly like that.

I was nine again.

Recently we got to see it with the music performed by the San Francisco Symphony.

Before it started, there was a short bit with Jeffery Anderson, Principal Tubist, outside Davies Symphony Hall, playing the tones on his tuba, the hall responding as the mother ship.

 

 

Those five tones always shake me to my core and fill my heart. I lose a breath, close my eyes, cry.

This film came to me at exactly the right time. It became a comfort and a joy.  I’m 51 years old now, and my heart still beams when I watch it.

I’d love you to leave a comment about what fills you like this, whatever it is.  But if you don’t have something, I encourage you to find it.

It’s not too late to feel childlike wonder.  Not ever.

National Poetry Month – It Matters

April is National Poetry Month.

Does it matter?

It matters to me because I was first and foremost a poet, from my very early days. I was proud to call myself that, it was a title for me, an identity, something that set me apart from others.  I could play guitar, albeit poorly, I could sing, and I wrote poetry. I put my heart on paper and bled my very soul.

I was a bit dramatic.

I don’t remember not writing, hunched over notebooks, scraps of paper, diaries, recording my life and joys and traumas in one of my only outlets.  It was the only power I had, creating worlds, recording events, finding some escape with a skill that, as far as I knew, not many others had.  The fact that not too many people understood it, or valued it, made it somehow more enticing.  They didn’t like it because they didn’t understand it.  They made no effort to understand it.  I still kind of feel that way, actually.

Years later I would major in Creative Writing, with a focus on poetry.  One of the worst mistakes I ever made, by the way.  It placed a watcher on my shoulder I never had before, it silenced my voice, took my muse, and left me a shell of a person.  In fairness, the watcher was the gasoline, but the excessive, crippling drunkenness and black depression was the match that blew it all up. I did not get my degree.

It was not all bad though, it gave me stories I managed to write to long term memory.

I transferred to UC Santa Cruz from Ohlone Junior College in Fremont, CA.  I was accepted with the understanding that I complete in summer session two courses I missed, astronomy and statistics.  Math and I are not friends, it’s just a jerk, actually, so this was not a good thing for me.

Sitting in my seat, I  looked around the room and saw 40-some people, all of them artists, staring at the professor like deer in the headlights, trembling slightly and clutching a copy of “Leaves of Grass” all of us simply not wired this way, all of us taking General Education classes in the summertime.

Poetry Month 3
They were not clutching copies of Leaves of Grass.  I lied.

That fall semester, UCSC canceled Creative Writing and I, and all the other poets were lost.  We sat under the shade of a tree, dressed in black, shunning the sun the Math majors were prancing in, chain-smoking and silent.  In hindsight, this is a pretty funny picture.

So a quick romp in and out of San Francisco State, and that was that. No more hope of a degree, no more poetry in my heart, a whole lot of booze.

It took 25 years to get this back.  Twenty-five years later I finally got my muse back.

And now, it is National Poetry Month.

Does anyone still care?

I was just at City Lights bookstore here in San Francisco for the 100th birthday party of Lawrence Ferlinghetti.  It was packed with people, blocking the streets, crowding the store, an entire day of poetry readings and positive, glowing, happy energy.  People just beaming, surrounded by like minds.

Some of those people were poets, I’m sure, some not.  It doesn’t matter.  What brought them there was poetry and the celebration of this amazing man and the haven he created.  He just released a new book, at 100.  I have released one in 51 years. I’ll get right on that.

Poetry Month 1
City Lights Books – A haven for poets and everyone else.

Poetry does matter.  It matters like the air we breathe, like laughter, like tears, like fire, like rage.  It matters to every abused child who uses it to escape.

Worlds are built.  People are created.  Flight and magic and vengeance and mirth made real.

It matters.

Do you write?  Do you want to?  Then write, for crying out loud!  Who cares if it’s good?  Does it make you happy?  Were you filled in some way by writing it?  Then write more. Keep it private if you like, or show it to only those people you trust to hold it gently.

It matters.

If you write and you would like to share it, do put it in the comments.  I love to see poetry proudly offered.  I love to see art of any kind.

I’ve included a link to my book as well.

My advice to you, for what it’s worth, whatever you do, whatever your plans, for fuck’s sake don’t take a poetry class!

Life Songs – Discussions with an Angry Child

Happy Anniversary Nightmares & Laughter!

It’s been three years ago this month since I started this blog, and I’m feeling reflective.

It’s my first, and I have been slow to get moving, but I’m starting to get my groove. I have shared great times – my first book – horrible times when I could barely write – the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings – and simple daydreams.

And an article about goats because goats are funny.

Goats are Funny. They just are.

I started N&L to speak to, advocate for, and comfort people like me, people with mental illness, addiction, trauma issues, or a combination of those.  It’s been my hope that my voice could reflect both the struggles and pain we face, but also the joy and silliness and dark humor that keeps us alive.

So, Nightmares & Laughter.

I have shared snippets of my life and pictures of my home and pieces of my history that I thought hard about before I hit Publish. I think it’s helpful to see the writer in their natural habitat, make them a human, a human adult who has a stunning amount of children’s toys.

This anniversary also marks three years since I’ve been unemployed.  I have been using this time to live some dreams;  finish my book, start a second one, work on photography and painting and basically mess around in my studio, write this blog, panic about money, live the life of an artist, the life I’ve always wanted.

Now it’s three years later.  I’ve covered a lot of ground, and sometimes I think I’ve nothing left to say and stare at the screen whimpering (every writer just nodded), but I always find something.  I write what is interesting to me and I hope it’s interesting to you as well.

To those following N&L, I want to say thank you so much, I will continue to write articles that you will enjoy getting an alert for, articles without sentences like this tortured mess.

Soon I will get a job, but I will keep writing and making art.  And someday, someday I will get paid to do it. Someone will find this blog and say, “hey, let’s give her all of the money!”

That will happen any day now.  Any day.

 

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