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I used to be a Republican. Then one day a bunch of people decided to sleep in a park on Wall Street and I read their (admittedly fuzzy) statements about why. So I decided I was a liberal. Then I remembered I was still decidedly pro-life in all areas including death penalty, war, and yes abortion. So I decided I was Libertarian. Then I found loosely regulated guns disturbing. So I decided I was confused.

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The Madness

November 29, 2011

This is a long winded, text heavy, melodramatic post. There. You’ve been warned.

Most of you know that a year ago I was in a really bad car accident. I suffered a bad concussion and woke up in the ICU, but went home the next day and back to work a week later. Every week afterward for awhile, I would look back and think “wow, I really wasn’t back to 100% last week. I did some really weird things. Glad I’m ok this week.” Then of course the next week the cycle would repeat. Eventually it became a monthly ritual. Every month thinking last month was the end of the mental fog, the verbal scramble, and the lapses of common sense.

I’m not sure I’m back yet, since I still struggle verbally at times and I still do really quirky things. The funny thing is, I know I did some of these things before, but trying to sort out what is normal for me and what is not is challenging.

I used to have nights where I would have The Madness. If you’re a creative type, you know what I mean. It’s a bizarre mixture of intense creativity and intense psychological, emotional, and spiritual burning and longing. An artist’s ecstasy, of sorts. Since the concussion, I haven’t really had many of them. It’s like my creativity took a break to give my brain a chance to heal. Like many other “normal” things, I didn’t realize that I was missing that part of me.

Until it came back.

Sunday night I was alone at home while hubs played some late night hockey. I was feeling really overwhelmed with the zine plans, because I really don’t know what I’m doing. I know why I’m doing it, and that’s all. I’ve been doing what I always do — live in the why, leave the what to experience and trial and error. Sunday night that suddenly seemed so foolish. I was pretty low. I sat down and wrote God a letter, then I put on one of my favorite albums. Slowly, subtly, I felt it soaking into my emotions. The Madness. It seeped into my plans, drowned out the music, spilled into the sketchbook. The Madness was back. I felt brave again. I’ll make it up as I go along. I’ll embrace the adventure.

Later, when The Madness was fading again, I looked down at the letter to God in my sketchbook. I had written about not feeling the spark that I felt “real” artists must have. I wondered (again) about why I think I should make art at all. I had signed it “Knowing You Will Answer.” I think He did.

P.S. Copy Break is live on facebook and gearing up for it’s Kickstarter campaign. Please go here and like us! Even better, post the link on your wall for your friends to see. We’re going to publish a zine, my friends!

The blue bob unlocked my inner super hero. It is so bright, I have to wear crazy colors and crazy color combinations to pull it off. On Friday my latest wardrobe addition arrived from Hong Kong. I had no idea what to wear with it. Comic book didn’t work. Finally I combed through my wardrobe trying to find coordinating pieces. That was when I discovered… my inner Kathleen Kelly.

She should totally consider pink.

On Wearing Wigs in Public

September 10, 2011

Hubs and I were walking down the hot sidewalk in July when we saw it. It was on a mannequin head in a vintage store window. Now, it was not love at first sight. I tried it on as a joke, and hubs stood by, arms folded, with that resigned look that artist’s spouses get sometimes. I pulled it on and looked in the mirror. I liked it, but I was completely unprepared for hubs’ reaction.

“You’re buying that.”

“What?”

“You’re buying that, and you’re going to wear it.”

“OK, I mean, I like it, but isn’t it a little crazy?”

“You’re wearing that to church tomorrow.”

“??!!!?!?”

He said he would buy it for me, but only if I was going to wear it. And by wear it, he meant out. In public. Anywhere I would wear my natural hair. It was an intimidating deal, but I took it. I walked out of the store wearing the blue bob. I wore it the next day to church, and have proceeded to wear it anywhere I would wear any other piece of jewelry or accessory in my wardrobe.

I’ve learned several things while wearing wigs in public.

  1. I’m OK with people staring at me. Some people aren’t. If you aren’t OK with that, and don’t think you can get used to it, don’t buy a wig.
  2. If you wear a wig that looks good on you, it “disappears”. By this I mean when I hang out with friends (even the ones who don’t get it, but love me anyway), within five minutes, everyone forgets I’m in a wig. It looks good on me, it becomes natural, and the conversation moves on.
  3. It weeded out my closet considerably. I bought a wig that is very “me”. Because of that, I soon discovered that much of my wardrobe didn’t work with it on, and hence most of my wardrobe is not “me”.
  4. Many people at church genuinely thought I was two people for several weeks. There was a girl with brown curly hair, then there was the short crazy blue haired chic that comes every now and then. Seriously.
  5. The church crowd in restaurants on Sunday afternoon give me pitying looks and tut tut to each other under their breath. It’s been eye opening to experience what an outsider feels like in my culturally “Christian” and predominately right wing fundamentalist and/or comfortably nominal city must feel like.
  6. I feel a lot more like me, and have discovered a lot of other things about my personality in the process.
  7. My church is amazing. I was nervous as heck the first time I wore the bob inside the hotel ballroom where our worship takes place each week. (I had no choice, remember?) I was overwhelmed by the positive response. They were so accepting, and surprisingly enough, it wasn’t even a big deal.

This isn’t a plug for wearing wigs, just for being yourself. Find out who you are, then be that person. Even in public. Even with other people around.

Wig #2

 

Sporting the bob while worshiping with my church family (who have been nothing but enthusiastic about the real me).

I finished the book, behind schedule and ahead of schedule, in a way. Yes, it’s day 12, but I still have time to mail the book and enter Bookopolis. Besides, I actually made the book in 2 days, if you want to get real technical. It’s my first tunnel book, it comes in miniature scale at under 3 inches, and I kinda like it.

Later today my wonderful sister in law is going to help me take photos for the entry process (read: I will stand by and get in the way while she expertly frames and snaps away), but here is a teaser:

The messy desk is for scale only, folks!

I’m sitting at my work table playing Tibetan pop music from youtube. I’ve changed directions completely. The book was going to be called Sacred Space, but I found that I was not passionate about making that book at the moment. I’ve switched to a tunnel book. There are over a dozen little squares of colored paper that I hope will begin to form the layers of a landscape.

I’ve been coming to grips lately with the fact that I don’t live in Tibet, I have no plans to live in Tibet, and I may never see the rooftop of the world again. I have missed Amdo Tibet every day of the seven years that have passed since I was there. I decided to make a book express that longing visually. When I try to express it verbally, I ended up saying silly trite things like “the mountains call my name in my sleep”, or “Tibet lives inside my heart”.

Obviously I may not make the deadline, but I’m going to finish this book regardless. I can get it to Asheville anytime this week, so I can still do it without meeting the ten day self-imposed deadline.

This is my view from my seat at my table:

All the time. This is what it looked like today:

Yes, that is two coffee cups (both empty) and two water bottles. Also my hairspray. It’s black and white because it’s almost too frightening to look at.