Star Crossed

Last summer I tried paddle boarding for the first time with a wonderful woman I was dating. After paddling around the lake a good long while, we did that thing everyone in a new relationship does, avoided having to leave each other. I watched her deflate and put away the boards. I tried to not listen as she talked to her ex-wife about their kids on a phone call. Finally, we sat on the curb of the parking lot between our cars and talked.

My back started to bother me so I laid down on the concrete to stretch my hip, and relax my muscles. It had become dark, but it wasn’t cold so we pressed against each other and looked at the stars. I have an app on my phone that shows real time overlays of constellations, planets, and deep space objects. We looked at everything we could think of even though I kept dropping the phone on us, but we just laughed.

I kept seeing these streaks of light crossing the sky. They were about the same size as the stars but the color was different somehow. I thought it might be the damage to my eyes. Sometimes I see things that aren’t there. Usually they’re black spots but also light flashes and migraine auras. The spots were always more visible when I looked at the sky, so maybe that was all. It had been some time since I laid out at night and perhaps it was it wasn’t there, just one of the many strange things my body does. Then she asked me about it and I knew it was real. What was that streaking light? A satellite? We tried to get the app on my phone to identify it, but nothing specific was associated with the light.

Then I remembered I’d read about an apartheid billionaire “destroying the night sky.” They talked about all the hundreds of satellites he’d put in orbit, that the light pollution was quite possibly a crime against humanity. It affected the entire globe. Something that had been a part of human existence since humans were first birthed, was now marred.

I told her about this. That our quiet, intimate moment, laying on a sidewalk, in a stolen moment away from our children and responsibilities, had been intruded upon by the hubris of a man. Something about this transgression was foundational. There was no longer a place in the world we could go and be truly alone. The arrogance of one man would always intrude.

I wondered about the future. I despaired that I’d not noticed before. My body felt as though I could hear them. I watched the same lines drawn in the sky by the satellites over and over until I had memorized the pattern of their orbit.

How very small we seemed. How very like a pair of atoms in our own organic bond. Trying to survive while toxic greed cut up all of existence to sell to the highest bidder. What molecule did we make? How much were we worth? We were a part of the universe’s organic whole, but could easily be scrubbed away.

Advancements in Cat Lady-ness

I’m thisclose to crocheting sweaters for my cats. This should be a surprise to no one.

Back at the Grind

I submitted a short story for publication a few weeks ago for the first time in years. I used to submit all the time, but as my health has obviously taken over much of my existence. It was exhilarating to return to another of my passions!

Rejections are a part of the process, of course, but they’re still hard. I think we have heard all the advice about rejections – they’re not personal. It could be that your piece wasn’t a good fit for the publication, they already have something similar selected, the editor isn’t the right audience for your story, any number of things! The hardest thing for me is wondering if something needs to be changed in the story, or if I just haven’t hit the right publication yet. A good rejection encourages you to continue, perhaps even gives some personal feedback.

I took my good rejection and submitted to another publication that is a better fit within 24 hours.

I’m so excited to finish up a few more short stories and send them off!

Giving My Anxiety A Cookie

Me: And if I’m refinishing the cabinets – just some trim to make them more like Shaker cabinets, they’re solid cabinets – I should really just put in the bench seating on the north end of the kitchen

Friend: So you can’t put beans in the crock pot because then you’d have to remodel the whole kitchen?

Me: I mean, duh!

It made perfect sense at the time.

Watch List 01/2022

I’ve started keeping track of what I’m watching again. I don’t know, it’s fun for whatever reason. Therefore, I should share it with everyone!

IDK it’s worth a shot.

I like listening to low stakes shows like cooking competitions while I’m working on art projects, paperwork or I just need to pretend to have human contact. My therapist also made me stop watching press conferences on CNN so I had to sub in something… I love some standup when I need a distraction from generalized despair, or when I’m having fun. When I have the time and the spoons, I love both “bad” and great movies. Generally speaking, if I start a movie, I’ll finish it. However, if I don’t like a show, I’ll just stop.

SHOWS

  • Master Chef
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • Master Chef Junior
  • Jayde Adams: Serious Black Jumper
  • Bob The Drag Queen: Suspiciously Large Woman
  • Worst Cooks in America
  • Archive 81
  • Devs
  • The Witcher
  • Bumping Mics with Jeff Ross and Dave Attell
  • Shadow and Bone
  • Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous
  • Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian
  • Leslie Jones: Problem Child
  • Abbott Elementary

MOVIES

  • Observe and Report
  • Gunpowder and Milkshakes
  • Jolt
  • snatch
  • The House
  • Long Story Short
  • Dark Shadows 2012
  • Deja Vu
  • Acts of Vengeance
  • Level 16

For the first time, I started keeping track of creative projects that I’ve finished as well. It’s hard for me because I feel like I never get enough art done. I know I work on things, but it can be hard to gauge how much I actually finish. So I started a list of creative projects I’ve finished as well. It really helped me see that I do a lot more than I thought!

Creations

  • Large Moth blanket with crochet edge
  • Painting underwater yellow dress
  • Painting underwater with sea weed
  • Painting underwater with white cake layer
  • Pink/gray crochet blanket
  • Painting underwater larger with pinkish dress
January 2022 lists

The Path Through

I admit, I’m at a loss. I know I need to promote myself, put my work out in front of people. No one can buy my work if they don’t know it exists. But the process of putting everything together and promoting somehow feels overwhelming.

So I am trying. I am taking a step. I don’t know what it looks like, but I’m trying.

I started a list of projects I’ve finished to help me remember that I am actually making progress, that I’m putting in the work. So far this year I’ve finished 3 paintings, and 2 craft projects. I’ve worked on seven others that are in various stages of completion.

I’ve shared some of those with a few friends, but that’s all. I should probably cast a wider net if I want to actually do something with all of these things I make.

Imposter syndrome, anxiety monster, negative core beliefs, generalized despair – whatever it is, I’m trying to fight my way through.

Solstice failures

My series of goddess photographs was almost entirely derailed by the pandemic, but even ones I was largely prepared for didn’t quite make it to the deadline somehow. I photographed Gaia last summer in anticipation of posting it on the summer solstice this year, but I didn’t quite make it. I saw it in my calendar last week and tried to budget enough time to get the image ready, but it didn’t work out. And that’s okay. I’m still really excited to share it with ya’ll. There are only so many spoons to be had.

The kitten total

I know we all agree that this is not the totalitarian nightmare we signed up for. Personally, I’d hoped to live my whole life without going through… at least 80% of what’s happened in the last year or so.

However, I’ve also had enough therapy to know that we’re supposed to focus on smaller things; things that are within our control. I’m not very good at actually doing that, but I know it can be helpful for some people.

I do a lot of animal rescue work and one of the things I’m in charge of, is helping find intake placement for kittens. We only take orphaned neonatal kittens 6 weeks and under. You’d think that’s such a narrow spectrum that we wouldn’t take in many kittens, but it’s a rather alarming number. I field intake calls every day.

Here’s some good news. So far this month, I’ve helped arrange intake for 52 kittens. That’s so many! I’m so glad I’m able to do this. It helps me focus on something good. Kittens are pure joy and wonderful and better than people pretty much all the time. So yes. I am putting good into the universe in the form of tiny kittens who bring joy to everyone.

Meow

October Arts

I always desperately want to participate in the various themed art challenges that pop up in October. It’s hard to know which ones to choose. It also seems like it requires a lot of research to make sure you’re not following one that was started by an asshole…

Last year I did apprentice witches and that was a lot of fun! This year I thought I’d do landscapes and backgrounds since I suck at them. Not going to get any better unless I practice, right?

Or something

IDK it’s worth a try

My favorite October art theme I ever participated in was ones a friend set up for a list of Queens! I’m still working on that one even though it’s been years. I may be slow, but I’m determined!