Mostly Some Rambling

I’m struggling this week, my birthday is Sunday, and my birthday always makes me feel kind of lonely. I’m not depressed just normal person sad. Melancholy is the word I believe. I have the art passion back, which I think is saving me from going into full on isolation mode, but my birthday and the holidays aren’t my favorite part of the year. It’s been a while since I had a really good one (last year is definitely in the running but that’s mostly because it fell on a Christmas party that made sure I had good cupcakes).

It’s also coming up on the year mark of when my grandmother took her first bad turn, it was rough before that, but around Christmas time was when things started getting really bad. I miss her. I resent her. I love her. I have so many complicated feelings towards her and the time period between now and when she died, I don’t think I’ve processed them all. I don’t know if I’m ever going to fully process or even remember everything that happened in those short months. In fact if you have friends or family that are caregivers you should check up on them a little more often, the Washington Post just posted an article about the trauma of caregiving (link).

Anyway, there’s a special kind of exhaustion that comes from working in the service industry during Christmas time so I’m going to go ahead and tuck in with some old school Greys Anatomy.

peace

bri

Sometimes We Don't Have the Words

I have so much to say but I do not really have any of the words or clarity or knowledge, or relative closeness to say it, and I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to, I think that’s okay. I’ve spent the last week and a half in a weird rollercoaster of acceptance and love and hate and worry. I also learned that we are allowed to not know how to talk about things, and we are allowed to exclaim "SHIT” when that is the most appropriate response. I’m a person who really likes to know every detail of something, in a social setting it’s a little exhausting, I need to write it or talk it to death, but I’m learning that often it is better for one’s health to know what you need to. That part of my personality helps as a sales person for sure though, people really like talking about themselves.

I’ve been planning a new project which I’m really excited about. I’m going to make photographs of musicians as characters in their songs. Folk music is a huge passion of mine, and I realized after doing the cover photo for Carolann Solebello and the promo photos for Carolann and Joe Iandaza that I’m definitely not a concert photographer at heart. I can’t bring myself to stay behind glass at a performance. I want to combine my flare for the dramatic with the beautiful storytelling and visuals of the music I love, artists can become characters in their songs, giving them posters to sell at shows, much like bands do screen printing. So if you are a musician that reads this blog please message me on facebook so I can give you my phone number and e-mail.

ending the self promotion here =]

I’m excited to feel a real passion for a project again, it’s been probably since my thesis it’s a really good feeling. I think after the success of the last show I was so lucky to be apart of I’m feeling more motivated and I’m wanting to collaborate more. This is going to sound super new-agey for me especially to say, but the artistic energy is really weird and dark and beautiful right now. I’m excited to start making this work.

Anyway I’m going to try to get back to more regular writing, life has been wonderful and cruel and confusing lately and putting it to paper or rather to zeros and ones here has been hard. I am feeling more comfortable though. It’s nice.

until next time

bri

True North

Once again this post comes to you from my commute, I suppose if I were to ever write a book of these it would have to be titled whatever the third rejected title of On the Road was.

I See the Same Trees Everyday: A Novella
Most of My Life is Spent on the Parkway
I Think I Just Heard This Song: Driving Deja Vu

Anyway, I digress the strange combination of events that lead to tonights musings were as follows; I got on to the parkway to watch the lamest dick measuring contest (in the form of a race) that I’ve ever seen. I laughed at the dick measuring thought and had a nice moment by myself, I promise I’m not the kind of crazy you have to worry about. I was listening to Shiver by Carolann Solebello and the song True North came on, a song about things I think about a lot. Family, Memory, Love, Love’s limits, age, running.

That moment plus the narrator of the song had me wondering, when I am the narrators age, will I be looking back on these moments with fondness? These kind of weird random things that happen and amuse me, will I even remember them? I sure hope I’m still laughing at absurd things. Am I living my life in a way that will feel like it’s full when my mind or body begins to go? I think if I think about my younger self, young Bri would be pretty happy with the way my life is going considering the setbacks I’ve had. I’d have a lot of explaining to do, but I think with some negotiation younger Bri would be okay with older Bri. Am I where I really want to be? Absolutely not, but I think I’m on my way there. At least I hope I am. I know I am proud of my convictions, and I am sure of them, which is an alright place to be in this world. I am lucky to have an incredible amount of self-awareness, which admittedly will get in my way on occasion. I like who I am becoming

However the idea of throwing your passport away to live the last few years on your own feels pretty damn cool. It feels like the narrator lived his life and now he’s letting himself start over, while his memory is still with him. The idea of running and starting over is so attractive to me, even though I’m pretty content.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I like who I am now, and I think future me would be okay with me as well, but I reserve the right to throw away my passport and start over, and head north.

j,b,m

sometimes i walk right past you
remembering nothing of our meaningless interactions
i laugh at how you used to pull at my strings
other times it is all i can do not to blow you
away, i want you to feel the blood spilled
the heartbeats skipped and the memories blurred
you were never quite a mirror
but reflections resembled me
eyes unfocused
arms weak
anger burning beneath the skin
you marked as yours
it is not yours anymore
marked or not my power is mine
and i remember nothing about our meaningless interactions
i am not free, but today is mine

Resentments

 Here, enjoy some pleasant yet creepy nighttime lighting while I prepare to dive in to some stuff that I don’t want to talk about.

Here, enjoy some pleasant yet creepy nighttime lighting while I prepare to dive in to some stuff that I don’t want to talk about.

So you know when you’re on the highway (of course this was prompted by me driving, if you hadn’t noticed I’m always driving) and someone does something stupid. Cuts you off, scares the living daylights out of you, makes you miss your exit, generally acts like a typical New Jersey driver (I can say that I’m from here). You think god they deserve to - and then you stop - and come up with the most inconvenient but least destructive thing like “get stopped at all the red lights” or “get where they’re going five minutes late anyway” because you’re trying to be a good person and even though you don’t believe in god but you think maybe some good karma wouldn’t do you so bad?

Anyway, that little weird rabbit hole got me thinking about resentments that I hold in my heart, that I can let go a slight like that from a complete stranger, but I don’t always confront or put the effort in with the people I truly love. These are not resentments against people who have truly hurt me, that is different, that is forgiveness I do not have to give, but resentments about people I love.

I think right now I’m looking for the bravery to have these hard conversations, and I have successfully had one. A couple of months ago Rachael and I had a fight, what felt like a friendship ending fight. This was extremely significant to me, and I will not speak for her, but we had been friends for nearly twenty one years. We had been to war and back together. What the fight was about is insignificant, because what it was really about was years and years of not telling each other how we actually felt in an attempt to either spare feelings or manipulate situations. We were both sick, which is not and never will be an excuse, but it was an added stressor. We both overreacted to some parts, and under-reacted to other parts. We were not listening to each other, and I at least was choosing not to deal with the problem at all. Eventually I realized that throwing away that much history and that much true love was ridiculous, we needed to learn to be 25 year old friends instead of teenaged friends. We succeeded. We sat down and looked at each other and had a discussion.

However this is not my usual MO, I let things fester, and I think I really have to work on that, I am lucky for the friendship I have with Rachael, that there’s no doubt in my mind that is a bond that will not be broken. We are both stubborn and pigheaded but we both realize what’s best for us.

I guess the quest is to take this one time thing and apply to other relationships in my life, because mutual honesty was certainly a way to strengthen a friendship. Here’s the thing though, I’m a known chicken, so there may be no discussion and I’ve just written a terribly cryptic post naming no names except the one that I’ve worked through my resentments with already.

Here are some cats as a pre-emptive apology

IMG-3677.JPG

Mistah-Kurtz - He Dead

Mista Kurtz - he dead.
a dollar for the young kid

we are the full women
we we are the fulfilled women
leaning into each other
headpiece filled with thoughts
our strong voices
gusts through the forests
we also have a whisper network
we know who you are
it is not meaningless

form and shape and color
no longer paralyzed, gesturing to your future

Those we have watched
cross to death’s other kingdom
We remember them - their loss -
peaceful souls
as the opposite of the hollow men

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear, prickly pear
here we go round the prickly pear
at five o’clock ing the morning

we are the idea
we are the reality
we are both
the motion and the act
we erase the shadow

Our desire
and the potency
and the existence
and the essence
and the ascent
we erase the shadow

this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends
not with a bang, not with a whimper
with a fight for justice that feels un-winnable

maybe i'd be a good caveman

Well, I survived Black Friday weekend. Here is a list of things that I took away from it this year.

  • Read the packaging. All we’re going to do is read it out loud to you anyway.

  • Cursing us out will make your service slower. So will huffing and puffing and complaining.

  • People are no longer willing to figure things out for themselves.

  • My name tag and uniform say framing on it. I am not customer service.

  • Threatening to “never come back here” is both hilarious an irrational.

Anyway, I picked up Letters to a Young Poet yesterday for the first time since high school. There are a few books that will always stick with me, and that is definitely one of them. The others include The Little Prince, Art and Fear (thanks Carolann), Women in Photography, If I Found a Wistful Unicorn, and What I Learned from a Thousand Towns. I also really enjoy comedian’s autobiographies. I’m going to say that I really enjoy reading about art. Which goes with my life theme about writing about art but not nearly creating it as much as I should.

So I suppose book recommendations? Ways to keep myself sane until January? Funny jokes?

I’m not sure, my flow has been interrupted by not doing this every day. My brain is good in a crisis, but no immediate danger means no productivity. Maybe I’d be a good caveman? Eh, my ankle is kind of too bad for that.

Anyway,

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday with your families. I’m working on getting back into the swing of things.

What I'm Thankful For

It’s Thanksgiving, this is a complicated holiday in the United States, while the premise is lovely, give thanks for what we have and the family that we have, but a year ago at Standing Rock Water Protectors were being sprayed with ice cold fire hoses, shot with rubber bullets, and threatened by the police force and drivers on the road. Some are still being prosecuted for protecting their land. There was just a massive oil spill, which is exactly what they were putting their lives on the line to prevent. As we eat our turkeys and we say what we are thankful for, we have to remember our history. Our history that dates back to the beginning of the country, and has not gotten any better over the years.

I always enjoyed Thanksgiving (not so much the romanticization of all the murder and the small pox) but the family part , I think a good portion of that is because I am a terrible cook therefore I did the things that didn’t involve my putting stuff into the oven. This year, it was quiet, we had Boston Market, I hung out with my parents, I got some much need napping in, despite the fact that I should have been a little more present . We felt some sadness that this was the first major holiday without my Grandmother, I definitely felt her absence, despite the fact that she’d be quite grumpy until all of the food was on the table. Holidays were kind of her thing, she made sure we were all taken care of, that when times were financially tight, she made sure everyone had gifts to open on Christmas, and a place at her table if need be. She didn’t always love hosting, but she made the best of it.

The older I get the more commodified Thanksgiving, and Christmas have become. We had people in our store all night. Sometimes commenting on how terrible it is we have to work (fun fact if no one ever shows up, odds are stores will remain closed, please don’t come out on holidays). I am proudly not a capitalist, I truly think that it’s a terribly exploitative, dangerous, and in the long term going continue to widen the gap between the CEOs and the people who work for them. Working different forms of retail have definitely taught me this lesson over and over again. Everything is about the bottom line, everything is “how much more can we push this”, everything is taking care of the higher-ups and the CEO’s and the shareholders before taking care of workers that actually keep the place running. It’s running us ragged. Workers are the most valuable aspect to a company. Without the “underlings” nothing would run.

So after all that kind of bleak analysis here are some things I am thankful for
1. Having a place to call home
2. Art
3. Family
4. Friends
5. Music, and my folk music family
6. The physical strength of my body
7. Hope. Beautiful paralyzing Hope.
8. Stability
9. Calm
10. Therapy =]

i lost my soul on the parkway

The last two days have been some of the highest highs and lowest lows as far as life experience goes. I’ve been leaning in to this whole feeling stuff thing, but I did not expect to have to deal with “trapped and afraid” right off the bat. Thursday was horrific and I’m not sure how many people fucked up in order to bring New Jersey and New York to their knees, but I know it was a lot of people. It took me seven hours to get home, and I’m not 100% sure I would have made it all the way home without the people who picked up the phone for me. So thanks guys.

Then there was the next day, which was equally exhausting and healing. I was lucky enough to be a part of Perspective Lens: This is Amerika curated by my good friend Luisa Pinzon. I think I had forgotten how good it feels to be a part of something like that, something larger. Something that I think is important. Plus I sold a piece. I’m proud to have been included.

So here’s to the rest of the weekend being boring and quiet. I think this has been enough excitement for me until at least Monday.

numb was a dream

I’ve spent the last couple of days trying to write this post, which means this is also an accountability entry for me because I have not written in nearly a week. I am stealing this from one of my friends, but if you see me in person ask me “what did you make today?” I’m really good at keeping promises to other people. I’m not very good at keeping them for myself. Maybe with some outside influence I’ll hop back on my game.

I’ve noticed that my default reaction to anything, good, bad, ugly, or in between is to pull away. I have a pretty good feeling that this is why I haven’t really had anything to say the last two weeks. Isolation is comfortable to me. My reaction to change is to pull away from people. I am not a religious person, I’m not even a spiritual person, but the last few days I’ve had a few instances of throwing my hands in the air and giving my life to the universe. Don’t get me wrong, tragedy I can deal with, I’m a pro. I think what’s happening right now is a gradual loss of emotional numbness, which is definitely a really positive thing for me in the long run. I don’t think I’ve felt things this intensely and consistently since I was a kid, again, a good thing, It’s just, numb was comfortable. Numb was easy. Numb was kind of a dream. Only really intense stuff broke through that carefully constructed iron cage I created around myself. I’ve let down some of those walls and I’m seeing and feeling the world for the first time in a very long time. I don’t regret putting them up, I needed them at the time, I needed to protect myself. Now I’m not sure if I do. We’ll see. I tend not to trust stability of any kind, including the emotional kind, because statistically it doesn’t ever last long for me.

I would like to point out that this is not an excuse for me vanishing on people. I know I do this. I don’t mean to, but I do. I’m working on it.

Anyway,

Until tomorrow,

bri

Untitled

It’s been an eventful few days, car trouble, a lost debit card, they played the same Christmas song 30 times today while I was at work (I truly wish this was an exaggeration), I think I’m going to go insane in the next two months. Christmas is kind of hell. My brain has been either in overdrive or completely dead silent. Sometimes overdrive is good, most of the time it’s just like watching a television on 2x. It doesn’t help that my heart rate tends to match the speed of my thoughts. I do a lot of breathing in an attempt to slow both down.

If I read into my pretty consistent need to isolate myself after a day of almost any type of socializing, I’d say the permanent fast forward on my thoughts would have a lot to do with that. It’s not that I don’t like being around people, the people I’m close with who I don’t feel pressure around don’t exhaust me, but frankly every other social interaction takes something from me. I’m the most stereotypical introvert on the planet. Now with cats!

Anyway, I swear I’ll get back into putting a bit more effort into writing these, I can’t really tell you when, but it’ll happen I hope.

best

bri

Election Day

It’s election day, when I went to my polling place this morning it was busy, there was no parking. I got very wet. Hopefully it’s all a good thing. I’m going to continue to have reservations until the numbers actually come in, but there were a lot of people there. Usually I’m very excited to vote, today felt a little different, I am still happy to vote, but I think the stakes are too high to really feel anything other than anxious. It’s the same feeling that’s been sitting in my stomach since the presidential election, a little bit of dread, a lot of anger, and a touch of shock (that part has lessened significantly).

Of course that means that I am going to spend the rest of the day watching stand up while I clean in deep denial about what may or may not happen later tonight. I picked specials from before 2016 because I figured I could spend the rest of my day laughing at jokes that are mostly a-political. A reward for trudging through the last two years.

I don’t have much to say today. It’s been a couple of days since I’ve really had any motivation to write, there are a few ideas bouncing around my brain but they aren’t fully formed thoughts yet. I’m going to chalk it up to election day anxiety and hope I’m back tomorrow.

Vote Anyway

You’re young, you’re angry, you’re tired. I am too. Vote anyway. You don’t think that this election is going to bring the meaningful and radical change that needs to happen to keep this world afloat, it wont. Vote anyway. None of the candidates line up with your values, me neither. Vote anyway. You’re anxious about walking into your polling place. 100%. Vote anyway. You’re disillusioned with the state of the country and you don’t think your vote matters. Join the club. Fuck it. Vote anyway, what do we have to lose at this point?

Voting is strategy not a promise.

Mortal Peril Plus a Kind of Hope for My Immediate Future.

I am a massive Halloween fan, usually I go all out on my costume, this year I didn’t have a costume, but I still had a pretty good day. It ended with a drive home that was half of what it usually is during rush hour. Halloween is a good day. I walked from my car to the tune of Harvest Moon sung live by a band my new town hired to have a little Halloween party in the park across from the apartment, this town is kind of full of lovely little surprises. It’s nice. I don’t have anything really solid planned out today, I began to write three or four different pieces, but nothing really fit the mood I’m in. Is there a word for being half terrified half relatively content? That’s where I’m at right now. Just mortal peril plus a kind of hope for my immediate personal future. It’s fucking bizarre. I think things are starting to turn around a little in my personal life and that feels good, there are no capital P problems hanging around. Plus my mental health is relatively balanced for the first time in who the hell knows how long (and who knows for how long so I’m sure as hell enjoying it while it lasts). Then there’s this thing, this ugly political thing, hanging over all of us sucking the life out of all of us. I cannot be the only one who has to compartmentalize this shit into two totally different boxes only to be accessed when necessary. I think if I didn’t I’d just be constantly screaming, but like I said yesterday, I do not have the option of sticking my head in the sand. Please vote on the 6th, it’s kind of the only hope we have, even if you don’t love the candidates, there will never be a perfect politician, and at the moment, knowing the majority of my friend’s list, there will not be a candidate that’s “left” enough for you, vote anyway. We’ll have our turn.

Anyway, so that’s the mood I’m in. Half hopeful half mortified. I have a feeling it might be a semi-permanent state at this point. It’s very confusing and very bleak, but at least I’m consistent.

Staying Informed, Staying Sane

I come here tonight with no answers, just questions and frustrations. I’ve always been interested in politics and policy, humans fascinate me, and so does government. One of my favorite courses I took in high school was AP Government and Politics. I would have considered myself more than above average at knowing what was going on in the country even before this monstrous shitshow of an administration. For the most part I enjoyed studying it, until now. Now I have a very hard time peeling myself away from the news because I’m seriously afraid I’m going to miss something that further demoralizes or puts me in danger. It’s affecting my mental health, but I can’t really put my head in the sand and tune it out. I’m starting to see a bleak future of all of us being too anxious to really do anything because of the speed of terrible information being thrown at us. I also fear we are marching towards the polls with a little too much confidence, and collectively the fear of the ramifications of this administration is not quite high enough.

I think I pose a question more than anything else with this entry. How do we stay sane when we have to consume this insane information?

Where I Became an Artist

It’s been a couple of days, I haven’t had internet which has been strange and nice except for the falling asleep thing, I used to have to sleep in silence and complete darkness, now I need some sort of noise to lull me into dreamland. I’ve never been a good sleeper, except when I was a baby I think (mom? dad?). Consciously I’ve never been a good sleeper, I used to have to make up hours worth of stories with my eyes closed to go to sleep. Sometimes they were exciting, sometimes they were scary, sometimes they were playing out fears or dreams that I had, I think that’s where I became and artist, telling myself hours and hours of stories to get all of those thoughts somewhere other than my head, I learned that putting my thoughts, fears, and dreams outside of my head brought me enough comfort to sleep, even if I was just talking to myself at the time (I mean I’m still talking to myself, I’m just a little better at it). I taught myself there that even if the story I was telling was scary, I was a twisted kid (I’m still a twisted kid) sometimes they got dark, when it was over I felt like that darkness was out of me. If it was a funny story I felt like I could tell it to a friend and maybe make them laugh. If it was sad or moving, I’d let myself feel those things. I still tell stories, I just write them down now, or I make a photograph or a pretty shitty painting, it still brings me an incredible amount of peace even when it is very hard. I still don’t sleep well, but I do find I sleep better after I’ve made something, and I suppose now I fall asleep to someone else’s stories.