Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More Body Oddity and Kicking the Great Cosmic Judge

When I posted on Facebook that my diagnosis story had been re-published at Band Back Together, a reporter I'd met at art events asked if she could do a story for her newspaper. We met for an interview (and amazing pastries) at Frutcake on the East End, and we ran into my old gang from the shop. It was the monthly meeting for the retail committee for the YWCA. This was awesome, as they are family and I was in need of YW Sister Hugs. The director suggested we shoot the photographs for the piece at the shop where I'd painted some big murals. I was quite excited to do that, because Monica (the writer) had suggested my studio for a photo.

Pop quiz: 
Q. Who knows what my studio looks like? 
A. If an art supplies store, a library for horror fiction and feminist essays, a junk jewelry sale, and a walk-in closet happened to all be put into a blender then dumped unceremoniously into a room.

So: there was panic. But the murals saved me.

The funny and talented photographer Tom Hindman met us there. I arrived with my trademark Boho Girl Wearing 'Do Rag on Purpose; Not a Bad Hair Day look because I'd managed to dye it afresh that morning, but as it was raining I'd shampooed the blue until it seemed drip-proof. However, the mirror revealed that I'd achieved splotchy blue hair that still dripped. Runny blue sweat is not photogenic. I did wear my fanciest 'do rag. So there's that.

Anyway, I told Monica my entire life story and went into far, far more detail about my sex organs than anyone reading The Daily Mail could possibly stomach. (What with my having no inner censor at all, you can be sure I'll go ahead and publish it here eventually.) She is a darling woman and is ridiculously easy to talk to, and also she writes for a living and commended my wordsmith skills and so doing made my day. I'm not sure when the story will be published but I'll certainly post here and at every conceivable web venue when it's online.

Meanwhile, the story of Claw Handed, Many-Organ'd me is a mere curiosity and the real story of my life is the crooked, un-cushioned, sadist spine I'd very much like to have removed and kick it hard. The implant trial goes in in 10 days, and oh yes I'm in countdown mode. The recent Nashville road trip was very much necessary, but I've been in excruciating pain since. I managed to get a design finished up for the talented muse poet Crystal Good, and that's mostly been the extent of my contribution to human society.

I have a reminder on my laptop screen:

{Illustration by Yumi Sakugawa found on Pinterest.
Original link: http://intentblog.com/author/yumi/}

I need to see this on my bed/bad days. I'm still trying to believe it, but it's a goal. The days I can post a doodle to Instagram are days I feel like I did something. Days I can wrangle my thoughts into sentences are good, too. But I'm still plagued by this guilt that I'm not doing anything. It's never enough for me. I've felt this way as long as I can remember, though. There's a great looming past just behind my left shoulder that are called The Slacker Years. They haunt me with my late teens and early twenties and the massive amount of schoolwork and art assignments I neglected to do. Dropped classes and skipped days and hangovers. All unacceptable to the Perfectionist who hovers like a judge with a migraine gavel over my head, weighing with scales the debt I owe the Universe just for being born. I still dream that I'll never earn that art degree that is printed and signed on solid paper on my desk. I worry that I'm not enough Mommy because I can't take Molly to the park.

But I've constructed a BuddhaGoddessLovingThing that whispers truth: That I made up all that crazy and that it is wrong. It prays Desiderata in my right ear, "You are a child of the Universe, No less than the trees or the stars. You have a right to be here." I know there's no Grand Judge, no Universal Bookkeeper with bloody red numbers deciding my worth. Knowing that rationally has still not quite sunk into me. Still, it's a step toward clarity to name this perfectionism. I'll just keep up the mantras from Desiderata and Carl Sagan and Ram Dass and Ganesha and John Lennon.

I'll keep trying just to be.

You be with me too, & be with you & be here now & we'll get through whatever our minds and bodies and the world bring. Because we are made of stardust and will and creation.

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