who i am : abandon all else

To the fear, the anger, the beast that lives in me.
     A repetitive looping film of his hand up against my neck, pushing against my veins.
           His words of who I am, what I'm worth, what I will never amount too yelling, echoing,
                 whispering.... You Are Worth Nothing To Me Till Your Dead ...

But then...

But then I picked up a paint brush, even while his bruises were still faded from my flesh long after I walked away...I picked up a pen...I began to write, began to create, make...
     and I began to feel free...
                I began to understand that he was only afraid of me....of my

strength.

Now he has found the last way to control me...legality with our daughter.
     My sweet little daughter who's first kick, first breath, first laugh, first tooth, nightmare and
     dream he was not present for.
         And the courts started telling me all of a sudden what I could and couldn't do.  What jobs to
         have, what state to live in, what to do, where to go, when to be there...and I couldn't help
         but feel like everything I was working for, every dream that had reinvented itself after my
         awakening, my survival, was once again being torn, pulled, controlled by my abuser.

So I started making work.  I started screaming, yelling I WAS RAPED - I GOT PREGNANT - AND YET STILL I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER MY LIFE OR OVER MY OWN CHILDS LIFE.

and people heard, and people saw my work, and people gave their sympathy, and then there was nothing...
       a void.
              what else could they do?

But then my foot laced up into boots hit a trail.  I climbed, I sweated my heart out, and at the top all I saw was...

I am more then nothing.

...if something like this existed in the world, then though I am small, every substance that makes
       up my body, makes up the earths body.

For weeks, months, years I've been furiously making work, writing pieces, screaming, yelling, praying someone would hear me...help me change the current...but up on that mountain I learned:
 

I AM MORE THEN NOTHING.
I AM ME.
I AM A CHILD OF THIS EARTH.
OF THE SKY.
I HAVE A SOUL THAT STRETCHES THE VALLY PLAINES.
WANDERLUSTING IS WHAT RUNS THROUGH MY VEINS.
I AM MORE THEN NOTHING.
I AM ME.

Photo 1-11.jpg

I am ALIVE.
 

how can I not be with so much in this world?

So I will never stop screaming, pounding a drum for women, for victims, for children who have been wronged, who have been let down by our judicial system...it is a fire...a fuel that was ignited,
       ignited when he shoved me off the bed, when he never came home, when he told me to
       go back to the kitchen, when he locked our child outside, when he raped me of more then
       just 30-seconds of life.
             IT IS THE FIRE THAT BURNS SO DEEP INSIDE OF ME.
             IT IS THE FIRE THAT BURNS, but also has found respit against the whipping winds
                                                              with pen stained fingers, with late nights in the studio,
                                                              with every step out in this world I've spent soaking it up.

But I will also celebrate the fact that I am

ALIVE.

I have no idea what's next.  What I'll make.  How I'll celebrate first. 
And that's okay.
The robin doesn't know when it's next meal will come but it doesn't fret.
It finds respite in where it lives, where it flies, where it is free.
...this...this is enough for me.

---------------------------------------------------

after a thoughtful critique, after a day of contemplating, writing, running in the sun...
in honor of John Muir's birthday,
in every inch of my body flinging off of a cliff...I celebrate this place I call home...

The Pacific Northwest.

I am pacing myself, putting any + all work about my past up on the shelf,
and I am lacing up my hiking boots.

---------------------------------------------------

remembering "we are in the mountains...and THEY ARE IN US"

---------------------------------------------------