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Art Talk, Poetry, Political Type Opinions

Satire Vs. Empire

OPINIONS vs Onions

Edit: Upon further introspection, I realized that one of my favorite quote applies here.

“Often, unsung heroes go unheard” -Anonymous.

It takes a lot to remember the heroes that came before. Helping, healing and the time it takes in between breathe and pause. If one thing helps you, I sincerely hope you find it.

On a day when I was angry, I wrote based on my opinions- which some times I act like they are from only banana-muffins but in actuality they have been in my gears/grain for a long time. I am only now just becoming brave enough to talk about it in a way that feels good. So, I am writing on behalf of myself and delicious banana muffins. For me, standing by an opinion means writing, speaking, reading and watching my favourite Kung-Fu movie with the one-person I love most in the world. One day, I can introduce you to him dear reader. For now though, he has my whole heart and I’d have to paint that accurately first-aha.

p.s All the trigger warnings. Emotionally processing my own relating to the world. I am very weird vs. wise. #humanbeing

Truth is... I don't know EVERYTHING.
 Trust is... We all learn to figure it out.

artfueledlogo.png

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Go stare at a Rembrandt for a bit. Or a couple thousand Bernini’s. Those are masterful.

Note: These are my original pieces of artwork.
I made this because I am great at LOTS.
I also have weird brain stuff. 

IMG_1828
.

My brain and I get  nervous because I know … you know… I am a mortal being… My heart is very adamant that I am here to stay though- which is sweet in a corny forever-love kind of way.

Legacy is how people tell you they accomplished their greatest feature of being themselves when it WAS “Ugly Cry Time”

IMG_1824.jpg
It used to look like this.

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FACTZ! Are “Truthy” at Best

At worst, they are me without coffee and no sleep.

I do act like I have my life all figured out though.

*someone please cue up dramatic music*

Why thank you, I feel much better now.

Yet,  I have probably rambled in every appointment, voicemail and phonecall; of perhaps my life. Yes, even the important ones.

Even when I am at my best, I am a bit of an outlier in terms of clear thinking. It seems to take me forever to process my own insecurities. Also, I am stubborn and get bored easily. Thank goodness for art.

Truth is none of us get to see behind the curtain of the people who work tirelessly to get to what they need for help. Actually, I think some people do weirdly enough.

Those are the “miracles”  that I forget to tell… or I am not ready to talk about yet. In many ways, I am learning to fight my own battles. In others, I am learning to ask for help. I am moving forward but I don’t always think that is the same process for people. I know I process… by being… myself? Let’s move on from the metaphysical imperatives of that situation though.

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Fear vs. ME WINNING

#myself  #radHonest
IMG_1625
People are not puzzles.                            “oh hey, I’m not perfect!” “
“Same!”

Above and beyond, those are the things that really scare me. I tried once to write down all my fears and get rid of them by crying into a pillow like a princess. You know what, it was not the solution for me. I’ve tried the working out and being a warrior all day everyday- still a bit of a sensitive. Hence, I am going to keep working on myself and loving the people in my life as best I can.

Basically, I  forget that I am a flawed human being who loves people rather profoundly… and I am my own worst critic. These are the elements that keep me in a loop of sanity.

 

I know my team.
I know who I love.
I know who I am. Those are the stories I can’t help but remember.

I imagine them like vines, filligree, leaves and every person who has worked their hardest that came before me.

This method is a tad overcomplicated but very beautiful in the right lighting. These intricate details are usually the significant markers of someone who was doing what they really loved. I wonder about those people, I think they must have mastered their life if they really made some thing of that magnitude.

I don’t always get to see the people who have worked the hardest. Nor do I get to hear them.

I know that they exist. The speak loud, they love hard and they know to the core of their being that they are bright.

My life now is so removed from what it once was I tend to forget I am safe and happy now… I know that might sound weird but it is really true.

I forget how much work goes into being that for other people. It might make me selfish at times but you know what, if I can become the one person who lifts someone else up even if it’s for those precious 5-seconds. I am there.


Note: You can’t impose your suggestions on how people move, groove and get on with their life. People are also not Sims like they are not puzzles.

The fable in my head is the whole moral of: It’s not BECAUSE we are human that we are flawed.

It is about knowing how hard it was for someone to love you so dearly to get up and do what they loved most in times of struggle.

It is the fully appreciating how TRULY and deeply someone worked to lift their love up.

Also, about choosing their own HEART.

Basically, it’s every silly love song AND batch of cookies. When I hear people singing their favourites, I hear every ounce of gumption, grit and determination it took to bring someone your favourite dinner. When I hear effort, I hear every grandma and grandpa knowing that their kids are doing their best.

There is the self-discovery nugget people.

  • I am a cry baby at 25 years old.
  • I have also worked really hard to earn my skills.
  • I don’tknow how to label them yet… but I know I love my people.
  • I know if you asked I could find a way in time on how to say it.

I might not be the best. I am going to DO my best though- that counts for all of us.

You know that I will work, play and move forward in my own way. I will love my people.

If I took a shower, survived and I am now thriving. I want to be the one to help people.

I am my own number 1 person.

I don’t need to label or sticker.

I don’t need to understand anything past that.

I need to know that I am the one I love. Even though, loving someone like me takes a team of people at times.

Who is your team!? What do you do to lift yourself up?

Brain Fire., Uncategorized

Hateful Excuses… TW

Personal responsibility and psychiatric calamities shall be the title of my first fucking memoir.

If anyone cares to know, I am righteously angry at the moment. So if you want to read some angst and rage… PROCEED. If not, go away. DSC_0223

Why can’t you tell a psychiatrist to go fuck themselves? Well, it’s socially not reccommended since they can institutionalize you. These elements of social etiquette infuriate me; just another subtle means of establishing control on people. All the subtles you shouldn’t do this add up and wear at me over time. Hell, even crying in public is so fucking frowned upon because it seems the majority of the populace is so disengaged with their emotions. Plus, all the “spiritual” folk are neurotically avoiding “negative” emotions because they don’t want to “take others energy on”.

Is there a place in society for rage and sadness? Is there a place in the world for these big feelings? IS there a place in the world for me?

Yet, those deemed with expertise and a side of arrogance can steamroll all over vulnerable persons with technicalities, ridiculously overpriced drugs and a general lack of empathy that makes me think Lizard People might actually exist.

Part of me cautions to be compassionate, after all doctors and other health practitioners are people too! They aren’t supported in their jobs… they have problems too… are what I say to mayself as I slowly back myself off the precipice of a mental breakdown. I resent myself in part for keeping myself from tipping over the edge… maybe I should just fall of the cliff… maybe it would feel liberating to not exist… maybe it would be more okay if I just numbed out to this existence.

All of this is coming up inside of me in reaction to a series of inconsiderate events regarding my forms for my Ontario Disability application (admitting that I am making one makes my throat constrict) starring at least 4 doctors, 2 social workers and a few handfuls of office staff.

There are so many problems with the system…  The most highlighte for me today is the systemic victimhood and disempowering policies that are entrenched in the Ontario medical system-especially in regards to mental health. I am rocked and whipped into a a storm of rage that pours out hot tears.

Everytime I try to rationalize, to calm myself down; my mind tries so many excuses…

“Hey! Blame the Wynne government for all the cuts to health providers!” or

“Hey! Blame doctors because they have no humanity!” or

“HEY! Blame the scary and shitty Big Pharma because that’s who all New Agers blame! or

“Hey! Blame your family for fucking everything up in the first place!” or

“Hey! Blame your brain because it’s all structurally and chemically fucked up!” or

“Hey! Blame your wounded slimy soul that’s tainted by all the shitty and immoral things you’ve done throughout time and space!” or

“HEY! Last resort- we can at least blame the fucking WIFI!”

All of these feel like fake lies you would tell to a child to calm them down.

Yet taking on the full responsibility for these events… crushes me.

I fucked up. I failed. So, maybe I am a failure.

I can write a stupid blog post in 10 minutes. Can I write 2 academic papers in a year? HA!

I can remain calm when someone is yelling at me. Yet, I practically choke on my own tongue trying not to rage at this stupid psychiatrist.

I can apply for 3 jobs a day. Yet, my unemployed life is filled with charity work and burrito blankets.

Today was the first in a long time where I felt I could understand why people kill themselves…

That’s a scary thought, sure, but I had it.

This will probably pass. But in case anyone was wondering, I don’t ALWAYS have my shit together. I’m not always happy. I don’t really buy the love and light bullshit. I am still lovable even at my worst. So there.

Uncategorized

Not knowing

I am in a period of transition.

Have you ever felt the need for certainty? To have something in your life that would never change? Something that would always be there? I have been focused a lot lately on finding or creating this centerpiece in my life.

Nothing seems to quite fit though. No word, phrase, picture, activity or person seems to be something I want to stay in a forever kind of way.

I feel restless and stuck at the same time.

We recently lost one of my friends from University. Her name is Stephanie Lacroix. She was on the flight that went down in Ethiopia.

I also am going through some relationship upheaval. Trying to sort what does not work and making space for what does.

It feels like spring cleaning where everything is messier than ever at the beginning. I am hoping it will all sort out as I go on.

The good news is that I will be finishing school soon. The idea of working for a living as I am recovering from my burst of mental health issues is equal parts exciting and nerve wracking. I am excited to be able to contribute, make money and help serve vulnerable populations. However, I am also nervous about relapses, burn out and dealing with difficulties in the field.

I can only do my best.

I can only take baby steps.

It’s possible that I won’t ever get famous, rich or well-recongnized but my life will contribute to making the world a bit less of a sucky place.

I can take small actions each day to bring about change.

I can love and accept myself as I work towards improving my station in life.

There is always hope. I pray in every timeline across the universe people are always able to sense and feel hope lifting them up.

Uncategorized

She was murdered.

I am 26. I’ve grown into a person that can now answer this without skipping a beat after I tell someone that my mother passed away.

How did she die? Whelp, you asked!

I’ve told people to please google the details instead of asking me personal questions- especially if we are in public. It’s an odd sensation to have the “worst” possible event in your life be a google-able occurence. I am also very self-conscious that still. Anytime you google my name, articles about her come up.

I don’t like that one of my worst hurts is common knowledge. Yet, I guess it’s better than stacking skeletons in the closet.

Before her death, the forest was a safe place. The river was a convenient nature spot we would go and feed ducks. After her death, it’s a place I get nervous in. I am always preoccupied with the thought I will find a dead person or there is a malicious person lurking in the bushes.

Sometimes, I wonder how the trees felt as they witnessed everything. I’ve thought long and hard about how the last bits of her life were alone, dark and painful. I hope the trees and all their magic found a way to comfort her before she left… Nature is so grand and supportive I am sure they whispered their silent prayers over her. I like to think that it helped.

I think about the lady who found her out walking her dog. Does she now look over her shoulder when she’s down by the river? Was the dog on leash?

None of these thoughts keep me up at night anymore. That is a huge testament to therapy and my own inner resilience. I can answer the questions who assume my life after her death was like a cool high-tech CSI episode and everything was solved in 48 hours. I can remember her clearly as bright, funny and boisterous- also, kinda a bitch.

Here is the full statement I wrote about her during the trial:

Greetings,

 

The following is a personal impact statement on the crime resulting process for your consideration during your deliberation when sentencing the accused. Firstly, my name is Anona Kosmack. Today, on Mother’s Day May 8th 2016, I am endeavouring to describe the impact of losing my mother in a sexually motivated murder as it relates to my life to date.

 

In 2008, I was settling down for the night after returning from attending my little brother’s soccer game and then the doorbell rang. I was 15 years old. At the door, two police officers stood solemnly and asked to speak to my stepmother. Immediately my eyes welled and my heart sank- something was very wrong. The conversation that followed detailed that my mother had been a victim of a violent crime. It was a Wednesday.

 

I am at a loss to describe my feelings around what followed. I believe that a big part of my heart and soul made the decision to leave my body because the pain of facing this reality was, at the time, too monumental. So, as stoically as I could, I thanked the officers for their service and began calculating the next steps that would have to be taken. First on the list, I asked to go to Nana’s house, my maternal grandmother, so I could be with her when the news was delivered. The first wave was that her child died before she did. The next, was that I was now motherless. In pain and with good intentions, my grandmother wondered aloud if in her last moments my Mother would have called my name out into the darkness.

 

In a cold loveless place, an invisible monster had snuffed out the intricate and powerful beacon of light that was my mother. Violated and alone, a warm comforting smile, a set of delicate hands and a booming voice filled with presence dissipated into a grand nothingness. A nothingness that while it highlighted her importance meant she could no longer be with us here. The void created by her loss would serve for my brother and myself as a painful substitute in the coming years when facing turbulence in life. During my younger years, the frantic levels of yearning would undo me.

 

In an instance, everything was loud, frightening and gray. In my mind, all fragile and rough concepts of meaning, justice and purpose came into intense questioning and resulted in feelings of abandonment.

 

My face became a haunting reminder of horror for my family and those that knew mom. The delicate span of my cheekbones became a stabbing reminder of the sheer pain and cruelty that had been inflicted on their unsung, and now laid to rest, heroine. To date, I cannot authentically connect to my maternal family without triggering one of them.

 

Countless times, when walking in the local neighbourhood I was accosted by sobbing strangers desperately clinging on to my arms and shoulders wailing “You’re Pam’s girl! You’re Pam’s girl!” Although these strangers were well intentioned and offered many kind words about my mother, these incidents would highlight my loss, aggravate my grief and, from my then fragile perspective, put my life in danger. My life was in danger because I told myself that if strangers could recognize me as her daughter surely the monster that choked the life out of her would too. Then, analysis of potential preference indicators that might draw in a monster-like creature consumed my mind. I was stuck in chaos, disempowered and deeply unsafe in my body.

 

Her death has resulted in many tangible outcomes including, but not limited to the following. I have received a diagnosis of complex-PTSD with intermittent experiences of depression, which I am not attached to but I am consistently managing and acutely ware of. As this has impacted me, I have had to work harder to secure funds to invest in my well being. I have to actively choose to not be scared of the world around me, particularly men. I have to choose daily to believe my body and myself are safe. I have to choose daily that I am competent, powerful and deeply loveable. I have to choose daily to stick very close to what brings me joy and peace. I have to choose to actively take care of my body and mind as both are alive and actively compounding my experience of stress and fear. I choose daily to release my nightmarish past and create a life for myself that revolves around joyful connection.

 

In terms of this events financial impact on my life, I have had to seek care and funding largely individually due to technicalities. For example, the Criminal Injuries Service Board offers compensation to individuals’ based on the legal principle of mental or nervous shock. So, as I did not come upon the scene of the violent crime or witness it unfolding I was compensated 10 bereavement sessions after a 4-year bureaucratic process. Luckily, at 15 I had access to individuals with health benefit plans and a loving schooling environment so for those 4 years I was well supported. I attended a weekly counselling session at school and a monthly psychiatric session with a trauma expert. Financially, I worked 70-hour weeks to save for my University degree and be able to invest in my own wellness regime. Currently, I have succeeded in completing my university without debt. Now, I am moving on to the next exciting chapter of my life with tools, lessons and a stronger sense of self. In this way, my mother’s death, while brutal and tragic, enabled me to foster a greater relationship with myself and force me to acknowledge the fragility of life and impermanence. I have been exposed to many systems that perpetuate human disconnection and, largely, do not serve our most vulnerable populations. I have resolved in my heart to be courageous and create positive change in the world around me. Ultimately, I have grown into an exceptionally capable, loving and powerful human being. I have chosen to be empowered in knowing that my mother remains graceful, strong and dignified in her life and death regardless of the brutality faced alone.

 

Up till now, all of my relationships have been framed in fears of loss, which I am choosing to let go of.

 

There are some days where I experienced high-level of emotional distress that I choose to manage through constructive tools of connection like yoga and meditation.

 

There have been many times when I have to lovingly explain to intimate partners about my delicate and complex feelings and experience around the act of sex and real intimacy as my mother and myself have experienced real acts of violation and oppression.

 

In moments where I expected safety and love, sharing my reality has sometimes offered me righteous anger, utterly disconnecting fear and heart wrenching shame, which I am choosing to look as lessons on how to love other people as best I can.

 

Nearly every day, I have to be very careful in choosing the media I consume as it greatly affects my mood, as I am overly sensitized and hyper vigilant.

 

Nearly every day, I chose to be very particular about the people around me.

 

Every day, so far, I have actively controlled the intensity of my human experience out of fear. This forceful and domineering nature as a result of living in perpetual fear no longer serves me. Now, I am choosing to actively control my human experience out of love for myself and for all.

 

One day, I will have to explain and reframe my concepts and feelings around motherhood.

 

One day, I will have to gently explain to a precious innocent one that I will have birthed into this world what happened to their would-be grandmother while instilling in them a sense of safety and curiosity regarding the world around them.

 

 

I am grateful to have been safe all these years. I am grateful that I have found truly authentic individuals who respect and acknowledge the experience of my fear and challenge me to grow. I am grateful to be able to see with better clarity the beauty in breakdowns and in life. I am choosing to dedicate my lifetime to the real beauty and grace that I can choose to embody. I have always had the privilege of being surrounded by champions. All of the teachers, detectives, counsellors, lawyers, doctors, officers, friends, family members, and adversaries have gone above and beyond to help me grow into my human experience.

 

Most importantly, I believe I chose my Mother who is solidified in my mind’s eye as one of the greatest women to have ever walked the earth.

 

She lives on in me and I choose to serve her memory with humility and strength. For your convenience, I have included a picture of her in the docket which I feel can be best experienced when reading the following words aloud:

 

Freshly cut grass, spatters of freckles, snowfalls and chocolate syrup, the roaring and rolling of thunderstorms, a powerful release of cleansing rain, a shimmying sing-song voice in the kitchen, strong and soft arms faintly smelling of cigarettes, hazel eyes with a perfect ring of blue, high arched feet, a small frame with big eyes and lips, a fully clothed body leaping into a cool pool, a voice dually full of gentle reminders and passionate opinions, a comforting fire, a loving home, acts of devotion, and life of sacrifice. For me, that best equates my Mother.

 

Thank you for your understanding and attention.

Peace and Love

 

 

 

 

Greetings,

 

The following is a personal impact statement on the crime resulting process for your consideration during your deliberation when sentencing the accused. Firstly, my name is Anona Kosmack. Today, on Mother’s Day May 8th 2016, I am endeavouring to describe the impact of losing my mother in a sexually motivated murder as it relates to my life to date.

 

In 2008, I was settling down for the night after returning from attending my little brother’s soccer game and then the doorbell rang. I was 15 years old. At the door, two police officers stood solemnly and asked to speak to my stepmother. Immediately my eyes welled and my heart sank- something was very wrong. The conversation that followed detailed that my mother had been a victim of a violent crime. It was a Wednesday.

 

I am at a loss to describe my feelings around what followed. I believe that a big part of my heart and soul made the decision to leave my body because the pain of facing this reality was, at the time, too monumental. So, as stoically as I could, I thanked the officers for their service and began calculating the next steps that would have to be taken. First on the list, I asked to go to Nana’s house, my maternal grandmother, so I could be with her when the news was delivered. The first wave was that her child died before she did. The next, was that I was now motherless. In pain and with good intentions, my grandmother wondered aloud if in her last moments my Mother would have called my name out into the darkness.

 

In a cold loveless place, an invisible monster had snuffed out the intricate and powerful beacon of light that was my mother. Violated and alone, a warm comforting smile, a set of delicate hands and a booming voice filled with presence dissipated into a grand nothingness. A nothingness that while it highlighted her importance meant she could no longer be with us here. The void created by her loss would serve for my brother and myself as a painful substitute in the coming years when facing turbulence in life. During my younger years, the frantic levels of yearning would undo me.

 

In an instance, everything was loud, frightening and gray. In my mind, all fragile and rough concepts of meaning, justice and purpose came into intense questioning and resulted in feelings of abandonment.

 

My face became a haunting reminder of horror for my family and those that knew mom. The delicate span of my cheekbones became a stabbing reminder of the sheer pain and cruelty that had been inflicted on their unsung, and now laid to rest, heroine. To date, I cannot authentically connect to my maternal family without triggering one of them.

 

Countless times, when walking in the local neighbourhood I was accosted by sobbing strangers desperately clinging on to my arms and shoulders wailing “You’re Pam’s girl! You’re Pam’s girl!” Although these strangers were well intentioned and offered many kind words about my mother, these incidents would highlight my loss, aggravate my grief and, from my then fragile perspective, put my life in danger. My life was in danger because I told myself that if strangers could recognize me as her daughter surely the monster that choked the life out of her would too. Then, analysis of potential preference indicators that might draw in a monster-like creature consumed my mind. I was stuck in chaos, disempowered and deeply unsafe in my body.

 

Her death has resulted in many tangible outcomes including, but not limited to the following. I have received a diagnosis of complex-PTSD with intermittent experiences of depression, which I am not attached to but I am consistently managing and acutely ware of. As this has impacted me, I have had to work harder to secure funds to invest in my well being. I have to actively choose to not be scared of the world around me, particularly men. I have to choose daily to believe my body and myself are safe. I have to choose daily that I am competent, powerful and deeply loveable. I have to choose daily to stick very close to what brings me joy and peace. I have to choose to actively take care of my body and mind as both are alive and actively compounding my experience of stress and fear. I choose daily to release my nightmarish past and create a life for myself that revolves around joyful connection.

 

In terms of this events financial impact on my life, I have had to seek care and funding largely individually due to technicalities. For example, the Criminal Injuries Service Board offers compensation to individuals’ based on the legal principle of mental or nervous shock. So, as I did not come upon the scene of the violent crime or witness it unfolding I was compensated 10 bereavement sessions after a 4-year bureaucratic process. Luckily, at 15 I had access to individuals with health benefit plans and a loving schooling environment so for those 4 years I was well supported. I attended a weekly counselling session at school and a monthly psychiatric session with a trauma expert. Financially, I worked 70-hour weeks to save for my University degree and be able to invest in my own wellness regime. Currently, I have succeeded in completing my university without debt. Now, I am moving on to the next exciting chapter of my life with tools, lessons and a stronger sense of self. In this way, my mother’s death, while brutal and tragic, enabled me to foster a greater relationship with myself and force me to acknowledge the fragility of life and impermanence. I have been exposed to many systems that perpetuate human disconnection and, largely, do not serve our most vulnerable populations. I have resolved in my heart to be courageous and create positive change in the world around me. Ultimately, I have grown into an exceptionally capable, loving and powerful human being. I have chosen to be empowered in knowing that my mother remains graceful, strong and dignified in her life and death regardless of the brutality faced alone.

 

Up till now, all of my relationships have been framed in fears of loss, which I am choosing to let go of.

 

There are some days where I experienced high-level of emotional distress that I choose to manage through constructive tools of connection like yoga and meditation.

 

There have been many times when I have to lovingly explain to intimate partners about my delicate and complex feelings and experience around the act of sex and real intimacy as my mother and myself have experienced real acts of violation and oppression.

 

In moments where I expected safety and love, sharing my reality has sometimes offered me righteous anger, utterly disconnecting fear and heart wrenching shame, which I am choosing to look as lessons on how to love other people as best I can.

 

Nearly every day, I have to be very careful in choosing the media I consume as it greatly affects my mood, as I am overly sensitized and hyper vigilant.

 

Nearly every day, I chose to be very particular about the people around me.

 

Every day, so far, I have actively controlled the intensity of my human experience out of fear. This forceful and domineering nature as a result of living in perpetual fear no longer serves me. Now, I am choosing to actively control my human experience out of love for myself and for all.

 

One day, I will have to explain and reframe my concepts and feelings around motherhood.

 

One day, I will have to gently explain to a precious innocent one that I will have birthed into this world what happened to their would-be grandmother while instilling in them a sense of safety and curiosity regarding the world around them.

 

 

I am grateful to have been safe all these years. I am grateful that I have found truly authentic individuals who respect and acknowledge the experience of my fear and challenge me to grow. I am grateful to be able to see with better clarity the beauty in breakdowns and in life. I am choosing to dedicate my lifetime to the real beauty and grace that I can choose to embody. I have always had the privilege of being surrounded by champions. All of the teachers, detectives, counsellors, lawyers, doctors, officers, friends, family members, and adversaries have gone above and beyond to help me grow into my human experience.

 

Most importantly, I believe I chose my Mother who is solidified in my mind’s eye as one of the greatest women to have ever walked the earth.

 

She lives on in me and I choose to serve her memory with humility and strength. For your convenience, I have included a picture of her in the docket which I feel can be best experienced when reading the following words aloud:

 

Freshly cut grass, spatters of freckles, snowfalls and chocolate syrup, the roaring and rolling of thunderstorms, a powerful release of cleansing rain, a shimmying sing-song voice in the kitchen, strong and soft arms faintly smelling of cigarettes, hazel eyes with a perfect ring of blue, high arched feet, a small frame with big eyes and lips, a fully clothed body leaping into a cool pool, a voice dually full of gentle reminders and passionate opinions, a comforting fire, a loving home, acts of devotion, and life of sacrifice. For me, that best equates my Mother.

 

Thank you for your understanding and attention.

Peace and Love

Personal Riffery

I bet it’s hard to find an artist

Kidding! I’m right here! You can reach out any time. This is a just a small check-in for the few of those that are here.

I am currently reading this amazing book on Dementia care. The first line and a few of the following ones have made me tear-eyed. Slowly but surely my career as a caregiver is forming right before my eyes. It is making me expand my perspective and really focus on the positive, enjoyable things in life.

From our last blog post, we’ve established a rapport that- yes, I am a sensitive soul who cries at the death of squirrels.

That said, I am in equal measure made of raw steel. So when it comes to certain elements of moving forward, advocacy and bringing light to some gnarly situations you better believe I can show up for my fellow hoomans.

It has been a week of feels- I have basically been surviving by cocooning, reading and sending the silliest of memes to my closest friends.

There are days when avoiding the news out right is an equal part privilege and self-care. I fret over fellow non-binary pandas feeling unworthy. I wander around in my head ruminating on whether I could’ve done more in a day. I do my best to cope, clean and connect with the people closest to me.

Yet, my solitude is a sanctuary that feels supportive and nourishing.

  1. I love feeling free from pressure to suceed.
  2. I do not like taking on a million detailed projects and rushing to accomplish nothing of real importance.
  3. I do not want to be a Type A personality and constantly fight the burn out. I love being a Type B- mosey- slow- Kapha.
  4. I do not want to eat meals with people all the time. I love eating quietly on the floor.
  5.  I love being cozy on my bed.
Art Talk, Brain Fire.

The Depths of Love and Depression

Depression is a real experience. I can entertain for a while that  it is a symptom of something larger than ourselves- moderns day society, the planets and/or genetics

Regardless of the cause,  it is real and has physical/social  consequences.

TW Personal experience with depression/C-PTSD/ADHD a touch of Ableism because I think the way I describe my experience with depression is problematic. 

Now, there is a part of me that wants to launch in an intellectual  dissection of the ramifications of spirituality (pseudo or otherwise) contributing to the stigma of mental health. Maybe another time though?

This post is a positive one even though it is vulnerable.

I want to introduce to you my reemergence from a depressive episode as captured by this piece. I ran a Title contest for this piece over on my Facebook page  and the community generously delivered the name as “The Depths of Love”. I took the liberty of adding the Depression bit 😉

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The entries included:

  • “Dharma”
  • “Soul Searching”
  • ” Offering To Myself”
  • “Self-Care”
  • “Depths of Love”

and a few others.

What I find cool and curious about this piece is the similarities of this piece to the actual PET Scan. I am a firm believer that your inner compass KNOWS a lot and sometimes I wonder if I appreciate just how much.

My experience with depression feels cold. It is a deep rest where I freeze. My passions, my laughter, my need for food or social interaction crumble. It is an implosion of listless hours where I can’t cry or really feel all that much. This has lead in the past to what is deemed as “thrill seeking behaviour”. I had the habit of venturing to the arenas of danger, harm or adventure seeking to feel. I have worked with several counsellors and psychiatrist over the years as this behaviour can be extremely maladaptive. I am so deeply grateful for the medical community even though sometimes they can be invalidating, inaccessible and frustrating.

To me, having a diagnosis is a great tool- just like movement, spirituality or creative outlets. It helps me communicate my experience to others in a way that is generally well understood. It gives me words to chip my way of the cinderblock that is my mind trap.

To me, this piece is very much a reminder of my own love… for my smallest most fragile self and my biggest/brightest and baddest Self. Both of these inner aspects get me through EVERYTHING life throws at me. I have so much faith in myself because of BOTH of them.

I used Van Gogh’s “A Starry Night”, as inspiration to capture the movement in this piece. I wanted it to convey that ever tender reaching out to loved ones- to the shine, to the sparkles, to nourishment and out of the frigidness. I usually have remember a kay aspect of myself, or have been humbled and awestruck by the many people who still choose to be around me.  I am thankful for the elements of myself that bring me to experience nothing-ness so purely, sadness so deeply and joy so fully. It can be very problematic operating in this society with these aspects of myself but that’s why I LOVE my diagnosis- because I can express what is happening to me. So, it all winds up being pretty damn beautiful.

At the center of this piece, and of my life, is my heart. Even when I am at my “worst”, I listen to it beating a steadiness of aliveness into my body. I listen to it whisper and feel it smile when I stir. It lights up when teachers/healers show up on my path and it sounds the alarm when it’s time to close the door.

I really love this piece and have worked with it for months now. I want it to go to someone who knows their struggle and desires a loving reminder that their heart is golden and that this too shall pass. Are you that person?

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“The Depths of Love and Depression”

18×20

Acrylic and Mixed Media

 

Uncategorized

Pressurized to Perfection

I have been feeling overall AH-mazing. I have been able to do more, show up more and generally kick ass more. Yet, I have allowed myself to compare pre/post trauma versions of my capacities (which there are numerous of I’m sure). This post is a bit of that comparison mindset but also talking about how feeling great can lead us to some challenges. I will also be sharing my own challenges in humbling myself to asking for help. Also, I will share a bit of my own theories about personality vs. soul. I tend to talk about life/ living with mental health like a video game- which I don’t feel great about but language can be limiting. We will end up with more questions than when we started I imagine- but oh well- c’est la vie… or is it? #BrainInVat

Let’s start!

I am going to confess something to you…

I overextended.

I didn’t put my wellbeing first consistently for about a month.

It started innocently enough- I was going to volunteer at Bluesfest to get a certification so I can start applying for serving jobs. Then, I made a new goal of applying for at least 1 job a day, which was scaled back from my initial desire to apply for 3 jobs a day. I committed myself to visiting family at least once a week. I wanted to go to yoga classes at least 3 times a week. I was determined to pick back up my cleaning shifts to bring in extra money. I decided I was going to apply for college. I focused going to sell at least 3 paintings. I showed up fully for multiple networking events.

I was juggling, it was great. I felt ALIVE and on fire with purpose.

Then, my social anxiety reared up from having to sell tickets at a networking event.

Then, I started getting rejected by multiple jobs and flailing during interviews.

Then, talk of my mom’s murder over breakfast came up.

Then, fights started during my shift at Bluesfest.

Then, I bailed out of yoga class.

 

Then, I was caught up thinking of the future.

So true to the form of a spiritual sadist, I stuck myself in an isolation tank.

All of these effected my overall HP (Health Points) and I had a stormy mini breakdown of the New Age Blues. Luckily, I wound up in the arms of someone who loves me and just cried angry tears. I felt better afterwards but the hardest part of getting better, in my view, is admitting you are not okay.

I know from having been really sick this past year that once I started to feel okay. A part of me was like “FUCK YEA! Everyone, go back to your business- I am back 100%! Stop looking at me.”

The small voice inside continued excitedly… ” Once we are better, people won’t see Anona as sick. I won’t be judged for living with mental health challenges. I won’t feel so exposed. Everyone will forget that we failed. Everyone will forget how badly we fell. We can be normal again. We can succeed and save lots of other people. We can just be quiet about our icky parts so no one has to know how pathetic we are.  I want to be 1000% a champion all the time. ”

That little self (which sounds a bit like Smeagol/Gollum in my head) is the part that is so immensely fearful of being rejected, abandoned, forgotten that it tries to force itself to be desirable 24/7.

Yet, I am offered a few really beautiful questions:

What if there is nothing to transform? What if there’s nothing to change? What if you are already completely healed? What if you are truly perfect exactly as you are and there is nothing more?

The idea that I am already perfect even when I am not okay is radical. The idea that there’s not a single part of me, even the little Self that says all those speeches is perfect in its own way is oddly calming.

There is so much dogma to side step; whether its food, career planning, family and cultural programming, wellness and mental health initiatives.

Each different set of dogma hasn’t offered the results, peace or presence that I get from accepting the whole package of Me.

I have always consistently felt ME. Most likely because the essence (or soul (?)) that I identify as my entirety IS always constant. (no matter how much you change as a person- you always have an overarching sense of self).

When I was in the hospital and thinking everyone was an angel. I still FELT like Me.

When I was lost in the forest and screaming at strangers. I still FELT like Me. 

When I was listening to Mom’s trial and learning details that should not be known to a daughter… I still felt like ME.

When I am being held by a lover and feeling overwhelmed with joy, lust and love… I still feel like ME.

Which begs the question, who/ what the fuck is ME!?!

It can be interesting to intellectualize are way through our own stream’s of consciousness (hello- my blog, art and everything I basically do) but really its’ proven in my life to be more fulfilling to surrender to the moment.

Sometimes, the moments are horribly heart wrenching but that can be perfect in its own way.

The only aspect of Me that I know to be true is that it is constant, timeless, and indestructible. Everything else is just a whopping amount of beautiful bonuses.

“I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us…It was all about letting go of everything.”
― Pema ChödrönWhen Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

 

Art Talk, Uncategorized

What Fresh New Hell is this?

During this post, I will be discussing some intense feelings around the terrorist incident in Manchester this past May, my response and some general heartache about moving through the world. I invite you to allow yourself to explore your own heartache in this post but please note the beginning is always a bit rocky. Take care of yourself- even if it’s only because a stranger on the internet asked you to…

Also, I discuss a bit about divine feminine and the language around that is a bit weird for me as a non-binary hooman. So if reading “Woman” where I write feminine makes it easier for you to digest go get it.

If you’d rather just stay in touch Check out HERE: http://eepurl.com/cKWpfT

DSC_0451

Alright, so TW has been set, the pants are off, the neck has been cracked and the typing fingers have been limbered. Full disclosure darling masterpieces, I am not as angry as I was in May when this happened. I honestly could not bring myself to craft words for what this incident sparked in me.

I am going to provide some context on the Manchester terrorist incident that inspired this post and the above painting. Then, I am going to discuss a bit of my feelings on the divine feminine and how the attack relates to its expression. Then I am going to finish off with what this piece of work means to me. Throughout, I am going to be emotional and as authentic as I can be.

So, the terrorist incident occurred this past May at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. CNBC reports “Some 59 other people were wounded, including some who suffered life-threatening injuries, officials said. “Children were among the 22 people killed in a suicide attack after an Ariana Grande concert at Britain’s Manchester Arena, police confirmed Tuesday. The youngest masterpiece destroyed was a mere 8 years on this planet. …….. If you could say a quick prayer for Miss Saffie Rose Rousso I would be much obliged.

More here: (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/22/serious-incident-at-uks-manchester-stadium-during-concert-where-loud-bang-heard.html)

GAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAHHHHH!  Like, flips tables, tears down curtains and throws bookcase across the room is what I wanted to do with all my rage.

My mind attacked and started to analyze… My internal dialogue shifted to: “This was an attack on young women, on joy, on art and on the total amount of creative expression of these things combined. This is why we need feminism. This is an attack on innocence. This is an attack on freedom of expression.” Now, while I don’t think any of that is untrue, I do notice this tendency within myself to attempt to intellectualize the ills of the world away. I notice I have a belief that my mind and wit is the best tool to keep me feeling safe. Now, these are just observations of myself but maybe they are useful to you. So, on and on my mind went, thinking of the how’s and why’s.

Suddenly, a quiet voice asked from within “What are you avoiding feeling right now?”

In an instant, I crumpled into my own heart and cried. The cool tile of the basement floor cradling my knees as I held my face in my hands. I asked for guidance, for help, for anything but all I could hear was my own pulse in my ears and the hot tears on my face. Those are often more than enough guidance so I just kept feeling. Now, these tears, while filled with despair, were not sad. Largely, my emotions were of rage, frustration and that “SO DONE!” feeling we all sometimes get.

So here it is:

I AM SO DONE WITH THE FEMININE BEING TARGETED

I AM SO DONE WITH JOY BEING ATTACKED

I AM SO DONE WITH SENSUALITY AND SEXUALITY BEING VILIFIED

I AM SO DONE WITH NOT HAVING FEMININITY RECOGNIZED AS POWER FROM SOURCE

I AM SO DONE WITH ALL FEMININE BEINGS GETTING DICTATED OR PATRONIZED AGAINST

I AM SO DONE WITH FEMININE BODIES GETTING CONTROLLED OR BEING THE SUBJECT OF POLITICS, COERCION OF MANIPULATION

AND I AM SO SO SO DONE WITH FEMININE PEOPLE, WOMEN AND CHILDREN BEING KILLED FOR LIVING A LIFE AS THEMSELVES

Seriously, FUUUUUCK OFFFFFFFFFFF! 

You can’t kill the essence of Goddesses. Valkyries, Sirens, Succubi, Enchantresses, Witches, Selkies, Mermaids, Amazons, Princesses, Prostitutes, Geishas, Priestesses, Mothers, Crones, Maidens- whatever word is used the feminine is limitless and untameable.  It has stuck around through wayyyy worse. It has endured and survived pillaging, kidnapping, rape, forced marriage, slavery, servitude and just high levels of oppression for THOUSANDS of years.

The feminine is worthy. The feminine is allowed boundaries, safe expression and of space in this world. The feminine deserves respect, admiration and appreciation.

And honestly, if the collective can’t manage that can it just stop senselessly killing/attacking babies?

I know my fire as a woman-y person cannot be tamed, changed or manipulated. I am wrathful just as I am beautiful. Every time I hear a spiritual new ager talk about Awakening the Divine Feminine I think- well best be careful because I can near guarantee she is royally, regally, wrathfully pissed. An energy as powerful as the divine feminine that has been dealing with oppression for thousand of years then getting maliciously attack is going to come out as RAW Mama Kali expression. Like, … brace your multidimensional self for some change and transmutation.

Anyways, after feeling I proceeded to make as per my own tradition. This piece is called “Awoken Glory”. For me, it is that giant “fuck-you” to any kind of oppression, manipulation or otherwise control. It is the honouring if the earthly fire of the feminine that can reforge the old into new. It is the style, elegance and grace of woman in battle. It is the untameable,  mischievous lover whose eyes pierce through illusion. It is the dainty flick of a wrist that unleashes a hurricane of destruction for renewal. It is the soft coo the flutters from a mother’s mouth to a babies ears. It is the slow molten and undeniable force of the divine feminine that will never cease.

 

AND, it is also SOLD!

Got thoughts and feelings? SHARE! I’d love feedback.  Check out HERE: http://eepurl.com/cKWpfT to stay in touch.

I am about to drop a wicked cool release that is going to be MORE making so I would really sign the heck up now. 😉

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Uncategorized

Spiritual Suicide…

One day, I got a phone call from a dear friend.

He started the conversation with “Anona, I’ve decided that I am ready to ascend.”

I was confused so I asked “What does that mean?”

He responded, “I will go to sleep tonight and in the morning my family will find the shell of my body empty.”

My heart had kicked up at this point and tears forming- something was wrong… “So you’ll be dead?”

 

*Full disclosure I basically freaked right the fuck out- and had to call all my mentors to calm me down*

The end of that story was luckily a happy one. However, it hasn’t been the first example in my life where spirituality/religion has clashed with a series of serious mental health concerns.

He said “Ascension”. I heard “Suicidal”.

At a health and wellness conference, one man with schizophrenia who was speaking at the event was publicly chastized out by another attendee for being on pharmaceutical medications.

Another time at group meditation, after sharing my experience with a major depressive episode a participant advised me that I needed to reconnect back to my Source and I would stop feeling depressed. After explaining that I still very connected to spirituality while going through my depression they promptly interjected “that I wasn’t allowing myself to be happy”.  Some nice spiritual invalidation and bandaids to cover up that being sad is a no go.

A dear friend who sees “visions” has been abusing various substances to reach these states of “rapture”. They OD two weeks later.

A young lady who believes her ability commune with her guides can only happen when she’s off her medication. Sacrifices her ability to relate to human individuals, have a job and live independently so she can still speak to the invisible ones.

It boggles me but the health/wellness and spiritual community can at times further condone the already thick stigma around mental health.

A part of me feels a lot of shame for having been on medication. I am also really worried at how that would permeate the community.

I also think that the common belief that as an Empath you can absorb someone else energy makes people feel overtly responsible for everyone else reactions.

Like, Mom-Guilt on New Age spirituality is a beast all in of itself. A mother going through post-partum depression can feel like she’s inflicting the first root of trust and abandomnent issues in her children by feeling disconnected from them. Pst partum is a serious chemical imbalance due to hormones not to mention how it highlight a lack of support systems when you have a little one- not a fault of character or an enlightenment failure.

In my view, there is just a lot of noise around spirituality.

Alas, there’s not a lot of heart in the psychotherapy communities.

 

Balance and moderation seem to be the only sage advice.

 

What have your experiences been with mental health and spirituality?

 

 

 

Brain Fire.

Relationships vs. REAL-ationships

Do you love me for who I am or who I was?

This question has been banging in my skull for a while now.

I have no words. I barely know who I am.
My heart aches in places I didn’t know it had.

Yet, I feel expansion on the rise. Like I am flying to new places but that first feeling of buoyancy as my last toe leaves the earth causes a shiver of uncertainty to run through me.

Some people come into our lives for a reason, some for a few seasons and some stand the test of time.

I know I love you. I know that I have probably loved a version of you before. Yet, this time… I want to choose more. I want my edges to burst…

If I am not excited, not in something full heartedly… How can I permit myself to continue?

It could be timing, maybe it’s just the stars realigning?
I can answer some elements of my part

Yet, what I notice so much is my heart shelters itself in your presence… I can’t permit that to continue