I Heart You

Science book illustrations taught me that the heart doesn’t look like the symbol we all
know and draw. It looks like a wadded up dish rag. A fist-shaped muscle, an engine valve on a sports car. But it actually does look like that candy box of chocolate, sometimes.
It looks like a heart when it contracts. It squishes down and forms that cutesy, homemade Valentine’s Day card.
That’s when the heart is empty. No blood. Well, very little.
It squeezes in and squirts out all the juice. So basically, the heart has to work to look like a heart.
If it just lays there and doesn’t do anything, it just looks like a big pile of silly putty.
My heart wasn’t working. It was tired. I abused it. I was dying. August 2012, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 39.

I could blame everyone else. I could. But I’m the one who starved it. Beat it up. Ignored the fading pulse of life.


So we put the heart in place of love, right? Mary loves John. ❤

We put a heart there. So you wanna know my theory regarding love?
You can only know what love looks like when you actually use your heart. Take a risk. Go out on a limb. Love someone first. Flex that muscle.
We can’t know love until we lay our heart on the line. Our heart isn’t alive until we use it.
A heartbeat. EKG. Charted heartbeats on graph paper. Highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Up and down and everywhere in between. Sharp waves of life beeping out over a loud machined monitor.
And what does it look like when there’s no more breath or blood? A flat line.
Nothing’s happening. You’re dead.
I would rather have the high peaks and low valleys. Rather than dead. Rather than flat, silent space.
A heart at rest can’t do anything. You can’t love passively. A heart in action gives life. A big, pumping, flesh-and-blood organ races at the sight of food, flesh, fear. Love. Beauty.

A heart on fire makes things happen.


My heart is getting stronger. Every day.
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Wife

The clothes are washed.
The dishes are done.
Everything’s finished.
The course has been run.

To its bedtime,
I race the sun.
Hoping to remember,
“Leave nothing undone.”

But I fail.

I failed to love you
More than you deserve.
I failed to catch you
When you leapt off with nerve.

I failed to respond
With kindness and restraint.
I succeeded in failing
At withholding complaint.

I’m sorry.

It’s not a matter of racing to the end.
It’s not a matter of winning at life.
It is a matter of walking with purpose.
It is a matter of being a good wife.

I’m not a good wife to you
If I focus on all wrong you have wrought.
It would be better of me
To remember all good you have brought.

Thank you.

I struggle with fairness
And relinquishing grace.
I like to hold grudges,
Call attention to mistakes.

I’m trying so hard to be Perfect.
And I’ve missed the boat.
I should try harder to be Forgiving.
And erase the past someone else wrote.

I love you.

The Best

If you’re a llama?
Be the best llama you know.
Sorry, Non-llamas.


If you can’t be a llama, be the best version of yourself today. Or at least be a little better than yesterday–in understanding, patience or kindness. That’s what all these tomorrows are for.

Drawing credit: Jimmy King (dad)

Dear Lillian (and any other frustrated artists),

Oh, my precious daughter.

I have passed down my intensity. Frustration. Perfectionism. And insatiable need for applause and pats on the back. I’m so sorry.

When I look into those deep, brown, watery eyes of yours and see your struggle and pain? It breaks my heart. But at the same time, it pricks my own frustration.

I have somehow failed you along the way. Not that I passed down some negative trait, but that I haven’t taught you how to cope with it. Mainly because at 44, I haven’t learned my damn self.


Lilli is 13. Barely out of middle school and a budding artist. Her skills aren’t where she wants them, but writing as an artist, are they ever?

Taste and talent never seem to match. Do they? Ugh.


The most valuable skill as an artist, I maintain, is the ability to adapt. (Art finds its own way. You can’t force it. Its going to be whatever it wants. It has a life of its own. You’re merely along for the ride.) This is learned, not innate. So I have, at least, failed to teach you how to adapt. The most important skill I could teach  you. Beyond Photoshop, or how to use watercolor pencils (haven’t a clue), or how to shade properly (if it doesn’t get done with a drop shadow in PS, I can’t help you with shading, sorry!).

But I can teach you (sorry, I keep forgetting to) how to adapt. How to approach art. How to find solutions, how to experiment, find your style.

Do anything that feels real or awesome. And if you’re not there yet? Modify your expectations. I do. Every day. And if you want to get better and I don’t know how, Google that shit. 🙂 I’m sure there’s a Youtube out there concerning exactly what you want to know.

Be true to yourself. Don’t seek attention. Don’t wait for applause. It may never come. Make art for yourself and screw the rest. It’s that simple.

Oh! And have fun. :*


And Me? Don’t get frustrated with yourself or your daughter. Have fun. Take a deep breath. You haven’t failed. You have an amazing 13 yo who is awesome at art and life. She has a big heart and is full of potential and knows Photoshop, sort of. You. Have not. Failed. You have chances to learn. Just like her.

Thanks, Me. You’re awesome.

Castles and Pie (mmmm)

Throwing castles and pie
Way up in the sky
And hoping

Throw that hat (Mary)
Everything but the cat (Berry)
And wait

Keep on hustlin’
Don’t stop jugglin’
And watch

Something’s gotta stick
Whip out your Bic
Keep writing!

make stuff

Andy Warhol said:
Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

But he also said:
Art is what you can get away with. LOL


I have to remind myself. Make what you like. Write what you like. Don’t worry about whether people like it. Just keep going. It’s not up to me. The questions to ask IMO are:
Is this real?
Does this help you or someone else?
Is this positive?
And for me, what would God say about what I’ve written? (I don’t think God cares if I say naughty words. *shrug* He cares whether or not I love people. And some people deal in naughty words. lol IDK!)

Here’s an excerpt from a piece I wrote at the beginning of this site,
Dog with a Blog:


Through some pretty painful thoughts, my epiphany rose. Your writing is the voice you always wanted. And you just want to be heard because you felt like you never were. Same with acting, art, anything. Your hands and mouth and mind won’t stop, even if you tried. They’ve had their freedom. You were the 4th child of a crazy family who wasn’t big on sharing, feelings or truth. Your voice was lost on that sea of insanity. You don’t want to be ignored. You have something to say.

But, it has to be more than that. Because everyone has that story. What God is leading me to is this.

GOD: If I gave you a voice, it was to use for me. Not to heal your broken heart. Not to sermonize. Not to exorcise your demons. Not to psychoanalyze your issues. But to work for me. And I have taken care of you. I will continue to do that. You show my power in your weakness. Stop worrying about money. I will not let your voice drown. Like the boat that I was in and kept tall on the waves that I stilled, I will raise your voice for those that need to hear it.


I hesitated years ago to start a blog. But I’m so glad I finally did.

Keep going. You don’t know where you will go unless you move.

I’m No Angel

Print
Angel wings and halos
Aren’t always what they seem.
Perfect teeth and tits
Are nothing but a dream.

This body gave life.
This belly gave birth.
This face has laughed.
These hands do work.

My breasts have fed
A tiny baby girl.
This mind has created
a from-scratch, new-found world.

I wouldn’t really try
To change a bleeding thing.
After finding my own voice?
I’m totally gonna sing.

Why not?
So what?
Wear
Think
Do
Say
Go after
Pull down
The things you want.
No one cares.
No one stares!

And if they do?
Chalk it up to hate.
They’ll have to answer for that
Portion on their plate.

I’m too busy living life to wonder what small-minded people think
about this big-hearted person.

HEEEY! *snap* bye. *flap, flap, flap*


YOU! bettah. work!

Eye of God

What if for a second
We merely supposed?
The galaxies in space
Are God’s mind exposed.

We finally have a picture.
Epic record we can see.
The mind map of God–
Light history.

universemap
See a similar map here.
light
Best Map Ever of the Universe
26A6568100000578-0-image-a-13_1426363862688
Does this look like the inside of a mind or body? It’s part of our known universe. Road Map

Swirling bright clusters
And exploding gas clouds.
Firing synapses
Appear in star-crowds.

Expanding chemicals
Racing through the brain.
Magnetic fields
Of electric rain.

Solar wind.
Asteroid belts.
Polar flares.
Rock that melts.

Endless black holes
Worming their way.
Tunneling and tumbling
Through a Kubrick ballet.

If the Universe is
The eternal God-Head,
We are cells broken/
Spoken from dead.

Four words are a Gun.
Let there be light.
Shot out *big bang*
His bullets bring life.

Twisted orange, purple threads
Make lightning-quick connections.
Worlds ignite through invisible wicks,
Catching fire in all directions.

Heavenly hosts
Beat their wings.
Angels rocket
And pluck their strings.

And as they play
Their creative tune,
Planets are framed,
Hung with a moon.

If God is the mind
Then the body–different worlds.
A collection of organs
Filtering systems like pearls.

Braid the planets together,
Necklace Space-time.
But we threaten to steal it
With crime Starfish Prime.

We. Are. Cancer.
We eat up space.
Nothing can win.
Everything’s a race.

If missiles are medicine,
If spaceships are pills,
Then we are poisoning the Universe
With the ills of our wills.

We only want to spread our brand of living to another surface. We are bacteria.

If we are cancer? Infection?
Then Jesus is the cure.
God sent his son
To make this Body pure.

Jesus Christ–
Pearl of great price.
Brilliant contribution,
Teleportation device.

Here instantly.
Gone the same way.
But remains in Spirit
Always to stay.

He is bright Sun.
He is absolute center.
He is the portal–
Challenging us to enter.

God/Universe/Love
Expands forever.
Kingdom come,
Endure and Endeavor.

If we can see the wonder
Of the inside of God’s mind,
We should:
Respect it.
Protect it.
Project it.
For all the universe to see.

He’s watching. Thank God.

th
Helix “Eye of God” Nebula

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolly Llama

So I did a really silly series except I only did one or two. So it’s not technically a series. Yet. So I’m coming back to those. This one (below) is Llama Doorjamb (Spoof of Lama Dorje from Little Buddha, one of my favorite movies. It’s not the best acting, think Chris Isaak, but it’s a great look at Buddha and his story). My daughter, Pencil Princess, drew him. He’s so friggin’ cute. She drew it several months ago, but it didn’t scan properly and we didn’t have time to go back and rescan.llama doorjamb.jpg

I mean NO disrespect to any Buddhists, Tibet or the Dalai Lama. In fact, the opposite. I have found many things in Buddhism that reinforce my Christian faith and help me overcome my weaknesses.

Things like, when a wave or storm comes at you, don’t be overwhelmed. Anticipate the wave, accept the wave, overcome the wave, be the wave, understand the wave. Help others who are drowning. And suffering. Stop suffering by letting go of needless desire. All very good advice and here is where Buddhism and Christianity overlap. How to be a better Buddhist, Christian, person.

This llama has that Bill Murray pout, the one he had in Caddyshack. I love it. Murray has that speech about talking with the Dalai Lama and reaching enlightment? He ends his brag with “So, I got that goin’ for me.”

This is my catchphrase as of late. Whenever I say something that sounds braggy or lame such as:

I just leveled up in Toy Blast!

or

Today, I didn’t almost-crap my pants!

I always follow those phrases up with “So, I got that goin’ for me.” in that sideways-Bill-Murray voice. And it always makes me happy to think of it.


So I usually dole out some silly wisdom or joke in these little asides. It’s more of a poem for my nugget of wisdom with a touch of silliness, and oh-so true for me lately:

I never thought it would happen.
But.
Turns out?
I’m an optimist!

LOL, this might be a new take on an old joke, but it’s how I’m feeling today.


Feel good about yourself today. No one else might! 🙂