UPDATE on my emotional nakedness: It went well! I sold eleven pieces – twelve if you count the one Husband wanted and promised to pay me for but hasn’t yet… so ELEVEN pieces!!!
And I only cried once.
And that was while I was trying to set up the simple display stand I’d freaking made that I couldn’t put together. Who knew screwing a pipe into a flange could go so wrong so many times? Tears once is not bad for my first time out – though Husband, who was sitting a chair across from the booth watching me, came up to me at one point and whispered in my ear, “You look terrified.” And I was!
So. Freaking. Scared!
My friend’s husband kept asking if I was having fun. Um, see the above “You look terrified.” statement. I was not having fun BUT it was awesome to have people like my trees as much as I like my trees. One guy came by three times before buying, visiting the two he liked much like one visits a pet at the shelter. Not that I’m comparing my trees to pets that need adopting… but I am. His tree stalking and the woman who bought “the first piece that has spoken to her” for her new home made my day. I was even very amused by all the touching the kids did and the one ten-year-old girl that looked at me as if I were famous as she told me "your stuff is awesome" and that she "wanted to be an artist someday." Squeeeeeee!!!
But my favorite part would have to be the woman who took one look at my trees, scrunched her face up in disgust as I could clearly read her “What the fuck?” thoughts and then looked pissed when she realized I was watching her and laughing.
I hear you, sister. "What the fuck?" is right! Still don't know how I got from stripping wire to falling in love with my trees to standing outside for eight hours trying to find them happy home but somehow I was there. Your friends and family can make/help/encourage/dare you into the most unusual things.
To sum it all up, it was a good day and a totally terrifying day – even with my sentimental family "support" in a pair of earrings given to me by my father, a ring from my mother and a modified game of bingo in honor of my brother, still terrifying. More terrifying than the small plane a friend took me up in a few years back that he had me fly. I thought “I’m not flying it anymore, you are. Just move the levers.” when we were a million miles up in the air was the most terrifying thing I’d experienced before.
I was wrong.
I thought starting this blog and putting my worst of the worst out into the world for judgment was going to be the scariest thing ever. I was wrong. No, standing for eight hours while people judge your babies, all the while smiling and trying not to let the fear bubble up into tears, now that is petrifying.
BUT it is over and I can breathe now and hopefully sleep through the night without panic dreams about copper thieves and milking cows...
Below is one of our homemade Bingo cards, (Thank you Brother.) Who'd thunk that a Cowboy hat would be the hardest thing to find at an outdoor event in Nashville? Good times!
Now to try and figure out what to do next that will keep me up at night and bring me to the edge of tears often. Because life is short, why spend it bored?
Today is a heavy anniversary day. It’s the anniversary of that thing that makes me cry and will always make me cry. That day that showed us the absolute worst a group can do to another and the little things that showed the best of humanity as a result. It’s the kind of anniversary that makes you want to hug your loved ones close (if I did that sort of thing) and do all the things you wish you could but scare your pants off. Which is why two years ago on this date I started writing this blog.
Two years of TMI and inappropriate sharing and pictures of wild life doing wild and scary wild life things. To years of blurting the wacky thoughts and feelings that occupy my headspace. Two years of challenging myself to embrace the freak-out that posting here does to me every single time. This date is reminder that life is short, to do and say the things that terrify you most. Which is why tomorrow freaking myself out again. Tomorrow I’m going to get as emotionally naked as I have ever been and I’m going to share my ‘Art’, my Stabby Trees and see if anyone wants to buys them.
I can hear my friends telling me to be more positive. Ugh. I don't call this blog “Emotional Maintenance’ for nothing.
So, a more positive spin on that sentence would be, “Tomorrow I’m going to sell my trees to people who find them as enjoyable as I do. “
Positivity doesn’t sit well with me. There are too many "What if..." scenarios floating about in my head to blow sunshine up my butt. A more realistic (and yes, negative) version of that sentence would be “Tomorrow, I’m going to stand around for eight hours and be judged.”
It’s funny, most people think performing on stage is the most terrifying thing I could do but on stage, there is a character I’m playing. A character I’ve created and spent time on and lived with and if people hate what I’ve done, I can say they actually hate the writing not me. Or I can say that the interpretation of the character was because of how the author wrote it or how the director told me to play it or because the audience was a shit that night. Then I can go out with my fellow actors and cuss the critics out while drowning my righteousness and misunderstood talent in booze.
But this, this ‘art’ thing is way WAY more terrifying.
I’ve made these trees in my studio at home. I’ve enjoyed making these trees. They make me happy to look at them, see them catching the light from the windows in the morning or casting shadows on the walls at dusk. They evoke such feeling in me that I am more than a little scared to stand in the booth tomorrow and let people pick them apart to my face. So I’ve created a list of the worst things that could happen – mostly to get the worst-case scenarios out of my head. There are more things spinning around my head than are listed here but this is all I can firm up and focus on right now.
Really the day will be what it is. People will buy or they won't. And if they don't, I get to take my trees home and look at them some more. Silver lining: I’m with my friend – who talked me into this thing – so I can spend the time laughing and joking and hating on her while no one buys anything. It’s the little things…
Okay, here comes the crazy:
· No one buys anything.
· Someone bleeds. They are Stabby Trees after all, so someone might stab themselves and bleed and that someone might not me.
· I’m in a booth next to the chiropractor I broke up with in January and I have to pretend I don’t think he’s a Napoleon-istic, verbally abusive ass all day.
· No one buys anything.
· Worse, people walk buy, look at the trees, say something passive like “Oh… that’s um… interesting…” and then walk on by.
· People hurry past with that smug “Aw, you poor sweet thing.” smile on their face.
· My friend sells way more than me and spends the day trying to make me feel better.
· I have one of those hot flashes that make me squirt sweat out of my forehead at an alarming rate.
· My credit card reader thing doesn’t work.
· It rains and no one comes.
· I have one of those emotional hot flashes that make me burst into tears for no apparent reason and cannot get myself under control.
· It’s too hot and no one comes.
· I have to use the port-a-potty. Who am I kidding? We’re there for hours. I’m going to have to use the port-a-potty. Ugh.
· Someone buys a tree and hates it.
· No one buys anything. No one buys anything. No one buys anything....
I didn't write today because I spent my brain/creative power finishing these and taking blurry pictures of them -
Getting ready for my first official showing of 'Art' since I won a place in City Hall with my Georgia O'Keeffe reproduction in sixth grade. Which means, I'm getting ready for my first official showing AND freaking the F out every few minutes.
Side Note: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Lee Child books and the newest one came out yesterday. My self-reward for getting emotionally naked on Saturday and showing my 'Art' to people, I'm going to get the book, surround myself with great tasting crap food and murder a few people along side Jack Reacher.
It's the little things, people. The little things.
I am dyslexic.
Numbers and letters and words like to rearrange themselves as they enter my brain,
put down their logic and have a mini key party.
Swapping partners and creating strange couples that don’t make sense.
Most of the time, I can keep the players somewhat organized.
I can wrangle some sort of sense out of them before the words leave my mouth.
That is to say, I have imperfect success with letters and words.
I can see where they are going and force them to follow the path.
The numbers, however, are wily stubborn asses.
They often refuse to stay coherent and logical.
The like to dance around in circles and create swirly patterns that don’t compute.
I am dyslexic.
But most people are unaware.
I keep it secreted,
disguised as careful speech and a calculated need for accuracy.
Until a migraine joins the chaos, affecting the fingers as well as the thoughts.
Until its fractured lights and throbbing heart beats an uneven tattooed pulse in my eye.
It is then the key party becomes drunken mess, an acid trip, a lost weekend.
Numbers and letters hook up,
making combinations no one understands.
And the aftermath of hung-over phrases stumbling about,
and fingers unable to find the exact letter on the keyboard, the correct key in the bowl.
It would be entertaining were it not for the waves of thoughts dancing just out of reach
And the frustrating pace of one step forward, eight steps back.
I am dyslexic.
But today, I am nothing but broken furniture, used condoms
and red solo cups on the lawn.
Because today, I am migraine.
There is a movement afoot
to only keep the things in life that bring you joy
Items that bring a happy rush
a smile in fashionable form
I’m a hoarder
Not of things
though my husband might disagree
I am a hoarder of feelings
Of little hurts and insults
I keep them tucked away safe and secure
so that I may pull them out on a rainy day
And look them over
Marking each scar, reliving each wound
Taking note of those that bled
Picking at them until they hemorrhage again
I am a saver
I keep the painful memories running on a loop
so that I may watch them at any time
Remembering each tear
each strangled cry
The volume muted as the emotions
rip across the screen
I store those little barbs
letting them fester
Keeping the thorns close
pressed beneath the skin
Letting the ache feed my angst
Giving the throb a place to call home
I am a collector
Of insignificant insults
to my self and to my soul
Wrapping my suffering about my shoulders
Tucking the hatred in tight
so that no warmth will touch my reason
Batting the friendly gestures of peace aside with my righteousness
I am a hoarder, a collector, a saver of sorrow
No one understands my treasures
or wants to see what I’ve squirreled about me
At least not more than once
They are only interested in their own museums
Their own collections
Their own galleries of darkness
I am a hoarder.
But I am not alone.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me