Saturday, April 21, 2018

Brian’s Cross

As promised, the story behind one of my pieces...The reason for Brian's Cross, The most emotional piece of artwork I have ever created.
Around the time I was recovering from a rough time in my life I was focusing on taking care of my brother. He’s only about 2 years younger than me but my mom had just moved out. Our parents, just about always, both worked so my brother & I were always fairly   I needed to not focus on me. So he & his core group of friends (“the boys”) became the focus, became the start of the misfit family. They spent more time at our house than anywhere else, I cooked for them, provided a non-judgemental ear, girl advice... If there was something I could do I did it. Over the next few years we grew so close that we’d become a family, a crazy, fun, comfortable, family. We had some ups & downs, but through it all we had each other and that's all that mattered.  
Suddenly that all fell apart. There was a car accident. One of the boys lost control of his car & he was gone. At this point, I had a son, a fiancĂ©, and was 8 months pregnant with my daughter. I got the news at work, left early, and was in shock for that first day. The next day I once again, needed to focus on something, anything, outside of the pain. I started drawing, I decided on a Celtic cross. Brian had always wanted a tattoo of a Celtic cross & it was detailed enough to require all of my attention. Over the next few days I wouldn’t do anything, my fiancĂ© took over everything for himself & our son while I barely even spoke. Everytime I opened my mouth tears would fill my eyes & I’d lose my voice, & struggle to catch my breath. Now you have to understand, before this, my life was not without heartbreak, this wasn't the first death I'd experienced, or the first time I'd allowed someone to become such an important part of my life only to lose them. But there was something so deep to this pain, this complete shattering of my heart, it felt unreal. My brain couldn't comprehend that he was gone. So I drew, in great detail, a Celtic Cross.
     When I finished the cross I noticed, I wasn’t depressed anymore. I was sad, of course, but little by little, I was able to function like a normal human being again. It seemed, I let all my emotions those first few days out onto the paper. I'd heard of art therapy, plenty, but I never understood how it actually helped, until it did.
     It’s been 5 years now & I decided I could do better. For Brian. Now, without that sadness, I could make this something beautiful, something of healing and recovery, that someone, other than myself, would be proud to hang in their home. And so begins, the re-working of Brian’s Cross.


Monday, May 2, 2016

My mood on this ugly day

I'm about done with pretentious people, with people who think they're better than everyone, with anyone who can't humble themselves and ask for help or be a little less judgemental and talk to someone they think is "beneath them" I'm sick of the Trumps of the world, the Clintons and the Cruz's. I don't wanna hear you preach about Christianity and peace and in the same breath contradict it all. As a Christian, I'm sick of the reputation you give us. We're not all like you, bigoted and judgey. I know a lot of us who know to judge someone else while you stand there imperfectly is one of the single stupidest things to do. Who laugh at people like you that think they have that right. 
I'm sick of stuck up. Of so funny people don't see how much of an ass hole you are. I'm sick of watching people who've literally been handed everything from opportunity to money to anything their heart desires getting credited as hard working or self made. While the people who work, the people who will probably die younger from the work they do, the people who built the corporations for the CEOs, the people who struggle week to week and can't catch a break, get overlooked and underpaid and underappreciated. While we fall lower and lower on the scale of wealth and instead of acknowledging the hard work they do. They're called lazy. 
"Should have gotten a degree"
 "why did you go to college if you couldn't afford it?" 
"No one will hand you anything in life" 
But you were handed everything. You are so out of touch with real life you can't ever remember that without the "little people" you'd have nothing. Without all the people you stepped on and tore down you'd be nowhere. 
I'm sick of two faced, out of touch, couldn't get back down to earth if we filled your pockets with lead weights instead of all the money you get paid to shit on us. I'm sick of hearing how wrong I am as a woman if I don't agree with this woman. That is not femminism. You are being lied to. This is a woman who doesn't give a shit about your rights, your safety or your health. Who are you to lie to the "little people"? What makes you think you are so much better than us? If you're lying this much now I can't imagine you anywhere in a position of power. The people you think you're connecting with are laughing at you. If you'd come down from that pedestal you might see what the world actually looks like and how stupid you sound.  You cannot stand there and tell me anything. I will not blindly follow you or anyone anywhere. 
I want to see more people who care. More people who do the same things in secret or quiet as they do when people are watching. I was more people with integrity and consistency. More people like me who can make life better for people like us. People who know the right people but also know the real people. I want more peace. More life. More health. More educated opinion and less follow the crowd because it's easier. If you've worked breaking your back all your life, why take the easy way now? Why not want better for the people coming next? 
I want to come from a country other countries recognize as a world power, as progressive, as educated, as a country not so afraid of their own government conspiracy is more like common knowledge and the rights laid out in our official document about our country (our country's mission statement, if you will) are constantly challenged to the point that there are legitimate groups out there ready to take up arms and fight back. 
They don't see us that way. They see us as we portray our stupidest citizen. They see stereotypes the same way we do. Any nationality has good and bad ones. Wouldn't you like the good ones about Americans to outnumber the bad ones? I know I would. And I know it's possible. But in order to do it we can't continue to give attention to people who personify the worst this country has to offer. The greedy, the two faced, the arrogant, the "bible thumpers" and bigots. Why should they get 98% of the news, why should they get the publicity?
You cannot look down on milenials who want change when you've fought for that change all your life. What is a union? A group of workers fighting for better conditions for their brothers and sisters in that field. Union people do not stop fighting because they retire soon and don't care what it's like for the next group coming in. They keep fighting because it's the right thing to do. The way to fix this countries problems isn't by looking down on the next generation. Or by looking at people trying to fix it like they're crazy. 
It's simple.
If you don't want your kids and grandkids to be sent to war because that's the only way to afford an education. Stop sending them. Be informed and give the spotlight to people in power who want the same thing. WE THE PEOPLE choose those people. We have the power to change everything. 
If you want the homeless to have shelter and to get on their feet don't be greedy. Don't say your taxes pay for people like that to have "welfare" and you're sick of it. The smallest portion of your taxes go to help those people. Less than $5 of your taxes go to that. Look it up. Educate yourself. 
You're afraid of taxes going up. They go up every year. And they should go up the same percentage for CEOs as they do for people making minimum wage. The poor should not get poorer, they should have a chance to move up in the world. 

If you want a better country, if you want a better life for the generations to come, you need to look at the big picture. Things will not change if  the people who can change them do not change.

Obviously this was a post about Trump, Clinton, Cruz and Bernie Sanders. But without the names things seem a lot more obvious. If you're voting for Trump because you won't change parties, are you stupid? If you're voting Clinton because she's a woman, are you stupid? If you're voting Cruz because he has "values" ARE YOU STUPID?! 
Look at them without the names. Look at what they want, look at their past, look at the consistency, look at who's fighting for you and who's fighting for power. It doesn't get more obvious than that. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Advice from me to you...

 I am a recovering addict... Today is my clean date... I have 6 years... 
Do not tell me it's impossible. 
Do not 'poor me' at me.
And absolutely positively 
Do not act like you're better than me because on the outside it looks like it. 

It is not impossible, I am living proof. 
Poor me is bullshit. I went through the hardest things I ever had to deal with in my life without drugs. Things that all I wanted was to stop feeling but I didn't. I dealt with it, I still deal with it. I know people living in constant pain because they won't use again. I know people staying clean during the worst times. You are not using because life is too much 'right now'. You are using because you want to. 
Stop making excuses.
I don't care how great your life looks on the outside. And I don't care how shitty mine looks. You're still using & im not. I have love, honesty, and trust throughout my life. Do you?
If you're stuck in a cycle, using, getting clean, using, getting clean, doing no work on yourself, using again, that's on you. All you have to do is want it enough to do the work. It sucks & it's hard, but the reward, having your life back, makes it worth it. 
Don't take this the wrong way. If you want to get clean but don't know how, talk to me, I'll help if I can, I'll give you strategies, plans, ideas. But don't come to me with excuses and sob stories, I don't care. Life sucks sometimes, things get hard, there's no way around it. The answer is to deal with it, not to use. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

When someone passes (poem)

When someone passes

Everyone says

"His smile brightened the world"

But yours really did.

And since you've been gone 
the world has truly been dimmer.
Everyone says

"He was an amazing friend"

But you really were.

When you were needed you always showed up.

Everyone says

"He was one in a million"

You weren't. 
You were one in 7billion.
There never has been and never will be another like you.

Everyone says

"Not a day goes by that losing him doesn't hurt"

But I honestly feel your absence every single day.

Everyone says
"He was taken too soon"

No matter how old you were it would have been too soon.

Everyone says

"Time heals"

But it doesn't. 
The hole you left behind isn't just going to close.

It's a wound that is ripped open every time I hear your name, a song, a word, a movie, anything that brings up a memory.

I just learn to hide it better every day.

Everyone says

A lot of things that fit

But none of them make it feel any better.

In loving memory, 
Now and always,
Brian Golden
8/5/92 - 12/22/12 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Island

 The island of misfit toys. A home for the broken, bruised, and battered. For the homeless, the displaced, the worried, and scared. It was "you aren't your old mans whipping boy." "You don't have to worry." It was "I lost my place to live, can you spare a couch a few months?" "I can't go home, can I stay the night?" "I didn't know where to go and ended up here." It was a family when you didn't have one, a home away from home, a safe place. It was "we look out for our own and YOU are one of us" it was a shoulder to cry on and a hand to help you up. It was come as you are cos we don't judge.
You may laugh at what we called it but that was the only thing that fit for us misfits. We were the black sheep, the "bad influences" the misunderstood. And we loved more than anywhere else. We had no idea how fragile that place could be. How quickly a few things could tear it apart. It felt so natural to care and look out.

 We had one show up when he took a hard fall and hit his head. He had no idea what happened or how he got there. He was closer to his house when he fell but he still came to us. We had a few come when there was nowhere else to go. A few come after fights with family who couldn't go back home. We had all kinds. And they all got treated the same, with food, a blanket, a comfy couch, and at least a night of peaceful sleep.

 I can look back and mark the exact events that were the downfall. Most of them, totally avoidable. I kick myself for not being able to stop them. I don't know why something like that is so fragile but not knowing then that it was is probably what really destroyed it. Something like that can't even get pieced back together once it falls apart either. I've watched the attempts, stood by and held back tears as I watched things drift further and further from what they were. I'm glad that I got a chance to experience it first hand though, It's almost something unbelievable if you don't. It will always be one of the best things I remember from my early teens into my 20s. I'm proud to have been raised to care that way, to take care of the people who need it, to give, to love, to feed, to protect, anyone who asks, or anyone who's too afraid to ask. I hope that I can pass the same values on to my own kids. I know it must have taken a lot for my parents to teach them to me.