A Dream Deferred, Bronx, 2011

A Dream Deferred, Bronx, 2011

I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to,
and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.

Little Girl in Wynwood, Miami Art Basel, 2012

Little Girl in Wynwood, Miami Art Basel, 2012

Nothing is worth more than laughter.
It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.

Reflection, Queens, 2011

Reflection, Queens, 2011

I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim,
and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.

Guerilla Gardening, Paris, 2011

Guerilla Gardening, Paris, 2011

I paint flowers so they will not die.

Aura, Canada, 2010

Aura, Canada, 2010

I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.

Paintings by Alice Mizrachi
Quotes by Frida Kahlo

the muses are heard

October 24, 2012

dirty hands

August 15, 2012

I can’t. (I can). Not today. (today). All this energy. It is like a cup, spilling at the brim. All this directionlessness thwarts my soul. It is stranger than strange to know freedom as this. As the place where there is no accountability to anyone other than yourself.

That it is this. Purgatory. Okay, I gotta look that up. Been throwing that word around for a month not giving a fuck. But. Umm yea. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A lot of knowledge. That’s trouble right there.

Purgatory is the condition of purification by which those who die in a state of grace are believed to be made ready for Heaven.

Okay, I’m good. I’m here or there or wherever it is. Getting my purification on. Ohmagosh… with these dirty hands.

Yesterday I was in bed with Mailer. He’s so heavy I can only take so much. I gotta roll that old man up offa me cause he just…

Over the years, I’ve found one rule. It is the only one I give on those occasions when I talk about writing. It is a simple rule. If you tell yourself you are going to be at your desk tomorrow, you are by that declaration asking your unconscious to prepare the material. You are, in effect, contracting to pick up such valuables at a given time. Count on me, you are saying to a few forces below: I will be there to write. The point is that you have to maintain trustworthy relations….

This injunction is wholly anti-romantic in spirit. But if you subject yourself to this impost upon yourself, this diktat to be dependable, then after a period of time—it can take weeks, or more—the unconscious, nursing its disappointments, may begin to trust you again.

And this is the thing. My unconscious is cool with me blogging because we’ve made it this way. I’ve put nearly a year into the process of undressing, flaunting, flinging, singing, swinging myself naked upon the page. And the result has been beyond anything I could have ever dreamed, not only as a writer but as me. Me, free of Me. Not totally but damn lighter than I eva thought I could be.

Blogging has done that which no therapy eva could. It has allowed me to face my fears and shame head on, to look them dead in the eye. To read my words over and over again instead of talk in a room where my words vanish into thin air. Writing, that which is free, that is how I know. The best things in life, you don’t pay for them at all. Not with money and not with your soul. The best things in life are mutuality, even if that is something as rare as mutuality with your soul.

I have come to learn this by going toe to toe over and over again. And doing this has allowed me to do something stranger than strange. I been feelinn like I have front row seats to the story of my life. Like I’m both star and audience to this spectacle. It’s this feeling that I am both in and outside of myself, like part of the process of fusion is in creating a distance from myself. Because, once again, Paradox is my God and my King.

I am given this this sense of simultaneity by committing to this blog every single day. It is here that my unconscious and I have established a powerful trust. Perhaps it is simply through my commitment to showing up.

It is here that I fuse and become both star and spectator. Because, believe you me, I don’t believe all of this is mine. I think a lot of it is just channeling. I catch a vibe. It’s a frequency. And when I tune into it, Truth is revealed.

Fusion.

Left brain is the Word. Right brain is the Image. I have been meditating upon these posts as manifestations of my spirit, who I am today, who I would like to be, who I have been, who I love on this planet. Because not all of these posts are exclusively about me. Sometimes I am projecting my heart and my soul all over a screen.

But…

These days there is no screen. There is no projection. There is only me and my constant reflection. Ad nauseum. Except. Isn’t that writing. Isn’t that what has chosen me. The spin cycle of the conscious heated by the core of my being. I’d love to stop spinning. It makes me sick. I need energy conservation. I need line dry. I need no shrinkage. I need a return to the earth, pounding myself out on the rocks then hung in the air damp and limp as the sun rains down upon me, warming my spirit.

I am rambling. There is too much in my head. There is the inability to be coherent because coherence is not for this moment. There is the need to keep a promise that needs to be kept. There is me, here is me, here I am (or not).

There is Day Thirty Eight, with a nod to Miss Shadows: What is the purpose of your blog? What are your goals?

It has been that my purpose was to show up every day. That my blog was all I had because it was The Way. Only today, and yesterday, and the day before I caught the change. The winds of Purgatory ruffling my feathers, clearing my head.

This is my refuge but it is also my crutch and lately I have been leaning heavily upon it because it got me through the worst. It gave me the courage and the strength to set me free of me. But now that I am in Purgatory I must release myself from using it in this way.

I must show up every day for me and what that is I know but I will not say it because today is not the day to make declaration out loud. Today is the day to read between the lines. To commit to all that I am and all that is mine. Which is me. Nothing more, nothing less. And this blog is part of that, but like me, it shape shifts.

The purpose of this blog is to document the reflections of me. Only in that I do not delete the past. I allow them to live as a way to see… Eee. Creepy. But okay, creepy it is. I don’t have the shame to give a fuck.

But goals. Oh that is a good word. I tend to be one without goals. Healing, this is where I am. This is Purgatory. So, yes, my goal for this blog is purification. By any means necessary.

The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you.
You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.

None but ourselves can free our minds.

Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires,
but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

The winds that sometimes take something we love,
are the same that bring us something we learn to love.
Therefore we should not cry about something that was taken from us,
but, yes, love what we have been given.
Because what is really ours is never gone forever.

Paintings by Frida Kahlo
Quotes by Bob Marley

a ribbon around a bomb

April 12, 2012

I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim,
and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.

La novia que se se espanta de ver la vida abierta.
The bride frightened at seeing life opened.

I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone,
because I am the person I know best.

I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.

I used to think I was the strangest person in the world
but then I thought there are so many people in the world,
there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre
and flawed in the same ways I do.

I would imagine her,
and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too.
Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that,
yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.

I Want to Go Home

September 19, 2011

Frida Kahlo, The Little Deer

My grandfather, who gave me his name and his intellect and his arrogance, has lung cancer. He is refusing to see an oncologist, and rightfully so. He is 96, and it is time to go. He was never a smoker, never a drinker, and being a diabetic, he had always been rather fit, but I do not know if it was sober, sugar-free living that kept him going for nearly a century. I think my grandfather is the prime example of the will to live.

His mind is fully intact, albeit much slower, but he is fully aware of what is happening to his body as it has been corroding rapidly over the past five years. There may be something to be said for dementia, which is a burden to the family but perhaps protects the individual. If you do not know you are dying, if your brain disconnects you from our shared reality, you might find greater peace.

On second thought, I take this back. My grandmother, his wife of over fifty years, died of Alzheimer’s disease, and from the little I witnessed, her final years were an agony that has filled me with pain. She had been abandoned, exiled to a home exclusively for victims of this cruel disease. My sister, in her infinite compassion, wanted to visit my grandmother. I did not.

I was twelve, maybe thirteen, at the time and my heart had grown so cold that the only thing I wanted was to sunbathe in Boca, watch soap operas, and eat Entemann’s chocolate chip cookies. Somehow, I knew what I would witness and the apprehension tore at me. I nervously chewed my fingers and silently cursed my sister, thinking her foolish for caring.

We entered the home, me fresh with resentment, my sister hopeful and excited, my grandfather detached and officious. The smell of fresh ammonia remains in my nose today and I can still feel it numbing the front of my brain. As always, the air conditioning was much too high, and everyone was dressed accordingly. I stood there in my oversized Betty Boop shirt, short shorts, and Keds thinking more about how I looked in order to block out what was happening around me.

The wait was interminable and I could not relax. A patient, an elderly man wearing his pajamas and bathrobe sat in a chair and did not move once while I was there. I watched him with a kind of painful awe. But it became too much, so I looked away and began chipping away at the nail polish on my index finger. I could hear the sounds of nurses bossing and cajoling their patients into submission while the patients were as docile and helpless as newborn babies. But unlike babies, I didn’t hear any of them cry out. They seemed to have accepted their fates and retired to a place deep inside themselves that no one could reach. I began chipping away at the nail polish on my thumb.

Perhaps the wait was not so long as I thought. Time play tricks where pain is concerned. At some point we were allowed to go to my grandmother’s room. The door was wide open, which seemed strange. I peered in and saw a nurse helping my grandmother into a long white slip. A rush of embarrassment swept over me. Here was a woman whose appearance meant everything to her, a woman who took great pride in being put together, and now she was fully exposed. I stood at the door struck dumb, wanting to run but having nowhere to go.

Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait as a Tehuana, Diego in My Thoughts

The nurse was having a hell of a time getting my grandmother dressed. Submissive throughout her life, the disease had released her from my grandfather’s control and a she-cat was born. With all of the attendant mewling and hissing and clawing that comes from a feral animal, my grandmother resisted all instruction. When she realized there were visitors at her door, she recognized my grandfather but seemed confused by the sight of two adolescent girls. “Is that my sister?” she asked, looking at me and my throat closed while my heart soared. A very strong part of me was cheering for her.

“Rose, these are your granddaughters,” my grandfather corrected, as though the facts at this point still mattered. Let her think I am her sister, I wanted to shout. My grandmother didn’t quite follow, but that’s okay because she had other things on her mind. As we took a thirty-foot stroll through the small and enclosed garden of home, my grandmother gripped my grandfathers’ arm and repeatedly pleaded, “I want to go home.”

I want to go home.
I want to go home.
I want to go home.

Her voice echoes in my ear as I write this. My stomach clenches just as it did that day. My grandmother, who never had a mean word for anyone, who accepted her domination in a way I never understood, could no longer be controlled. Her knuckles were white as she cling to my grandfather for her life. “I want to go home.”

My grandfather had had enough. Not even ten minutes into the visit, and we were through. He handed her back to the nurse, saying he would call or something equally irrelevant and he told us to wait by the car while he sorted out something at the front desk.

Under the scorching Florida sun we stood on the asphalt, besides the Lincoln Town Car that my grandfather drove to the early bird specials. My sister and I exchanged no words, which was probably for the best because I desperately wanted to blame her for making me see this.

I never saw my grandmother again.

www.missrosen.us

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