Daydreams Diary: Flames (Part II)

Daydreams in Otherworlds © 2017 Snapping Turtle Arts | cardcastlesinthesky.com

When I first started out, “Daydreams” was very much a character.

Now she’s just a cloak that I wear to protect whatever little shred of privacy I have left.

Flurry

I’ve all but exposed my whole ass for the world to see. Most are no longer comfortable with me since I’m not fluffing their egos while being kind and PC. But I’m getting off-track a bit. Let’s rewind to the first half of this before I go any further.

It chirped away. Not a pleasant bell like that of a teeny sparrow, but a manic, repetitive, screeching sound akin to metal on metal. I could almost sense what it was. In fact, in the corners of my subconscious, I think I very much did.

It was a person in my professional network, pointing me towards the mouthes of the displeased.

Displeasure—oh, how I’ve danced with you on and off these past few years.

Passive-aggressive in its nature, though point taken, it stood out like a festering sore on a beautiful face. It’s always a meme, right? No one can pull me aside and quietly voice their grievances. No, it has to be shouted to their entire following, but covertly enough that I can’t expose them. So much so that if I did, I’d look like the crazy one.

This is not the first time.

Or the second.

And I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Oh no, definitely not the last. But I’m not allowed to feel either.

“Oh stop whining.”

“What a butthurt bitch.”

“Quit playing the victim.”

I can hear it now. Loud as ever.

I’ve been more vocal on human rights issues and more. These are some things sadly deemed “political.”

“It ain’t cute, sweetheart.” They said I was shaming people. Well darlin’ sadly, in these times we’re living in, some things need to be shamed.

In the words of someone I’ve always deeply admired that’s been harmed by the very industry I work alongside:

Name it. Shame it. Call it out.Rose McGowan

So what’s wrong with me calling these issues out? Why does that all of a sudden make me not your cup of tea? What does my little insignificant voice have to do with your happiness? Why do you feel the need to tear me down in the process?

I thought I was well past letting bullshit like that penetrate me. But it has. Yet again. Especially when these [very public] bashings start to effect my income. (If I showed you the numbers, and how far they’ve traveled downward since about May 2017, you’d cry.)

I’m slowly moving past it. After all, the projects on my desk don’t give a shit who is ripping me apart and why. I had a little outburst over it, then soon after regretted it. It made me look like the asshole. It made me look immature. Though I come from a place where if you don’t respond, you’re a coward. Though in today’s world, if you do respond, you’re giving them attention and that also winds up making you look like an idiot.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Amidst all this madness I had a great conversation with one of my best friends whom I consider like adopted family. He spoke of similar situations with slimy people’s passive-aggressive nature and likened getting rid of such negativity to purging impurities with flames. What a beautiful comparison it was. Like the practice of burning sage—a cleansing ritual.

So I guess what I’m stabbing at in all this is, sometimes we need to purge the ugliness in our life with flames. And no, I’m not telling you to go set shit on fire. (Ya crazy asses.) I’m simply hinting at the notion that in order to truly move up and move on in our lives, sometimes we really need to cut things loose—set them ablaze. One thing I’m learning is it doesn’t matter how many times we feel we have to do this. If we feel the need, it’s probably for a reason. There’s probably another phase ready for us on the other side waiting.

So go burn some sage.

– Daydreams

Sleepy Sundays: Star Children

Star Children
Star Children

It’s a time where I feel like everywhere I turn a friend is suffering from a loss or their family has been plagued somehow with disease.

I want to take this time out this Sunday to do things a bit differently. If you’re open to it, I’d like to try a little healing exercise/peaceful meditation with all of you. The trick is you have to trust me. (Details below)

I haven’t added music to one of my #SleepySundays posts in a while, and the following selection will only aid in our exercise. Since I recently had to omit the Daily Daydreams section from the sidebar due to scheduling changes (and changes with the app I update it from) I figured this would be the perfect time to share the music that inspired this art.

David BowieLazarus

David Bowie’s newest song off the recently released Blackstar is being heralded by fans as a message from the late, legendary star as his goodbye message to all.

In the lyrics to Lazarus Bowie poignantly states:

“Oh I’ll be free,

just like that bluebird.

Oh, I’ll be free

– ain’t that just like me.”

In my thirty years on this Earth, I’ve come in contact with death more times than the average person. My life has been touched by cancer. I’ve lost several family members to different forms of it. Friends of mine have had their lives turned upside down by the disease and everything that comes with it.

When I first created CardCastles, the main purpose was to share my arts and writings and the stories behind it with the masses. However, there was also another reason. A morbid truth tucked behind everything that only a few people understood.

I stacked the cards so they would be something to remain when I too, perish. Little pieces of me, scattered about in some vast space so I could linger in some way.

I’ve had my own health scares of the cancerous sort in recent months. I’m sorry to tell you this way. I’ve never been good about sharing such personal details. I’m confident I’m going to be fine. I just need a little space to “regroup and recoup” so to speak. Please respect my privacy during this time. I promise I’ll let you know in some form when it’s over. I will still be posting regularly and there will be YouTube/video integration this year.

I guess what I’m trying to say is death and disease are two aspects of life that will seep in no matter what we do.

The minute we accept that truth is the moment we are truly free. Though, I understand it’s in our nature to fight. It’s what we do best.

So do me a favor this Sunday. Find a quiet place and do this:

  • Step 1. Close your eyes.
  • Step 2. Breathe deep.
  • Step 3. Exhale.
  • Step 4. Keep your eyes closed. (This is important!)
  • Step 5. Visualize yourself as one of those birds pictured above gliding over your favorite scenery. (If you don’t like birds, pick any winged creature, or even yourself, it doesn’t matter.)
  • Step 6. Add music (optional)
  • Step 7. Just keep flying. You’ll see. For a moment, you will truly be at peace, feeling ‘free’.

Do this for me so together we can somehow be at peace even though all of these terrible things effect our lives everyday.

Be well. I love you all.

Have a peaceful Sunday!

Empathize

Empathize
I titled this art: Empathize

For this month I wanted to create art that was a little outside my realm (such as the following challenge suggests) but not impossible. I wanted to see things from another artist’s perspective and it was a fulfilling experience. This was how my cousin who used to draw up comics took on art. I tried best to evoke his style of approaching a scene like this.

To match this art I also wanted to make a “gratitude list” of sorts like my pal Kozo has done for over a year now.

  • I’m thankful for my son’s willingness to try new things.
  • I’m extremely grateful for the progress he has made.
  • I’m thankful for my family.
  • I’m thankful for finding a way around road blocks.
  • I’m grateful for new friendships.
  • I’m grateful for you
  • I’m always grateful for a roof over our head.
  • I’m thankful for the healing power of music.

This post was in response to this month’s #B4Peace challenge: Empathy Blogging.

Other People Full of Empathy This Month

 

 

 

National Hoodie Day

Trayvon Martin
Image found via CBS News archives. Original image source unknown.

Many organizations are naming today “National Hoodie Day” in honor of Trayvon Martin. The horrid shooting incident took place on February 26th, 2012 and the trial for George Zimmerman begins today.

This beautiful child was killed because of senseless violence and fear. Fear fueled by racism, or racism fueled by fear, depending on how you look at it. No matter how you see it, I think most of us can agree acts like this just shouldn’t transpire. There is a better way.

Countless groups from around the country will be holding protests today. Many schools around the country will be wearing hoodies in support and remembrance of Trayvon.

Little Blue Feather is a children’s story I wrote and illustrated a few months back with incident’s like Trayvon’s murder in mind. The story was a contribution to the Bloggers for Peace movement I am strongly passionate about. It won for that month’s Peace Challenge and many agreed it is an excellent teaching tool. If you have children, please read it to them. We can teach our children about peace and acceptance early. If it helps prevent one child from becoming a future George Zimmerman, I’ve done my job as a peace crusader.

Trayvon could be any one of our children. I take this shooting extremely personal because my son is of mixed ethnicity and wears hoodies himself all the time. He has features just like Trayvon’s. I don’t want this to be my child’s future because of ignorance and fear.

B4Peace

If you are interested in joining Bloggers for Peace – please visit here or click the badge at the bottom of my blog.

Other Peace Crusaders

Little Blue Feather

Lately I’ve been putting a great deal of work into something very near and dear to me. One of my close friends, Kozo posted this challenge to his loving community. I decided to take the route of a children’s story. As a writer, I normally specialize in the horror genre. This is my first attempt at a child-friendly book. If it receives some decent feedback, someday I may decide to publish it. Being a Mommy, a softer side of me has emerged over the last few years.
These are all my original illustrations, please respect their copyrights. Although it may not seem like it, I worked very hard all month long on this.

To all of my fellow parents out there, feel free to read this to your children. I’d love to hear what they think!

Without further delay, I give you:

Little Blue Feather

(~For Dad: Who always loved birds.~)

pg 1
pg. 1
pg 2
pg. 2
pg 3
pg. 3
pg 4
pg. 4
pg 5
pg. 5
pg 6
pg. 6
pg 7
pg. 7
pg 8
pg. 8
pg 9
pg. 9
pg 10
pg. 10
pg 11
pg. 11
pg 12
pg. 12

~THE END~

This story was aimed at teaching young children about acceptance and peace. Once they can accept themselves and each other, I feel there will be more peace in the world. We have to start somewhere!

More Lovely People Teaching Children About Peace/Acceptance

On the Outside Looking In

For as long as I can recall, I’ve always been somewhat on the outside. Don’t get me wrong, I was “popular” in high school. However, I never quite fit in anywhere. My social circles were nonexistent. Instead, they consisted of me hopping from group to group, always remaining on the outer layers. I was the same in childhood, often playing on my own and not caring to be included much in other’s activities.

I’m not whining nor complaining. In fact, I’ve always been quite proud of being a lone wolf. Although, today I was hit with an old feeling. One of being an outsider that produced a not-so-wonderful feeling. A familiar pinch stabbed my inner sensitivity that filled me with feelings of admonishment.

There’s going to be a charity walk of sorts in my area for a foundation that supports autistic children and their families. Anyone is free to participate. I first learned about this through my son’s school. When I received the flyer, I automatically felt the need to get involved. Even though my plate has been overflowing with my own writing projects lately – I wanted to make the time. So I tried my best to clear my schedule, and went on to the foundation’s website to do the proper research and enrolling.

What I found only sent a wave of sadness over me. It was a bunch of “teams” already set up and some instructions on how to set a “team” up. I wanted to cry. I’m not friends with many other parents at my son’s school. It would be a little awkward to start now. (I could just imagine the conversation. “Hey, I know we’ve never spoken before but, would you like to join me on my “team” for this weekend’s Autism Walk?”) The thought of it makes my spine quiver. I could almost foresee the judge-mental eyes/tone I would encounter. To top it off, the friends and relatives I have asked are all making excuses. I keep telling myself, it’s okay…but deep down, it’s not. I’m incredibly hurt by this. Maybe I’m being melodramatic. Somehow, I just really feel this was something I should participate in. Not just for me, but for those in my life that have autism.

Which brings me to the second half of this; my own family. We are pushed out of many of society’s little parenting groups because our son was diagnosed with borderline autism spectrum disorder. What that means to society is his autism is very mild and almost unnoticeable to an untrained eye. What that means to us is, he is not accepted as “normal” because he is not “normal” enough by society’s harsh standards. Nor are we accepted by some autistic communities because he is “not severe enough”. This sounds so terrible doesn’t it? Sad, (excuse my language) but it’s fucking true. That’s just how it is. See why I’ve said I hate the word “normal” in the past?

Anyway, I’m blabbering on at this point. I’m just curious to see if any of you have ever felt like this. Banished by others in a discriminatory fashion and whatnot.

Have any of you ever felt like you were “on the outside looking in”? If so, share your story here.

Love Everyone Anyway

Children with disabilities should not be remembered for what they can’t do or can’t do well.
I feel a piercing need to share that thought & this simple art because of that.

After Rain
I’ve spent a lot of time in therapist’s offices & schools lately because of my own son’s needs in speech and some of the sensory issues he has.
These children are extremely bright. They just need to be taught differently than the “typical” or “normal” kids.
What the heck is normal anyway? I’ve always hated that word.

My hope for the future & future generations is that we stop making snap judgements or discriminating against people for things we may not fully understand.

I could go on & on for days about this subject…but my head is tired & my eyes are weary. It takes a lot to type on without letting tears fall.
So I’ll leave you with this:

If you love someone, imagine what it would be like if one of their abilities were taken away or lessened.
It could be anything, eyesight, hearing, use of their limbs or whole body, brain injury, mental disorder.
Ask yourself: Would you love them any less?
I’m sure the answer is “No.”, right?
Now, as a human race..let’s try to have that outlook on everything, everybody.