Misc. Feelings – I Am Only Human

One of the hardest things I’ve faced in producing this show is my own feelings.  Feelings of fear, of judgment, of inadequacy, of being misunderstood……of being misunderstood, of being VERY misunderstood.Side a

This show is not about anger, hate, divide, bullying, who is right, who is wrong.  It is NOT an anti adoption show.  It IS an educational show, it IS a supportive show, it IS a show to help mothers who WANT TO raise their own flesh and blood babies be able too by putting some money in the hands of the organization Saving Our Sisters that helps mothers with the temporary life challenges they are facing while being pregnant.

Something I have noticed time and time again in discussion with friends, people I associate with through the arts world, people I talk to in random locations is that it feels like society thinks the proverbial birthmother is some type of whore, prostitute, drug addict, person who lives on the streets, in short, in someway less than the rest of us.  It is exceptionally painful to hear sometimes, they  think I am the exception , not the rule.

In connecting with other mothers who after giving birth to their own child and previously having considered adoption and now NOT wanting to go through with it I have learned alot, I have felt not so alone.  I have found others who are pretty much ordinary average american women like me being denied perhaps their most primal biological instinctual urge, to mother thier own flesh and blood child they recently gave birth too. Women who for whatever personal reason were struggling, scared and did nothing wrong but sign a contract, a legal and binding document that says their baby can be given to other people to raise, people who pay high fees to an agencies and/or attorneys to obtain that contract.

Mothers who are grieving a monumental loss are faced with trying to fight for their child back which is pretty hard to do in some states in this country, Florida is one of them. Its even harder to do in a society which judges, condemns and makes assumptions about mothers for considering adoption in the first place. A society that thinks we must all be pieces of shit and treats us as such.  A society that demands we now prove ourselves as capable of mothering ( why don’t other pregnant woman have to prove they are worthy of mothering?) as if somehow signing that paper makes all our primal instincts and the basic fact that we are here, alive on this planet and have made it this far,  null and void.  I can attest, signing a paper does not in fact make any of the biological processes associated with pregnancy, labor, delievry, child birth and motherhood stop.

It doesn’t. Not one bit.  I think about things sometimes, fairly deeply.  Things like it would still be pretty easy to judge, ridicule, berate, and make me appear less worthy.   Right now I’m not employed at an outside job earning a regular paycheck, I’m working on my goal of starting a business, and organizing the benefit show I Am Only Human to support Saving our Sisters.  I can do this because one of my sons is covering household expenses until I get through this show. Its a FAMILY choice. It is a tremendous blessing, I wouldn’t have gotten through any of this without my 2 oldest sons.  Yes, I was a teenage mother and now they are in their 20’s and we all live together. So you know what…. I guess I did ok.  I’m prone to beat myself up but I’ve learned that when I start to…….I look at my resume and realize that in spite of dealing with an unspeakable level of grief I’ve accomplished an awful lot in the past few years.  That I feel good about.

I think “would I be here in this position if I had never considered adoption?”  Probably not. Grief takes a long time, processing things, learning things, takes a long time, learning how to adapt and overcome a body that is desperately seeking to complete the task of motherhood its programmed to do is hard and takes time, I don’t feel like the feeling will ever go away.  Learning to cope with it and accept it as part of my daily life has been pretty rough, as has wondering if my son feels the same way and can’t express it to anyone.

I’m not ashamed of where I am. I am grateful to every person who has helped me a long the way. Those who have let me cry, those who have opened their homes to me to stay with them when I really just couldn’t be alone, those who have given me the strength and support to make it through, sometimes only to the next day like it was in the first 2 years.  Do you know…..I cried every time I saw or heard a baby for almost 2 years? Even at my job?  Finally that has subsided, but still my heart stirs.  I’m grateful to all my artist friends and acquaintances who have encouraged me to stay the course and do the benefit show I Am Only Human which took place on May 14th.

I hope that the time and effort helps raise  funds for Saving Our Sisters and educates the public that mothers of adopted children and people who are adopted have feelings and are in fact human beings too.  Human beings who deserve every opportunity to stay together as a family and if they can’t, not be denied their entire identity.

 

 

 

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Book Burning

Ok, so maybe I didn’t exactly burn the whole book but in the interest of spring cleaning,

and preparing to take an artist summer sabatical working in another area of the country I invested some time tearing out the pages and burning the edges of various spiritual, religious and science texts including Sri Isponisad, The Bhagavad Gita, The Wisdom of No Escape, The Science of Mind, the Bible and a text book on the Universe laying them to create a jig saw puzzle effect for a new series of pieces. This piece is called:

Actions Speak Louder than Words here’s a short video of the creation process:

27 inches x 27 inches on board

$140.00

Shipping in USA Included

$40 dollars of the sale of this piece will be donated to Saving Our Sisters, a grassroots organization which helps support expectant mothers through emotionally and financially challenging pregnancies.

To inquire about purchasing this piece please email mswenderful@gmail.com with Actions Speak Louder than Words in the subject.

Thank you.

You can read my professional bio and cv here

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A 10 Minute Me Break Available Now

Ladies……really listen……you are so awesome and amazing, even when you can’t do everything you are absolutely amazing.   Please make sure you take ME breaks once in awhile, they are really amazing, and you are amazing but none of us is actually Superwoman!  I am on a ME break now……….I’ve been telling little day to day stories about it……….please watch the video inserted in here…..it will take 10 minutes, you are so worth it…..now on with the little story of today’s little travels…….

While out of town I have been nearly facebook free, relaxing and working remotely. I’ve found a few hours a day to make sure I got some of what I call “office hours” in,  making time to write, researching art shows I am considered submitting too, checking messages, returning phone calls, weighing options about putting a gallery space in Yellow Green Farmers Market, and found out that 2 really great friends are moving to Florida, promoting and marketing via several websites, and its  working out to be pretty darn productive.

On this little trip I decided against bringing a camera and opting instead to embrace technology, “get with the times” and utilize instagram for photo taking.  Turns out I’m really enjoying it.   Today we drove over to the Rondout, as  Kingston’s waterfront is known,  walked around, wandered around an amazing antique shop, and went onto to window shop and rubber necked ……..

rub·ber·neck

(rŭb′ər-nĕk′) Slang

intr.v. rub·ber·necked, rub·ber·neck·ing, rub·ber·necks

To look about or survey with unsophisticated wonderment or curiosity.
n.

 

in Rhinebeck. Its fun just looking at things, mountains, train bridges running high over the river, the architecture, style of living, church steeples, clouds and mist, its refreshing to enjoy the simple things.

Today I happened to do a quick facebook log in to check for messages and took one quick peek in the Life Is Art Group  I’m a member of and stumbled upon this fantastic poem written and performed by

Sean Wallace / Roy “Futureman” Wooten

I hope you take 10 minutes to yourself to enjoy this video! I’m pretty darn sure you won’t regret it! 

 

Its in Our Heads and In Our Hearts

They say it is in our heads and it is, but it is also in our hearts.  I’ve struggled so very much to let go over the last 4 years and its hard to put into words how it feel like I physically can’t, but this link helps explain it, at least it does to me.  A part of all my children always remains with in me.

I’ve never cared one bit, about material things,  I like dancing, reading, writing, creating art, spending time with people I care about, this is my entertainment, a great side effect is its mostly free, can take place right at home, out and about, alone or with others.

Electronics, gadgets, televisions, the latest phone, app, video games, or any other outside entertainment devices don’t interest me much. Sure I enjoy a video, movie,  internet or outside entertainment now and then but I could, and often do, go without them quite easily. I do enjoy electronics as tools to assist my own creativity.

I tried to get away from it all  in 2013, that trip turned out to be much more intense, full of challenges, and obstacles, trying to help myself and also others, this one at last, in gratitude and love, is just for me.

Getting in touch with me again, my own visions for my future, to stop being so hard on myself for feeling like I really, really messed up, for feeling like I can’t be there for everybody in the way they want or expect me to be,  especially my children, I want the very best for them always, and to forgive myself for not being all I’d like to be right now, I’m still pretty darn ok with me.  Its been a long hard few years, I know I am getting there, actually making really good progress and I am excited to have options.  Yellow Green Farmers Market or an individual gallery?  Where will the next stage of my artist career end up? The time to decide is coming soon,  I’m looking forward to it and feeling blessed for the time to decide at exactly the right time. 

 A break from trying to figure how to make everyone but me happy,  to tune back into my dreams for myself, for my family and eventually, hopefully to help mothers in need.   Just because I’m not there right now doesn’t mean I don’t wish I was sometimes, it will all come together eventually.  We don’t start college with our dream job secured for graduation day, its really not that different with other things we hope to accomplish in life. 

Away from the noise, the daily grind, televisions, sirens, peoples opinions, differences, perspectives, wants, needs, demands, social occasions, commitments, deadlines, obligations, the general hustle and bustle of the city. I am doing what I  needed to do for myself,  even though I’ve done this a couple a other times in my life, take a chance on getting to see my kids, and them to see me, and get on with living my life  with the best possible attitude, until the next opportunity arises, which sounds like its coming this summer.  

Wow, I needed this little break. I feel like a new person.

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Miscellaneous Morning

This morning my mind finds itself traveling in and out of wondering, dreams, thoughts, ideas, past, present, future, what it all means, hoping for the best possible outcomes for everyone. As an artist this is a part of the creative process that drives and sustains me.

Feeling exceptionally grateful to my friend who invited me to take a little trip for a couple weeks, and a side trip to see my teenage children if the “stars aligned” (sadly they didn’t).  I know the stars shall align soon, and even though I am pretty sure we are all a little scared, we will be reunited.

Facing fears, pondering consequences, merging life experiences, all of the memories of experiences that make me who I am.  Where did the peaceful path take a turn down a rugged road, full of winding roads, uphill climbs, of confusions and frustrations?

Do I keep writing as mswenderful a name that for some people identifies me easily, or do I create a a new fictitious name? Is that hiding from myself, protecting my children, or denying them the truth of how their mother felt then, feels now, and hopes and dreams of the future?

I do dream of a future, a future with a home that my children and my grandchildren will always be able to visit.  A home where I can easily pay the bills, or better yet, buy  with cash so, for once in my life,  I don’t have to worry about being one unforeseen set back away from a huge disaster that would only be a hiccup to lot of people.

My children have been the inspiration for almost everything I’ve ever done.  Being able to go out and do things with them, treat them to going out to dinner, being able to visit my children who live in Virginia without having to take random chances because someone I know happens to be going by there and offered to help us see each other, is something I dream of and dare I even…look forward too?  They said they weren’t ready yet,  and there I was 3 hours away.  It hurt, but I get it also. They are hurt also. It worries and concerns me as a mother in ways I won’t get into here, but I get it.  We will try again in the summer.

It took me a couple days of being here in the Hudson Valley, to just relax and process. I could have let it depress me, instead I look forward to planning the trip for the summer, thankful for another friend who has already offered to take the trip with me. I will utilize this time to do what I need to do for me.

Being able to buy them plane tickets to come see me after we finally break the ice and (hopefully) they are more comfortable with me again. Being able to easily help my children if and when they run into bumps in the road, just as we all do, instead of moving for summer to take a job and try to help as I’ve done before, would be pretty darn awesome.  Yes its true, I have an adventurous spirit and want to see much of the world, I also  dream of a permanent family home which I am able to venture out of and return to also. I’d love to be able to share adventures with my children. So…..I following my heart I resurrect my dream to be financially independent through my own creativity.

It  began 2010 after so many years of struggling to find and keep work in a fickle judgmental society,  having crappy dead end jobs, being unable to afford a car,  I decided to pursue my own independent living through art.  I was quite used to living, happily even, on practically nothing at all, so I figured lets try this and started building what I hoped to be a growing little art career while still seeking and taking outside jobs, steps to build my own independence.

One of the most important things to me was to keep prices very affordable because I feel that everyone should have access to things they find beautiful and would love in their home, I didn’t want people to have to say ” I wish I could afford that”.  No I don’t make hundreds of dollars per sale, but how cool would it be to sell a 100 prints a day even if I only made one dollar on each one?  Why not try, anything is possible, especially with the “magic” of the internet and a company that prints and ships meaning zero overhead for me.

It never occurred to me to get in galleries, but somehow that happened on the way. Frankly sometimes it gives me anxiety.   Its weird sometimes the things you never even imagined or dreamed of that happen in your life. I just figured heck, if I could make $1000 a month, wouldn’t that be a humongous difference for everyone in my life, even if I always had an outside job it would help give me freedom to change jobs, buy a car, to take short breaks, visit my children regularly and go on adventures most people call vacations and maybe, just maybe stop needing to ask for help every once in awhile when opportunities to better myself arise, if only I could afford them. (Thank you to my friends and family members who helped out and brought me to this place in the journey.)

So I suspect I’ve been rambling and meandering a bit with conversation here today, a day to refresh and revisit my many websites and resurrect my dream of self sustaining my life through my own creativity.

While I am going through the steps to stream line everything feel free to take a look at The Art of Being, Everything is Wenderful T-Shirt Shop (please excuse the green background I’m trying to figure out how to change it), or my Online Print Gallery where I stay true to the dream of keeping affordable art available for every one while on my path to independent employment!

Innovation Starts Here

This piece for me represents a turning point, a spot, a point a place in time in which I started to feel released from grief long enough to think of ideas on how to approve the adoption system.  I have seen several examples of the system being flawed and not allowing mothers the option to not go through with, or change their minds about, placing their children for adoption due to doing nothing wrong, just because they signed a paper, a contract that is irrevocable, under stressful conditions, many times without time or consideration to think, feel, process or have legal representation.  This has the capacity to cause tremendous trauma, pain, stress for all sides of the adoption equation. To me its not very fair to adoptive parents either, being handed newborns to take home and call their own when mothers aren’t really making clear, conscious, fully informed decisions.  It’s not particularity fair to the babies, who grow into children, teenagers and adults either.  It’s certainly not fair to the mothers fathers. Doesn’t everyone deserve to give and receive a true gift, not to be forced to play a game with their lives?

In observing much adoption debate and discussion on social media of mothers begging and fighting for their own children to not be adopted by strangers,  it seems one thing stands out in particular.  It seems like almost all the mothers fighting, hoping, praying, to get their children back in their life, whether getting them back to raise as their own or reopen adoptions that were supposed to be open and then got closed…..it seems almost all of the mothers made adoption choices at nearly the last minute, with practically no warning, under stressful, adverse, and at times down right manipulative conditions.

Read about Baby Elliot, Baby Grayson, and Baby Camden  These are just a few.

So that being said, it seems that a fairly simple solution is available.  Change the adoption laws so that no irrevocable document concerning placing ones own child for adoption should be executed prior to 6 weeks after giving birth.    Time for the mothers mind, soul and body begin to heal, to begin to return to pre-pregnancy state, time for the entire biological process to take place. The time a new mother is usually released from Post Partum Care, 6 weeks.  To this artist it seems like it would be a great dose of preventative maintenance in preventing chaotic adoptions for newborn babies, mothers, fathers and adoptive parents which affect everyone well into the future.

 

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Innovation Starts Here

Innovation Starts Here is 24″ x 18″on canvas hand glued with tidbits of information about the Universe. Cosmic characters from past, present and future in black & white and various shades of pink highlight the nature of light and matter.

This piece is part of the Collection Putting the Pieces Together  shown as part of a group exhibition at World and Eye in Fort Lauderdale,  January 2015

Artist Ramblings & a Thank You

Something that is very hard to convey to those who don’t understand (but perhaps want to) about being an artist, attempting to make your own dreams come true,  earning a living is there is a whole heck of a lot of work involved that goes on behind the scenes.  Much, much more than having fun making art.

First of all, not all art is fun to make, at times is can be healing and excrutingly painful simultaneously.  Some artist process thier own life experiences through thier preferred medium or various mediums.

Secondly, there are what I like to call PLENTY of Office Hours.   Time spent on the computer, researching places to submit ones work that relate to ones own subject matter, medium and style.  Building our own websites, lets face it…..you’ve heard the term starving artist before, so many of us are not paying someone big bucks to handle that kind of stuff, so we teach ourselves, figure it out step by step, and stay in charge of it. Photographing works, titling, writing descriptions that somehow convey feelings, loading the car, unloading car, installing show, being at show, interacting with miscelleneous people, collaborations, organizing events, performers, details……yes there is an awful lot to do. Some artists do a lot of this stuff for no money because they love it.

Thirdly, I notice there seem to be artists focused on getting their name out there, and there seem to be artist who aren’t nearly as interested in getting thier name out there as they are getting thier message out there and lots of styles inbetween. There are artists dedicated to all sorts of charities and causes.  HIV Awareness, Domestic Violence Awareness, Child Abuse and Insest, Feeding Hungry Children, Ecological Awareness, Helping Children have access to Arts and Music, Gay Rights, Black Rights, Consciouness, Enlightment, and a host of other great philanthopic missions.  My mission has evolved its way into creating Awareness about Adoption Practices, helping mothers by supporting Saving Our Sisters, and ideas for ammending newborn adoption laws.

Fourth, not all artists are trying to be rich and famous or are even that comfortable with public attention.  For me, as previously mentioned I started humbly trying to sell my photography on line as a way to earn extra money to be able to afford to go see my children.  Well its 5 years later, five long, wild, weird, and actually when I look at my artist resume, include great accomplishments.  Yet, still I have not been able to save to see my children.

Art is a lifestyle, an honor to create, to share, a tool to communication, yes, it’s lovely when someone connects with a piece and wants to give you some money and take it home, but art keeps me alive, money in my life seems to come and go for various expenses (sometimes before I even feel it in my hands) I’m pretty used to it, some people say I’ve had a hard life, I just figure its life, I have had some fun along the way. I don’t always have the best attitude, I don’t always have the worst,  I do my best to keep my chin up…..and putting my chin up, with the encouragement of some friends I decided to make a GoFundMe page to raise some money to change my own situation and cross one very imporant thing off my to do list, which has been on the to do list way to long.  Go see my children in Virginia and maybe solve a few other tiny details that could enhance my life experience.    You can always help directly by buying my art.  One of the most imporant things to me when I first began this little dream was to have affordable art for everybody.  We all deserve pretty things to enhance our lives. Affordable art by Ms. Wenderful is found here.

I put the gofundme up yesterday and have already had my first donor. Thank you dear friend Tracey.  Thank you for being number one donor and being a friend who encourages and supports me in what I wish to accomplish.  Your art piece Sony U-Matic (OMG the Instruction video for it  is Brilliant, Epic and soooo Hilarious watch it) shall be delievered in person this Sunday at Yellow Green Farmers Market where hopefully I will be setting my own shop up soon!

Tracys art pic

 

Dear Orbital Satellite

Dear Orbital Satellite,Orbital Satelite 1

All systems go,

This is your life,

Challenges, obstacles,

Fiery astroids,

Blasting senses,

Unexpected,

previously unknown,

Emotional

G Forces,

Penatrate, activate,

Human nature,

Creating illusions,

Drawing conclusions,

lingering lies,

causing  turbulence,

Moments of

Warmth, joy,

Compassion and Love,

Fill the gaps,

between

the Best

and

the Worst

Humanity

has to offer,

While pretending to be

someone else child,

It is what it is,

Your life,

Dear Orbital Satellite.

Innocence

Innocence,

born into this world,

pure and true,

fearlessly, effortlessly,

natures clear intention,

transcending dark warm depths

emerging into a first glimpse of light,

unknowingly exiting safety

entering an environment unknown,

petals bravely unfold a

delicate offering to a new world

the warmth of the sun,

a cool dark dewy night,

simply being until

plucked it from its stem,

for momentary pleasure,

perhaps a gift for another,

timeless infinity

perfected by nature,

disrupted in an instant,

altering natures

time tested,

perfect course,

pedals begin to fall,

colors fade,

unaware,

withering blindly,

innocent no more.

View Video Performance of this Piece Here