Category Archives: elephant girl

badd: blog against disablism day

Synchronicity swirling around me again, I am having the Week of Addressing Disabilities. My supervisor recruited me to speak about the clinic at a middle school for a diversity workshop they held yesterday. I decided to integrate some talk about myself too, and it worked beautifully. I was able to start with my arm and then use that to talk about visible versus invisible disabilities, and then segued into what we do at the clinic. [Sorry, but I gotta leave some vagueness about work intact for Secret Identity Purposes to protect my beloved work place from being associated with a Radical and Highly Controversial Blogger and Purveyor of Subversive Ideas. *snort* Read: Mommyblogger with delusions of awesomeness who is so undersexed she thinks lists of hot chick crushes is somehow revolutionary;)]

I had dreaded the speaking part, but it was groovy. The kids had insightful, intelligent questions and there were a handful of kids with special needs throughout the day and that plus me equaled a successful discussion of various abilities and disorders that pretty much completely avoided “other-ness” language.

So, I survived my uneasiness with public speaking, which is not terrible, really. Just butterflies and a dry mouth. Then this morning I sat down with my cup of coffee at my neglected computer to read my poor ignored feed reader and saw that my beautiful Soul Sistah Lexie had written a BADD post. Having a bit of extra time this morning, I decided to write a post. Which, it now seems, has been quite overtaken by its own introduction. So quickly, let me repost, again, my sexy self portrait that was my own personal One Armed Sexy Witch Mama coming out party.

Only, wow. I do not have one arm. I completely negate my right arm all the freaking time! I have two arms, and two hands even. Meh… is it just shorthand? Because I could spend all day explaining myself into circles. Seven fingers, one long arm, one short.

And without further rambling, I give you my actual post:

Here is the state of my consciousness regarding my birth defect about a year ago:

It was seriously, asskickingly empowering to create and post this piece. I love that it ended up so sexy. It really was only revealing skin to show my arm off better but yeah. Owning my own image and really synthesizing my arm with its strange look and the sexual side of me was kind of huge. I’ve always had “sexual being” and “mutant arm chick” as wholly different selves in my brain, until that self portrait. In fact, I think mutant arm self had its very own tightly guarded box that was separate from everything, actually. You can see the entire original post here.

So forgive the indulgent reposting of the portrait, but I offer it in celebration of BADD and badass mutant hot people everywhere.

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sketchcasting

Sketches about my arm & my womanly bits. Found my microphone. Too lazy to attempt to fight with embedding them. I notice that at least 75% of my sketch videos mention rum. Rum is yum.

Anatomy of Elephant Girl Part 1
Anatomy of Elephant Girl Part 2

metapsyche

Often I’m having this feeling that my psyche is finally coalescing and settling in. I’m more comfortable in this existence, and I’m owning my mental and physical space more. I feel at home in my body, listening to its complaints and pleasures more, intuiting its rhythms and tides. I’m more assertive about my choices- like smiling and assuring an old friend that “No, Molly’s not too old to nurse,” and deciding to use my real name on mine and Alexis’ parenting blog. I’ve started to acknowledge and celebrate my birth defects in my art and writing, and I’m starting to think less compartmentally in my projects, if I may (apparently- according to spell check- invent a word.) What I mean here is that I have the zine idea and the Cafe Press thing and some other sorta diverse plans in mind, and I’m fighting the idea of creating a million different sites and stores and things. Part of me is scared crunchy parents don’t want to see snarky dark stuff, and potential logo clients don’t want to see a zine with my boobs and funky arm in, etc. However, if I want to build a business from my creativity, it is best to just let it all out there and let the synthesis that is my brain groove be what it is. Trying to divide myself is both stifling to the creativity and kind of insulting, really, to the potential customers.

I always had this vague sense that in my thirties I’d come into myself. Maybe with that idea actually created this feeling myself, or maybe I saw other women become more truly them in their thirties. Maybe 3 is just so laden with mystic energy that everyone has thirties epiphanes. (And I’ve always been pretty obsessed with psychological transformations. My very first webpage was titled “Metamorphosis Psyche.” Holy shit; it’s still live! Images & half the links are broken, but still. Behold my early twenties angst.)

I suspect, however, that giving birth at age 30 had a whole lot to do with this. Motherhood does a bang up job of turning a body and mind inside out. Today I’m kind of a glowy, floaty mom feeling like it’s a crazy beautiful gift and the sacred/mundane nature of it is blowing my mind.

(I seem to have gotten a whole lot more out of that mini-retreat than I initially thought. I got tipped over totally into the mystical part of me and I feel like my thinking and writing is 1,000 times more clear and true this weekend. I’m actually excited today to translate that into the drawing. My model session was a hoot, what with the two or three beers we drank and the fake baby and yoga mat covered in Dharma fur. I have several good variations on the pose to look at and I also figured out a little problem with the framing/printing.)

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seven weird things

Via OhMyGoddess I’m So Jealous Of Her Hair Sugared Harpy:

Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Yeah, I probably won’t. Do it if you catch this post. Or not if you don’t want to. I’m flexible like that.

1. I hate when my nails grow longer than just a tint bit of white showing. It feels dirty.

2. I have 12,543 weird OCD compulsions. One of them is that I have to check and recheck my alarm is set about 3 times.

3. I prefer odd numbers.

4. i prefer lowercase letters, and my signature is not capitalized. i follow the rules in the post on the blog because i admit it is easier to read capitalized sentences and i worry you’ll think i’m either pretentious or lazy. i do vent my lowercase love in my titles usually.

5. Another OCD thing is flexing my (freakishly long) toes against my shoes in rhythms that I see or hear: music, or mile markers on the road or whatever.

6. I have a fetishy desire to own Catholic paraphernalia- rosaries, saint medallions and cards… but I’m a shameless heathen.

7. Several lay people have theorized that I might have absorbed a twin in utero- they think that explains my birth defects.

Tagged:

Laura Without Labels
Heidi- Hortus Deliciarum
Lexie- This Wabi Sabi Life
Kathy- Available Light
Brooke- Urban Earth Mama
Coffee Betsy
Mere Mortal

inspire :: DNA

Inspire Me Thursday’s topic this week is Uniqueness/DNA. My first impulse was to repost my digital art piece which features a latticework of DNA.  Then I thought I’d repost this image about my birth defect. Then I decided I’d just link back to that (as I realized it wasn’t imported to the WordPress blog) and post the pregnant image. I keep forgetting and re-remembering that I’d made this. (I don’t have any prints of my own; I paid my doula with the one framed print I’d displayed at an art show.)

It occurs to me now that I could maybe create some digital pieces or altered digital pieces for that show in October. I’ve only very tentatively and quietly created real digital work, haven’t really emraced the medium as Fine Art (versus Graphic.) Time- and money-wise, it’s probably the best bet to actually follow through and create a small series for the show. It’s still costly, though: printing and framing.  If we can get caught up a little on bills, borrow what’s left  I’ll worry about making the art now; buying materials will follow.

 This was the one piece of intentional, “fine” art I made while I was pregnant. It’s called MotherLine. It was a pencil drawing, scanned in and painted in Photoshop then duplicated and layered with the (really beautiful) latticework of DNA I pieced together. I love the DNA in it- definitely my favorite part.

the strangest heart i’ve ever felt

Dream last night:

Bu and I have traveled to Alabama to stay w/ Lexie. The house is long and narrow. Very light in space and aura.

Her whole family is there; it’s a mad zoo. Her dad, granddad, cousins. I feel overwhelmed by them all. They all look like M’s family with his dark wavy hair. Remy = adorable! There is a very complicated diapering with small cut-outs pinned individually into his pants. Emsy likes him. She has a cousin who seems to hate me but then warms up; He reminds me of my step brother, to whom I have never really warmed.

Lexie, her grandfather, M, Bu, maybe more, are all in a line with their hands on each other’s hearts doing some kind of divination or energy reading. I join in with Lexie’s hand on my heart. She looks interested, like concerned-interested. “What is it?” I ask. “This is the strangest heart I’ve ever felt.” I say something along the lines of “Well, it may well have a whole extra chamber. Who the hell knows with this body. I have missing parts, extra parts…”

The end. What a weirdly unsetting but poetic phrase. I woke with it resonating in my mind. I may have to wait ages for Alexis to come back from California to hear her reaction. (Do they have net access where you’re staying?)