The Art of Myself

My father told me a few days ago that if I go on eating flowers as much as I do, I’ll eventually turn into one. When I walk through the streets and my mind feels misplaced, I imagine myself as fragile as a flower – quivering in the breeze, my roots aloft sliding on the tarmac, realizing most of the things around me could crush me. In my fragility I find a certain peace, I find a connection to the uttermost sensitivity of my surroundings, and there I feel as if all around me was aligned with myself as a part of my surroundings – in my delicate solitude.

I was a beautiful child, a happy child. When I was still so small I was unable to reach the doorknobs, I’d run from a neighbor to another, from table to table, where I remember I was always given sweets and smiles. I spent the most of my early childhood watching children’s movies, getting to know the fairy tales, and living them when I stepped outside of the door and headed to the forest nearby. In the forest me and my best friend would spend days, glazing all of our doings with our beautifully naive imaginations. Once I found a dead mouse in a familiar path taking deeper to the forest, and I became saddened for its having to leave its life. I decided I wished to help it, and remembering having told there was a special heaven for things, I went home to get a piece of orange colored rope which I came back to set around the mouse, wishing he could use it for climbing to heaven. I wasn’t told much about heaven at home, but I remember how they talked about it in songs in kinder garden. After we sang, we prayed. I didn’t know anyone else in the heaven yet, but the dog – Zero – my mother and father had to put to its end when I was born, so I talked to him. I wept, as I whispered how sorry I was, that I did not wish him to ever die because of me, and that I would do anything to undo what had happened, and I remember making a promise to him : I’d do my best to replace him. In the preschool, when it was my 7th birthday, I invited everyone with the invitations I myself had made. I always invited everyone to my big parties that were always themed as masquerade, to which I wanted everyone to dress as colorfully as possible, for after all my birthday was May the first – a colorful festival in my country. All the boys decided to throw my invitations to the trash not wanting to come, telling the reason being because I was a girl. I do not remember being very sad, but instead thinking they were only stupid, for saying no because of that, for I myself never had made much distinction between boys and girls. In preschool I also had my first kiss, it happened in the small locker where all the games were kept, there I gave a kiss to a girl I liked. In my first to third grade of school we had a small forest just outside the school in which we were allowed to play in. I remember loving the forest, and I remember it from the details of the branches and the plants. There was a large, old tree there, which around we used to play with. The first time when I felt my connection to the nature being much more intense than other’s, was when my friends decided to start carving its bark away, which I knew to be the tree’s skin. Shocked, I yelled at them to stop killing the tree, and as they ignored me, I felt desperate, sad and mad, not understanding why would they want to kill our beloved tree. Older, as I moved to another school a little further away, as I walked there through the forest I whispered to the wind to blow the trees more and more, to caress them, believing I held magic powers and that the nature could listen to me.

These are some of my childhood memories. I am older now, but still I am a young woman, who keeps finding herself from this child who was more sensitive than she ever let anyone know, that she even herself realized. There are some things that have followed me through all these years to my present moment in spite of growing and reaching adulthood, and those things are : I am still incredibly sensitive, I still feel a connection to nature, and I am still unable to place myself in the boxes presented to me.

My teenage years were not pretty, they were the opposite. I gave away my childhoods innocence way too early, having being disappointed so many times I started believing I myself was the thing to carry the misfortune within. This idea started spreading through me like a disease feeding on me, and soon I felt insignificant, unable and worthless. For thinking so, I soon found myself from the company which was the only one I believed to be the one I belong – people who believed to own all of these three characteristics too and lived to them each day writing their own story under these labels. I misbehaved, I treated myself unworthy of any good, and I gave myself away to things that would hurt me, believing those were the only things I would deserve. But still, I didn’t fit to the box I tried to hide to, and for a while I believed it was because I wasn’t destroyed enough, so I kept doing the things that would hurt me the most, all of the ones every loving parent would stop their child from doing, if they were aware, but unfortunately I was relatively good at being very convincing and as most who I talked to, my parents too thought of me as smart for my age. I was raised lovingly and free, I was able to go and try, I was not fed things as truths, and I was stimulated to explore, but under the love I felt there was something which I didn’t understand, and that was that it did not unravel to me why love as I knew it, would include cry and shouting in the nights that would keep me awake trying to listen what it was all about, till sometimes I cried hearing the acts of violence, and sometimes I walked to witness it with the tears in my eyes begging for it to stop. In my own relationships I grew according to the same way of being – I was two. There was the side of me that would bear being treated badly, acting till I myself believed I wasn’t mistreated, and the side of me that would hate herself in her agony, hate her weakness when it came about, punish herself, and later determine herself as failed and after the dust settled I raised the question of what does my existence mean. I spent many years letting people meet only my other face, as I myself stayed back, too afraid, I got hardened.

Now, today I am able to see a little more clearly  why my teenage years were as rough as they were, and I am able to see how finding my own personality has given me mostly agony, for I’ve always felt as if I was never understood. For some years, I’ve worked on dissolving my personality and forgetting gathering characteristics, following my intuition, letting my temperament rise from within me and making a new connection to the child I was, doing only the things I truly love and pushing aside the ”me” who used to work as my face, the zombie or the demon who ate on my energy. The child I still find within me had never left me, staying as pure and simple as it has always been. This child within is the one who dips her hands to the flood of creativity, who wishes to enjoy life through its playfulness, to live each day with wonder in her eyes and to love the world for giving these eyes and the opportunity of living in micro and macro perspectives – both places where I’ve learned to flee from my agonies of being a human being. My adulthood has grown to protect my child as the most precious of all, using all the good methods it was taught by her own parents and experiences: to explore, to love and know the many ways it may return, to have curiosity, to express yourself, to practice the things you love… But still, although having found a deepening connection within myself to myself, having integrity combining all of my multiple sides, having re-discovered a magical connection with all around me, having found some of the things that bring me the ultimate bliss… I am incapable of making myself understood and any of the boxes I am offered do not fit me – I have grown out of shape, my roots are lingering all around me. Therefore I have stopped wishing to be understood and moved to wishing to understand, my priority to be understood by myself so that I can keep on doing what I find a necessity – continuing self-inquiry and self expressing, and through understanding myself I may find a connection to all around me – the nature, my existence and the people and all between. Still, having found my ways and strength in my sensitivity and diving head first to creativity and seeing it manifest itself in so many different ways, I see I am just beginning my journey, I still have agony. I see how I have decided to build my own structures to shelter me instead of making myself an inorganic, clumsy pile of boxes, but as I still do not understand my creativity and definitely not how it wishes to be the most beneficial for me in the world of adults (it being more confident in enjoying its unpredictable child-likeness) I spend my days diving to it again and again, dreaming, wondering, practicing, smiling, crying and living. Refusing to waste many of my hours to things I would find complaining in as many still seem to accept as a determination of adulthood, chasing for my passion and finding glimpses of it everyday. Living in my dreams, making my life my story, and my story my greatest Art. My only box being my organic and ever changing Art of living.

 

Eveleen Poulain

Making love to tears is (not) enough to me

image
@plantimal

I just saw her pierced nose and a flood of conceptual tears all over it and the rest of her face, and I expecially see her hands in the making of this unforgettable piece that is always crying and suffering for killing the shed tears. It makes me feel a bit distant from her deep world, and think about how much I love tears and the overflow of them in other people’s eyes. I feel emotions and life and sensitivity when I saw tears and the face in which they overflow through. It is just normal to me: when I saw tears, I feel love, I feel loved too. My mother’s tears for a verbal fight against anybody else or me, my twin sister’s tears coming from her nostalgic heart, my friends tears about how life is bad… I don’t know how to react to any, verbally or physically, but they shake a entire world in me -but I did love tears on a beloved visage. I only love people that are not too false to themselves to accept tears, and I feel like I could not ever respect anyone out of that. Otherwise the true is not totally in that respect they make me feel; I love tears mostly because I patently see love in them. It is not even just a matter of the Others, it is a matter of me too, because I love my face when I am crying. I do not cry so often, not because I do not accept that, obviously, but for I do not manage to be in a deep feel so often. I always got that of me: I do not hate deeply, I do not love deeply too, or I do not do both of the things easily. I just hate someone I have rivalry with, and I just love my twin sister. When she cries, I often cry too: but that is not all. When the poor two or one I hate are happy about something I don’t want them to win, I half cry too. But that is not all. I don’t see beauty in all things and cry, I don’t cry over beautiful words or sad matters. I don’t cry when life is gentle to me or when it is hard: just as it is not ever too hard to me, or enough gentle to me, too. I may sound unsatisfyied.

However, making love to tears is a thing I find very easy or spontaneous to do, instead of crying. Just as tears had been my beloved lovers overflowing from a deep mountain full of opportunities to feel, I accept them and imagine to take their hand and bring them home with me, to make love to. I am always naked when I cry, always clear and always feel true and guilty too. Just like I do when I lose myself in feelings, I am not alone when I am with tears. If you could see me when I cry or when I am with someone who is crying, you could not get a thing of that: you would see me doing absolutely nothing that can be seen, except for crying or being with someone who is crying. It is all inside of me and, in words, I don’t know if making love to tears – from others or mines – is still enough to me.

Through this piece of art from her, though, I can imagine I cry with Helena at any time.

@cantnameacat

Art by instagram @plantimal

Do not assume this one incident will stop me

The journey of self love is one that most seek yet many fail to find.

I posted a video on Instagram. I was in my knickers, topless yet covered with a mirror. A video of me moving a mirror up and down reflecting in another mirror creating never ending images of my face inside the mirror held to my chest. This is what caused my mum, yes my own mother, to contact social services. My body, which like many others I have struggled with, shamed upon. It was art, and I was the subject of the art. Because only now after over four years of battling myself mentally and physically I had managed to see myself as the rose that I am. ‘Our natural form is something that will always be frowned upon’ is all that ran through my mind that night.

I felt so trapped and isolated for so many years whilst I wasted away in the darkness of my room, riddled with anxiety of judgement for opening up to others about the days on end that I would not feed my fragile body. I had to find a way to empower myself. Over the years Instagram made me build confidence and feel beautiful, yet I did not realise I had a limit. That limit being expressing my love for myself. Do not assume that this one incident will stop me.

Anonymous

She “muse”

This is mostly to my twin sister who always put me in the hard-ness of making her my own muse, making myself first a sort of Vladimir Nabokov to “her” Vera, or someone with a less talented narrative and less of a French-mots addicted.  I live with her presence all days and all nights and it can be of no help when it comes to highlight the mystery of a person, of a relationship even (I am saying this only because I love mysteries, maybe). I live with her since I can remember a thing and I still do believe she is a mystery to me. The biggest of them all. She still seems magic to me. She is magic, actually, and on a daily basis.

She actually sings to her French songs while she does her skin care routines, and she actually cries in enchanted sobs at night in her solitude. She treats her hair like treasure and she can actually relate to French movies characters. She actually take my hand and guide me in her dreams, so that I could nearly know from her inside. I even know she keeps secrets too and she still is a mistery to me, in her untouched, intimate reality.

First of all I need to say I never thought of her like “a other one, out of me”. I obviously know we to be two different person, but I never see her with my blinded-eyes-full-of-love, because I can see her through our eyes. I never reach a thing of me without arriving or passing by her things, or our out-loud thoughts -just like when we pray for our brother to come home lately, laying in our bedroom, both browned eyes and tied up minds. We do not just create our lifes together, just like a couple of wifes could do. We raised up two worlds from nothingness, we built up two sovereigns from teen voids, sadness and nothing more.

Maybe it is again just because I could nearly see the world inside her too that I can say she could ever be the only one who could say a thing about the powerful, beautiful and unique galaxy inside her. I could never say a word enough for her – to her power, that beauty and uniqueness. Maybe it is again just because I could be so near to her that I know how deeply alone she is, and how I am too.

Clearly, I would never misinterpret her desires or made her my piece of art (or something like that) and taking her away from the possibility to be her own only. I do love words, books, paintings and sculptures but I hate how much they can manipulate reality. I hate that it can only be known about the models from reinassence (or before, or after) by the male painter. I hate that Lolita can lives only through Humbert’s words. I clearly know that poets or artists sometimes are meant to make people last in time, and that everyone is not a poet. Therefore I know that there is only a person who could paint who/what the pale, nostalgic model from Melancholy by Francesco Hayez is and feel, and that is not Hayez at all.

This is not just to please you to be your first poet, first narrator and first painter of it all. This is for them to understand that it is not right to feel free to be the someone or something else’s artist or explain-er; they only own a world, that is their own. In the absolute solitude of the matter: a panorama belongs to its raw truth only, a dog belongs to that dog only, just as a flower belongs to that flower only. That is why I feel alone: because I know anyone or anything is in their whole, complete and un-needy loneliness too. I may see a flower and love it, and think I would be pretty next to it, or even free and happy too. The next day that flower may die and I would not even get the weakness of it, when I thought it would always look beautiful for a long time, not seeing its truth. I still have no access to it. I am alone just like this flower. Can you understand it? Can you cry over it?

 

To my dreamy-daytime sister who always put me in the hardness and beauty of it all,

@cantnameacat

A chant to my flesh

 

I always wonder how magical would feel like to float with no flesh, no bones, not being trapped in a body. Existing just like a wanderer entity.
Most of the days, I look at myself and I do not recognize me. I look at my visage, gently touch my lips, my nose. I stare at my eyes. I taste my warm tears. But I do not recognize me. Not at all. I just can’t recognize myself in my own body, I feel like it is not the true or right rappresentation of my soul. And it saddens me, and I want to scream scream scream and rip out my own flesh, the whole physical “me” which I just can’t identify. I feel like to have a body will eternally feels odd to me, it will forever be unfair and wrong.
But if I’m writing this now, if I’m opening my heart in this moment is because I want to accept it, to feel it as my own shell, not as a cage. To love and cherish it . I want to recognize my whole external being and adore it every moment of my life. And while I’m typing this I slowly understand what a precious experience can be to have a body,so special and delightful, almost divine . You’re so used to your own features somedays you just can’t accept them. But they’re your own features, only yours, living in your special and unique body and they are worthy, they are you and they are sublime and I swear I’m going to adore them for my eternity.

@arsalad

Ode to body illness

I am going to be self-centred (still not selfish at all, not sorry too) because I need to focus on my own actual experience of “illness condition” and “body pain”. I got my period dose of pain, of course. And I heard about some precious queens and their self-inflicted body pain. But I could not talk about anything of that at this shot. As I said, I need to focus on my own view of illness and all of what it concerns.

I am now living in a nearby constricted condition because of a usual but implicitly stated “inappropriate” illness (let’s call it hemorrhoids attack, aka piles, because it sounds alike in my language too, and I were embarrassed about it since the beginning). It made me blocked in my sofa or bed, under my belly and in nervous thoughts, asking myself why I could not go and stay with my sister or help her doing our routine things. I hate that and find no comfort in my position.

When I was a teen and lived in my parents house with my mother always (or a sort of) all around, I experienced being ill as a extended version of being taken care of. I was not ill so often, but when I happened to faint more often and for two times when I was out with my family (at 14 or under) or when I got bad herpes that gave me sores  in my whole mouth and high fever for weeks (at 18), I were cuddle down by all my beloved one and even by all that part of my family I do not never care at all. I remember I was so happy in my bed doing nothing but try to sleep and to face pain. I even remember a time in which I believed to see the shutter from my parents room in which I lay moving fastly and the light making beautiful and nearly magical games with the shadow in the dark, light turned off room. I were happy and I knew nothing bad would ever happen because I just needed that love for a bit more and then I could be ok again. Not because of that love in the first place, but just because that made me believe I were the absolute protagonist of it all, to everyone.

Because of I crave this so much, I even faked being ill to be taken care of a lot of time, and not just to skip school and not even just when I was a teen. Sometimes I feel like I need to fake still today, because I need someone to justify me from thinking about me only and only taking care of myself. Today, though, I win the desire to do so, maybe expecially because I deeply know I can always take care of myself with no need to justify the thing (that is all thanks to my twin sister, though, that holds my hand in her journey of self caring).

However, when I was in the last year of high school I understood there were a lots of things that had a priority before me being ill.

I got to school with my period in the wrost days and because of I was recovered home for a lot of week I was still weak. School had no heating system and it was Jenuary… I felt a really bad pain in the lower abdomen, just like the coldest iced knife were put right through me. My literature teatcher (I literally felt she was my guardian angel at that moment) discovered me in silent pain and I was literally carried by two girls in a chair to a more quiet room. A friend of mine insisted to call the ambulance and I said it was ok to me because I still felt that pain. Now, I told my mom on the phone and I understood so clearly that she was in all other matters and her personal issues (work related, mostly, because she was still at work) made me believe I was not the priority. I honestly felt bad but now I can understand I most felt guilty (I always felt guilt when other people told about how my problems caused theirs too, but just because they did not pay attention to others sensibility). That day my older sister came and rescued me home but that was the same: I just had common mestraul pain and even if it was so bad to me, other people had their issues too and there was no right to put them in trouble because of me. So it ended my beautiful dream as a fever-addicted kid..

I know (at today) that that was a immature feeling too and I want you all to know you have all your rights to ask for help (obviously!) if you are in pain, but still now I don’t find that old comfort in my illness. From that day I was ignored by my mom, I just felt bad for being unable to do my routine, to feel like I need to be estranged to my own body in order to annihilate the pain. Instead, I want me to be here, in my present day, in my present painful body. I want me to (if I could not react in any way) have consciousness of what I feel. I wrote this short genealogy of my illness or body pain just for that reason; for me to understand why it is important to me to feel myself even when I am physically weak -and still today it has really nothing to do with others taking care or not taking care of me.

 

So that is how I should let myself face illness:

1) Do not make your condition a secret, do not hide it. If you hide it, you will increase you anxiety about it, too. Plus no illness is too inappropriate to be shown. Please just be aware of that

2) Take comfort in others (so many of that is because of what my sister continues tell me!) but in yourself too. Do not hide in bed doing nothing. You just need to be yourself, to write, to reflect, to read etc

3) Sometimes there are conditions that you will experience in your whole lifetime in more or less often intervals so you need to accept them. As I said, no illness is a unacceptable one. You cannot hide your cellulite as you cannot hide your hemorrhoids. It is not fair to you nor anyone else. Your body is not always healthy. It is a human body

4) Do not play at “being a well informed doctor” on Google infos. So much is being said on the Internet by so many, but no one of them is you and conditions are different from person to person. Plus, you can not trust your mind when it is anxious about the state of your physical health (this is expecially to my hypochondriacal babe, maybe!)

 

PS: I am aware I used such terms as “conditions”, “troubles”, “pain”, “being recovered”, “illness” mostly because I am a dramatic woman. I don’t really want you to be dramatic too, though, and get worried for me. I will surely be ok, I am just in need to write about it now that I can directly reflect on it.

@cantnameacat

Being a woman/being me in the XXI century

I happen to feel bad when I heard women finally gain their rights and equality during our days. Not because I don’t want that, but just because it felt like they underestimate the intensity of my condition of pain as a woman of this last years. I would never say nothing is changed from a time in which women were obligated to do not study (even if this actually happens in some parts of the world still today), not doing anything but stay at home, having children, do not put a word on “men business”. It is actually a fact that (and here I am only speaking as a woman in the Western country, for my experience at today is this limited) things have changed for all of those aspects.

If you would heard from anyone else, and you speak the matter, they would tell you women are finally considered the same as men, they got their rights (political rights, expecially) and they got their equality and all that feminism was asking for in a time so far from ours… Well, I don’t think so.

I honestly think we still live in a men minded world. I intended men minded world to be misogynist in the order it did not want to even know how true women look like, what they need, what they want, that they are not “Other one”, a weird, strange entity just being there to being “The Other”. In this terms, at today, we still are the “Other Sex”, the “Other one”. We are still those who others speak about, pretending to know our bodies better than us. Pretending to tell us how we should look “beautiful”, how we should shave or speak, how we should even think. I am not saying that we live in an oppressive world still today, because we had rights and we had opportunity. We had so many things but we had not freedom, for I do not feel myself free of being myself.

I am mostly talking about how much that Other can put an influence on us, and I am mostly speaking about passive influences. I discovered myself to be a stranger to my own body, and, in a more accurate way, they make me a stranger to my own body features. I discovered myself thinking how weird I look to my own eyes, and it even happen I sexualized my own body because I felt like I should only be naked when it was sex related  -and never even had a sexual experience, so where did you think this come from if it is not me?

I also discovered this all to be not from my own free mind. I felt I lived in my own skin the influence of our culture, expecially through the media.

Girls first are put in unknown bodies (that actually are their own) by the media that draws the body to be only of that one type (we all know the skinny, tall, tight, and white one I am talking about). Culture did the same by being so full of conventions and rules to “what to do and not to do to be considered normal/pretty/clever”. Still today, I do not feel myself free to be covered up in body hair, stretches marks or cellulite. I am not free (by putting on free the meaning of being totally able to let yourself be yourself with no obstacle, both physical/exterior and psychological/interior ones) to dance in the metro I used to take everyday to go to school (and come back home) because maybe inside of me all is dancing.

They just don’t care. They want their “beauty” to be seen in all music videos, movies, series, TV shows, etc, even in any street advertising. When it comes to let the body to be shown, they work so hard to make it look their “perfect” that it makes me sick. 

It makes me feel like I had to even protect my own image of myself (and this is not only body related but even personality and all), my own imperfections, even. Because, maybe, one day, someone will have the brilliant idea to take them away from me with a click on Photoshop, and I do not want that. If I loan you my image, you better give it back to me (and to the world to see) the same way I give it to you. You, sure, have the freedom to make your images of you look as much beautiful as you want them to look. Maybe you want to cover up your primples, cellulite or stretch marks? It is okay until you are working on your own pics of you, and until you are doing that because of you want to look like that, because “that” is your personal idea of what beauty/what-you-want-to-be-instead is.

I am not even totally free to have my own personal vision of what beauty is because I was scattered in a ready-made world (but isn’t it my own world too?!) in which beauty apparently means one thing only. I forced myself having my own vision of that, but I, still today, felt like I could not do anything but look at me and see a stranger, a weird body that is so far away from those ones that I always see and have always seen in so long and everywhere I put my eyes on.

I am proud but weirded to say I even had to put myself in a personal “training” in which I stayed almost naked in my house for days for my eyes to know my body better, so that when I happen to look myself at the mirror while changing or while just looking at me I do not had to think I did not know my own kind of body better than anyone else’s. If you want to know, it nearly worked, so please if you can just try and stay naked with yourself, so that you don’t forget how your true self look like.

I know that I, as a human, am limited. But I would love to say I am mostly limited because of me, and not because of what a male based culture want me to look like.

@cantnameacat