As spring finally starts coming in the door, I can feel myself exhale. Winter was hard. I’m so tired of being cold, of the dark and grey days, of wearing boots and coats and hats. I want to feel air on my skin and walk outside without being huddled, face aimed down at the icy ground. I know my new life is waiting to begin. Something has been percolating– ideas, freshness, sparks. I’m surrounded by my old life everywhere, and nothing seems right because my mom is missing. I want to start a new life.
So, part of that is making the old things new. Two weeks in a row I’ve gone to life drawing, something I always did with my mom before she died. I’m trying to make it my own thing now.
New t-shirts for sale! I am now taking pre-orders for this design of a cat in glasses drinking coffee and reading a book. American Apparel Jersey T-shirt in white. Sizes S, M, L, XL (mens sizes). Price: $20.
Click here to pre-order!
I have these two little cats, Ingrid and Galactus. They are still kittens, about seven months old and they are sisters. Every day I’m learning so much about life and love from these furry monsters.
The other day Ingrid took a giant shit right in the window alcove. She looked right at me while she was doing it, and I got so mad. After furiously cleaning up the mess I grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and told her exactly how I felt about what she’d done. She looked at me with her cat face, and I was confronted with her non-human-ness. I let go and she ran under the couch. I don’t know what she understood from that moment, but I felt immediately bad for yelling at her. A few minutes later she was rubbing her little head under my hand and purring.
They teach me that they will still love me if I get mad at them. That as soon as one moment is over the next moment has begun. They are a handful, but there are ten thousand moments of joy at their existence to match each moment of “UGH WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
They love me all the time. They knock stuff over, jump into the sink while I’m washing dishes, run like crazy around the apartment, scratch things, jump into every bag they see, but also cuddle and purr and look at me with blinking eyes and sleep in my arms, on my shoulders, in my lap, curled against my side.
I texted Greg to tell him about the Ingrid pooping situation and he wrote back: Remember I love you and pretty soon we will have a actual human pooping everywhere so it’s just good practice.
No (calm down Grandma) I am not pregnant. But someday soon I will be. Cats are not practice for human children but maybe they are. They are making me more patient and expanding my sense of humor. So is Greg. So is life.
March 10 is still the day you died. I still don’t know what to do. I still feel this way. I keep trying to learn Pearl Jam songs to play for you but they’re so damn hard.
comic originally drawn and posted in 2012.
When I’m working at home, the kittens’ favorite spot is on my desk, basking in the light from the window. Today, Ingrid has been right there, sleeping on and off, only getting up to follow me to the kitchen or the bathroom. Galactus is on top of the climbing tower, occasionally jumping down and trotting over to check on me.
As I write this, Ingrid has jumped down, and Galactus waited only a moment to take her place in the exact same sunny spot.
I’ve been doing some DIY instructional comics! This is a new kind of drawing work for me, and it’s been very interesting. I get to learn while drawing!
My sister, Phoebe, who lives down in the Patagonia region of Chile, asked me to illustrate a handout about Vermicomposting, or Lombricultura in Spanish. Basically it’s composting in a bin with worms, dirt, paper, and food. Phoebe is on the Committee for Environmental Education for the 10th Region of Chile, and they organize summer and winter schools for all the environmental educators in the region. This year she did a workshop on integrating compost, planting in vertical gardens, and eco-bricks into the classroom. Here are a few of the drawings I did for the handout:
This song has always made me think of my mom and her cancer treatments. I imagined her as Yoshimi, and the robots as the cancer, the vitamins as the chemo and radiation.
My cover of Yoshimi by The Flaming Lips (on ukulele):
This shirt was inspired by a conversation in the Images Cinema office yesterday. Thanks to Janet and Doug.
Also thanks to Greg for letting me use one of his old undershirts.
my cover of Lucinda Williams’ Something About What Happens When We Talk (on guitar):