End of the School Year is Here!

The main reason I haven’t been creating or sharing much this past year is because I’ve had both of my kiddos at home with me, one doing virtual schooling and the other homeschool preschool. We are finally done! We made it, woo hoo! I’m hoping I can carve a little more time out for creating and posting here now that I won’t be lesson planning and prepping every day, but I also want to enjoy this couple of months with the kids, too.

It was wonderful having them home, but I went over a year without a single break aside from a couple solo walks and two weeks of dress rehearsals. I would almost jump into my car with glee when I had to make the hour long drive to get to the theater I am designing for. But we’ve started getting some breaks now that the grandparents are taking the kids once in a while, and I really appreciate the solitude and the couple time with my husband.

Here is the song I wrote in the beginning of the year. I feel proud for surviving with my sense of humor and sanity somewhat intact.

Sign a Friend’s Petition Please!

My friend’s young daughter was forced to be overheated in a very hot classroom because of strict “no spaghetti straps” rules, and in the process was shamed for “the strap maybe slipping and showing her chest”, and now my friend wants to work to change the dress code in the school. https://www.change.org/p/syracuse-city-school-district-sexist-dress-codes-have-got-to-go?redirect=false If you have a chance, can you sign it? Change.org will promote it for free if she gets about another 100 signatures.

It is utterly ridiculous in this day and age for young girls to be shamed in this way because they could potentially distract the male students. The onus of control is on the one who is feeling any sexual urges, not on the object of desire, regardless of how one sexually identifies. It is especially disgusting that it is going on at the elementary level.

We The People

This week has been… well, it’s been, hasn’t it? We’ve been confronted with a lot of ugly truths about the United States, and looking them full in the face is necessary if we are ever going to have a chance of surviving as a society.

Biggest truth of this week for me – there is no collective “we the people”. If you look at the voter counts, it is so close to 50-50 in so many areas of the nation. There is no true will of the people at this point. And for those of us who care about other people, that is hard to bear. We haven’t reached the tipping point of the population giving a damn. And we don’t have a whole lot of time left to reach that tipping point.

I know we’re all exhausted. Some have their hopes pinned on a change in the White House being the key to everything,, but it is only a first step. The work is far from done. We need to process, hold people accountable for their actions, hold ourselves accountable for our own, and do what we can in the communities we are a part of. And that looks different for everyone, so don’t compare yourself to others. Just take a moment of quiet reflection every day, and do the best you can with what you have. Rest when you need to. Then pick up the load as soon as you can to drag it a little further. Complacency is a luxury we were never entitled to have.

She Hangs Stars, an abstract painting

she hangs stars by kat micari - blue texture painting

I finished this abstract painting about a month ago, but I had to install my scanning software onto a new laptop since my old one decided to die. I’m hoping to get my gallery pages updated this week at some point.

I’m here and creating when I can. The creativity comes in waves during this social isolation and political turmoil. It’s still been kind of a roller coaster ride emotionally, and there are so many nights that I’m too wiped out after cleaning and prepping prek homeschool for the next day to do anything. But I do what I can. Anyone else feel like they are scraping bottom of the barrel and have been for months? We have to do what we can to refill ourselves, because there isn’t anyone “out there” to do it for us. But it’s a hard task. I find playing creatively is the best means for me to do that though.

My First Original Song and Musings on The Crazy Times We Are In

I have had a really difficult time trying to contribute creatively in some small way in these times we are in, and I have felt really almost trapped by the weight of everything. Last week, this song came bubbling out of me, and I immediately felt better. So I decided to be brave and share it. I kept it a simple 4 chord progression so I could really focus on the words and message and not worry so much about playing.

When the Black Lives Matter protests first started, I dove into making face masks for the local protesters, both for their protection but also to give the cops one less reason to hassle anyone. I signed petitions, I’ve been reading and educating myself, and I’ve been sharing information on my personal Facebook page, but I had no extra energy for much over here. I considered running a sale on some of my art or poetry collection to raise money for a few different organizations, but I felt like that would be gauche in a way, like I was trying to capitalize on other’s pain. I sketched out a possible big painting to go with my Little Boy Blue poem, but it was truly dark and twisted and something I couldn’t bring myself to start painting. I couldn’t dive deep enough to write any new poems. Everything just hurt too much.

Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter. Trans lives matter. Brown babies in cages matter. I hate putting things in dichotomy, but it really does come down to whether you care about other beings on this planet or you don’t. And if you don’t, then I feel sorry for you. Because there is no place in the future of humanity for people who don’t care. Or who care more for being comfortable than whether or not another human is able to live.

Anyway, this song is released under the Creative Commons License – Non Commercial. I’d love to see if anyone else does something fun with it. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Going Easy

I have finally embraced the new routine, such as it is. Taking joy in the kids, having some meaningful time and deep discussions with my husband, being creative as I feel up to it. Taking odd sewing jobs as they come. But no longer beating myself up for what isn’t getting done or for taking time to just be. Finding joy and peace and calm in the chaos.

Because the world is chaos. And I won’t stand back and watch it burn, but I also won’t fall to pieces about it. I’m just keeping my eyes open, soaking everything in, and doing what I can to raise two decent human beings while hoping I can help create a future for them. There are too many variables at play.

I do still believe that this is a necessary purging for us still. That all the decay and filth needs to rise to the surface so we can skim it off. But we have to be willing to do that work, and I don’t know that enough of us are. I have to hope so.

Whatever comes, life sure is interesting these days.

Sharing an old poem – Normal

Normal, A Poem

Have you ever noticed
There is so much that can be made
‘Normal’ and ‘livable’?
Survival mechanisms played
By master technicians,
Musicians of the human mind,
And we let ourselves be
Instruments of uncommon kind.
Played out, worn down, broken,
Barely able to keep the time,
Forced to play others’ tunes
Instead of our own sweet sublime.
We keep running that wheel
Made by those who manipulate
Bodies so bent and weak,
We easily capitulate.
It is then trauma starts,
And we don’t know how to act.
We let fear burn our hearts.
We respond not knowing all facts.
Then we bury it deep
To go on yet another day,
Feeling something so wrong
But never knowing what to say.
We try to live happy
As commodities, money slaves,
Future collateral
Damage, we work to dig our graves.
We feel something is off
And think it must come from inside
Because the disconnect
Between us is so very wide.
Truth still remains within
Down in the depths of our being
If we let go of fear,
Open our eyes and start seeing.
We are all in this mess
And together can become free.
Let’s take back our power
And make ‘normal’ what it should be.

Copyright 2018, Kat Micari

I wrote this poem a couple years ago, but it feels so relevant to me this week. Take this time of isolation to really learn yourself to the core of your being. We shouldn’t be looking backward but instead be looking to grow ourselves, individually and collectively.

Social Distancing Ideas for Keeping Yourself Sane, Sharp, and Stimulated

I am creating this list both to share with all of you and to remind myself in the long days ahead when having everyone at home will start getting overwhelming.

  • If you live with others, take this time to truly enjoy the company. I have the feeling that this is a make or break time for a lot of relationships. Keep the communication flowing, let the little things go, and find the humor whenever possible.
  • Keep moving. Get fresh air if you are able to, get some kind of exercise routine going for you and your family, if you have one. I like putting music on and dancing like a fool and doing workouts at home anyway. My son’s karate is live streaming his classes and he has P.E. recommendations that I participated in with both kids tonight.
  • Get done those organizational or cleaning or yard projects that you have been putting off. Today I realized that light fixtures in the bathroom aren’t actually frosted like I thought… oops.
  • Consume media that you wouldn’t normally do. Project Gutenberg is a great resource for free books (though throw them a donation if you can).  Try to learn something you’ve never learned before.
  • Create as much as you can, in any way as you can. The creative process keeps you happy and healthy.
  • Take the time to get to know yourself as you currently are. As you can handle this, of course. There is so much opportunity to really grow through all of this.
  • Stay connected to other loved ones as much as possible through phone calls and video chats. Check on people. This is tough when you have kids you are trying to manage through school work and not destroying your home, doubly so if you are trying to work at home on top of it, but even if it’s just a couple people a day, it will make a difference to both you and them.
  • Stay connected in your community if you can, and help those that you can as opportunities present itself.
  • Do something kind for yourself every day, and do a teeny random act of kindness for each person in your household.

I am a creature of action, and I refuse to allow this time of social distancing to bring me to my knees. I know many people are trying to cocoon themselves, and by all means, do what you must for your well being. But we owe it to ourselves and each other not to succumb to apathy and neglect. Take care of you, take care of your loved ones, and let love win over fear.

Do any of you have big projects you are tackling or tricks to keeping yourself sane in this time? Please share them with me!

Supporting the Insufferable – The Choice is Ours

I am disgusted by U.S. politics as we go into the election year, and the debacle of the impeachment hearings. So much so, that I just haven’t been able to talk much about it. And yet, I find myself thinking of a few personal incidents that have happened at home in my reading choices and drawing some parallels to the larger stage.

A while back, when we finally unpacked all of our books that had been in storage for years, I thought about rereading The Mists of Avalon, a book I had picked up at a used bookstore when I was in undergrad along with The Firebrand and had read both one time through and had picked up the sequal to Mists at the library. Truth be told, I was less than enthralled with the writing style, and I felt a vague discomfort reading some of the scenes. But I remembered how much some people cherished the books and Marion Zimmer Bradley, so I was ready 15 years later to give the books another try. Until I read up on the allegations her children made against her, and I had to come to terms with how I felt. And I decided to donate the books to my local thrift store, because while I couldn’t bring myself to destroy a book, I also did not want them on my shelves any more. My husband, more recently, learned about an author that he grew up reading, David Eddings, being jailed for child abuse for a year, seemingly unapologetic about it afterwards. As my husband was in the middle of rereading The Belgariad, he had to think long and hard about whether to continue or not. In the end, he did decide to keep the books and keep reading, in part I think because the specifics of the case aren’t readily available.

Apply this to all that has become apparent in both entertainment and politics. We, as consumers of both in this capitalist nation of ours, need to exercise our responsibilities more. We need to think critically about our choices. It cannot be about creating a cult around someone and following them forever. It cannot be about pouring our hard-earned dollars away to a horrible human being, no matter how talented or how much they appeal to you. The ends can no longer justify the means because that is not how we the people survive in the long run. One of the few ways we can exercise our freedom in this society is by choosing what we pay attention to, what we give our time to, what we spend our money on. We have choices, and we have to wake up to what those choices actually entail.

I don’t know how many political posts I will be making this election cycle. It’s hard not to get discouraged. We co-create our reality, and it seems like so many are still willingly to limit themselves to mere existence instead of actually living, and as long as their “team” wins, nothing else matters, not even how dead and numb they are inside. It is really sad. I maintain hope for the future, for my children. I try to remember that growing pains are really, really hard and painful, but I’m also anxious for the next stage to come to pass. I’m not sure I will get to see it in my lifetime though.

Crumbs – an election day poem

Crumbs a poem by Kat Micari about our societyI said that I would post this poem every election day until things really changed in this country, and here it is again. Originally from The Little Book of Insurrection or the Poetry of My Discontent. And you can also see me doing a reading of it here.

I know this isn’t a very exciting election cycle nationally, but your vote counts more locally, and it is through making changes on the smaller levels that we can get more change at the higher levels. If you choose to vote, vote for your convictions, not for the almighty dollar or for the corporations. Unless your convictions are to worship said money and corporations, and if so, I might have some questions for you.

I want honesty and integrity and all the muck out in the open. I want civic leaders to be true leaders, examples to the rest of us, and not repugnant filth that I wouldn’t want my children to go near. It shouldn’t be too much to ask. But that’s not how the game is played. My solution, as always, is to change the game.