Working at the gallery is opening up many new places in my mind, not only when it comes to my own art, but also ideas for projects and possibilities I’ve never considered before. I’m having so much fun. I think I’ll finish my painting in a few days. I can’t wait to show it to you. After that, I have more ideas for paintings and drawings. I see them all in my head already.
It’s been a rough week for me and Johnny, it’s hard to be so far apart. Having a long distance relationship is not easy. People think that long distance relationships aren’t really real because of the lack of physical interactions, but at times it’s even more real than a relationship with someone who’s there with you since the only thing you are able to share is verbal communication. Talking is always good. It is the foundation for any healthy relationship. But it’s still hard to maintain a long distance relationship – especially when the missing turns into frustration and the frustration turns into all kinds of bad energies. But love will survive any obstacle, if there’s a two way effort to make it work. I’m happy to have found a man who’s willing to fight for me, no matter what comes our way. I feel lucky. But at times I feel lonely here on this side of the world. It’s the backside of a long distance relationship. To share but not to have. It’s a lot of dimensions getting lost in the void between us, but they are still there. I just wish I could feel his hand on my face right now, telling me that everything will be alright. Because it always will be, in the end.
The weekends are so surreal. Two different continents melting into one. California and Sweden coming together. Like palm trees covered in snow. On each side of the lost hours between two different time zones, we create our own world. Mornings are covered in stars. Nightskies are colored in light blues. Hours of endless conversations. Laughter. Some words lost in translation. Others born out of absurd linguistic compromises that makes us both laugh.
Three poems by my boyfriend Johnny Hernandez:
I learn a lot from his work. That’s the good thing with having a writer boyfriend. I want to learn. At times I feel inadequate in my writing, because I haven’t read that much. I don’t know what’s good taste, bad – or if there are any rules to follow (or break). But thanks to our talks, I’m slowly learning. And I’m gonna start reading. Novels. Classics. And contemporary ones. Poetry. Movie scripts. And everything in between.
I stopped reading when I lived in the traumas. People told me I couldn’t write. That I wasn’t smart enough to read. That I had terrible taste so I shouldn’t bother. Manipulations will make you believe crap like that. Violence will enforce those lies. Even though I was the one with all the talent, I gave up writing. Reading. Until I forgot how much it meant to me
Now I’m reclaiming those things. My talent. And my intellect. I am looking forward to exploring it. And to get lost in the world of books again. I am eager to learn. Hungry for knowledge. Curious about what I can add to the world through my writing. I have so much I want to share with you. I just need to figure out how.
An overcast morning. Grey shadows stretched out across the floor. My inside gravitating towards the ocean. A love story unfolding beyond the depth of the distance. Standing still, yet moving forward. Always.
J calls me a ‘land shark’ because just like a shark, I need to be in constant movement forward or I would probably die. But I do it on land. And the waves are happening inside my mind and heart – a soothing stream of fantasies and feelings, going back and forth, slowly shaping my artistic expressions.
When I am standing still without any sign of movement at all, I suffocate and wither from within. I just can’t get too comfortable; I need to swim in the deep waters of the unknown instead of the familiarity of the bowl. Yet, the unknown terrifies me. The engines of my creativity is without a doubt both my desire and my fear. It’s all very primal. Sexual energy mixed with horror. Light and dark. Good and bad. Life and Death. Fantasy and reality. Fertility and mortality. Extremes. In juxtapositions. Always having fun together. Always coming together as one single energy. In the experience of a human life.
I am starting to detach myself from my older collections or artworks. They are me, but more like they were me. I have so much more clarity now. I am more present. I am more honest. Raw. Yet delicate in the details I choose to explore. Intricate details. Like symbols. Everything is charged with my personal mythology. Explosive. I am so much more confident in the storytelling. I am choreographing the colors instead of letting the spontaneous choices rule the painting process. I am experiencing more balance in the composition, the color palette and the expression this time. It is really exciting.
I will continue to swim on land later today, with my paintbrushes and the water that is like the blood in my paintings – the water that is the distance between me and the man I love.
I spend my days trying to move forward in every area of my life. Mentally, emotionally, sexually, artistically, romantically, spiritually and practically. I get drained easily. It’s so much hard work I’m doing at once. But it has to be done and nobody can do it for me. I am no longer a victim of my past, but an explorer of my future. I understand that I have to take a ‘real job’ in order for my career to get started – I am simply too broke to work as an artist right now. I wouldn’t even be able to afford having any art shows. It’s very hard for me to adapt to the real world outside my own studio. I am not equipped with the social skills that is required – I don’t even know how to act normal, I mean, to tame my wild brain and to just go with the flow without rebelling against every single rule that someone else has set up for me to follow. I wish I could get brainwashed and become fit for a non creative job so I could get the damn money I need to get my career going again. I feel frustrated, and my ego is bruised. But I have to get back into the art world again, and there is no other way to get there.
But I am not complaining. I feel happier than ever – stronger – but also more vulnerable and naked in front of myself. The self therapy work I am doing about shame is really helpful. I’ve never realized how much shame I’ve been carrying around with me. I’m also making research about the connection between shame and humiliation and guilt and punishment – and I have found some very shocking truths about myself. I love when I shock myself like that. It’s called a psychological breakthrough and that’s when I know I am on the right track. Where I am moving past something, when I am moving forward and beyond.
I talk to my boyfriend in California every night. It’s funny how the phone line has such a perfect and clear sound, no static noise or interruptions – yet we have an ocean and half a planet between us. But only that. Emotionally we are so connected and entangled in each other that it feels just like skin on skin – but on the inside. I fall asleep with a smile. I wake up with another.
My mind has opened a door to a smile room I didn’t know existed before. Or maybe it’s in my heart. I am not sure.
I have the love – and a new sense of inner strength. The only thing I don’t have right now – is money.
I can feel my heart unclenching and loosening the grip around the pain – a black stone, without any reflections of light centered inside me. My heart is unfolding like a flower in the morning, reaching for light and air to breathe. I am inhaling your voice and the words you give me. I am always exhaling the ashes of old memories, burning away through our love, until it disappears from the place it was so rooted in before we met. I feel lighter now, but also more solid, like I exist more both inside and outside myself than I used to do. Gravity is not an organ inside my heart anymore, but beneath my feet and the weight of my existence is not centered in my mind but in my body.
Photo of me from 2006.
We are creating our own world – on an invisible bridge between two continents. Your voice creates shadows in my room that are so real that I can feel every word like a touch or your breath, gently floating just above my skin. All we have right now, is the presence of each other’s voices, and the longing in between the conversations.
Our world is slowly replacing the Hell I used to live in. Reducing the darkness, reinventing ways of thinking, reclaiming my emotions. You didn’t save my life – I saved myself by allowing you to love me.
My heart is not crying anymore. My heart is not a broken mirror. My heart still knows pain and fear – humiliation and grief. But now, all that is just an echo of something felt in the past. The eerie echos of being hated by someone I love without any reason at all, of the taste of spit in my face, of my legs spreading for all the wrong reasons. I used to wander among those memories every day – walking in and out of them like they were geographically places inside my mind. But you comfort me and my heart with your unconditional love – soothing my inside like candlelight. I am vulnerable with you, I have to surrender to the raw nakedness of the vulnerability to be able to build this new world with you – and in that vulnerability I can grow and breathe without inhaling fear.
Missing you is bittersweet. While it’s painful at times, I wouldn’t want to be without it. When you are in a situation or a relationship where you don’t feel the sensations of missing somebody, you end up missing the missing – so it must be a good thing after all.