Let me start out with this.
A handful of things I grew up believing. 1. The more beautiful you are inside, the lovelier you are on the outside. 2. Don’t steal even a stick pin from the ground 3. Pray for the souls in Purgatory 4. Wear underwear to bed in case you have to go to the hospital in the middle of the night 5. Mary was a virgin 6. Be nice to everyone. 7. Make a lot of money so you can win friends.
My mother was a professional in mothering and used to to sneak bills from my father’s wallet while he was still asleep, because apparently the stay at home gig to 7 kids wasn’t really worth being paid for. My father was a professional bookie. He was a grade school drop out, Sicilian immigrant. Only had a mother, a dead father, and 2 handfuls of older siblings. He learned to hustle young, like age 10, around the same day he began smoking Lucky Strike unfilters. By the time he had 7 kids he was running serious books for our small town. This did not mean we were mafioso rich. Not even close. This meant that some months we just survived, some months there were lobsters tails for dinner and some months the stress was so fierce I’d take to hiding in my room.
M parents never let on to the outside world we were in need. Pride or whatever stood in the way and we pretended/lived like all was fine even when it wasn’t. Inconsistency was my constant.
I began to believe that worth is equated with money and poverty was a flaw caused by laziness. You would not be accepted if you were poor, you would not be liked. I took this cloak of thought to University with me, where I was enrolled under the Educational Opportunity Program (and my kick ass essay) I lied through my teeth once I was there and never let on to my white, middle class friends whose parents who had normal jobs that I was “one of those kids” who “stole” a place in enrollment for being poor with unusual circumstances (another secret revealed!!)
Of course as I matured I rejected this as a theory, but the idea still lives in my matrix, Like now. I am scared of what you’ll think of me. Rationally, I know that poor people aren’t uneducated and stupid and I know that monetary wealth isn’t equated with intelligence, but there is still something in me that tugs “if I was as good as I could be, I’d be able to buy groceries without foodstamps right now.” I want you to think I am good! I want you to accept me!
The economy has sucked for the trades and then my husband ripped his guts apart and to this moment still can’t hold his own children without wincing in pain, let alone do the job he perfected over 10 years. But this is not my sob story. No. Fuck that. The oaks are not pissed when the wind rips through them and steals them of branches, the ocean isn’t bothered when the storm throws it’s massive around, the mother isn’t full of spite when birth pours through her like hot lava. This is life and I am working with what I have, opening myself to the fullest. And I celebrate hurricanes and tsunami’s and the painfully burning ripping crowning of life. How can I not? This, this right here is a radical miracle. This is the important stuff. The richest kind of matter that brings me closer to me.
But now that I am against a wall, my husband unemployed and my rent outlandishly late, I have to ask this. What is this writing worth? This service of sharing my experience as well as the gush of energy that comes from the Unknown? Is there a value here to me? To you?
My fucking computer broke 2 weeks ago. Rewind. My fucking computer broke 2 weeks ago. Right now I am typing on a friends. The computer was the tool I had to keep this all coming and going out, sounds and syllables riding the waves of the ether and landing on your lap. And now it’s done. Gone. irreparable.
When I was 26 and 27 and sort of cool I used to work in Music PR for emerging musical artists in Los Angeles and during this time there was a movement to bring the power back to the artist; between payola on the radio and greedy record labels, the musician made a penny off the dollar and mass produced music came into effect and most successful sounds were boiled down to a tasteless pile of powdered mash potatoes. Soon the internet exploded and dotcom radio stations and artist direct sights came bursting through the pixels and a new era was born for musicians. Pay the artist directly so that it can still be art.
I have written on this blog for 5 years and done so happily. It was my way to hone in on my craft while connecting with the world as a stay at home mama. I never thought of securing advertising. I don’t begrudge blog owners that advertise, I completely understand it. But I knew it wasn’t for me partly because I am just so business and computer inept and partly because I didn’t really have to, partly because I feel I didn’t deserve payment (another secret!) and partly because I’m a fucking radical purist who doesn’t want to pimp myself out to diapers made with toxins or shampoo made with Napalm. I read The Sun Magazine religiously because there is not ONE advertisement in it. Again, this isn’t to say that advertising, especially when it’s smaller business providing healthy and artistic services is wrong in the least. Cross promotion I am all for. It’s just all food for thought and digestion.
There has been an outpouring of love and compassion from my readers in the past month while I’ve shared our circumstances. I have been so supported and honestly overwhelmed as I walk in gratitude. And now here comes the rip my skin open with a rusty knife painful part. More than a few readers have suggested I create a tip jar for this blog. And this is why today I borrowed this computer to write.
I know what I am worth to you. This isn’t even a question I ask. It’s not about money but the comments and emails that flow into my box connecting with me on a soul level even though we aren’t touching hands or watching the sun jump off the iris of our eyes.
My husband told me once if every artist had 500-1000 fans willing to contribute a small amount every year, that artist could survive keeping the art in their own hands, keeping the artists family fed and sheltered, living simply, but living while doing what the love. What else do we really want? Money? No we want freedom and time to enjoy what we love.
And so here I am. Open heart. Open mind. I need a computer to continue sharing these words. I absolutely can’t buy one now or the foreseeable future.
In the past five years I have humbly stood on the edge of the cliff and ripped off my clothes and jumped. Birth and sex and mothering and politics and sitting and food and shit and fear and love and drugs and blood and music and pranayama and cancer. Someone recently questioned the whole authenticity thing in writing….like what does being authentic mean? To me it means this. Being in the moment, allowing it to happen the way It Is in every second. We are 10,000 different beings wrapped into nothingness and we can’t be scared to empty that space each millisecond of each letter born on the page. We are all puzzles that might never be solved, but if each of us offered a piece at a time we could come together. We are Lost. We are Found. Over and over again. In my truest self, in this very moment right now, I ask for help.
Has this blog ever fed you? Filled you? Have you ever been grateful for whatever the hell has come through me from whatever lives inside, outside, up, down? Has anything in the past 5 years that I’ve written consisted of something would pay to read? If you have, can spare $1? $5? $10?
Here is my blood sister promise to you. I will write and post 3 times a week for the next 2 weeks. I’ll use public computers or a friend’s computer. At the end of each post there will be my email where you can donate to my paypal account. Once I garner enough funds for a cheap laptop (which I have the feeling will happen in no time at all. I have this faith. I must.) my promise will continue. 3 times a week for the next 6 months. Feel free to ask me to explore topics, subjects, or force me to keep revealing the secrets inside (I got a lot more!) CHALLENGE MY BELIEF SYSTEMS (contrary to popular belief I love more than just blog cheerleaders).
I can’t even express how hard this was to write, to ask. I am freaking out and want to just hit delete and run away. I want to just sigh and say it’s a sign to go back to my Brother Word Processor and create a zine. But I know my worth. And somehow, right now, the Universe is asking me to allow that worth to translate into the green stuff. The Universe is asking me to know, deeply, that I worth this.
If you want to just go ahead and donate now to the Misplaced Mama’s computer fund, my email address it firstname.lastname@example.org. Just go to paypal and select the option that says Send Money. Seriously a $1 will help.
I love you. And I know I am going to get some serious hate mail for asking a world of strangers to help my buy a computer so I can continue blogging/writing. But whatever. We’re all in this together, right?