Sit This One Out

I came today to share that i feel it may be time to phase out of what i do here at the blog. perhaps you’ve noticed that i am not posting as often as I use to. the compulsion to post is completely gone, and the reasons to stay and post are no longer rewarding. i don’t discount those who still subscribe, read faithfully, visit occasionally but any interactions that are meaningful are quite minor, definitely minor compared to the flurry of things when i began here over a decade ago.

with things pandemic, i hesitate to make any major creative decisions. it’s such an intense time right now. do i want to completely disappear – i am not sure. and yet, i feel when i do come to post I think to myself gee, i should share a nude image vs i can’t wait to share something nude with you. there is a difference. it feels obligatory, stagnant and forced. and flat. being here no longer feels like

when i got here today. wordpress shifted to it’s new upgraded whatever posting template and it SUCKS. no option to work in the classic way. i am not in the mood to learn a new way of doing things. that might sound a little childish – but change is not something i am in the mood for right now – took me 10 minutes to post an image and i can’t remember how i did it. fuck that.

SO for now i am sitting this one out. i may post again. i may not.

if you want to reach out. you know how to find me. i welcome that.

Beddian

Beddian Birthday occurs when the age a person is turning, is the same number as the last two digits of their birth year.

you get one in a lifetime.

that’s about all we can say about 60.

i was thinking about birthdays, and decades and parties and cake

at 10 there was a birthday party at our house. my friend from school, and my two neighbor girlfriends were included. one has to remember how unwelcoming my home was. the party was tense. my sisters were part of the gathering and i didn’t want them there. i was 10 and wanted my double digit gal friend space. i had a pixie haircut and my mom had made us these culotte jumpers. the jumpers were cute but not when your sisters were wearing them too.

at 20 i threw a party for myself inviting co-workers. we were ending a season of work together so it was also like a going away party. i secured food that was my favorite from where i grew up as a novelty, and noone really wanted to eat it.  i remember feeling rather disappointed by it all. like people in attendance were just being polite

at 30 i was 8 months pregnant and steeped in unhappiness in my marriage. my first child was just 3 and i was realizing that he and i were no longer going to be just the two of us – there was a lot of celebration with his extended family, which felt terribly awkward. after that birth i spiraled into post-partum depression, but had NO idea what that was. only in hindsight was i able to put all those pieces together. my mother went all out and made a homemade rib dinner birthday feast. my brother was there – our bdays are a day apart and i remember having a really good time at that birthday. my mom’s kitchen counter was so full of dishes that she lit the candles of our favorite birthday cake on the kitchen floor. that was a good memory.  i can’t even remember if my husband was there.

at 40, my second husband threw me a surprise party inviting people who he thought were my friends. they were not. awkward as get. he lacked finesse in the details. it was hosted at a gals house whom i had recently had a difference of opinion with. shortly there after the friendship ended. turns out hoopla like that. surprises were about him. not about the recipient.

at 50, i was brand new to a community. i was an empty nester. i had just bought a home, a feat i never thought possible, and in the end, not a good fit for me as you know. i got caught up in the making the impossible happen. at that time i was business focused, and later was shunned from a good portion of that town for having my own ideas and hair on my legs. sigh. i bought my own cakes and champagne and hosted my own random gig. the strangest collection of people attended. and noone ate cake. whats that about? someone asked me what 50 felt like and i described it as a springboard into the unknown. something i could feel underneath my feet.  most of my 50’s sucked.

60 finds me the most isolated i’ve ever been. my emotional and physical health challenged. it’s not that i have some terminal illness – thank goodness, it’s the myriad of failings that my body continues to throw my way. it’s my mind when it gets to that overwhelm place and my day is lost, it’s a panic i have that is indescribable. it’s the depth in which my heart is broken. over and over. seemingly the memories of things thwarted just haunt me – if there is a place of letting go – i have not found it yet. lately, the phrase where were you? has shifted to where are you?? but really where the fuck were you goes back to my youth. who’s got your back. who’s got you?? who gets you?  my connections to others virtual, thanks to things pandemic. oddly, i share that with you. we now have virtual connections in common in a very real way.  but how connected are they. really. i tell my children — there are the things we don’t say to each other.  this verbal silence causes harm. this saddens me. speak your shit. people disappear and i dislike it. i’ve distanced and detached for self preservation way too long now. a boundary.  a management of emotional bandwidth with no regret. i am better for it. this is truth for me. I’ve not left others in my wake. i’ve not ghosted or abandoned. i’ve just learned to say no.

I’ll make a special dinner for my beddian birthday. one that complies with my current eating program. i’ll find joy in …well, the only food joy currently is an avocado.

i’ll have a big piece cake in a delayed gratification way ….later. maybe. can one feel indifference about birthday cake?

last night i was snuggled in a blanket reading. for a building of 200 elders i find it rather amazing how very very quiet it is. a deafening quiet at times. so so very quiet. and i love it. i had quiet  years ago when i bought my house and i didn’t know what to do with it. i love and feel grateful for the privacy, and the peace of quiet. i also live in a city, so when the city awakens …there is noise. lots of noise. I also love that. quiet to me is very different from silence.

in my lifetime I steeped into three different communities. one as a new mother, the other as a single mom, and the other as an empty nester. where i live now i am the artist. a long overdue, perfect for current times way to be. each layer I felt i left some footprint, some layer of impact, something i can be proud of. when i wondered what i would be when i grew up i never thought how i would contribute to the world but i did. in my own way i was part of things bigger than myself. today i let my art be the connector. during the pandemic i joined a few new virtual groups. with consistency i ingratiate perfect strangers to me, and to my work. i continue to see that i have a volume of work that has distinction. unique to me. i am an artist. but i really need the affirming. I need the feeling that comes with the statement, “i love your work” I value the following.

how this applies to my nude work remains to be seen. i am just not making much nude work at the moment.

i mentioned this photo a bit ago and that i liked it. so, let me this be my beddian portrait.

 

Goddess

I’ve been wondering about GODDESS.

not woo woo goddess

not mystical goddess

or religious goddess.

at least literally.

i mean figuratively.

i mean the adored goddess

the old, fat, wise one.

and HER shape.

bear with me. pondering post ahead.

A goddess is a female deity. Goddesses have been linked with virtues such as beauty, love, sexuality, motherhood and fertility. They have also been associated with ideas such as war, creation, and death. In some faiths, a sacred female figure holds a central place in religious prayer and worship. ( wikipedia )

when you and i met

12 years ago.

TWELVE YEARS AGO!

i had just lost a bit of weight.

i can’t remember if i ever divulged how much weight i lost

when i began photographing  myself here at anonymously nude

i had just lost 100 pounds.

yay me!!

i irst posted to show courage, and to understand what another sees.

the camera and my minds eye told two different stories

i found self love before self love was a hashtag

i LIKED what i was then.

in 2015, eight years later, a surge of unexplained weight gain occurred.

enough gain to scare me.

35 lbs in 30 days.

i blew up.

it felt like i blew up

the gain was like get to the dr scare me.

“you must be menopausal ” the endocrinologist said.

SIGH

fast forward to now. 2020

all that weight. all those ONE HUNDRED POUNDS

is back.

UGH. it didn’t happen over night, the 2015 surge started it all …

recent dr work confirms – I don’t have cancer, or a brain tumor

YAY.

but two years into figuring IT out

i can’t lose weight.

i’ve lost my knees, and my feet hurt

and my thighs are thick.

and my self love is

HARD.

really hard to find the love

reasons why, like health reasons are still being explored.

BACK to goddess.

I began wondering about community

because to have that level of adoration one has to earn it.

bear with me.

i was back in town – the town i grew up in

on a break from school,

this guy from my grade school life

pumped my gas.

we talked for a really really long time

and he was a such delight.

like a guy i just wanted to hug.

and seeing him again and the feeling of our great conversation lingered

my growing up was detached from the community i lived in

he alone in those moments,  made me feel like i belonged somehow.

and then he died. death by choking on his vomit death.

horrified. mortified. not even equipped to …

i didn’t have the f-ing guts to attend the funeral.

because if i did that would have meant that i was part of the community somehow.

i’ve never spoken about this.

i have been thinking about how i was raised.

my one sibling and i agree

we were not parented.

we made it up as we went along.

literally.

who influenced me???

definitely the mothers of my friends, the librarians – is that weird? i loved those ladies. I felt so welcome and loved at the library, the nuns? uh no? ( actually … i’d have to think hard about that one. what characters those nuns were. perhaps there is more influence than i give credit . different conversation) 

MY POINT is in order to establish SELF AS GODDESS

one has to have a community who adores THEE.

perhaps that’s why i am here on the interweb.

is this why i’ve kept myself here?

This gets me to the history of where you didn’t belong

the million moves

the hyper focus of survival

the mortification of things failed

the make it up as you go along.

the WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU in the matter of.

ALL of this wondering was spired by a recent set of photos that

i see goddess in

SOMEHOW.

SHE is in there.

Finally,

why does said goddess have to be manifested in a physical form.

could my art, my thoughts and actions, could my knowledge be enough value?

somehow NOT rising to said goddess status feels way more authentic.

way more me.

way more earthly.

i mean, really who do i think i am anyway??

perhaps somewhere in the history of this blog there was that level of goddess adoration.

so much so, i felt assured and confident in that attention and in that following.

things change.

its so quiet here.

I drafted this post in early july.

one might think it’s yesterdays news but it is not

the goddess theme is finding me

in odd, mysterious and wonderful ways.

so far,  it has nothing to do with a nude alter ego

imagine that.

below, and behold

fat and wise

me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And You Thought You Had A Plan

if only i had a plan.

perhaps at some point in time i had one.

today.

no plan.

a part of me

is rather ok with that.

i know a lot of people.

i don’t say that to be boasty.

or to even begin to think that i am popular.

i am not.

i say that because i began collecting and observing others very young

over time, i saw things, observed things, noticed ….things.

lots of folks think they have it all planned out

straight path

straight arrow

point a to point b

linear

do this and this will follow.

my gal friend just paid off her burial spot.

if you knew her, you would feel as endeared by that as I

another couple i know were very prepared for retirement

actually they are probably the only couple I know

who got it right.

created and implemented THE plan for and lived a cushy no worry retirement.

this my dear she said is what you work for.

but for most that i know. truthfully

it doesn’t look like that at all.

and for some on the other side of all that planned living?

like elder/retirement years?

it’s not what they thought it would be.

even if they did all the right things.

they are miserable

and that just makes me sad.

perhaps traditional planning is a croc of shit.

i mean this year?  who could have ever planned for a year like 2020?

are you a news addict?

are you a junkie for being in the know?

sometimes i wonder if one took the time one wasted watching, reading and listening to the news — how much time that would actually be?

news is a drama filled spoon of bullshit fed to the masses

it’s calculated bullshit

folks eat it up.

and what do you really know ?

the truth?

that your weather man wears a tutu?

that the anchor woman got a new push up bra?

when news is real, and needs to be shared.

does telling the same thing. rinse and repeat

move the reality of that news story forward?

for air time?

for likes,

and readership?

why i am lumping a plan and the news into the same pondering is beyond me.

in current times

pandemic

upheaval

hatred

and voices vying to be heard.

the NOISE

of it

has me on edge.

it has me question everything

i even feel defensive.

IF i don’t rally with pink ribbons, rainbow socks, and fists of black and white

does that make me any less of a person?

if the judgement day finds me

and says I am less.

who do they – those who judge, who the f do they think that they are?

is that bullying?

I am left with such a sorting.

WHO am I in the matter

and why?

I think the idea of a having plan is what sparked this thought process.

History didn’t have a plan. 

as you and i spend time together.

we too are making history.

even if we have NO idea what we are doing.

AND I AM NUDE.

what’s that about?

 

 

 

 

Extra

wasn’t ready to publish.

hit the publish button by mistake

whatever

these uploaded wrong

not sure of this title either

my day is so wrung out

i woke up late wishing i could take a nap

i went to visit things from a year ago

not much has changed.

over the weekend i tackled a few tasks on my

please don’t make me list.

meaning what i procrastinate

on. with. don’t want to do but need to

for what its worth – i feel glad that i did that.

if i don’t find a sense of usefulness

i might start banging my head on the wall

i am in here.

i really am

she paws my right forearm, the second time she paws, a bit of claw is pressed into the flesh, the third time, the claw is pushing in. I WANT THIS CHAIR.

the volume of images taken of her in 2020 have likely doubled

 

Tippee Toes

I met him when i was 17. he and i were not dating then, but by the time we married and had our first child we had been together/known each other for 9 years. the years before children he still liked me. for some reason today i was thinking about how much that meant to me, that he was into me. our apartment was a 5th floor walk up. i would hear the car door slam, i’d hear him climbing each flight of stairs, i’d unlock and open the door and I would wait for him. he would cross the threshold into my arms. and he’d kiss me, breathless from the stair climbing he’d still kiss me. i’d stand on my tippie toes, my arms around his neck and kiss him back. He’d push me into the hallway wall. He would pause from the kissing and say “Hi” I’d say “Hi” in return. We’d kiss some more. It was this very sweet moment that happened each night during the work week and i treasured it. I remember telling him. I love that you come home to me. I love that are happy to see me. That you kiss me and let me kiss you in return. I love that. He told me he got a kick out of how breathless i became, and that my standing on my tippee toes was endearing. He said he loved the smell of my hair.

but then a baby was born. he came home to the child, and he came home to the expectation of dinner on the table waiting for him. vs how we use to make dinner together. to this day i don’t get why that changed. or how. it was unspoken. serve me dinner. seriously? i wanted to be a good wife and a good new mom and honor the affection he had for his child but the shift of losing all of his affection left me with such a feeling of emptiness. we didn’t kiss anymore.

the relationship devolved. he’d say things like. I don’t need you. I don’t need anybody he said. one time when he lost a job, he said he wanted to go home. he wanted to go home to his mom and dad. the home we had built wasn’t enough. he said i wasn’t enough. i could author a book about how sexless the marriage became.

Years after it was over.  I asked him what he thought of me. I took in his words of praise silently. He was very generous with what he said. I thought to myself. I NEVER knew in all those years that he thought those things about me. I never knew. He never really treated me in praise and adoration. Why? His response made me feel awful, even though what he said was amazing. I felt like a fool. How did I miss this?

One time I gained a lot of weight. I remember feeling ugly. Self loathing actually. My gain was parallel to pain that had become chronic. There were days I was fetal I hurt so much.  My lover at the time paid the same attention to me heavier or not or so i thought – he’d get me to a place of arousal and I didn’t care that I had a belly or thicker thighs. He made love to me and that was all that mattered. That meant something to me. The acceptance.  Years later, he said. I was not attracted to you. I just faked it and went through the motions. Hurtful. so so hurtful. When that relationship began to fall apart I could tell he wasn’t into me. Automatic sex. Later i found out there was other women so of course he was distracted, and into to the chase of all of that. In hind sight. I wish he just stopped going through the motions. It would have been more honest and made more sense.

The last sex I had was sympathy sex. he too had issues with what was at that time a very strange and rapid weight gain, and while he never mentioned this in the beginning he could not stand the hair on my legs or under my arms. I found out during the summer when i was going to wear a dress and he said do you have any pants you could wear instead? I embarrassed him. this horrified me. why was i even here?

If any of these men had stuck with me. what would they think of me now? A menopausal freak of a human. All three of these men were impossible to have emotional conversations with. 31 years. If we add the silent treatment from my upbringing. perhaps the cards are stacked against me. that’s like 48 years.

once i asked someone to be extra patient and nice to me during times of PMS. It took me a while but i figured out the pattern. my symptoms for 5 days were raging. we didn’t have the internet back then, so i felt rather proud of myself.When I made this request I got looked at like i had two heads, and he felt insulted thinking i felt he was never nice to me. that was not what i said. he offered no inquiry, no compassion or empathy. no behavior shift. he didn’t care how i was feeling, and said so.

along the way fans tell me their stories. boy, the things i could share. the things they have said to me. and being the sortof person i am. curious, inquisitive, wondering and such, i’d ask questions. so, they would tell me more. i know stuff. so much stuff.

the reciprocity however was not always there. the inquiry about me, or the curiousness of my story and such. not so much. perhaps because i tell so many stories there is a feeling somehow if knowing.

the thing is ….i don’t get to be a part of that.

it’s remarkable to be asked.

what a fan reads, decides and or includes themselves in.

it’s all between them and their mind.

i – the person. am not part of the equation.

recent years of combined trauma, and now social isolation

has exaggerated my alone-ness.

the truth is, and i have said this before

i am good at this.

i am asking myself the why the questions differently

like where did these ideas i have about people come from.

the stories i tell myself about men, friends, love, community.

they aren’t very positive.

i keep telling myself it’s them

it’s not me.

because in the space of a circumstance, or another or another

it is them.

they left.

i did not.

i believed and trusted.

not sure what they thought

they left.

poof.

this is a pattern.

my wanting, wishing, dreaming, wondering, fantasizing about it …IT. ever being different is almost a waste of emotional energy.

unless you are a person of hope.

which i am.

i believe in the good of another.

to a fault. i believe.

sucker.

How can i take on being responsible about what isn’t working??

or to create something that works.

do i …

date?

communicate?

masturbate?

the other day i was reading about the body shifts of menopausal women. this gal/author is beautiful. she spoke to the huge fear of becoming one of those/them.

she called menopausal breasts. sand bags. YUP

i thought. what a grand description.

wanna know what it’s like to be me???

just slap two of those babies around YOUR neck

see what it’s like to lug those around.

pointing south me here.

it’s not pretty when the nipple is nowhere to be found

it’s not pretty when all sense of breast form is gone

it’s not pretty when flesh to flesh sweats

it’s not pretty when you can fold the thing in half.

it’s not the same and never will be.

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed Media by K Smith

this collage mixed media method is something i’ve been perfecting for over a year now.

it’s quilt work. with paper.

the crazy quilting style has a specific format. a focus point is 5 sided and the rest is built around it.

to finish a square, it is bound.

or framed. with paper.

the making of these is meditative. i really enjoy making them.

i’ve wanted to implement my photography into my collage work for some time.

I nailed this mixed media process with non-nude work pre-pandemic for a summer solo show i was preparing for. yup, an artist talk and a solo photography exhibit

that is now, very unfortunately, not happening.

the nude photographs that these are made with have been in my drawer for a long while. like years.

you know me best. there are stories within these photographs

just like the stitching is another form of narrative.

This nude piece was the first i made, in relationship to a full moon.

it reveals the reality of alone. separate corners/ spaces

and it reveals the desire, the deep desire for cherish.

this piece is different because it came from a prompt.

that prompt is where the narrative was found.

8.5×11

make sense??

I made these 4×6 collages next.

gotta love what the  back side looks like ( uh, the rainbow, not me.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as my pattern seems to be.

i sometimes find i want to work larger.

i love the man and deer in this one. ( 8.5×11)

yes, the nude is upside down

these are the other 8.5 x 11’s, the last being the piece that is going to be in the virtual group show in Chicago opening june 5th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

only one collate. this one, a nipple in a black square is not a crazy quilt style like the others. it’s an 8×8

 

all are for sale of course!

 

 

It’s NOT awful

what if i said that living in times of pandemic isn’t awful

would that be a GASP of a comment?

what if all the alone that i know and that you endure with me

is in her element.

there i said it. i am actually content.

i may have to stay inside

as all of us have been called on to do

i do that anyway.

i have lived this isolated way for a long while now.

i know this life

I might be poor

i might be alone

but I HAVE
SO MUCH. 

there is content.

and there is gratitude.

2 years ago my building was painted. it went from this hideous red sortof color to a lovely bright white

i started calling it my ivory tower.

if my beard gets any longer

we could add the element of rapunzel to the mix

( ok that just seriously made me laugh )

and yes, i amuse me myself and i often.

a recent tarot card pull

found a woman holding a cat

wearing a very very tall dress

filled with hearts.

i saw myself in this card.

the cat lady in her tower.

the card made my laugh actually

it was so revealing

the card was about contentment.

it affirmed OK-ness.

such a simple thing

what sucks the life out of contentment

or being you in the matter

is comparing.

so and so does this.

so and so looks this way

so and so is in love.

If you let it

comparing messes with contentment

it calls out

on the MORE

BETTER

NOT good enough.

It messes with you.

I feel that.

i know those thoughts.

who cares what someone else is doing?

This does not include those I know that are so so very sick right now.

That part just envelopes me with an indescribable helplessness

I don’t know how to help.

and when we add that it’s wordly.

well, that’s a larger empathic swell.

it’s so so much bigger than me

The biggest lesson right now for me

is

I am OK.

I am good.

I am alone

and i am lonely

yet. that’s me.

right??

it’s what is so.

all said,

that does not mean i am FINE.

Fine is so. ORDINARY

Fine says nothing about how one is.

I am definitely not ordinary

( taken recently. i love them)

 

 

Attracted To

you and i have probably had more time on our hands than usual lately.

pandemic and all.

i sometimes wonder if the all chatter going on inside my head was written down somewhere,

what it might say.

how many different directions would it be dialoguing (sp??)

when you’ve done alone for as long as i have

you get use to the chatter in your brain.

i have these epic dreams sometimes

and think, gosh, i just never stop.

the thing is i don’t want to stop.

i want to be a curious, wondering and idea making being.

i always have.

my own ideas always set me apart from others.

i was very young when i left home. too young.

and i didn’t leave. i ran.

when i came back i never felt very welcome.

there was no belonging.

people who knew me when i left had this impression of me.

when i came back – they held onto what or who they thought i was

that was no longer me.

i had changed.

there was trauma that year.

trauma i didn’t speak about

or even begin to understand until many many years later.

this is true in life.

who i was in college

who i was in marriage

who i was a mother

or a friend.

who i was as a lover.

those are all who i use to be.

what about who i am now?

I think all of us hold onto these ideas we have about what makes us valid.

i want to be and feel useful to another. i want others to be proud of me.

i want cherish. that deep something that is very hard to describe.

the pandemic has been a very very fascinating social experiment

it’s brought out the ugly

its’s brought out the scared.

and it’s brought out the inquiry

who you are in the matter means something.

when someone asks how i am doing.

i feel very grateful.

especially if they listen when you reply

i find i am less attracted to certain folks

the energy or vibe they offer

is not what i want to be a part of

we are all going to be different because of these months of

i know i am.

i like the social isolation.

it’s more me than i knew.


Final Push

It’s the last days of The Funk Machine Show at Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago. Like many galleries around the world, these last months have found the doors closed to their brick and mortar establishments. This week they are giving a final push and sharing each of the artists in this group show on their social media platforms. The goal is to SELL art!! My photograph is for sale. it’s a 16×20, very glossy print with a great wide, mod black frame!! If you buy art, and support artists. Now is your chance to support me. They will mention me and a bit of a back story about the photo on 5/7. If you are instagram please share the post. Be reminded that I am beginning to develop my presence as artist K Smith, so that I can get my nude art work out there. That said, be mindful of my privacy. Share with respect. I am very grateful for the representation of this gallery!