3 Weeks, 5 Days

pregnancy

Not that I really consider the E.D.D an exact science or even remotely infallible. It’s just what I have in my mind to consider. This is the gift I have been given since week 12 of my pregnancy. I can’t sleep, my hands , fingers and wrists are so swollen. My belly contains the universe for one little human, waiting for validity and the greetings of the earth. Within my body is another body, another rib cage, another set up legs, a heart beating blood and massive nets of skin. Eyes, a nose, two fists, two arms, a mouth.

To say that I am scared is an understatement. I’ve lost my nerves, I am trying to remain calm but the changes in my life will be unparalleled. The other part of this is excitement, to have my autonomy back and my body back, just mine. I’ll share it on occasion but not 24/7 for nine entire months as I have been. I’m scared of the challenge involved in this, longing for the constant partnership it will take to do this together. I don’t know if I can do it alone. I don’t want to be challenged to find out.

I can’t sleep. I guess I’ll continue to not sleep. Everything is waiting for you, Axel. My Christmas gift this year will be your beautiful little fresh born face. In the meantime, I’ll try to negotiate with the pains that are associated with your in utero growth.

In the meantime, talk soon,

 

ciao.

Stripping away my identity, one day at a time

pregnancy, writing

That’s what the past 6 months have felt like. My life will soon no longer revolve around me and my own whims and desires. As a self proclaimed wild-card, this is a bit much to accept. I am 29 years old this year and still feel like a kid, stumbling around my life. I could be 24 and tripping in the woods , dipping my toes in the springs and paying close attention to the ripples that start from my toes and end nowhere, around the planet, everywhere.

I like to think the ripples extended themselves all the way to the point in my life where I met my partner in Eugene, to the point when he impregnated me during a cold night in Boise, Idaho, and to the moment right now where I am typing with my laptop propped up against my very large belly. I like to think our son could kick the laptop off my lap in a violent stretching of his tiny legs if he really wanted to, and the fact that he hasn’t or isn’t says something.

I am scared I won’t be Camille anymore. I’ll just become a mother. But I know that’s not true. Something wonderful about my childhood is that we always knew our place. My parents had passions beyond raising us which is a stark difference between what I am displayed through social media in 2018. It’s almost like modern day parents are afraid of the world thinking their child isn’t their 100% highest priority in their life and I sort of think that sucks. For my father, music was his passion. He loved playing guitar more than anything in the world, more than spending time with us, more than anything. He shared his gift and passion with us and with the world and it is beautiful to me. We all knew our dad, Billy Bongster. He loved to play music and he loved to smoke weed and that was fine and it inspired us to find our own passions in life, which for me was always art. My mother was inspired to have fun, if one could ever say that, but she was truly always a free spirit and was always dancing, going on adventures, immersing herself in self love and exploration and had a passion for life.

I was to raise my child in the same way, to know that mommy loves to paint and daddy loves to skate and we love him to the ends of the earth but he cannot believe he is more important than the passions we have harvested throughout our lives. That it’s important to have a passion and that we’re here to help him find his way and learn to navigate the earth and influence it for the better while he’s here.

I get lost thinking about this person, who will be around long before us and long enough to understand how our behaviors today have influenced his world. His life expectancy based on current data projections is 76 years old, and having been born in 2018 he will lie through the year 2094. A child of the future. How much has life changed for us born in the late 80s and early 90s? How much has life changed for our parents and our grandparents? It’s a massive duty to raise a human to love and protect our earth and to understand intimately how our actions drive both positive and negative change.

I don’t know how well we will do as parents, how well the planet will fare based on not just our influence but of the influence of everyone carrying new life right now and those that have birthed in recent years and will in the future. I can only promise him, myself, my partner and the universe this: I will do my best. and I will continue to be myself and project my energies into the world in hopes for a positive change. Lord knows we need it.

A son

pregnancy, writing

July 24th. A Tuesday. Thats when I went for an anatomical scan to further add more vague traits to the human person character growing in my womb. It’s strange and fascinating to me that while growing in my womb, tumbling and kicking and roaming about in the limited expansive of his own universe, I am out here on earth struggling to sleep, too.

My son.

It’s a nice finishing touch of a thought I’ve had since I found out. What else is there to discover? I have just about 4 months to go before we meet. What a nervous feeling this is. I wonder if you’ll identify with that, I wonder if you’ll be healthy. I wonder what color eyes you’ll have, and if you’ll be as enamored with music and art as I am. I wonder if you’ll share my father’s birthdate, or if you’ll have a sense of humor like your own father.

A sense of athleticism.

I wonder all kinds of things, with each stroke of the paint brush. I’m trying to keep busy inside, at least.

 

 

I was go display at the Indigo arts festival, but pain kept me home. I used it as an excuse to paint for weeks before the event. “I’ve gotta paint today” I lament to my Fiance, ‘please berate me if I don’t paint”.

He asked me a month after the event, when was that again? I slept in, all day, didn’t go. painted for me, not for anyone else. It’s been like that a lot. I had no idea pregnancy would bring this kind of pain. Crippling pain, I’m the frozen green bean queen with a pack of frozen vegetables on my head to ease the swelling in my brain. These constant migraines are killing me. I guess thats it. The little death. Le petit morte. I’m dying so that I can bring into the world a brand new life.

I’m listening to trip hop lightly on the couch in a cold, cold room with my crown of frozen vegetables trying to avoid light and movement. My vision is blurred, I’m dizzy, I hate this and on top of that I feel guilt. Everyone I know is depressed. Is society ever going to get better? Is it even a fair to invite another human onto the planet in this state? It’s making me feel terrible, and more obligated than ever to try contributing personally to the “good things” you can do as a human to make earth better. How do we as a world abolish scarcity and do better and provide for everyone that exists? Why don’t we all recognize that its the only way for the future?

If nothing else, my child will make me work harder for this. I don’t know how to solve the problem and bring everyone on the same page. People like working, but there’s nothing to do anymore for them.

Jobs nowadays are creating and managing systems, integrating technology into the fabrics of society that have existed for millennia.

These are my thoughts lately. “I’ve never been in this much pain in my life.” “I can’t believe this is really happening in (the United States).” “I feel so in love.”

I’ve been able to make art lately. Check it out at the art page if you please. I’ll update soon, I’m here with passion pit and a migraine until next time, sweet friends. <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pregnancy

Thunder Mountain Suicide

traveling, writing

Frank Van Zant doesn’t sound like the name of a famous Native American

In reality, he was probably just a hippie living on the western US, taking road trips across the country like many Americans of his generation did. He was a WW2 veteran from Oklahoma, and his gift to the world amounts to an array of wild sculptures many drive past through Nevada’s vast nothingness unknowingly. Located between Winnemucca and Lovelock off I-80, about 120 miles east of Reno and very close to the exit for a tiny town named Imlay with a population of less than 200 lies Thunder Mountain.

Somehow, through a late night click-fest on wikipedia, I learned of Thunder Mountain. The idea of it reminded me of a film I’ve loved for years called the Holy Mountain, so I wanted to check it out, being only a rough 5 hours northeast of the junk Mecca.

It was intended to be a shelter for the impending apocalypse after Frank Van Zant, aka Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder had an epiphany in the late 1960s. Made from concrete, old cars, typewriters, bottles, recycled metals and other miscellaneous junk, the monument was originally a series of homes which were created together on five acres off of Interstate 80 in Nevada.

What it looked like in its prime, I can only imagine as years of vandalism, arson, and abuse have tried to shred the beauty of this place away from it until in 1992 it was declared a historic site in Nevada and provided protection.

Thunder Mountain Suicide

In 1989, Frank Van Zant shot himself in the head. His legacy lives in the garden and fascinating “junk castle” dedicated to the life and abuse of Native Americans well into 2018.

20180527_17552020180527_17555720180527_175608

I suppose..

pregnancy, writing

When you get so old you start realizing you are putting efforts into the wrong place.

I suppose I read through past posts, the digital footprints I’ve littered across the internet because I’m too conscious to ever litter in the real world. This kind of litter, I guess it’s not that bad compared to a plastic grocery bag a turtle might get caught up in. Or an old Dr. Pepper can of soda that becomes the eventual home to a school of fish larvae in the gulf.

Various moods, visuals, different pains resulted from different situations, romantic partners, goals that swallow me up and spit me back out like I’m constantly treading the deep waves of the east Atlantic ocean.

Hello, I am Camille and I feel sad. Happy. Ecstatic. Terrified. Angry.

I’m feeling all kinds of ways lately. I thought 2014 was as bad as things could get but I didn’t know the capacity for pain life carries with it. I didn’t expect to have to deal with drug addiction in my family, again, with a sibling. I never anticipated a nephew that has to grow up in an environment as colorful and riddled in the stress of being the child of an addict even worse than was the situation for me and my siblings. I never imagined that kind of pain a little boy that survived despite the world working against him from birth would bring me. It drove me away from my home state of which I love. Gosh, it’s cold out here but at least I don’t know anyone and the pain ain’t so close to my heart. I can’t drive up the street and look at it. I don’t need to see those tattoos, those track marks, those rotting teeth looking back at me, asking to borrow money, asking for my forgiveness, saying cruel things.

I didn’t know how largely they could become stressors even from 3,000 miles away, building up at me and eating away at me until I can’t take it anymore and just cry. into my pillows, a strong shoulder, whatever is available. Grow up, be a woman, you’re almost 30 years old. I hate myself for it but it all seems so unfair.

I don’t know who to talk to, who could I talk to? They just say “I’m sorry” and I am sorry too because it’s a problem that can’t be fixed and if ever i had an enemy that situation would be it. I want to shake the world and find peace in the hearts of the people I love but my hand gets bitten, my heart turns cold and it just hurts and hurts and hurts.

Trying to let go is hard. All of the effort put into others was misdirected. Sure, I can proudly say I broke out of my caste system and made something of myself but I feel oh.. i don’t know. Incomplete. Like I left my soul somewhere on the floor and left the room and left the house and left the state and now I don’t have one anymore, it’s become a puddle somewhere that gets stepped on and ignored and is more or less a mess that no one will ever clean up.

Maybe it’s too late to get that soul back but I found a way to build a new one. Stop paying mind to everything that hurts and build a love inside myself. Cells multiplying every day, cells made out of love and maybe some biological material and DNA too but mostly love.

It’s rebuilding my soul, and sure it’s tiring and sometimes I think it’s probably the worst feeling but it’s rebuilding something I lost a long time ago and so the exhaustion, it’s probably worth it to me. It will be my greatest work of art. The building of a brand new soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“read things that make me cry because they are so beautiful”

Posts tagged as "artists" from the blog

I still don’t know why I cry so much. I sit around and read all day. I read things that make me cry because they are so beautiful. I will read things that make me so angry that I give myself a headache. None of these things are contributing to my future, just my right now.

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Like this photograph by Barbara Hammer pulled from an article on Hyperallergic. 

But that’s the power of the internet, isn’t it? So much content to absorb, it’s so easy to get sucked into things that are constantly manipulating the way that you feel. I loved all of Barbara Hammer’s photography and wonder what it would have been like the year I was born- 1989. As a woman. The way women have existed for the last few decades, and the centuries before that. I am grateful to exist right now where I have an open platform to address any concerns I have about the ways I have been unfairly treated. This platform, and your ability to get your words and feelings into at least a few eyes through clever use and placement of keywords and organization of your content.

Here’s to me, publishing a draft first typed 2 months ago. Say hi to your mom for me.

The whirring stops at half past three

Posts tagged as "artists" from the blog, technology

The whirring of course is my laptop, because I’m turning it off. I’m closing it all down and stopping work at 62% of full-time. I tried to compile all of the reasons why I wanted to do this but it was all over the place so I decided on another word-puke because I’m feeling moody.

I don’t respect Facebook. I believe that all of these targeting options we have available to get your messaging out only in front of certain audiences is a technology the world is not responsible enough to have, and no matter what Mark Zuckerberg’s intentions are with that platform that’s still a point we cannot ignore. 🙁

It could be used for good, the potential is so clearly THERE but he’s missing the point. Transparency is what we need. I’ve asked a few of my friends this question:

Would you trust ads more if you know why and how they targeted you?

And most of them said, yes they would. This did not surprise me at all. I only asked like 7 people so the sample size renders that experiment unusable but I it would still stand if scaled. Advertising is mysterious. People need to know how it is decided what content is in that stream that they are always stuck in.

Mobile phone addiction this year and in the foreseeable future is going to become more and more of a problem. Already, Facebook reports 56% of store purchases are influenced by digital interactions and 66% of those interactions are happening on mobile. We have our heads stuck in the screen and the trend is only growing, even for our children (alarmingly, pls don’t buy your kids phones ty).

I have all of this extra time now, and what am I going to do with it? Patiently wait for the weather to get better. Frustrating, pace around the kitchen and into each room. Wait for a new tenant to take over my apartment. Wait to move all my belongings out of Eugene, then somewhere else, and to figure out whats next because I accept that I love not knowing. Going to enjoy some soft lung bullshit on youtube and appreciate the ideas of all the digital and analog people I’ve met so far.

Drank 2 gallons of orange juice this week, it’s helping with the depression. I recommend you try it, too.

What happens when you die on the internet?

technology, writing

We’ve all been there by now. It’s 2018 and this is still a process untouched by technology and its powerful ways solving for all problems, even the ones we didn’t know we had. You have a friend or family member die, the person gone forever from your life.

Facebook shows you “On this day” posts from this person in the past.

You can go to their social media accounts and see a human and his respective data frozen in time. Whatever situation or mood they were in when that last post was made is how they will be remembered forever in the digital world.

A specific tragedy that we all saw coming

I’m thinking about an old drinking buddy of mine from back in Florida. I remember one night scrolling through Facebook seeing a lot of wild posts from him, blacked out drunk and posting nonsense on Facebook. The next morning was a Saturday morning, and he posted that he was lucky he didn’t wake up in jail.

That Saturday night, there weren’t as many drunken posts. Just a tag at a bar from earlier in the evening. The next day on Facebook, I’m seeing R.I.P. posts on his wall and my heart is sinking. His body was found face down in a pool outside of the gated community he lived in. He must have been too fucked up too walk properly, and had fallen into the pool and passed out. That beaming smile and fuck-it-lets-party attitude will never be sitting at the bar downtown. He’ll never be at another house party, or Florida Gamers event. Rest in peace, my dude.

Every few days I would visit his profile, and reread his posts about waking up in jail. It would ring out to me “someone should have been a better friend” or something like that. I come up with all kinds of narratives about what happened and how shitty it was no one ever put their hand on his shoulder and told him life could offer so much more.  I would sit there and think about how Facebook was just memorializing him at that point in his life, and not really anything about who he was as a person.

Every time someone died, I would do the same thing. Adoringly visit their profiles, as if they were tombs in a graveyard and rereading their posts as if they were unintended epitaphs to their life.

Is there a right way to handle death on social media?

This is something society never had to think about before, but it can’t keep sitting untouched a topic. Is it invasive, to have the digital content and histories of the dead reserved? Is it public domain? Is nothing sacred? Even I don’t know how I feel about it, but the thought is constantly itching at my mind. I wonder, what is the last piece of content I will leave behind? It’s like a form of accountability. Before you post this or that, would it truly be a good impression to leave on the digital universe after you go away? Are you leaving an impact? Is it pretentious of me to be thinking so deeply about it, even?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I cannot wait to see the world touch on them as it grows harder and harder to ignore the fact that people die every single day and the content they produced in the past piles up.

The implications of the digital afterlife are strong when you really consider ownership and privacy of memorialized digital content.

Yes, I drove from Central Florida to Central Oregon by myself.

photography, photos, traveling, writing

I was asked the question a lot while I was passing through long stretches of interstate gas stations mostly located in the middle of nowhere.

Watching the landscape and hearing the accents evolve hand in hand as I reached each clerk and asked to filler’ up. leaving  Florida was bittersweet for me. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew deep down I had to. My Mini Cooper was filled to the very top, with just enough space to form a window of space that I can use for driving. Off we go. May 10th. Got to New Orleans, LA late that night and got a hotel room in the heart of the city, close to the famous French Quarter.

The adventure brought me into the window of a stranger’s van to hit a joint, on the stoop of some strangers home in the lower east side, completely lost, in circles, on a public bus, frantically searching for my car in a huge city of which I have never lived on a dying phone and buying beer for locals to help keep me safe as an act of self preservation. It worked and after 9 hours on my feet I finally found my Mini tucked away in a small parking area in the middle of the French Quarter and made my way Northwest towards and through Texas.

Texas took a very long time to drive though, it was vast and empty and beautiful. I drove 100 MPH through a small stretch of highway 100 miles away from the New Mexico border. My heart racing as I clutched onto my life at the steering wheel, pleased at how happy my car was purring along the highway. It was made for this. I only speed up to 99-102 a few times during the trip, and for only a few seconds at most. The roads were so empty for so long, and when you have over 3,000 miles left to go you need to do something to keep yourself excited.

That few days traveling from Florida to Colorado, I had to grow into myself and stand up tall and be defensive and strong and alone. There’s something about the solitude that makes you feel so vulnerable in the world. Some days its clearer than others that my discomfort is because I am a woman more because I am a human.

I was only in New Mexico for about 30 minutes while I traversed from Texas to Colorado where my Dad and his wife live.  It somehow managed to be the only state that I got a speeding ticket in. I got to Colorado City, CO the next day at 3am and slept in my car in front of an empty lot in a trailer park, unsure which was actually his due to the incredible low lighting. I wouldn’t suggest to anyone sleeping in a mini cooper, it’s simple impossible to make comfortable.

I woke up, of course as soon as the sun came up and met the handsome mountain across the street. He had snow on top and was one of the many mountains surrounded this small town and the surrounding towns of Pueblo county. At an elevation of  ‎5,853 ft , I was way up high for a gal from Florida for the past few years of my life.

I stayed with my dad, who is a blues guitarist and musician and a retired pot dealer. I had a great time with him and we went to several gigs where I could see him play and have a few drinks and dance! He is playing with an amazing group called Sonrisa.

Traveling through the rest of Colorado, Wyoming and then spending the night in Twin Falls, Idaho was an adventure filled with the most amazing landscapes I’ve ever had to pay minimal attention to because I was also driving in the snowy mountains. The rest of this journey, and a lot of my summer 2017 are kind of hard to think about, and especially to write about but I feel like with 2018 rapidly approaching, it’s about time I at least dance around it.

The truest description of this beautiful, crazy summer was just an explosion of very intense emotions that left me a little scared. Living in Eugene in nice and I have a nice bobcat brain on a shelf in my living room with a small tv and a couch and sure it’s a little cold outside and it will be for a while but I have someone to snuggle now and I have my cat and that’s the end result, then I’m ok with it.

I don’t know what I was really looking for when I left Florida.

But this seems alright. In 2018, I am opting to have less income and more time, for as long as is necessary to take something off the ground. What exactly? ///…