Stripping away my identity, one day at a time

pregnancy, writing

That’s what the past 6 months have felt like. My identity will replaced to the slavery of child rearing. My life will soon no longer revolve around me, only my own whims and desires. Soon, a brand new child will come into the world. 

As a self-proclaimed wild-card, this is a bit much to accept. I’m 29 years old this year and still feel like a child myself, stumbling around life.

This could be me at 24, tripping in the woods and dipping my toes in the springs. I’m paying close attention to the ripples that start from my toes and end nowhere, around the planet, everywhere. 

I’d 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, and to the moment right now where I’m typing with my laptop propped up against my very large belly.

Our son could kick the laptop off my lap in a violent kick of his tiny legs if he really wanted to, and the fact that he hasn’t says something. 

I am scared I won’t be myself anymore, I’ll just become a mother. It should be fine to have a reduction from an individual woman to a mother.  But in my stomach, it does not feel fine. My obligations are daunting. I should feel that If thats what it takes then I’ll do it. I will disintegrate. 

But for me, growing up, it was never like that. 

Something about my childhood is that we always knew our place. We knew that 

My parents had passions beyond raising us.

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. 

Dad loved to play music, & smoke pot and that was fine and it inspired us to find our own passions in life. For me, that was always art. She loved to have fun, and she is truly a free spirit. Always dancing, going on adventures, immersing herself in self love and exploration.

I want 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.

It’s important to me that he develops a passion for something in life. He should know we’re here to help him find his way. I get lost thinking about this tiny fetus that will eventually grow into an adult. An adult who will be around long after I am gone from this planet. 

Based on current data projections, his life expectancy is 76 years old. Having been born in the year 2018, he will lie through the year 2094. I can only hope.  Born to me is a child of the future. How much has life changed for us born in the late 80s and early 90s? Everything I am experiencing is already obsolete. 

Life changed a lot 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.

Unsure how well we will do as parents or how well the planet will fare, I’m riddled with anxiety. This isn’t based on just our influence, but influence of everyone carrying new life right now. Those that have birthed in recent years and will in the near future.  “Is it even a good idea to give birth right now?,” our Senator Alexandria Ocasio~Cortez asks recently.  I think the same things and it makes me feel guilty. 

All that I can do is promise him, myself, my partner and the universe this: I will do my best. and will continue to be myself and project my energies into the world. My hopes for a positive change are forever unwavering. 

A son, shining in the hot summer sky

pregnancy, writing

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 I meet my son. What a nervous feeling this is. I wonder if you’ll identify with that, assigned gender, and 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.

July 24th, it was a Tuesday. Thats when I went for an anatomical scan with Shane.  To further add more traits to the child growing in my womb. “Oh wow. He has quite large testicles, it’s definitely a boy”, the nurse exclaimed. My fiance smirked and said something funny.

It’s strange and fascinating to me that while growing in my womb, tumbling and kicking and roaming about in the limited expanse of his universe, I am out here on earth struggling to sleep, too.

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. Check out the new art in the meantime. I’ve been quite productive with a commission by my good friend Frank Wood.

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.

That’s because he wasn’t really a Native American. In reality, he was just a hippie. Living in the western US and taking road trips across the country like many Americans of his generation did.

Zant was a WW2 veteran from Oklahoma and his gift to the world amounts to an array of wild sculptures off a Highway in Nevada.  Many people drive past the artwork off Nevada’s highway unknowingly.

Between Winnemucca and Lovelock off I-80, about 120 miles east of Reno. Very close to the exit for a tiny town named Imlay with a pop. 200 lies Thunder Mountain.

During 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.

Why not, considering that I am 5 hours northeast of the junk Mecca.

Intended to be a shelter for the apocalypse after Frank Van Zant, aka Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder, had an epiphany.  It was constructed from concrete, old cars, typewriters, bottles, recycled metals and miscellaneous junk.

It was originally a series of homes created together on five acres off of Interstate 80 in Nevada.

What it looked like in its prime I can only imagine. The monument suffered for years as vandalism, arson, and abuse have worn it out. Then, in 1992 it was declared a historic site in Nevada and finally 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.

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I suppose.. ( about my digital footprint)

pregnancy, writing

 I suppose when you get to a certain age, you start realizing you’ve been putting efforts into the wrong things.

For whatever reason, this week I read through all of my previous posts. The digital footprints I’ve littered across the internet. 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 and goals that have swallow me up and spit me back out. It’s like I’m constantly treading the harsh waves of the Atlantic ocean.

Hello, I am Camille and I feel sad. Happy. Ecstatic. Terrified. Angry. I’m feeling all kinds of ways.

I thought 2014 was as hard as things could get for me. I didn’t know the capacity for pain life carries with it back then.

Definitely didn’t expect to have to deal with drug addiction in my family again. Not with a sibling. I never anticipated a nephew that has to grow up in an environment even worse than was the situation was for me and my siblings.

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.

It’s cold out here, but at least I don’t know anyone and the pain ain’t so close to my heart.

Unable to drive up the street and look at it. There is suddenly no need to see those tattoos, those track marks, those rotting teeth looking back at me. Asking to borrow money, for my forgiveness, saying cruel things.

That they could become such significant stressors to me was mind boggling. Even from 3,000 miles away, 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 tell myself.

This all feels so unfair.

Unsure of 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. If ever I had an enemy, that entire situation would be it.

I want to shake the world and find peace in the hearts of the people I love but my hand keeps getting 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.

Yeah, I can proudly say I broke out of my “caste system” and made something of myself. but I still feel 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.

My soul has become a puddle somewhere that gets stepped on and ignored and is more or less a mess that no one will ever clean up.

Perhaps 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.

Rebuilding my own soul is tiring work.

Sometimes I think it’s probably the worst feeling I’ve ever felt.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read things that make me cry

Posts tagged as "artists" from the blog

After all these years, I still don’t know why I cry so often. So deliberately. I’ll sit around and read all day.

I’ll read things that make me cry because they are so beautiful.

And 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. They are emotion drivers, and I don’t know why I’m addicted to emotions.

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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, and it will stop because I’m turning it off. Closing it all down and stopping work at 62% of full-time employment.

I tried to compile all of the reasons why I wanted to do this in a neat little list, but it was all over the place.  After embracing my failures I decided on another episode of my special brand of word-puke because I’m feeling moody. The whirring is back but this time it’s on my terms.

I don’t respect Facebook, and I believe that all of it’s ad tech is dangerous and exists in a world unprepared for it. No matter what Mark Zuckerberg’s intentions are with that platform, it’s  still a point I cannot seem to 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?

Most of them said yes. This didn’t surprise me at all. I only asked 7 people so the isn’t statistically significant at all but I feel it would stand scaled as well. Advertising is mysterious, and it’s an extremely powerful force in the digital age. 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’ve got 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. Just wait around for a new tenant to take over my apartment. 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 analogous 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. I’m going to stop the whirring again, close this laptop at this cute cafe and try just breathing instead.

What happens when you die on the internet?

technology, writing

We’ve all been there by now. Browsing the internet in it’s many forms when you notice “RIP brother, fly with the angels” posted to so-and-so’s wall. It’s 2018 and this is still a process untouched by technology. Despite its powerful ways of solving problems, technology has not touched death. Not like this, anyways.  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.

Navigating to their social media accounts and what you see is a human and his respective data frozen in time. Whatever 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 drunk 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 internet profiles as if they were tombs in a graveyard. Rereading their posts as if they were unintended epitaphs to their life.

Is there a right way to handle death on the internet?

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 and there 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.

I drove from Central Florida to Central Oregon myself.

photography, photos, traveling, writing

I was asked a lot while I was stopping at  interstate gas stations in the middle of nowhere.

“You’re really alone? Thats awfully brave of you.” the clerk would say, knowing that I am obviously not from around there.

Watching the landscape change and hearing the accents evolve simultaneously. It was fascinating, and as I reached each clerk I asked them all to filler’ up. I drove through flat oak tree covered Florida, watched it get real swampy. Then the vastly dynamic landscapes of Texas until it started to get very red and rocky. Finally, further north I am in the mountains.

Leaving Florida was bittersweet for me.

I didn’t want to do it, but I knew deep down I had to.

The Mini Cooper I drive was filled to the very top, with just enough space to form an empty window that I can use for driving. Off I go. May 10th. Got to New Orleans, LA late that night and slept in a hotel room located in the heart of the city. It was very close to the beautiful French Quarter.

Adventures in New Orleans brought me into the window of a stranger’s van to hit a joint, and the stoop of a strangers home in the lower east side. They led me to get completely lost in circles, on a public bus and frantically searching for my car. I was in a huge city of which I have never lived and on a dying phone. I ended up buying beer for locals to help keep me safe as an act of self preservation.

This worked eventually 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 near the New Mexico border. My heart was racing as I clutched onto my life at the steering wheel.  Feeling 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 3k miles left, you need to do something to keep yourself excited.

At least thats how I justified my dangerous speeds. The few days traveling from Florida to Colorado forced me to grow into myself. I had to stand tall and be defensive, 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.

Only in New Mexico for about 30 minutes while I traversed from Texas to Colorado when I got a speeding ticket. Thanks, New Mexico.

I got to Colorado City, CO the next day at 3am and slept in my car. This was uncomfortable to say the least. In front of an empty lot in a trailer park, I was unsure which was my dads. Defeated, I went back to my cramped car and nervously slept until dawn. The experience isn’t one I would suggest to anyone.

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 seen. I had to pay minimal attention the beauty surrounded me 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? ///…