Past the Test

Maybe I should just make Thursday my new blog day…

Anyways, there was something I forgot to mention in the last post, about how I was catching some kind of cold or flu, but then a friend gave me garlic, and yeah, that fixed me right up within 2 days. I took his advice about dicing it up and drinking it with water, but then I remembered how he said something about how rapid things get into the blood stream when placed under the tongue. So that’s what I did, I took a nice chunk of it and placed it under my tongue, and holy hell was that hot!! Haha! You can tell garlic is related to the onion.

Newho, onto other things. Umm.. I patched things up with someone I used to hang out with quite regularly 3 years ago. We started talking and mingling again at the New School of Colour, and afterward we went for a long walk where we were able to say what we needed to say, and yeah, the past is behind us. I think we both came to a better understanding of each-other.  It is nice to have a friend that enjoys walking, and loves coffee as much I do. Not to mention, after all this time that has past, we can still relate to each-other. So yeah, grateful for forgiveness, and friendship.

Last weekend my children were over for a visit. I think were always up to something. We could be playing doctor, and I’m taped to the floor… or my daughter and I or painting and trading our art… Thank my son for suggesting to watch Big Hero 6, that was a cute movie. We missed our movie hour in the evening, so instead we had Breakfast and a Movie. I see them again this coming Friday!…Hopefully it won’t be too cold out.

"I painted this for my daughter, and she proudly hung it up in her room. The painting she gave me is in mine. " - Pooks

“I painted this for my daughter, and she proudly hung it up in her room. The painting she gave me is in mine. ” – Pooks

On Tuesday I slept in, and missed my Leads appointment. Darn it! My alarm was set, it did go off, I just slept right through it. I’ve been really exhausted lately, and I think it has something to do with my diet. Not enough vegetables. I’m like Popeye and his spinach, except he doesn’t slow down like a dying battery like I do when he goes without. Worst kind of exhaustion ever, not even coffee will suffice.

Anyways, my appointment has been re-booked to next week. Dust myself off, try to eat better, and try again. Back to discovering my strengths and abilities.

At the New School of Colour I was pulled aside to a meeting, where I and another New School of Colour member were given the torch, so to speak, regarding the New School of Colours social media sites and official website. So yesh. It’s official. Pooks is one of the New School of Colours social media guru’s. If you noticed any new tweets from the New School of Colour, that was me! I got straight to work. The official site uses Weebly, a web builder I am already familiar with. That’s what I use for my own site. Although I believe building it won’t be as quick as my own was, because it’ll require interaction with other members so that everyone is happy with it. Looks like I’ll need to step outside of my comfort zone a little bit. But whatever, I’m happy some other skills of mine can be put to use. I have been doing this social media stuff for awhile.

Before I forget, I did show up with make up and paint on my face, and congrats to the New School of Colour and The Ark. They past my test. Everyone treated me no differently, as well as the people that attend, volunteers, and staff. There was no bias or discrimination. They spoke to me like there wasn’t even paint on my face. Thanks for reassuring me that it is a safe space for all.

All Rights Reserved. All Photos Property of Pauline King Shannon (Pooks) ©

All Rights Reserved. All Photos Property of Pauline King Shannon (Pooks) ©

I submitted my last completed oil painting into the New School of Colours next art exhibition. Which will be in the lobby of the Palace Theatre, in addition to the Ark Aid Street Mission’s play “The Living Last Supper.” That will be taking place this Friday and Saturday. p.s. It was a pleasant surprise to see that the play got into the London Free Press. Congrats to The Ark, and everyone involved with “The Living Last Supper.”

On Wednesday there was a group photo at the New School of Colour being taken, and I tried to hide in the back, but I got busted. The photographer was like; where’s Pooks? I guess I was being humble, a little modest. Trying to shed some light on the other artists. I don’t really need the spotlight, I am more than capable of drawing attention to myself when I want to.

Anyways, later on that evening a new member ( She’s been attending for about a month) to the New School of Colour was preparing to get ready to paint with a younger artist. They decided to do some finger painting, so I dared this newcomer to dive in, get messy. The result was amazing. They both had fun, their smiles and giggles lit up the room. That is the New School of Colour. That energy that took place.

I found out later that I had inspired this artist to step outside of her comfort zone. That’s cool. I thought I was just being playful with the dare. But inspiring? Cool. Just trying to share what I know is loads of fun, Art with kids. I knew she would have a blast if she took on my dare. 😉

“I taught and also learned that letting go, being brave and messy is my new idea of perfection!!!”

– Francesca

I still need to do my income taxes. Unsure what I need to bring. But I’m pretty sure I can get it all done at the Crouch Library. I was considering about going to The Ark, but the guy that does them there has been under the weather lately. So yeah, probably best to try else where.

I did get an e-mail from The Arts Project regarding Floater hours, but unfortunately they collide with my visiting hours with my children. So I will have to pass. However, the Ting Comic and Graphics Festival is coming up, and I look forward to checking that out at The Arts Project. Comic art fan here!

Newho, that is all I’m gonna write for now. Hope you enjoyed the update. It feels like a week just flew by. Onto experiencing more life. Thanks for reading! – Pooks

“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.”- William Arthur Ward

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The Rare Form

Okay. I know I usually post something Tuesdays or Wednesdays, but since my schedule has changed, I was kinda tired afterward.

New School of Colour has moved to Tuesday and Wednesdays, 5-8:30pm at The Ark. My Leads appointments are Tuesday mornings at 11am. So my Mid- week gets pretty busy.

Anyways, I got my hot chocolate by my side, I don’t feel like crashing and crawling back into bed. I’m good to go, on with the blog!

I guess I’ll start with the first thing that comes to mind, and it’s something that happened during the evening yesterday. I was helping a kid mix their paints, they were so fascinated watching the colours change right before their eyes. It was cute. Since I didn’t have anything to stir with at that moment, I just stirred the paint with my finger and put the excess paint on my face. I gave myself a cat nose, and whiskers with grey paint. Yes, we made grey.

Anyways, I don’t really see paint on my face as a problem. But apparently others do. For instance, after the art session, this freakin guy was too embarrassed to be seen walking with me in public because I still had the paint on my face. So he said to take a ride with someone else, this other guy couldn’t care what I have painted on my face. I could have the Blackhawks NHL logo painted on my face, and he’d still think I was cute. Really? Can you be anymore freakin insulting? I mean the Blackhawks NHL logo is an illustration of a natives face. Not only that, but paint on my face doesn’t change who I am, I’m still the same person beneath the paint. Yet I receive this shit load of bias negative bullshit for it. I cannot believe I dated this guy temporarily, at least until I smeared whipped cream all over my lips like lipstick back in the day. Yeah, clearly, that was too embarrassing. Heaven forbid what others will think! I honestly couldn’t give a shit.

That kinda automatically makes me want to retaliate, and deliver a message in my own way. Like show up to the next New School of Colour art session with my face painted deliberately to see who else will treat me differently for something so small. I mean the New School of Colour is supposed to be a safe space for numerous reasons, but I’m gonna focus on the social barriers aspect and really put that to the test. Are all people really accepted? Even the ones that practice this rare form to become the art?

At this very moment, I can relate to Asia Ray, from the Venice Beach Freakshow when she posted on FB saying; “Fuck pretty.” Us women are expected to look pretty, be dolled up, and be silent in this conservative world. Be “ladies”. Well… I’m sorry, but there is a side to me that is not all that. It’s creative, spontaneous, adventurous, curious ( I will ask questions), obnoxious (sometimes), and maybe even innovative! I can come up with ideas quite rapidly.  I have this need to explore and discover. Some people call that wild. It’s a side of me I refuse to let this world tame.

So if this freakin guy can’t accept me with a little paint on my face, well then he doesn’t accept all of me. I am one of those artists that tries to become the art. Heck, a couple weeks ago, I got an e-mail from someone that has admired what I have accomplished over these last few years and said; “I am truly inspired and impressed by the way you have turned your tragedy into a work of art that is your life.I guess I do create art, live art, breathe art, become the art.

Anyways, onto other things. I had a good visit with my children, thanks to the person who helped me out this month, otherwise my visits wouldn’t have been possible. Without their help, I would have been broke and forced to cancel.

As usual, we had a good weekend. I imagine as the weather gets nicer, we will be getting outdoors more often. Although this weekend we were indoors. Since I finally hooked up my DVD player after all these years, we’ve been going through DVD’s seeing which ones work, and which ones are garbage. Although I think the ones that are garbage can be reused for one of the little art projects I do with my daughter. My son usually plays games on the computer, and if he wants to join in with my daughter and I and play, that’s cool. I understand he’s getting older, and perhaps playing with stuffies is not his forte. But he will join us for a game of tag, or hide n’ seek, or even a snow ball fight at the bus stop. More active things, which I’m sure there will be more of soon enough, without the snow.

Speaking of the snowball fight at the bus stop, that was on our way back to Merrymount, my daughter noticed her glove was missing. She got so upset over it. She feared her fathers reaction over this one little article of clothing. She kinda panicked. We did look around, but didn’t back track too far because our bus would pull up any minute. We didn’t find it. So I reassured her that I would find it on my way back home. That I will walk and backtrack to find it. And I did! After dropping them off at Merrymount, I walked back home, and found it on the way. So hopefully their father didn’t freak out over a measly mitt. Ya know? Spring is around the corner, soon she won’t be needing it. Not to mention it has holes in it, she’ll be due for a new pair anyways next winter.

This time around, I wasn’t as stressed over time. I swear I become no fun when I am worrying about something as ridiculous as time. My anxiety goes through the roof. I panic about punctuality. But yeah, I was a lot more relaxed, and so were my kids. They were kinda tuckered out actually, they both fell asleep on the bus, on the way to Merrymount. That rarely happens, normally it’s just my son that goes to sleep because he gets motion sickness. Kudos to momma. You did a good job. They had a good weekend.

I finished one oil painting and started another at the New School of Colour… I guess there will be an exhibit along side the play that will be going on at the Palace Theater. “The Living Last Supper”. It is a fundraiser for the Ark Aid Street Mission, it takes place March 27th & 28th. I heard that the New School of Colours art will be on display in the lobby. So that’s pretty cool. Check it out, it will be the New School’s Fearless Leader’s acting debut. Jeremy Jeresky will be acting as Judas. The play is kinda bringing the famous painting by Leonardo DaVinci, “The Last Supper”, to life. Art inspiring art, that’s cool.

Speaking of exhibitions, last Tuesday I was so excited to see that the piece I submitted into the Twitter Art Exhibit was up on the wall in Moss, Norway. Thank you David Sandum for creating the Twitter Art Exhibit. This is my second time participating. This year, all the proceeds go to Home Start, which is a non profit organization that helps families in need. I am very proud to be a part of this exhibit, and to be doing my small part in helping others out there by donating my art to fund-raise.

Photo credit goes to David Sandum. Art by Pooks

Photo credit goes to David Sandum.

During my Leads appointment this week we were finding out about my strengths and abilities. We listed 8 major values. I’m not sure I can remember them all, but some were to help society, to help others, creativity, and I forget the rest. My thoughts kinda trailed there and got me thinking that maybe I’d make a good fundraiser. I enjoy participating, would I enjoy being behind the scenes? And where does one find a job as a fundraiser? Hmm.. that too is a possibility.

Speaking of jobs, I didn’t get the job at the Build- A- Bear Workshop. But I kinda laughed that off, saying it’s their loss, they just lost a creative genius. Haha! It was an optimistic way of looking at rejection.

Anyways, I think I babbled on long enough. I’m sure there’s some things I’m forgetting, that perhaps can be put into another post if and when I feel like it. Once again, thank you for reading! – Pooks

“When people rely on surface appearances and false racial stereotypes, rather than in-depth knowledge of others at the level of the heart, mind and spirit, their ability to assess and understand people accurately is compromised.”

– James A. Forbes

Doesn’t Mean I’m Weak

3:44am, since I am still awake I figured I might as well use this time to type up my blog post for the week. Nothing is planned or scheduled for tomorrow anyways.

Now that I think of it, I should really start jotting down notes of things that happen within my week, to remind myself of those events when I am writing my blog. But nope, didn’t do that. I’m not that organized. So it’s all straight from my head, and whatever I can recall.

I’m not quite sure where to begin, but disorganization is a good place to start. In the last post I was to hand in more paperwork to First Nation Housing Co-Op, but that didn’t go as planned. So I got the rest of it in late. Sorry. Maybe it’s this crazy weather, I don’t know. I caught this head cold. At least I think it’s a head cold. But since my eyes are somewhat irritated as well as having a stuffy, runny nose, and all the sneezing, I’m starting to think it could be allergies. I’ve never had allergies before. Or maybe I have, but always thought it was a cold. You’d think I’d be coughing up some phlegm by now, but I’m not. Either way, got to tough it out.

A friend gave me some garlic, which is a natural antioxidant. So if it’s a cold that I have, that should fix me right up. I also have Orange Pekoe Tea, which is another antioxidant, and has cardiovascular health benefits. Not only that, but I also put cinnamon (yet another antioxidant) in my coffee sometimes. I do have a cheaper version of NeoCitron, but I’d rather use that medication as a last resort. Besides, it does say right on the box that taking more than that maximum daily dose may cause severe or possibly fatal liver damage. So yeah, I’d rather use that as little as possible, if any.

Anyways, what else? I was supposed to show up early today at The Ark to meet up with 2 nursing students regarding the New School of Colours social media sites. That didn’t happen. I forgot. I was kinda busy at home on the phone ranting to the customer service representatives at the National Student Loans Centre. ( On March 2ond, they struck again, and helped themselves to my bank account) So I called them today to do something about it. One guy hung up on me. The woman, she was a bit more understanding, and told me that there was something on their website I had to apply for. So yes, I did that. And hopefully for the next few months they will leave my account alone being that I am on Ontario Works. Although, I should also fax them my OW stub, just in case the application I filled out wasn’t enough. Sending proof could support the application.

Financially I would be in a pickle, but fortunately someone offered to help me out. I was originally going to deny the offer, but since this happened again with my account, I kinda need the assistance if I want to see my children. So I am grateful that person came to my aid when they did, and I contacted them to take up the offer. I’ll be able to feed my kids and afford transportation for the visits. I hate having to ask other people for things, or have to rely or depend on others. I don’t like being in debt, or feeling like I owe people. With some people there’s that catch. But this person genuinely wanted to help, so I am grateful for that.

Perhaps it’s that freakin belief of incapability that’s been drilled in my head from past abuse, that makes me hate having to ask people for help when I need it. So I try to tough shit out on my own to prove that wrong. But I need to accept that it’s okay to reach out to others, it doesn’t mean I’m weak.

Umm… what else? I got a message on FB, notifying me that an old friend has passed away recently. She died peacefully in her sleep over the weekend. I was told that she thought of me often, even though I backed off and couldn’t bare to watch her suffer anymore. Just the fact that she made this other person promise her to tell me that I was in her thoughts, tells me that she forgives me for becoming so distant. She always forgave my absence, and welcomed me back with open arms. An ill women stuck in bed was not how I wanted to remember her. I think she would understand. I want to remember her as the hardcore, strong,  independent woman she was, before the cancer and the colostomy bag. I’m glad she’s not suffering anymore, and that she’s reunited with her awesome cats; Michael and Onyx ( muh fave). I am sorry I couldn’t be there her. Seeing her in that condition took it’s toll, and I needed to be in a better mental state for my children’s sake. If Carol, and her daughter Lacie, want to call me a selfish bitch for not being there. So be it. I had my kids to consider, the state of my mental health effects them as well. I believe I made the right decision when it comes to them.

Anyways, I mourned her death yesterday…Day before yesterday…now that it is 4:53am on a Tuesday. I mourned on Sunday. However, when I completed my oil painting at the New School of Colour Monday evening, I did pay my respects to her in my own little way, and added a small detail on my painting that says R.I.P Julie. She always did love my art, and now she’s a part of it.

All Rights Reserved. All Photos Property of Pauline King Shannon (Pooks) ©

All Rights Reserved. All Photos Property of Pauline King Shannon (Pooks) ©

All Rights Reserved. All Photos Property of Pauline King Shannon (Pooks) ©

All Rights Reserved. All Photos Property of Pauline King Shannon (Pooks) ©

So yeah, I guess you can say I’ve been a bit distracted lately. Even if there is some struggles, and some sadness, you know? There are  still some things within the week that brings me joy. Seeing my kids on weekends, and surrounding myself with friends, and making new friends at the New School of Colour.

My last visit with my children was last Friday, and even though it was freezing out that day, I think we tried our best to enjoy it. We walked to a park, which was out in the open, so yeah. Very cold there. I was sinking into the snow up to my knees just trying to follow my kids to the swing set. We didn’t stay there very long, we eventually turned around and made our way back to the warmth inside Tim Hortons, and chilled there for awhile.

My son is a sweet heart. I have this game on my phone, it’s called Angry Granny Run, or something. Anyways, I’ve been trying to get enough points to get the ninja costume, and he’s been helping me gain more points, getting me closer to that pointless goal. Haha! It’s just sweet he’s helping his mama. He’s still Mommy’s Little Helper in his own way.

Anyways, now that it is 5:29am. I really should try to get some sleep. I can’t think of anything else major that happened within the week. Brain fart. It’s time for this writer to rest. Hope you enjoyed, and thank you for reading. – Pooks

“One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.”

– Antonio Porchia

The Energy Persists

After waiting for  a month, almost, I finally did see my kids on February 28th. So that was awesome.

When I was trying to hook that up and get a hold of Merrymount, there were a few more hoops to jump so to speak. I tried e-mailing a worker there, but I just got an automated e-mail stating that they were out of the office and not checking e-mails until later in March. So I tried calling, but there wasn’t enough time on my phone to make the call. So I decided to send a text to their land-line and hoped that would go through. Luckily for me, it did. So yaaay! I got to see muh babies, Merrymount got the message, passed it along to my ex, and I had an awesome weekend with my kids.

I made it to my Leads appointment, and we talked about planning, among other things. Thanks to my worker I don’t feel so bad not being able to handle activism, and she’s right, we are lucky to have the people we do that can handle it. She also brought it to my attention that I do have my own little way of helping others. For example, when I donate my art to fund raise for families in need (or other causes I support) , or to help out non-profit organizations, that is my own way of helping others.

I am grateful to have people that care, and get concerned during my spouts of depression. Even a kind stranger ( that I met on Twitter) that lives somewhere else on the globe checked up on me to make sure I was okay. I appreciate that. No matter how many times life knocks me down, I always get back up. Even if some times it takes me longer than other times. I am resilient like that. So no worries, I am okay, and my state of mind is in a much better place than it has been.

My Leads worker asked if I would consider getting prescription drugs regarding my anxiety and depression. But I don’t think she knows how I feel about prescription drugs. Why fuck up my internal  organs to numb myself like a zombie? I believe there is something to learn from these intense emotions, and if I’m all drugged up and numbing myself, I’m not really learning, understanding, or evolving from it. So yeah, I would much rather go through it (no matter how much it sucks sometimes), or find ways to cope with it naturally. Which I have learned some techniques from past councilors and psychiatrists. I just need to remember to put those things into practice.

Anyways onto other things, a couple weeks ago, a New School of Colour veteran returned to the New School of Colour, Geoff. This past Monday, another New School of Colour Veteran returned, Marshall. So it’s been pretty cool catching up with some familiar faces from the past. Us artists always return to the New School of Colour at one point or another. I mean hey, look at me. No matter how many times I left, I always find myself making my way back. It is a very special place, even though friendships change, people change, the energy there remains the same. And despite our differences between some of us, we still co-exist like one big family growing with each-other through the changes.

On Tuesday, after my Leads appointment I went out for lunch with another New School of Colour artist, Brian. After lunch we went to check out the art gallery, Art with Panache. Audrey did a wonderful job walking us through the gallery, talking about the artists and their work. Who knows. Maybe one day I might have some art pieces in there. It is something to consider, even though I was told the common viewers are conservatives, that is a little intimidating, but I won’t let that stop me. I also noticed a lot of the art there are nature scenes, and my art doesn’t quite fit that genre. My stuff is more surreal, and dark, but it would definitely stand out. Haha! So yeah, maybe in the near future I’ll grab a few pieces of work to hang in there.

This evening was the first Wednesday New School of Colour art session we had in awhile. There was a small group of us, and most of us gathered around one table, it was nice. We had fun.

Considering my ex didn’t get my message through my blog regarding that one visit on a Friday, maybe he finally fucked off. So yaaay! It sucked I didn’t get to see my kids, but maybe this obsessive ex of mine finally got the point, I am never returning to that shit relationship. So it’s been kind of a relief that he didn’t get the message I posted through my blog.

Anyways, I did some running around today getting some paperwork handed into housing. Just when I think it’s complete, nope. There’s still more I got to do. So more running around tomorrow. Oh well. It gets this hermit out of the house. I guess it’s good to get out sometimes.

I apologize if you’ve been waiting to see a post from me. Sorry to keep you waiting. For the most part, my perspective has shifted, I am more optimistic lately, and focusing a lot more on my passion, art.

That reminds me, next Monday I will be meeting with two nursing students that are currently in charge of the New School of Colours online stuff, via social media. Apparently I’ve been assigned to be on board, and will be one of the admins that contributes. I think I have experience in that area. I’ve managed to spread my artist alias, and art, all over social media. I think I can do the same for the New School of Colour. So that’s a pretty cool opportunity. Thank you Jeremy Jeresky.

Newho, I think that is all I will be writing today. Things are good and I am happy. Thank you for reading. – Pooks

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe