struggling with anxiety

this summer has been a long struggle for me. i’ve had moments and days of beauty and wonder and happiness, but they’ve been bookended by physical and mental struggles that are outside my normal range. i’ve been dealing with nearly overpowering anxiety. i’m easily stressed and pushed to tears, i’ve lost so much of my energy and enthusiasm for athletics and eating and spending time with others, physically i just don’t feel well. it seems like i always have a sour stomach or headache or am tired or feeling on edge/unhappy. anxiety about even tiny things builds me up into knots and it keeps me restless for days. turns me nervous and pensive. pushes me deep inside a shell and i just want to keep hiding and pretend there is and i hope this emotional drain is passing and no problem.

i have dealt with similar problems in the past, but nothing like this intensity or longevity has popped up before. it’s so frustrating. i wish there was some quick-fix but one doesn’t exist. through counseling, i’ve learned some techniques that have helped me cope, but crawling out of this hole is such a long process. whatever triggered this path down the dark, shameful spiral of anxiety is a complete mystery. i thought things were fine and then…i just hit a wall. it’s so hard to accept that these destructive, awful feelings are real.

being so open and public about emotions is very difficult for me, but for some reason this felt important. maybe my admission will help someone else along, or maybe it’s okay just to put this out into the void anyway.

holy cannoli! a catbear!

okay, old news to 98% of the internet, but as this is an animal-focused blog i couldn’t overlook yesterday’s announcement of a new carnivorous species which was discovered in the andes!  they live in cloud forests, which sound like the most heavenly places on earth but may be more like this jungle, but i digress.   here’s a picture of the olinguito, for your perusal!

not a whole lot is known about these guys: they live high up in trees, eating fruit & insects, weigh only 1 kg, and have really cute ears.  they are part of the raccoon family, which includes them in the category “cute/scary”. it’s not an official linnean classifier, but so many things fit the category that it must be a real thing (eg: possums, aye ayes, star-nosed mole, tube nosed fruit bat, etc).

lichtenberg figures/lightning tattoos

as an impressionable, romantic teenager i came across a haunting, poetic novel, fugitive pieces, and a passage struck me:

Sometimes, when lightning passes through objects and then through human tissue, it imprints the objects onto a hand, an arm, a belly – leaving a permanent shadow, a skin photograph. Whole landscapes have appeared on the sides of animals. Across the courtyard, I imagined Petra had the divine tattoo: in the middle of her back, a Lichtenberg flower. I imagined she’d been imprinted as a child, that the rubber tiles of her bicycle had saved her.  In the small of her brown silky back, past an invisible down of hair, the faint breath of electricity remained.  A flower so faint you feel it could be washed away or, like a frost flower, vanish with your gasp. “From your lips to the ear of God.” But your adoration will not have the slightest effect.  The flower is ghostly and permanent’ maddening stigmata.

at the time i first encountered these words, i searched the internet for photo proof of such things, cows with landscapes tattooed by lightning, but i didn’t find anything and indeed forgot about it until seeing these photos last week.

to be clear, a lichtenberg figure is not just a fractal pattern left by high voltage on skin; the fractal can be seen in acrylic blocks, plates coated with reactive dust, on grass that’s had a lightning strike.

sweet baby tapir toes

it has recently been brought to my attention that tapirs are the cutest animal that is related to both horses and rhinoceri.  niche category, you say? no matter, say i!

SWEET BABY TAPIR TOES is also great as an exlamation.

tapirs kind of look like pigs but with prehensile noses. there are four species of tapir (malayan, brazilian, baird’s, and mountain) and all known populations are endangered or vulnerable.

tapir snouts are prehensile, like elephants, kind of. if english was a language made up of compound words like german, maybe we’d call tapirs ‘elephantpigs’ instead of tapirs.

elephant pigs can grow to be quite large (2m long/1m tall) and are herbivores, eating up to 40kg of fruits, berries & leafy shoots per day.

 

 

 

 

 

featured artist friday: the skullery

marisa rand of the skullery creates beautiful resin skull & bone casts. i’ve got a couple of her pieces, the crow skull necklace and magpie earrings, and i adore them. whenever i wear them i get a lot of compliments! her work is simple, affordable, and so stylish. it ships really quickly too, which is always a treat. her shop is one of my favourite finds on etsy!

(click through the photos to see shop listings for the items below)

mini crow skull necklace, $21

mink jaw bone necklace, $20

kit fox skull, $26

lacey magpie skull keychain, $21