dancing with ants

speak the truth. unknown.
(if you know who the photographer is, please tell me so i can credit them)

suddenly everything has piled on top of me at once and i can’t see my way out.

i am fucking angry right now with some parts of my life, yet i’m not doing anything to change them.

i’m feeling lost. worthless. might as well be dancing with ants (it would be just as useful).

i have watched Gabrielle Bouliane, speak to me about things i already know and am still not doing anything about. she challenges me to get up and do something with my life. she’s dead now and i’m still alive. and still not doing anything.

i was offered a writing gig that, while unpaid, is fairly high profile in some creative circles. there was excitement and disbelief… mostly disbelief. with so many amazing writers on this planet, why did they choose me?! and when it came to selecting photos to go with my words, looking back through all the places i have been, i am really struggling to find six that i really love now.

i have lost faith in my writing & photographic abilities

my head knows all the words

  1. i get to choose how i react to things in my life
  2. if i don’t like who i am, then change it
  3. make a list and start at the top
  4. just start with one thing

i’ve read motivational books, websites, know all the right things to say to offer encouragement to myself, to write my way out, or do the work

i have been struck down with a fever of the mind and spent the last two days in bed. with crazy thoughts going through my brain…

  • like selling all my cameras because i feel like i take crappy photos
  • like how much i hate a part of my life, but have no fucking clue what to do if i don’t do that thing anymore
  • how i have a book that i still haven’t managed to finish
  • how my style statement book is sitting in a pile of other books because i haven’t been able to finish working through it
  • how, if someone had to come into my flat to clear it out because i just up and left, they would find so many unfinished things; like unsent mail, unframed art, unfinished creative projects
  • how i can’t fill in susannah’s lovely worksheet because i don’t have a word for 2010. i did think at one point that my word might be voice, but since i have such a hard time with saying anything, then how can it be?
  • how i don’t have a clue what i’m doing with my life and, if i didn’t have my beloved right now, i’d be screwed because i’m hiding in bed (not working) and wouldn’t be able to pay the rent
  • that i have one coldsore on my face already, with another threatening to appear and keep it company
  • how maybe my new haircut wasn’t such a great idea after all
  • how trivial all of these things are compared to the problems of others, so how dare i stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. like, how fucking self-absorbed am i?!

but rather than getting up and doing any of these things; or starting with just one thing, then moving on to the next, i’m just sitting here.

feeling like shit. not doing anything to change it.

i myself am made entirely of flaws
stitched together with good intentions
– unknown

what i don’t need:

  • platitudes
  • judgement (talking mostly about myself here)

what i do need:

27 thoughts on “dancing with ants

  • “might as well be dancing with ants”…your words are ART…and your struggle bursts into beauty…because you offer something so amazing to the world with what you find in it. and i love the image you have here…and need its’ message. thank you dear one!!! xox

  • “i have lost faith in my writing & photographic abilities”

    funny because when I feel something similar, I gotten into the habit of going to my feedreader hoping to see a post from you because your words and images inspire me. know that when the doubt creeps in and takes up camp.

  • Hi leonie,
    Your post really resonated with me! Perhaps it’s like ‘Face Week’ in Unravelling where you look back at old photos of yourself and think ‘But I was beautiful/young/happy- why couldn’t I see that at the time?’ I guess what I’m saying is you may look back on this period of your life and think ‘Actually, I was there, I just didn’t realise it yet’. Does that make sense?
    I hope you’re feeling better now. I really admire what you’re doing.
    xFellow Unraveller

  • I’m holding a space for you, your worlds, your pain, your fear.

    Know that you are strong.
    Know that you are beautiful.
    Know that you are amazing.
    Know that you will get through this.
    Know that you are loved.

  • I have not read your blog before. Imagine my shock when I read your post which could have been written by me nearly word for word. Especially today, when earlier I was thinking these same thoughts. Obviously I was meant to be shown that I am not alone, feeling this way. I wish there were something I could do back for you for giving me this timely gift, somehow help you feel better. Thank you.

  • Gosh, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve felt this way… or even a nickel for every unfinished project I’ve started… or a nickel for every time I’ve wondered “what else?” or “What can I do with my life?” The closest I come to religion is that everything happens for a reason, it doesn’t always make sense, but there is some cosmic reason we feel the way we do, choose the paths we do, live the lives we do. Sometimes you have to stop trying to figure it out and just let it happen. Go with it, and believe in yourself. (ooops, that last almost rang up as a platitude, didn’t it?)

  • oh beautiful you. would it help to know that you are not alone? that i feel the same every single time i publish a blog post or upload photos to flickr. i went to a yoga class the other day and the teacher was speaking of those poses we avoid because they are too challenging. she said that is the precise reason why we need to step into those poses, breathe into them, shine light on them. so yes, your word is voice. step into it (seems you already have lovey :), share it. i, for one, always love hearing what you have to say. you are so loved. also… put your big panties on? fucking hilarious. haha. xo

  • i am holding space for you, dear leonie

    i see you

    i feel your pain & confusion

    you are loved

    and bathed in Light


    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness
    Welcome and entertain them all!

    Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

    ~ Rumi, Sufi poet, 1207-1273

    Dear Miss Leonie,

    I don’t know you. Yet in some small way, I do. I have read your words and I have heard your voice. I have been touched by them. I have felt grateful for your expression. One day, I cried and felt not so alone. There are many things I could say…I won’t though, because this is your experience and your moment. And as much as you are going through this for yourself, you are going through it for me and many others, too.

    Thank you.

    Be Well.

  • Oh sweet gorgeous wise Leonie, you clearly speak for many here, as I too find myself nodding along in recognition of some of those dark thoughts. Different stories maybe, but same unhealthy, unhelpful, freeze you in the moment, crap. I have no helpful advice to offer except: I admire you. For putting a voice to this and bringing it out into the light. You are amazing miss wise and it’s moments like these when your friends can help shine the way forward for you. Not by telling you what to do, except to say you can do anything or nothing and you are still amazing, loved and adored. I can’t wait to see you xxx

  • only YOU know the truth, only YOU gets to feel that truth…..its raw, dirty and ugly…….until its NOT.. remember to keep the soul light of yourself burning beneath the dross. She will show you the way home my love. Feels to me like you are in a transition before you birth the whole of your being into this world.
    Birthing is best done in the company of other women. Need a spiritual midwife? you are welcome to call me, but then you knew that, right? Love you babe!

  • i’m with the others, your word is voice and while you don’t see your talents, that’s what your friends are here for, to let you know that you are a writer and photographer and if you weren’t than you wouldn’t have these despairing times, when you’re ready to pitch it all in.

    sending you love and holding you in my thoughts. xx

  • ((hugs))

    How ever flawed you may be, I think you are perfect just the way you are. You said you don’t want or need any judgement, so don’t judge yourself. If you believe in a higher spirit, a bigger plan, then beleive you are exactly where you are meant to be.

    Maybe those projects weren’t meant to be finished yet. Maybe you had more to learn and experience before you finish them. It all works out in the end and if you don’t believe me, just hang in there — you aren’t at the end yet. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself.

    I am coming through a similar spell myself. I have a new company and I have been struggling. I feel like I am not giving all I could to http://www.fetchandpounce.com I was feeling like I was letting myself down, like I was a fool to have attempted this venture and as if I had bitten off more than I could chew. All I can say is that the alternative of admitting defeat knowing I had not fully given my all, was not palatable.

    I did not start with a list of to do’s that would have been too daunting. I started with a list of two things I would work on. I made an old fashioned pencil and paper list. As I completed a task, I checked it off manually. I got a life from seeing I had accomplished something. I then moved on to another….then I put something down to do the next day. So far, so good. I am taking it one day at a time.

    I also make time to walk outdoors and soak in the energy of the earth….it rejuvenates my spirit and I like the peace.

    Be well and take care of you for us,


  • Oh my goodness my friend – I could have written this. I KNOW. I. get. it.

    I can’t advise, but I love you. I’ll come to you soon – no judgement just love. BIG. LOVE.

  • which is why your word IS voice, baby – this is the year to use and stretch and exercise and refind and oh-it-was-already-there your VOICE.


    i fucking love you ;) xoxoxoxox

  • Oh they’ve all already said it Leoniewise. But if you’re feeling bad because you’re not perfect? Um…HELLO! Who on earth would wish to be perfect? We are flawed and struggling and wonderful and angry and sad and inspired and all those things all at once. We’re gritty, earthy humans not goddesses. Hooray for that. Feel the yuck, dude. Wallow. Have some freaking time off from being Creato Girl and just be lovely, lovely you.
    Also, you tapped into the zeitgeist with this. Have you SEEN some of the blog posts popping up right now? Must be the season.
    I love you. You have no guile, no fortress blocking your heart, no games you play. That must make things tough for you at times but oh my god it makes you a joy to know.

  • I know saying this doesn’t always help when you’re in the middle of it, but you are where you are because that is where you need to be. Don’t try too hard to figure out why; be still, be silent, and let it reveal itself as it chooses to unfold around you.

    It is hard & it is frustrating when you can’t see the finish line or have a clear-cut 1, 2, 3 path to follow. When you don’t know which way to go or which turn to make, I know it can be paralyzing & you just stand there at the corner giving yourself whiplash trying to decide right or left, now or wait. And that is OK.

    Fear is a really powerful force…do not let it win. Look it in the eye & say “fuck off” and if that doesn’t completely work, just pick up the camera or the pen or the laptop & allow yourself to do “shitty” work. Do it anyway if for nothing else than to piss fear off. You really are bigger than fear. You are definitely better than fear. And you deserve any & everything in your heart, whether you can name it or visualize it yet.

    If you don’t believe that, believe this: your words are beautiful and your photographs are delicious. I don’t even know you & I take time out of every single day to come here to see YOU, read YOUR words & see YOUR images. When I see your little yellow flower icon on Unravelling, I scroll straight down to see what YOU have shared.

    Be well, be brave, be you…big girl panties & all! x

  • you are speaking the truth of all of us here. i know so well the way i watch myself, hovering above, as i sit in that inertia that you speak of. the piles undone. the voice-over that deepens the blow.

    but it is these times that inform the rest. i don’t think there can be the creative, fulfilling, “productive” (whatever the fuck that is) periods, if we don’t have the truth baring discomfort that you write of.

    and, i love you. in all of it. especially right now.

  • I will quote you now “you are absolutely entitled to feel this way” and admitting is the first step and most positive one in the right direction. There is a reason WHY you feel like this, it is because you want and are ready to make the change, to flower into all you dream of. You must realise that to make it happen, it is a lot of small steps not just one big moment. So pick off one thing – finish the book for example – or don’t be afraid to say – I am going to put this in a box and not look at it until April and the sun is streaming through my window! Find the sea Leonie Wise – close your eyes and listen to the waves, they are your medicine. Find your beach pics – some of your best in my opinion and blow them up big and stare at them and remember how the sea makes you feel. – I am rambling now! Close your eyes, we are all stood next to you x

    Can’t wait to see the new hairdo and come to London to see you – shall we set a date? March, April, May?

    p.s. I filled in the worksheets with many words, and ideas and scribble and drawings!

  • baby your word is SO voice!
    you just found it.
    i love you and your new hairdo.

  • PS: all the unfinished things…just let it be. At this moment, right now…crawl deeper into bed, cover your head and have a good cry! :0) Just let it be xx

  • You are enough.
    be kind to your soul.
    step gently.
    I love you xx

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