Finding my way in color and texture

A few years ago, my family and I were in Santa Fe, New Mexico on spring break. Being an artist and self proclaimed feminist, I of course, love all things Georgia O’Keefe and New Mexico is the land she called home. One afternoon we went to the Georgia O’Keefe museum. My husband and son indulged me as I fully immersed myself for hours in every exhibit. From the biographical video right off the lobby to the gift shop right before the exit.

In between, on every wall, were her paintings, her photographs, her…

Like the Purge, but for our souls

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I recently read an article about the allegations against Marilyn Manson brought by Evan Rachel Wood. The abuse happened when she was 19 and he was 36.

My first reaction was a sort of sad resignation. Like, here we go again. Are all men disgusting assholes? And then I made the mistake of reading the comments section. Never ever read the comments. In any article. I knew better.

I found the usual victim blaming and “maybe she liked it” bullshit. But one comment kept popping up. “Why now?” “Why did she wait so…


A lifetime of trying to make sense of a traumatized family and my place in it.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Sunday, February 19th, 1978. Downtown Des Moines, Iowa is deserted on the weekends, especially cold ones like this. The midwestern town doesn’t have much going on. It’s the 70’s and everyone shops and lives in the suburbs. The only businesses open around here on weekends are the pawn shops and adult bookstores.

Two brothers, Jerry Jr., 15 yrs old and Geoff, 14 yrs old, and their best friend, Jeff, also 14 yrs old, were excited to get to work that morning for some extra spending money. A new restaurant was going in downtown and the boys were asked if they…

A complicated story of a life with a uterus

Part I

It all started in 1984-ish. I was your average 11 year old kid. Staying at my dad’s apartment for the weekend, per the custody schedule. Dad was newly married or close to it. It was Sheila’s place we were staying at anyway and I was bored out of my mind.

As any bored tween does in 1984-ish, I’m watching MTV. I’m waiting for a Duran Duran or Michael Jackson video to come on. My whole goal in life is to become the saxophone player for Duran Duran. I practice…


A plea to be seen and accepted.

A friend of mine recently said “It’s hard to be friends with you”. She wasn’t talking about my personality or attitude. I’m not an asshole. Usually. She was speaking specifically about my depression. She’s not wrong.

Being good friends with someone living with chronic depression sucks. I don’t always have the energy to go out or talk. I might be having one of those days where the only thing I can do is lay on the couch. Sometimes just watching TV is too much for me. That’s not fun. For anyone. I get it. And speaking for myself, it adds…

Jen Boes

art and depression, mountains and puppies. oh and squirrels!

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