Indian Springs 2015

lying down, a soft white cotton blanket wrapped around my naked body, cucumbers, a cool washcloth on my eyes, heart pounding strong, feet throbbing, face beat red, beads of sweat form around my mouth. I take several deep breaths, ” one, inhale, exhale, two, inhale, exhale” repeat ten times. My body starts to cool, I feel completely relaxed. I’m at Indian Springs in Calistoga. White stucco walls reflect the bright sunshine. Palm Trees with dark and light circle rings, some with triangle shapes jutting out, all with beautiful Palm Tree branches and leaves. I think it looks like something in LA. I’m with one of my best friends China, it’s our tradition to get mud baths for our birthdays. I keep thinking about the last time we were here. I was a bundle of stress. I’m finding it difficult to find the words for how I felt back then. I’ll refer to my old journals. I go down to get them from my closet, I also grab blue bear and tiger in case the babies are ready for their  morning nap. As I climb the stairs I sing, “blue bear, tiger, blue bear, tiger. ” when I get to the top of the stairs Jack runs to the fence smiling, puts his hand through to grab blue bear. Fiona screams and grabs Tiger in pure joy. I read “Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?” Give the babies more milk, switch out the train toy for the blue horse and elephant toys. While searching for ways to describe how I felt the last time I was in Calistoga I came across this poem:

March 2nd, 2013

It starts with optimism, 

Something I never thought I would do, 

It’s a waiting game, 

It’s a count the calendar, timing, wondering game, 

Dissapointment and fear, it all starts to appear,

Again we try, the years pass by, 

Steps to follow, poking, prodding, sterile cold metal stuck inside, fully exposed, no where to hide, 

Blood and guts and piss and shit,

Nothings wrong, perfectly fine, 

Try this, try that, it’ll cost you, money spent, years go by,

My mind gets twisted, my heart gets crushed, once, twice, more times than I can bear, 

But I go on and on, test tube, laboratories, turning into a bloody mess,

My body forever damaged, my mind close to follow, 

Years go by, we still try, the never ending story, waiting for baby. 

I am getting my thirty minute massage, my face feels relaxed, I feel like I am one with my body, the earth, the stars, the moon, the galaxy. 

The last time, “You are SO TIGHT.” My masseuse says as she digs her elbows into my shoulder blades and trys to get out the knots in my neck, but my body won’t give, it’s like a cold hard rock. I feel a sense of panic, my cheek is twitching,I’m feeling just at stressed as the moment I arrived here. Maybe more now that someone else has confirmed it. 

I hear a buzz, I look out into the playroom. Fiona has one hearing aid in her hand and her hat in the other. I go over and put the hearing aid back in and say “aaaah, ooooo, see Fiona they help you hear.” I take them off again and make the same sounds. Jack comes over and I explain to him that the hearing aids help Fiona hear. Fiona is sucking her thumb and tiger. They are both ready for a diaper change, wardrobe change(diaper blowouts) and naps. Another journal entry from February 22nd, 2013:

Had insomnia, even took a whole pill(klonopin) Anxiety really bad. Today is a really hard day. I feel horrible and can’t stop crying. I tried all my techniques last night, hot bath, pot, stretching, breathing, and nothing worked. Today I am depressed. I’m dreading seeing Alan because he won’t understand. It’s harder this time than ever before. All the words and sentences that well-meaning people say, relax, don’t walk the dogs, don’t twist, pray to Jesus, ask him, pray to St. Gerard, stay positive, then Alan’s favorite, “it’s hard now but it will be much harder if you don’t have kids.” What kind of thing is that to say? I feel more alone now than ever before in my whole life.


 Jack and Fiona are taking their nap now. We are planning to go on a picnic at the park today. I am in a much better place than I was the last time I went to Calistoga. I can’t say if it is because I have kids now, if it’s all the theapy I’ve done, or if it’s just simply being out of the grey area. Whatever the reason I felt more bliss and relaxation yesterday at the spa than ever before in my life. 

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist