Memories conjured, Rhythm and Presence workshop, like a knot, untied

As I took the Bayview exit off 580 my heart sank just a little. My mom’s house was right there, but she’s not there and I won’t be stopping to pick her up for the second Rhythm and Presence workshop. We won’t be excited together, talking about paint and abstraction, what we want to make, what we want to focus on. She won’t be sitting next to me on my drive out to Benicia. I wish she was. My mom would have loved the workshop, Carl, and Heather. My mom was a great painter. I thought that I could at least bring her spirit with me and I did. One day my mom said, “I’m not going to paint any more people.” She had decided to go totally abstract. I laughed because it sounded like she was mad at the people she was painting, like they had betrayed her in some way. She would have really enjoyed the Rhythm and Presence workshop. Time moves so quickly, I know what it means to be dead. That’s why I work so fast, I have so much ground to cover and so little time. I should be sleeping right now, but I can’t. I need to write. About my day. About my life. About my old Self. New Self. Only Self.


Alone in my minivan. My baby mobile. Today it’s my art mobile, filled with paper, half started, half done, undone, blank, ripped and torn. Paint, watercolor, acrylic, oil sticks, glue, brushes, and a lunch. When I stop and get gas I double check to make sure Jack and Fiona aren’t in the car. I get this feeling like I’ve gone on with life and forgot they were with me. But I’m Alone. I blast the radio scanning rapidly through the stations to find songs that aren’t boring. Thinking again, why didn’t I prepare a play list? Next time. The sky is half Fog half over cast, but balmy like Hawaii. I make good time, I’m always late almost anywhere I go now. But fifteen minutes is acceptable. There’s a lot to do, make sure the babies are all set up before I leave, get ready myself, I really wanted to take a shower, look somewhat presentable. Sometimes I forget to put on a bra and shoes before I leave the house, I spend so much time in my pajamas. As I was updating Lindsay on Jack and Fiona’s present states of minds I felt like I was in a movie and I was getting ready to go to work, probably a waitressing job at a late night diner. I never thought I’d star in that role.


But I wasn’t going to work, I was going to paint. Not to make money but to spend money. To release all that I had inside me, to learn from Heather and Carl and the other people in the workshop. I worked straight through, it just happened. I had so much work going I felt like I was painting myself into a box. I have to stay calm because sometimes I feel like there’s just too much and I start to panic. I used to work on one thing until it was totally muddy, ruined, and all my paint would be gone. Then I learned to work on multiple pieces at one time, but that still has the possibility of seeming crazy, looking crazy, making me feel crazy. Then I get something I really like, or several things. I think I broke through some areas today, I am in a new place now. I don’t know where that place is, I don’t have a clear meaning or idea. I have hazy feelings about it, in some ways. Maybe fear? Maybe fear to go where I really want to go? I think I’ve always been there deep inside, it’s like I’m excavating myself, digging a hole inside, scooping out my bits, laying them out in front of me, like a smorgasbord.

I know what it means to not be here anymore. When the white on the paper is nothing and everything at the same time. Some voids will never be filled, and time will never be got back. The places I go, the memories they conjure. Today emotions were triggered for me. Painting, my Mom, Richmond, all tied up in a knot, ripped apart and laid out on paper casting energy into space, into me.

3 thoughts on “Memories conjured, Rhythm and Presence workshop, like a knot, untied

  1. Beautifully written, poignantly felt, fragile we are. Right down to our bones, and then some. Your words got to me about LOSS. It knits us up somehow, but the children remain buoyant, and so we surface again, once again.
    Lovely to read your the candor, honesty and insight. You are somethin’ else . See you soon somewhere. Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist