I wake up, I feel rested. I hear jack and Fiona crying, “Mama” I slip on my nightgown, look at the clock, “Wow, I totally overslept, it’s 8:15, just a minute” I say. I take Fiona out first, then Jack. Fiona is crying for her bottle, Jack wants to show me a picture in his book. I take off their dirty, slightly damp from pee pajamas, I better not forget to put those in the wash. The cries and whines getting stronger and louder, “Bottle, bottle, bottle” both babies now. I start to tense up, I’m going as fast as I can. It’s automatic now, kettle on, toast on, grind coffee beans, set up cup and filter, set up bottles, get out milk, cream, butter, honey, almond butter, strawberries, butter toast, pour hot water over coffee and into bottles, give Jack and Fiona bottles. The kitchen gets quiet, the crying and whining’s gone, my body relaxes, I take a deep breath. I have five minutes to eat before the whining starts again and the food gets thrown on the floor. Unless I put a cartoon on, especially The Wiggles CD’s (which has driven me totally insane) I prefer Curious George.
Alan said he thinks I’ve been in a period of anxiety. Linda says she was concerned because I worry too much. I’m just being myself. I think I’m acting appropriately. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me. I try my best, being a parent is really hard work, being a person is really hard work. Alan doesn’t understand why I let certain things get to me, upset me. I told him “I don’t know.” Last weeks Pope visit coinciding with Rosh Hashanah really stirred things up for me. I feel like such an outcast, religion really irritates me. When I heard the clip on the news, president Obama saying “And these gentle but firm reminders of our obligation to God and to one another, you (the pope) are shaking us out of our complacency” it upset me, everyone in America doesn’t believe in God. I don’t believe in God, the devil, heaven or hell. But I can’t talk about that without upsetting people. Now as a parent I feel uncomfortable, like I’m obligated to give my children a religion. I’m not going to be raising Jack and Fiona religious, I won’t lie to them about my beliefs, or anyone’s beliefs. I wish it was accepted to be an atheist, that it doesn’t mean I don’t have morals and values. That my children will be good people without the God factor involved. That I’m a good person. People always say to me, “But you’re spiritual, you do yoga, meditation and that’s good.” As if that keeps me off some really bad list. They want me to say I’m agnostic, maybe just to make themselves feel better. My version of death, as final, as decomposition, is too scary for most people. Maybe that’s it? I never thought of it like that.
In my studio now, the hum of the fan, I can hear the babies running and playing on the floor above me. Yellows and collage, darks, masses, forms on paper looking back at me. I just can’t believe how much imagery comes out in one hour. Where is it stored inside? Where does it come from? When I first got in here today didn’t know what I would write or paint. I spent an hour erasing everything I could off my computer and iphone, e-mails, stupid apps, voice messages, re-doing all my privacy settings. Then I decided to mix up a color, a yellowish color, and do some automatic painting. Things just flowed. Now I’m hungry! For food and more blank paper! And TIME!!
2 thoughts on “Anxiety, God, and painting.”
I often wonder about how I am going to raise my son without the religious factor. I was raised in a Christian household, but after doing my own reading and research, I decided it wasn’t what I believed. I want my son to have all of the information, to do his own research, and make his own decision about religion. I’ll answer his questions when he comes to me with them, and I won’t keep him from going to church if he wants to try it. I won’t force my beliefs (or non-beliefs) on him, and I think that’s really all we can do as parents.
Just wanted you to know that there are other mamas out here struggling with the same things!
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Thanks!!! I feel the same way too about supporting them in making their own decisions about religion and god. Thanks for speaking out!!