I find half a cup of black coffee from this morning, “Oh cool, I can use this now in my studio.” I head down as quickly as possible, Jack and Fiona just went down for their nap, I probably have two hours to paint. I start to feel better immediately as I tear and prepare my paper, pour coffee on it, collage, write, make a mess. I’m not depressed, I’m not thinking about anything else but what I’m doing in my studio and I’m not really “thinking” about it, it’s just happening. My “nap time paintings” are mostly overworked today, but that’s O.K. In the past this would also make me really depressed, a bad session in the studio would keep me up at night, I would obsess over the mess I made until I made something “good” that I liked. I’ve learned that’s not important anymore, to make something “good.” I know every so often I hit the right note and I can’t hit that note without making all the crap. I get a nice long session today, I’m finished in here before I hear a peep out of the monitor, brushes clean, all paint tubes closed, lights off and I head upstairs.
I scramble around, “what should I have ready for the babies for when they wake? A bottle? Food? I need something? To lessen the crying, to lessen the whining.” Fuck it, I can’t think of anything, lets just see what happens. Fiona cries for me first, I pick her up, her Teddy in hand, thumb in mouth. I change her diaper, hold her , put on her hearing aids. I hold her as long as I can until I hear Jack, “MAMA MAMA” I set Fiona down, she looks at me and starts to cry, “I have to get Jack.” He’s got a big poop, I change his diaper, his eyes are watering from the light, he’s starting to cry. I hold him for a minute but then set him down. Both babies start up, Fiona not as bad today, but Jack cries and cries. I use Linda’s advice and say “Good Jack, just get it out, good boy” I decide to turn on some music, I pick Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde and dance to Stuck inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again up and down the hallway while the babies go through their tantrums. I start to sing, “Oh mama can this really be” Jack stops crying, his big eyes looking at me, I sit near him and rub his legs. Both babies come to and stop their whining. I feel good, this is working. I let them sit on the bar stools to eat, they love it. We continue to have a lovely afternoon together, playing, reading, drinking smoothies, watching Bubble Guppies. I try giving each baby bits of individual attention. It works today, I’ll take it.