I dig it

Not now. Nothing now. Only the quiet hums of the household machinery, fans, fridge, Billy’s rustling around to get comfortable, the chimes, alone at last. I have a strange feeling today. I don’t know why, anxiety? sorrow? A friends’ mom died, far too soon. I know what that’s like. That feeling of loss and emptiness. Combined with my deep concern and sadness for our world. The changing season, summer passing behind me, the shadows coming earlier and earlier each day. Leaves fluttered down in front of me yesterday as I walked along the path. Jack picks up acorns, some empty, some full. He remembers me telling him about the squirrels eating acorns, “don’t forget about the blue jays, they eat acorns.” I say. “And Raccoons?” asks Jack. “I don’t know Jack, I’ll have to look that up.” He walks the whole way back, sitting down sometimes to examine leaves and look for more acorns.  Quiet house. A sound unfamiliar at first, I startle and so does Billy. I turn around, it’s just Fiona’s painting rustling in the wind. Billy jumps up and goes outside. I sit down and begin to write.  Drinking my second cup of coffee, drunken cool and black, and my jar of plain yogurt, granola, and blueberries, I get up several times to put on laundry, change the diaper pails, ruin a canvas in my studio, freak out, get my studio ready for working in today, even though I said at the beginning of this piece, “Not now” because I knew in my anxiety ridden state I wouldn’t be able to sit down and write while all those other things needed to be done. But I reminded myself, “not now”. But I did them anyhow, went to my studio and worked on a canvas with oil and yuck! Just yucky mud now. I’m so mad.

That day ended, only memories now, distant, even faded memories of all that went on in between the empty spaces. The virus, the tantrums, the unpredictability, it’s been three days of no naps, no leaving the house, no studio, a sick baby, repeating my sentences over and over again. Every time I say something, explain something, especially to Fiona, she says “Huh?” over and over again. I start to sign it, explain it slow and louder. I hear her later at night in bed repeating the same sentence over and over again, memorizing every word, trying to remember the pronunciation. Jack carries on conversations with me or throws things and cries, there’s very little in between. Toddlerhood is like the infant stage but with big strong babies. I am SO thankful to have this moment in my studio. This moment to re-group, paint and write even if it’s WAY TOO SHORT!

  My eyes, mind, body, buzzing. Paint on my hands. That felt GOOD. Just painted for almost two hours while the babies slept. NAP TIME PAINTINGS! I dig them! Built up inside me, I almost snapped. Needed to release some creative energy. Elections, speeches. Toddlers, baby lizards in the house and crickets.  Just stop, take a deep breath. Be thankful for what I have. Babies creative. Got depressed this week watching Fiona draw, she’s so good. Babies waking up soon. Gotta go. Go take a shower, join the world. Be a functioning member of society. Friday. What a week. Moments of rightness. Sitting under the shady oak at Boyd Park today. Rabbit named Slippers at the park. Ladies talking about the best eyeliner. Nannies recognize Jack and Fiona. I draw, write, while they slide and investigate. All I fed them today were lollypops and Italian sodas. Not winning any parenting awards. Time to take a shower now. Time to go back in the house. Time is moving fast.

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins