The circle of truth

Everything I’ve done up until now has been about pregnancy: wanted and unwanted. It’s been about deep, dark, secrets. The kind in my dreams: I’m climbing up a dirt tunnel, fingers clutching to the sides, dirt crumbling, roots exposed, there’s blue sky above, I can breath but feel the cold at my feet, my face is hot, my feet freeze. The paintings come out murky or scary or dark, with sprinkles of light from behind. In the beginning they were about my strange relationship with my dad, from sadness and depression. They were darker, thicker, and crustier portraits. When my mom died they turned to thin, barley there figures, which have been referred to as children or babies. I based them off childhood pictures of my mom, her baby pictures. I was trying to have a baby myself at this time. It was the beginning of charts, dates, non-fun sex, ovulation kits. I started to stitch and felt and weave and sculpt. I made places to hide if I were to turn into a tiny mouse. Where art emerges from. My childhood, my dead babies lack of childhood, my children’s current childhood, Birth. The birth of an unspoken world uniquely mine living on paper and canvas. Each stain on the paper is a new birth, each stain on my uterus a lost birth. Memories of losing. Childhood angst. The way I see Jack under the table today at the park. Two girls talk to him, older than him. His lip in a pout, ” what did they say to you Jack?” His head angled down, sucking a finger, nose a little runny. “They asked if I scribbled on their”, i finish the sentence, “sidewalk drawing?” I tell the girls he didn’t. He wants me to hold his hand. He’s not that much older than the little baby I used to take to this park, he’s still a sweet baby boy. Born healthy. His sister too. They infiltrate my art. They infiltrate my life. Having young children leaves little time to be alone. It leaves little time to relax. Things happen daily adding to my plate of anxiety. Times like yesterday when we were going to the car from the park, Jack and Fiona on scooters, Jack took off so fast I didn’t even notice until he was no longer in sight. My heart raced, please don’t go in the road, please don’t get taken. There’s nothing much I can do, he can’t hear me call him. I get to the car and he’s sitting by it. Everything’s fine, but I can still feel that panic in my chest. Last night at dinner I was running behind schedule with dinner prep, Fiona is in the bath downstairs and Jack is watching a movie upstairs. I have a sink full of dirty pots and I need to make dinner. When my husband got home he was hungry and ready for dinner. I panic. I start chopping carrots, celery, sautéing onions, in between running downstairs to check on Fiona. I feel a sharp pain in my thumb. I thought it was a carrot, the knife went straight down, slice. I am afraid I will need stitches. I put a Band-Aid on it and hold it over my head. I finish dinner, almost burnt it. And this morning my finger is healing up nice and it wasn’t a bad cut like I thought. I was a stress case before kids too, and going through infertility was the worst I’ve ever been. This is different though. Having kids is a big responsibility. Being a mom and a housewife is hard, it’s a rouse to say otherwise. I think it’s hard just being a human. We are all in our own circles of truth, the circle which we can not escape. Our history is who we are, is what our art is about, is how we raise our kids. And knowing this doesn’t make it easier. But knowing this might help us raise better kids and make better art.

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About Dirty Laundry Blog

Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist