I’ve always been a loner. I feel comfortable on the hills, the trails, looking out my window at the blue sky. Listening to the hawks on a cold January day. It’s quiet, my dogs by my side. Or sitting writing or painting in my studio. Nowadays to fill most of my social needs I join conversations on Facebook about instapots and menopause. In my radio interview the other day I said that I don’t have friends coming to my house, I live an isolated life as a stay at home mom, an artist, and a writer. I said my friends who I know and don’t know, my readers, the people who interact with my paintings, the collectors, I must communicate with them, with the outside world. I don’t know why. I am. Everything seems like a possibility. The farther I go into my artistic self the more real I become. The Sycamore tree outside is still bare, the sky is greyish blue. There’s not much warm sun to sit under outside or I would be there now. I’m in the house writing. I’ve been working on my manuscript for my new book. It’s all about babies. It’s raw and uncensored. My fertile and unfertile self. A guy at my art talk last week said while I was talking, and he was holding and leafing through one of my gigantic painterly notebooks, that the notebook was like my baby too, another baby I cared for and gave birth too. I realized that all the art I did during my early thirties has been destroyed and was all about fertility and babies and birth and secrets. They were made from wool, and glue, and plaster, and string, and musty old things. Stockings, black sheer and fishnets. Pods, fertility goddess inspired, death and rebirth. But during this time, I didn’t write. I was scared my husband would read my journal and think I was unhappy, or crazy, or just take everything out of context. So, I squeezed and pounded and stitched fabrics and canvas and old garments. I ripped and tore and scratched. I remember once I was in my studio at my old house, the house Alan and I lived in before this one. It was just a room in the house. Alan and the landlord were outside my room, looking at something in the house. I was working on a painting. I was scratching and scraping the paint off with my nails. I knew I should stop but I couldn’t. My nails were getting ground down, soft and black with paint. I knew the land lord was probably worried about what I was doing and that I sounded insane.