Space: Claim, Let Go

Space: Claim, let go

Closet space. A must. Dried flowers. Desk space. Private. Dank. Dresses and books. Debt. Notes and piles. A box of Miscellaneous:

A hammer,

clamp, spray tip for the outdoor faucet,

a garden shovel,

an innertube,

a piece of a toilet paper bar,

a screw driver,

an incense burner,

an exact knife,

the kind of things you can spend an hour looking for and never find.

Buy a new one. There’s another drawer in my house filled with the same things occupying another space.

The children are upstairs watching a show on the IPad while I claim my space. I write letters and stuff envelopes to mail to independent Book Stores. I read a short piece I wrote that I added to my sell sheet called Painting:

“Painting. Why do we paint? What are we painting for? Who are we painting for? What are we trying to communicate in our paintings, if anything? How has Facebook changed our lives as painters, with a 24-hour audience? How has being painters altered our lives? How does it alter our day to day activities? How we look at and respond to the world? Do we have a collective voice? Are we bonded as painters? Have we become one?

Naptime. Friday. Paintings worked on, getting closer to where I want to go. The layering, the foggy, dusty eyes. Texture creating memory, on the canvas becoming a rivers edge, always changing, eroding and coming back again. On paper, in my notebooks a moment. A flash of time, a scrap of paper with paint drops from several painting sessions, a little mini journal on my studio floor. A tiny scrap, taking on a life of its own.  Walked on, stomped on, drawn on, glued on. “Notebook project” taking on a larger life. Prototype made, Rives BFK, four sheets, painted on separately, folded and sewn together, is sculptural, physical. Trying to connect with the canvas in the same way. Getting closer. Not easy. Skin dry, paint spots on it, neck tired, body tired. Still have to be mom. Babies waking up soon. Need to get energy. Had crazy week. Realized I am crazy. Need to take break, need to get head clear. Dentist said I have grinded my teeth down, bad. Need to start meditating again. I lied last week when I say I don’t have moments when I say I need to do this or that, I need to change. I do still say that, feel that. Or should I accept my grinding teeth? Paint every chance I get. Not take a break? Forget to re-order my checks. Forget everything but the most essential? I need to go now. Sit outside in the sunshine before the babies wake up from their naps.”

I paused when I read the piece because it sounded so different to me now. I also wondered if that was the best excerpt for my sell sheet, it’s a unique writing, but I don’t know if it is the best representation of the book, if it captures the essence of the writing in my book. Maybe it does. That’s just anxiety and it doesn’t really mean anything anyhow.


I miss Naptime. The days Jack and Fiona would consistently take a nap around 1:00 every day and sleep until 2:30 or 3:00. I would read them a story and put them in their cribs. Sometimes I would have to go back a few times, usually because they pooped and needed a diaper change. I used a baby monitor in my studio.  I had long breaks in the afternoon to paint.

Now, I need to come up with a solution.  I must rise early and get a schedule going of dedicated worktimes. I need my spaces clean of clutter. I need to let go of things in spaces I need now for something else. I need to strip myself down to the essentials. Writing, studio, motherhood.

It must be close to that time, of motherhood duties to relish in this evening. The popsicle I gave Jack and Fiona an hour ago must be eaten by now.  I love motherhood as much as I love my spaces of solitude.

I hear my dog bark. She must have jumped the fence.

I exit my space. My closet. My writing sanctuary.

“Ready for bed?” I say.

“Yah” They both say back to me in unison.

I open the garage door.

“Billy” I yell.

Billy runs in, she must have been trying to see if she could sniff out any of those creatures. There’s been a Bob Cat around here lately. The neighbor told me about one she saw, so I was keeping my eyes open. Very next morning I spot one walking across my neighbor’s fence. I could see it’s tail twitch. Then it jumped down and ran up the hill.

Today as Billy and I walked down the street, she sniffed continuously. It made me keep thinking about the opossum we drove by on the way downtown. At first, I thought it was a rat, all I had seen was a long skinny, hairless, tail. then as I got closer, I saw it was a small opossum.

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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist