Everything is O.K., Everything is not O.K.

Everything is perfectly still. I am alone in my house, my dog asleep, satisfied from her morning walk. Most of my windows and doors are shut, the house is not hot or cold. I have less than two hours before all that changes. I wish I had more time. I did my morning scan of the news, only to find everything frightening. I read about a conspiracy cult, wondering what it means if I knew there were people out there who feel like they do? That when Trump was elected I feared these people, coming out of the shadows, as they have. When I do my morning scan of the news I wonder, is this the end? Does that make me a conspiracy theorist? All the apocalyptic movies I’ve watched flash through my mind. I read the cult people are movie fans too.

I had moments this morning on my walk with three different homeless people. We talked, but their eyes had a far away look. One lady yelled at a cop who walked past her, “Why did you steel my shoes? Why did you video tape me while you were talking to me?”  I heard her talking to other people on the street asking them if it was legal for cops to video tape you while they were talking to you. Then a guy asked me if I’d seen the squirrel fall from the tree. I was in the park. He pointed to the giant Oak tree,

“Did you see that? Right there, see that hole in the Oak tree?” He said.

“Yes” I said.

“This squirrel ran up the branch of that tree, another squirrel and him started fighting and the squirrel fell all the way down” He said.

“I never saw that before, if you get pissed off at a cat, mind my vulgarity, you can just pick the cat up like this”

I imagined him grabbing a cat by the scruff off the neck as he imitated the gesture.

“You can throw him like this and he just gets right back up” He said.

I asked him if he’d seen the Jack rabbit and he just nodded. I had seen it when I first got to the park.

Billy’s ears perked up when she saw it, I thought about the wolves at the zoo the day before chewing on a bloody rabbit. Jack, Fiona and I watched how the wolves showed their teeth at each other when they had the fresh kill and how they got it from one another. We watched them pull out guts as the ears flopped down on the ground. Another example of death and life’s cycle. They have asked me every day about the end of life.

“Do we stay in the ground forever?” Fiona asked.

We were looking at a 5000-year-old skeleton laying in dirt, we were talking about bones and the skeletal system in our “My first anatomy book”.

I told her yes, but then Jack asked if that was where my mommy was. I had to tell them that she wasn’t, but I had to save that story for when they get older. My mom was cremated, and I think four years old is too young to understand that.

The other book we read was about how to be green. In the end of the book the message is everyone who tries to be greener can help save the world. I hope that’s still true, that if enough people care about our world and that we raise our kids to be better than we are that someday things will be better for everyone.

This is hard to believe right now. It seems like this may be the real beginning of the end. And if that’s true, what does that mean for a parent? What does that mean for us, those that care about the whole world and are terrified by what we see happening?

It’s so difficult because the signs are everywhere, at regular places we visit every day. At the zoo all the animals that have the label endangered or vulnerable. At the science museum where it talks about the rainforest being decimated. In our mountains in California where the forests keep burning to no end.

I decided this morning though, I really need to start meditating again. I need to spend more time just being present in the moment, letting go. I won’t bury my head in the sand, but I need to take more time to just be, and at least tell myself, in that moment everything’s going to be O.K. In this moment, right now as I sit in my quiet house, that won’t be quiet and peaceful for long, that everything is O.K.




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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist