On the brink of nuclear war is what the headline says today. I sit at my computer screen in early January it seems dark and gloomy. My house seems like a mess, dirty things everywhere. The kettle pops. I pour boiling water over my chamomile tea bag. Socks on the floor, groceries on the counter, left over breakfast on the table, overconsumption, waste. I sit at my computer; my dog moves to be right near me. It’s quiet. I stop panicking just a little. I’m shaky and nervous that my husband will bring Jack and Fiona home sooner than expected. I look out the window and notice the sky behind the bare branched Sycamore tree looks like winter. Jack and Fiona’s birthday is in less than two months. I had my first facial today since before they were born. The esthetician reminded me I was lucky to ever have had one, that it’s a luxury to be able to have a facial. My skin feels so good, my inner body is still tense, I can’t relax inside. I feel panicked. Catastrophizing. A seriousness and a sadness. I need more time alone to think. To paint. To meditate. To do nothing. These are luxuries too. Quiet, alone, time. The kids and I have been having a great time together. We love each other so much. They are wonderful human beings. I love spending time with them, being their mother. Feelings and moods take over. I feel guilty for wanting more alone time and we could be on the brink of a nuclear war. I still need more time even if the worlds ending and I love being with my kids. Dizzying. I miss my studio.
Today is a studio day. That is something to be VERY HAPPY for! I don’t have a crappy job. I’m writing and painting and being a super groovy mom. On Face Book a friend posted she wanted to hear some good news (it’s been depressing lately for so many of us). Ones who care about humanity. We all agreed on Coffee! That was one of the best things in life! Anyhow it altered my consciousness just being part of that conversation. Even though things are very glum right now.
I’m sitting down to have lunch. I flip through my red journal, I read the first entry 12/16/03. I notice I have stopped putting dates on things. I wrote, Happy Birthday Mom! Then I talk about how “Today I hate this place more than ever, it is one of the worst environments I could find myself in.” I went on to talk about how I wish I could get a new job. How my manager said to me “People shouldn’t be so jaded and just be happy”. I had a few more journal entries about eating bagels, wanting to lose ten pounds, and my dog Wiggly. Then I quit writing in this journal. I grabbed it the other day to take to the beach. It has a leather cover with a string to tie it shut and blank cream-colored paper. I Sat on the sand behind a large log that blocked the wind coming from the sea. I wrote, “Beach, cold, ice air, Poetry? Beautiful Day. October.” Today I have Navratan Korma for lunch, sit in a quiet house and write. The bit of blue sky peering through the smoke, knowing the fire will be over eventually, having fresh drinking water, a happy family and a good dog makes me happy.
Armageddon. I’m not feeling very comfortable with the thick, light grey, low lying, cool, eerie smoke-filled sky outside. Not one bit at all. It’s almost like in a movie, when everything gets still and then a catastrophic event happens. No one’s safe anymore. The hills look like they could ignite, like they are living creatures. I don’t hear anything right now except the kettle and the circulation fan. A few birds fly by and the trees start to rustle. I pour boiling water over coffee grounds. I think about how my personal, internal filter is completely gone. I’m exhausted after so many tragedies week after week. Jack and Fiona know about floods, hurricanes, white supremacists, gun violence, fires, smoke in the air, Trump, North Korea, sexism. I can’t protect them from all this information, and haven’t tried that hard. This is their reality, this is what they are growing up in. This is the world that they live in. I must lock them in the house today when they get home. They can’t play outside in the smoke. I don’t want them to watch T.V. either. It’s seeming stupider and stupider, those shows they watch. Especially Jack, his taste in shows is way too mature for his age. He’s starting to act like a teenager already and he’s only three and a half.
The shadows today are very strange. Muted shadows and reflections, almost an orange glow. Sun peers out through smoke, hit a book on my table. Still, I enjoy the quiet, the before every other minute I hear Mommy. I walk away for one minute, I tell Jack and Fiona where I am going, what I am doing and the minute I get there I hear Mommy. It’s an annoying phenomenon. Ten minutes. Shit that went by fast. I need more time before facing reality. Or should I say more time to not face reality, like time to go work in my studio! That is what I need today. Painting time.
What is it about Mondays? Every week lately, when I wake up Monday morning there’s a catastrophic event. Today, the Fires, burn hot, red sun, Smokey skies. Depression, fear, general sickness sets in. I panic. What will I do, kids wanna play outside. They are finally starting to relax indoors now after we spent the day at the mall. Stay away from the ash. People gather together indoors. A group of us meet to take the kids to the new My Little Pony Movie. After the popcorn, sour apple candies, and the seven-up; about fifteen minutes into the movie; Fiona crawled onto my lap; all the sudden My Little Pony had green eyed monsters running around. It got scary. Next Jack got scared, then Fiona’s two friends. Pretty soon we were all back out in the mall. I told the ticket lady the movie was too scary for three-year old’s, how do you make My Little Pony scary? And Why? She gave me a refund. We walked around the mall parenting. I was tired, from the shock and sadness over todays tragic event. I told the babies how lucky we were, to be safe from the fire.
Yesterday we went to the city, we hung out around Stockton and Grant. We ate Chinese food, walked through an ally where a man practiced Kung Fu, saw a mini Chinese parade with a paper dragon and giant drum, a loud Motorcycle parade rumbled by, Italians in Maserati’s, and the Blue Angels roared overhead. On Saturday we went to Pt Reyes, sat in the sun, wind, looking out into the great sea. Now I am back at home, it is a mess here. I can’t do anything to clean it, no energy, possibly a few loads of laundry, possibly the dishes. I feel so overwhelmed and short fused. My daughter is sitting right next to me, I tell her to give me space and she smooshes into me closer and closer. She keeps talking to me and I can’t help but laugh. She asks me why I’m laughing. I tell her she’s making me laugh, she gives me a hug. She has popsicle all over her face. Jack keeps asking me for a snack. I’m going crazy, but feel anchored , grounded by Jack and Fiona’s nudging.