A cold night made way for a sunny day. Tiny white moths flutter around in the glimmer December sunlight. The sycamore trees bare branches reveal themselves, scattered yellow and brown leaves and a shadow, half branch, half leaf lies on the ground under the giant tree. It’s Monday, but it feels like some other day, a day not on the calendar, a new day with a new name. Crunchy leaf day or Amazing Late Fall Breezy Day, or ALFBD for short. Can a new day of the week insert itself here? On what by all historical accounts is a crazy day for many, a worry day, thinking about what to buy, what to give, where to go, when to be there. Can the ALFBD be something magical instead? A dreamy, play in the dirt, look for worms, imagine the future and the past with equal delight. My feet, forty-six years on this earth, my beautiful feet that walk on the dirt, the mud, jump on crunchy leaves. Transform my giant body into a little tiny moth fluttering around the tops of the evergreens, with no apparent direction in mind. It’s a non-stress day on a historical stress day, switched up and served. Accepted and appreciated, I like today.
My book, “Nap Time Paintings, Thoughts on Motherhood through the eyes of an artist, Essays and Artwork by Jennifer Hynes” is off to the printer. It should be ready in a week, once again available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Xlibris website, The Gallery Show at Fourth Wall during my exhibit, “Never Enough Time”. Get your copy in one of these fine venues. Fresh off the press. Up-dated with a redesigned cover.
I’m drinking a glass of red this afternoon, to warm me up, to celebrate this fine fall afternoon. Wanting to go to the studio, wanting to write, wanting to lay down and watch a movie covered in warm blankets. I only have an hour and half until the kids get home. Still plenty of time. I need to work in my note books. It’s been too long, too much business, not enough making. Time to make and enjoy receptions.
Today we woke up to a surprise blue sky. I was expecting the worst, all the air quality reports said today would be the worst. The fires are still burning, the wind must have taken the smoke somewhere else for the day? Jack, Fiona, Billy, and I walked to the park. It was a wonderful thing to breath fresh air. Jack and Fiona were so excited to play outside. When we got back there was a band tailed pigeon on the front stairs. He appeared to be injured, he just hopped up and down the stairs. I gave him some bird food and went inside. When I checked on him again he was huddled between the garbage cans so Jack and I took him to Wild Care, a wild animal rescue center. I realized the flock of birds I’ve been seeing recently are Band Tailed Pigeons. This was the first year I’ve seen them here. I enjoy watching them sitting in the trees.
Without the smoke it’s easy to forget about the fires. Alan is playing with Jack, tickling him, Fiona is eating a snack next to me. I want them to know how lucky we are. I want them to know every meal we eat is precious. It would be easy for Jack and Fiona to grow up and not understand that things don’t come easy to everyone. That all kids don’t have healthy food available all-day long. That some places in the world have air as bad as ours was yesterday every day of the year. Do kids still play outside in those places? I watched a Frontline last night about Scott Pruitt the head of the EPA. It was scary, he’s not in the job to protect the environment. It’s sad. With all the historic natural disasters I haven’t heard anything about Global Warming and its effects from the administration. Extreme weather is our reality, people are losing their homes, jobs, loved ones, livelihood. It breaks my heart. I want Jack and Fiona to know how lucky we are.
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.
Field of grey; concrete bridge, cars, red emergency boxes. Me, sitting in my car. Waiting. I hear cars honking, work trucks beeps, jack hammers, the loud hum of the freeway. I hear planes overhead, big jet engines. The PA system mumble. Touch Down. Onto a hot tarmac, October in San Francisco. Blue Skies and all. House Guests arrive.
Funny how it all works out. Funny how things go. Take off. Sonic. Loud.
The space in between. In between two paper turkeys that hang on the wall from over a year ago. Above the kitchen table, many meals shared. The crows cawing loud today. What are you cawing about crow? September heat rot summer figs. Dried dark purple corpses, tears down the middle, reminiscence of pink and yellow juicy insides. The leaves on the fig tree so large now, they canopy the sand box, crisp dried fig leaves crunch under my feet. I walk to my green chair I put in the corner at the beginning of summer. I sit down, it’s cool here, the coolest place around. I wonder if I should put away the trucks for the winter? Will they deteriorate if I leave them out in the rain and wind? Should I put up new paper turkeys? These are baby paper turkeys, just dollops of paint, glue, brown and orange construction paper, and googly eyes. Jack and Fiona are three and a half now. Their Thanksgiving decorations this year will be more sophisticated. A few little baby paintings are still taped on the wall. Fiona is drawing “The Green Faced Man” now. Jack rode a scooter down the sidewalk this morning to school and stopped at all the driveways. Time that passes between is a growing time, a learning time. It’s hard to let it go, of the past three years, the baby phase. It slipped through my hands like sand in the sand box. The narrative was set, predetermined. The baby is born dependent on the caregivers, the child learns to be interdependent and become caregivers themselves. I never think about the time they spend away, in their communities without me. I think of them as they are with me. Fiona started helping a younger child we were with yesterday in a very mature way. I can only imagine she is a caring person on the outside. Jack likes talking to everyone. He looks older than he is and speaks clearly. He looks at people’s eyes when having a conversation. What’s happened in between the spaces here- two babies have grown into confident, individual children. Maybe it’s time for new paper turkeys.
I’m having anxiety lately. It’s hard to just sit here and not worry. Are other people feeling this way too? I am worried about the people getting hammered by hurricane season. I am worried about the Trump administration. The horrible things I worried about when president Trump became the Republican nominee are coming true. The worst things I thought he would do are happening. Thank god for our judicial system, at least things can be slowed down a little. I worry about the Earth and Global Warming. I worry about nuclear war. I worry. The furrow between my eyes becoming deeper. The lines around my lips. We all die someday. Will I be alive to see the collapse of the world as we know it? What future is there for Jack and Fiona? I live in the moment when we are together, like it is the most important time in the world. My worries slip away when I am with my children. I cherish those moments, even the annoying ones.
I am forcing myself not to turn on the news again today. I must force myself. I am consumed by the bad news, the fires, the racism, all of it. I need to not watch the news and not look up facts about places and weather systems and wars. This morning when I was walking Billy, passing the Mission, I read the Church Services Schedule. I noticed there was a Haitian service, one Sunday a month at 6:00 PM. I thought about taking Jack and Fiona. I imagined the Haitian Priest conducting the service in French, and how beautiful it would be. Then imagined Jack and Fiona making too much noise and maybe the church goers would be mad at us and think we were rude. It felt good to know there is a Haitian community in San Rafael.
Outside, a sea of noises. Dogs barking, Blue Jays cawing, the Sycamore tree leaves rustling. The chimes-chiming. I finally take a deep breath. Fiona and Jack will be home from preschool soon. Older and wiser than when they left this morning. I’m going to try not to worry this afternoon. I’m going to give myself a break. Drink a glass of Sake, take my sign language class, take care of the kids and go to bed early. I want to turn on the T.V. so bad. I should unplug all of the T.V.’s. Turn off my phone. Let it all go. Except my sign language class. It’s a webinar!