Category: emotion

Now and Forever


My studio is a mess. The whole thing. Paint brushes hard, palette knives covered in dry paint. Works I work and work and work over. Mud and ambiguity. All over the place. Sadness in my heart. The circle of life, the we are who we are fact of it all. The THIS IS WHAT IT IS and accept it. I would do anything to have you back in your studio working my friend. Anything. I see myself in you, you in myself. Line and brush stroke, ink and glue. Ripping and attaching. The highs and the lows.  The circle of the dark giant PVC pipe, too dark to see inside. Head first, head lost, if it wasn’t attached. Another toke another joke, another pill another drink, another depression. It’s all the same for you and me. The happiness, the togetherness, the creativity and productivity. It all goes together. The dyad of life. The need for escape. The difficultness of paying the bills on time, of remembering where they were put. The studio needs to be cleaned. I miss my friend. I feel a loss knowing that he’s not in his studio working. The art community is a precious circle. One falls, we all fall.  The losses are real. Painting and making, filling the void, the loss, heartache, disappointment, pressure, setback. Do the lines on the canvas fill the space that good, innocence once lived? That bad happened? I put on my crusty apron. I put on my rubber gloves and begin to work. To fill the dark space with grey, blue, pink, green, muted, layered, collage, charcoal. Work is all I can do. I stay afloat. I have the lost souls in my heart. Keep them protected.  Foggy mind, draw for clarity. Foggy mind, paint for clarity. Scratch and claw out of the PVC pipe. Once I stop making I stop living.

The Love of a Toy. Sadness and Joy.

Drawing. Red. Rush. Heart Pounding. Newsprint. Red Watercolor Pen. Fast. Dishes piled up behind me. It’s beaten me. The endless piles of dishes and laundry. It’s different now. Big portions. Messy Messy all day long. Finding Mud Puddles. Ice Cream Cones. Lizards in the house. Spiders falling on the living room floor from Jacks shorts and pants and shoes and socks that I pick up in the back yard. He won’t stay dressed. He pees in the bushes. Picking up all day long. Always a pile in my arms. One arm dirty rags. One arm dirty dishes. One arm trash. One arm cup of water. A little precious hand to hold while crossing the street. A Blu Blu. A Tiny. We have a conversation; Jack, Fiona, Me. “The dentist says you can’t chew on your Blu Blu Jack, and you can’t suck your thumb anymore Fiona”.  I say. “But we Love our Blu Blus and Tinys.” Jack says. Fiona puts her head down. She’s so distraught, disbelief. “I Know! How can it be? I Love Blu Blu and Tiny too. I’m upset too. I totally understand how you feel too. I like special things. Things I hold and cherish and can’t let go of.” I say. I wonder should I consult a psychologist? I don’t know how to do this. How can I take away these creatures, these special toys? Toys that have been with them since they were born. They attached to Blu Blu and Tiny right away. They were my saving grace when Jack and Fiona were babies. They call them transition pieces in the child rearing books. Now I’ve probably made them even more important with my chat in the car today, now they know how much I am attached to Blu Blu and Tiny. What are we gonna do? Blu Blu and Tiny are sentimental and nostalgic. I will miss them so much. I almost feel depressed about it.

They took a nap today. I’m so glad, they needed the rest and I needed a break. I made myself not clean. At first I didn’t know what I would do, feeling the way I do. I get out a pad of newsprint and box of pens. I turn on my computer. I start to doodle, then draw, draw rapidly and freely. I write. Now my time is coming to an end. Jack and Fiona will be up soon. My husband will be home. I need to do a list of things. I don’t feel like it though. I feel like just sitting and doing nothing for the rest of the night. Then just going to bed.

Separation Devastation and The Greatest Day Ever

“I want Fiona” Jack cries, next to me holding my leg as I wave at the school bus, driving Fiona to Preschool. Fiona gets on the bus happy, greeting her driver, Louie, getting into her seat with a smile on her face, excited to pick up her classmate at the next bus stop. In the past two weeks Fiona has gained a new life, an independent life from Jack, from me. She has new friends, a new school especially designed for children with hearing loss. I’ve watched Fiona blossom in the past two weeks, she’s confident, creative, self-assured right now. Jack has been sad, unpredictable moods, lonely for Fiona. Between this he has been extremely brave and fearlessness on his scooter! He wants a skateboard now, but I think he’s too young still. Jack and I have spent the past two weeks together 24/7. We got tennis rackets and played on the tennis wall at the park a few times. I roller bladed and he scootered a few times. We hung out at the mall got hot cocoas and chocolate candy and road the train. I witnessed Jack go through the most difficult period of his life so far; being separated from his twin sister for the first time. There were always three of us, now there are periods with only two. From having three days a week with a guaranteed 3 hour break I had none.  Today, as I got Jack dressed to go to the jumpy house with Alan and Fiona I started to see he was over the worst part. He wore his new checkered vans I got him on sale, they are still too big, he had his new shorts and top on, regular kid sizes, no more toddler clothes, he had his green sunglasses and his mutant ninja turtle hat on. Last night we watched a Lego batman cartoon, and this morning Jack wanted to talk about his Super Hero’s.  He’s starting his preschool program on Monday and I was imagining what “boy” he’ll be? What kind of guys will he want to play with, what “group?”. My biggest fear for Jack is he is so sensitive, buts he’s big and strong. He’s smart, always thinking, and daring. He doesn’t like to play rough, he’s doesn’t like teasing. He’s both introverted and extroverted. I don’t want him getting sucked in by the mean kids or bullies. That’s my fear.

It was a hard couple of weeks, and Sunday is my birthday! I’ll be 46 years old! It’s a fine age, I am grateful to be here. I sit here in quiet, a dog barks outside, a crow is cawing and the California Red Bud are blooming like never before. I walk out to view them up close, bee’s buzz around my head, the flowers are thick, I can feel the pollen in the air. It’s Spring. I was born in Spring, in San Diego. I probably laid around naked all the time. My dad was in the Navy. My mom was 21 years old. The outdoors was revered by our family, we spent most of our time outside. “Go outside and play” mine and my brothers lives as kids. We rode ponies and picked pomegranates off trees. Our fingernails were always dirty and we were always barefoot. The other day Jack, Fiona, and I were at the park. I was talking to my friend, didn’t have eyes on Jack and Fiona. I went to check on them and they both hand their pants off and said, “Mom, we peed, we peed over there behind the tree.” I have to admit, I started laughing. It was the first real warm day we’ve had and they wanted to be naked and play and go to the bathroom outside.  But I said, “You have to wear your underwear at least!”. I had to search for Jacks underwear. “Do you know wear his underwear are?” I asked this other little boy, he was laughing too, he pointed towards the trees. His nanny was in there are handed me the underwear smiling. I wondered if she also let the other little boy to go pee there? But there’s a bathroom at that park. I guess that proves it, humans would rather go to the bathroom outdoors!

Anyhow, I need to clean my closet. I told Alan I need to clean my closet so he should take the babies to the bouncy house. I probably have approximately two hours left. This is the greatest day ever.

World Spinning

Studio Day. Extremely grateful for studio time. Got a lot done, had fun. Day’s from the first line.

On to the next line. Bang bang bang the guitar. Scream. Paint, try. Try not to eat too much chocolate. Try to RESIST my dogs Tramadol. (She nearly broke her ankle.) Shove the medicine down her throat. Sedated. Feel no pain. They take and take away. I try to come back, float back to the butterflies and the bees, the day to day. I’m so disturbed by what’s happening it’s hard to get a grip on reality. Hard to write. Hard to focus. Spinning. World spinning, crashing.

On to tomorrows line.

White Rabbit

I pull off a book from the shelf in my studio, looking for something to use in my new notebook project. It’s an old Sunset Vegetable Gardening book. At first I want to use it for collage.  I flip through and on the last page there is a sketch and a list of winter vegetables to plant: beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, lettuce, and spinach. I recognize the hand writing, it’s my mom’s.  I can’t use this. I think about the garden in “Jennifer’s Walk”, a book from my childhood I read to Jack and Fiona. The garden in “Jennifers Walk” always reminds me of the garden my mom planted in our back yard. Now I am looking at a sketch of her vegetable plot, the one imbedded in my memories. I remember walking outside with her, “Jenny, a rabbit ate my carrots”. I imagine a white rabbit. Every time I read Jack and Fiona “Jennifer’s walk” I think of the white rabbit. I am reminded of my mom, my life as a child. My body yearns to be that little girl, to feel that way. The way my body felt today when I opened the page and saw my mom’s writing. I take the books into Jack and Fiona’s room when they wake from their nap; “Vegetable Garden” and “Woodland Animals” another one of my childhood favorites. I tell them the story of the books, they watch me in earnest. Fiona doesn’t have her hearing aids on yet, but Jack hears every word. He doesn’t interrupt, he processes. I flip the pages, he sees a picture of a turtle, “I don’t like turtles, they bite” he says. I look at him and giggle, he smiles.

Process of Greif

Process of Grief. “I feel so depressed” I say to myself. “I’m so tired” I say as I yawn a big mouth yawn. Trying to exercise, to eat, to stay up past 7:30pm, to not snap at my children. Take a deep breath. In the nose, out  the mouth. “Why am I saying these things to myself, about myself?” It’s not normal? Is it just PMS? Is it just not having enough free time to myself? Or am I this way? Is the world the way I think it is? What’s true? What’s not? What matters? What doesn’t? I find myself several times picking up my phone to check Facebook , to see if anyone posted anything, to read about what horrors are going on in America and around the world. To be reminded of scum or told to just forget about it, don’t think about it. I forget that I deleted my Facebook account. And then I feel relieved I am not part of that right now.  My heart is starting to beat fast, this was supposed to be a time of relaxation. Jack and Fiona are taking their nap; the house is quiet. I’ve worked in my studio, taken a shower, and here my mind goes again, in the loop. I think, “I should be happy.” Why am I so down? The election has taken a real toll on me, the Trump presidency and the Bannon appointment. I feel like I’m panicking. I could try to make myself believe I’ll be fine so I shouldn’t worry so much. I don’t want to put my head in the sand like an ostrich. I don’t want to become a medicated zombie. I don’t want to go crazy. Where is there balance? I remember growing up and hearing my mom and her boyfriend talk about Carter and Reagan. They said Reagan was bad.  I didn’t know what that meant, I just Knew our house didn’t like Reagan. When I became old enough to vote my mom had stopped voting. “Why mom? How can you not vote?” I asked her. She told me it didn’t matter anymore, that everyone was corrupt. Around this same time she told me she “Hated white people”. I wonder what my mom would say if she were alive today. Maybe she wouldn’t be as surprised as me. I was naïve. I thought things were getting better, but they were festering. Now I’m festering, trying to keep a grip. I am in the midst of raising twins in the heart of a dramatic developmental stage. During the breaking apart of mother and baby, I still want Jack and Fiona to be my little babies, they still want me to baby them. But they are getting bigger and finding their own independence and individuality. I am also changing, some by choice, some not. I must be more stern now, Jack and Fiona are heavy, strong, loud. They need direction and supervision almost all the time. The only time it’s easier now is at the park. I can sit and eat my lunch while they run off and play on the structures. It’s relaxing. There’s just a dark cloud hanging over my heart and mind. I feel like my mom died all over again, that type of shock. I feel like crying.

Goodbye Facebook, Goodbye Nextdoor

 I watch as Fiona takes Pink Bear to the diaper changing table; she first puts down a soft cloth, she wipes his bottom, telling me he has a poop, she’s as gentle as can be. She attempts to put on a diaper, but needs my help. I help her with the diaper, then go back to the kitchen where I am making dinner. Jack keeps asking about watching Mickey Mouse. I say “No”, he falls down crying. We repeat this scenario several times a day. He always forgets about T.V. after five minutes, or candy, his other true passion that he loves to whine about. Jack and Fiona are only two and a half, I forget that, I feel like they are so much older and wiser. Like somehow they can understand my total devastation and depression; fall out from my New American Administration. An administration I attest. Yesterday I said “Goodbye Cruel World” to my on-line communities, Facebook and Nextdoor. I sit here this morning missing my people, but yesterday I made the decision to get Off-Line and take to the streets. I made the decision to reach out, person to person, find ways to be involved in my community, meet new people in real life, make new friends in my neighborhood. On Friday night I felt like I was having a breakdown. A psychiatric breakdown, “911 what’s your emergency?” I reply, “Trump was elected president”. I needed a stronger drug, a tranquilizer. (that didn’t really happen, but I imagined it happening). Yesterday I took my babies to the park, met up with a friend. Jack and Fiona went off and explored every inch of the playground. I sat and talked with my good friend. They were all the sudden like little kids, not babies. On the drive home, I heard the announcement about Steve Bannon becoming Trumps chief strategist. After Jack and Fiona went down for their nap I researched Bannon. I started to feel physically sick, like I was going to throw up. That’s the moment I deleted my nextdoor and Facebook accounts. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle the furry of conversation and outrage online, I knew I didn’t want to focus my energy on posting and sharing articles on Facebook, I KNEW NOW WAS THE TIME TO HIT THE STREETS! I went to my stationary bike and worked out, sweat, then filled a hot bath, I lay down in the tub, under bubbles of lavender and sobbed, just as I did on Friday listening to Leonard Cohen. I sobbed with pictures in my mind of Jack and Fiona playing at the park, knowing that all the optimism and idea that racism and sexism was on it’s way out in their bright new world was dead. I sobbed with my mouth wide open, spit coming out, thinking of all the non-white people in American feeling scared as shit right now. I sobbed about the car posted on Facebook that had “Fagot” spray painted on it. I sobbed about the KKK not being stopped YET, that they are allowed to have a rally. I sobbed about how easy it is for white people to just “accept Trump, give him a chance”. I deleted my Facebook account and miss all my friends from around the world fighting the fights of justice. I will miss keeping in touch with them and everyone. But I am here. I am hitting the streets, there is too much to lose, too much at stake not to get involved, to stay on Facebook griping and moaning and sharing articles. I want to be a physical part of the movement. Me and my babies. I don’t know how I will do it, how I will get the information I need to be part of it, but they did it in the sixties, I’m sure I can figure it out today.