I’ve always been a loner. I feel comfortable on the hills, the trails, looking out my window at the blue sky. Listening to the hawks on a cold January day. It’s quiet, my dogs by my side. Or sitting writing or painting in my studio. Nowadays to fill most of my social needs I join conversations on Facebook about instapots and menopause. In my radio interview the other day I said that I don’t have friends coming to my house, I live an isolated life as a stay at home mom, an artist, and a writer. I said my friends who I know and don’t know, my readers, the people who interact with my paintings, the collectors, I must communicate with them, with the outside world. I don’t know why. I am. Everything seems like a possibility. The farther I go into my artistic self the more real I become. The Sycamore tree outside is still bare, the sky is greyish blue. There’s not much warm sun to sit under outside or I would be there now. I’m in the house writing. I’ve been working on my manuscript for my new book. It’s all about babies. It’s raw and uncensored. My fertile and unfertile self. A guy at my art talk last week said while I was talking, and he was holding and leafing through one of my gigantic painterly notebooks, that the notebook was like my baby too, another baby I cared for and gave birth too. I realized that all the art I did during my early thirties has been destroyed and was all about fertility and babies and birth and secrets. They were made from wool, and glue, and plaster, and string, and musty old things. Stockings, black sheer and fishnets. Pods, fertility goddess inspired, death and rebirth. But during this time, I didn’t write. I was scared my husband would read my journal and think I was unhappy, or crazy, or just take everything out of context. So, I squeezed and pounded and stitched fabrics and canvas and old garments. I ripped and tore and scratched. I remember once I was in my studio at my old house, the house Alan and I lived in before this one. It was just a room in the house. Alan and the landlord were outside my room, looking at something in the house. I was working on a painting. I was scratching and scraping the paint off with my nails. I knew I should stop but I couldn’t. My nails were getting ground down, soft and black with paint. I knew the land lord was probably worried about what I was doing and that I sounded insane.
My throat hurts. I took too much medicine to sooth myself and I feel like laying down, the kind of way you feel when there’s a gas leak in your house. I’ve done so well. I am so happy. I got my review from The Pacific Book Review’s and it is awesome! I can’t wait to share it! The reviewer also loved my art work. But I can’t celebrate because I fear I am getting the flu my kids have had all week. I’m also scared my husband is getting it and he’ll be super tired when he gets home too. What if I must take care of everything tonight but I get a fever, because I feel I’m on the verge of a fever. The other day at the park I got this strange feeling, my body was so still, my mind, it was like a drug. But I had a feeling it was the Flu Virus, working its way into my body. Taking all my energy. The next day, which was yesterday I made broccoli and mushroom soup and I’ve been gorging on it to stay healthy. I washed my hands a million times and didn’t share food with the babies all week. I couldn’t keep it up well enough or maybe too much of Jack and Fiona’s sneezes and coughs in my face! So, I’m scared. I have one and a half hours until my babysitter is off. I think I should watch a trippy movie or take a nap. I’m just anxious to work on my next book and get back into the studio and start my next series. I think I’ll take the next few days off and rest.
I’m look at my daughter. There are things that run through my mind; I’m so sorry you’re going through this, are you afraid your hearing is getting worse? You’re frustrated your ear is infected and it hurts to put on your hearing aide, you want to hear, you want to wear both hearing aids. I say some out loud and some thoughts I keep to myself. I realize how hearing is so important to Fiona, a part of her being, that can only be accessed through mechanical means. She is lamenting the loss of her hearing. She knows now what it’s like for it to get worse, which means she may understand a little better of what she’s missing. The loss of sound. Last night before bed she called me into her room, she was crying. “I can’t hear my voice, I want my hearing aids on”. I put her hearing aids back on. She tightens up, cocks her neck to the side and a tear comes out her eye when I put on her right hearing aid. Fiona goes through that pain, so she can hear. The wind is ripping outside. A storm is on the way. Jack and Fiona are both home sick. I’ve been caring for them since Sunday, sometimes worrying that they’ve caught that deadly flu that’s going around. What would I do? I’m also worried that I’m gonna catch it. They cough on me, wipe their snot on me, kiss me, touch my face and my mouth. I keep washing my hands and not sharing water or food with them. But I’m getting so tired from working so hard not to get sick and to take good care of them and get them healthy again and not end up in the hospital. Fiona’s ear infection should clear up without any effects once she finishes her antibiotics. But she will never hear well. I can’t do anything about it. I’m learning sign and she’s learning sign, but she doesn’t like to use it! She says, “Talk louder Mom”. Everyone complains that I talk loudly, I’m just trained to be asked to repeat and talk louder 24/7 so it’s engrained in me. It’s heart breaking to see my little girl go through these super adult, conscious, emotions of loss, missing something, acceptance, of having hearing loss, a disability. Yesterday at the park there was Fiona and her best friend who both have hearing loss, A boy with a sensory disability, he listened to music to stay calm, he walked around erratically at times, his mom followed him and took good care of him. There was a baby with downs syndrome, bopping around as fast as can be! All the kids integrated and played together. It was a beautiful but chilly day at the park. I sat in the sun even though I forgot to put on sunscreen. Children hugged each other and threw sand at each other, cried and laughed. Moms and Nannies watched the little ones, intervening when necessary. I was struck by the thought that this park life will come to an end in my life, that since I was a kid I haven’t been at parks this much, not kiddie parks with climbing structures, swings, slides, and scuffed knees. Childhood moves so fast, my childhood and theirs. What will my memories look like when I think back on this time in my life?
Yesterday was the last day of my solo show at Fourth Wall Gallery! The show was a huge success and in the end I think I sold enough paintings to begin funding my next book and series of paintings!!! I am SO THANK FULL to my collectors who bought my work and Believe in me!!!! I gave everyone a copy of my book , Nap Time Paintings too! I gave a talk yesterday at the Gallery during the art stroll, I am terrible at public speaking! I need to practice. For now though I won’t worry about that! I will work on my writing, painting, sign language, and fitness!!! I’m excited. Thank You SO MUCH FOR READING my blog!! I hope you have a terrific Sunday!
I did my radio interview this morning about my book, Nap Time Paintings. It will be available free on i-tunes! It was so fun. I was nervous I would forget what to say, or stumble, but every time I did that I gracefully caught my thoughts, shouted out what the most important thing was and then he called “16 mins, it’s a wrap!”. The interview was live, I wonder how many people heard it? I feel so happy and proud of myself. I opened a GOOD bottle of wine, finally one that’s aged but hasn’t gone bad! Hess Small Block Series Auction Lot 11, Mount Veeder/Napa Valley Vintage 2012. It is really good. I’ve bought myself some new clothes, I’ve been purging and getting rid of some of my raggedy clothes. I have increased my activity level because I realized I’ve gained 10 pounds and my body has changed drastically this year! I’m turning 47 and I definitely am going through perimenopause, maybe close to menopause, it’s difficult to know. But I haven’t had a period in months or ovarian cysts! Which is something to be happy about! I’m learning how to live with the hot flashes and laugh about it. I started taking new vitamins and black cohosh and it’s totally helped. I started taking my celexa at night and it’s awesome, I’m sleeping way better. I did this change after I had my nocturnal panic attack. I did my first run today and it felt phenomenal. I am so excited to be adding running back into my workout regime, the runners high! Love it. I’ve been doing spin on my Peloton bike for almost two years, the doctor said that’s great for lean muscle and the heart, but a woman’s aging body needs weight baring exercise to stay healthy, running or vigorous walking and strength training. After just one week of these changes my body is feeling fantastic. It’s easier to run now too. Because of perimenopause, because my uterus always used to feel sore, heavy, and swollen. Now that things down there are shutting down it feels a lot more comfortable. I was reminded this morning of the time I was considering getting a voluntary hysterectomy! I remember asking the doctor about my fibroids, how big they would grow. I thought I would have a giant tumor before I hit menopause, but here we are!!! I made it without a giant fibroid and surgery. Isn’t that crazy, the things we worry about, then finding out we could have saved ourselves the heartache. That’s what I did yesterday, about the money I need to make to publish my second book. I said, “Stop, let’s not worry, there’s nothing you can do right now”. I said this to myself, and eventually I stopped. I know I can get the money. I have some stuff to take to the pawn shop, I have a bunch of change I’ll take to Safeway and drop it in that machine, I am close to selling at least one more painting, and then the last bit I can come clean with Alan and ask him to lend me the money without any judgement, because I know I’m crazy, I’m like a gambling addict or something. He’s gonna think I’m getting bamboozled. I bought a second publishing package from the same company for my second book because they were having an amazing deal. But it’s still super expensive, an amount that before I would have thought was ridiculous. But now after publishing my first book and seeing the beauty of it, and how much I learned in the process and from the publishing company I worked with. My publishing consultant is amazing. I know she’s a salesperson and that’s how she makes her living, but the product and services I did get was well worth the money I spent. That’s the truth. I admit I do have a dream of my books selling and making back what I’ve put into the projects. I really feel I will, but it will take time. I need my husband to believe in me. And now with my show coming down and having to find storage for more paintings, although I think I should hang all these up because they are drop dead gorgeous, but it’s still the embarrassment of it all. I feel like a failure to him. I’m doing so good in my sign language class. I am going to get certified in SEE sign. I can get a job with that! That’s exciting, who would have thought? I would have never known the world of deaf and hard of hearing people, if I didn’t have Fiona. Isn’t that crazy? I know I’m doing the right thing
Any one not buy my book yet? Naptime Paintings, Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist. Please buy it now. Go to www.jenniferhynesbooks.com. If you need a piece of Art check out The Fourth Wall Gallery. https://www.fourthwallart.com/ The last day of my Art Show is Saturday January 20th, 2018. I will be doing a talk on Motherhood and how it has affected my life as a Painter, or something like that. We will make you a good deal. Think of it as an investment, I am going somewhere. I believe in myself. Will you believe in me too?
I feel good in my healthy body. I am writing my next book, I paint what I want to paint, it’s good. I know the art I have hanging in my house is breath taking. I know I have a bunch of stunning, framed pieces in the garage. I have a terrific book I just wrote in color with pictures. It’s a beautiful book. Things must be sold at the right price at the right place at the right time. If I borrow money when will I pay it back? If I’m honest about the expense of my projects right now, that I’ve already started my second book, that I have painting to do, a whole new direction I want to explore. I need money for that too and since I haven’t sold anything how can I justify spending money on art supplies? Or even spending time down there in the studio. Again, we’re back to the same thing. Fuck! I’m giving myself bad anxiety. What if I sold all my frames? I’m going to park somewhere and try to sell my frames and paintings. Where can I park? Crazy talk! Time to go to the studio or take a hot bath!!! Buy my book!!! 💖💖💖💖💋💋💋💋💋 come to my talk at the gallery too! Buy a painting!!!
No internet. That’s good. I was just about to go fiddle around on there instead of writing in my only few minutes to spare today, Jack is watching The Lego Show and Fiona is in the bath, it’s been quite a week. Wait, it’s almost halfway into the next week. Days blend into one another, weekends don’t change for me as far as needed engagement in life, lives of others. I wonder about the other moms at the gymnastics class that yell down from the observation deck “That way lily” and before they get that out they yell the kids name a gazillion times trying to get their attention, “Lily, Lily, Lily” distracting all the other kids, so pretty soon all the kids are yelling up “Hi Mommy” and half the kids aren’t paying attention to the coach, so then all the moms start shouting down to all their kids and it’s extremely annoying. How do they have the energy to be engaged with their kid even when they shouldn’t be? Fiona does great at gymnastics, she listens to all the directions and pays close attention to the coach. Fiona can’t hear and listens to directions better than Jack. Jack takes a while to warm up, even on his second visit today. He started sucking his thumb. Finally, he jumps in, but not reserved -no- balls to the walls, skips the listening part 50% of the time. “Slow Down Jack, you’re gonna get hurt” the Coach says over and over. “I can do it by myself” He tells her when she gives him direction on a backwards roller move. “No Jack, I’ll help you” she tells him. He finally listens. I had to not yell “Listen to the teacher Jack” from the observation deck, that would be inappropriate. I’m not like the other moms. I study my sign, they look at smart phones, in between watching their kids and telling them which way to run. At home, after Fiona got home from school I was trying to spend time with her, Jack immediately started acting out; grabbing her toys we were playing with, not listening when I said “NO”, being obnoxious. “I have to go put away the groceries” I tell them. “Play nice, keep your hands to yourself.” The groceries have been sitting in the hall since Jack and I got home, I haven’t had time to put them away yet. I’m carrying up the last set of bags and I hear a door slam, over and over again, then a bang and a cry. I run down, there’s a big gap between the first cry, it’s quiet, that’s usually a bad sign. Jack has a bright red bruise slash across the bridge of his nose, it looks painful. My paintings on the floor, he slammed the door so hard the painting fell off the wall and whacked him in the face. He’s so full of energy and moodiness. He’s shy and gregarious. He’s super sweet, caring, and loving, but difficult. He fell asleep and Fiona and I had a nice rest. When he woke up he told me he slammed the door on purpose, to keep Fiona out of the room. “It could have been your eye” I said, “It could have been Fionas’ hand”. I don’t know, I’m afraid he’s going to be the kind of kid that does dumb stuff, out of frustration or for thrills. I can’t wait till Thursday and Friday to get some time in my studio. I’m going to do my radio interview this week and I have a talk I’m doing at the gallery on Saturday. Things to look forward to outside of the world of Motherhood.