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For Mom

It’s early evening here in Temecula and I haven’t attempted anything new for the day. Busy work in the garage, and to be honest a little stressed about stuff I can’t seem to let go of. There is also this, I know I mentioned it earlier in the month, but today is the sixth anniversary of my Mom’s passing. Never an easy day. I inherited “not good enough” from her. She never realized how fantastic she was. I am hoping that this project will eventually free me from myself, and maybe in some way she will gain something through me. I also realize that my daughter has a hint of the “not good enough” and I want to vanish it from her life too.

Speaking of “not good enough”, I mentioned it last night, and boy was it back this morning. I worked on Kelsey this morning because I wasn’t happy about it last night. The other issue is that I wait so long in the day to work that by the time I’m finishing up its dark outside, and I’m tired, and I don’t work with enough light…excuses, excuses, but all true. The stuff I can’t let go of? Perfectionism. I wrote last night of how Kelsey’s portrait didn’t give me any trouble. That was then, this is now. I worked that little baby’s portrait over and over, I almost ruined it by dropping a big blob of water on her poor little face. I finally put it down. I spoke to my daughter Jessica about it later in the morning. She said, “Mom, if they just wanted a picture they’d take one.” She’s right. I need to get it through my stubborn Irish skull that I’m not a Xerox machine (if you are too young to know what that is, google it!) I am an artist, I am evoking a feeling, or an essence, not a Sear’s portrait. I took on the garage stuff today because I needed to shake this off. I was doing so well, progressing and feeling confident. I’m not sure what happened that set me back…ding! Light bulb just went off. Most of the art I have been producing these last few months wasn’t for anyone. There were one or two pieces for Dan and Theresa, but they are like my other halves. It is because it is for someone else. My new family. Do I think they are going to get the portraits and put a big red check in the middle, or publish a bad review in the local paper, of course not. But I’m me, and I want them to love the portraits of their children. I’m sure they will, because this isn’t about them, it’s about me and my issues. I’m sure I’m slightly insane, and that all will be well. I just have to remember that “not good enough” is very sneaky, and will find the crack in the door if I leave it open even the slightest bit.

Two hours later…

I talked to Dan about how I was feeling, and of course his words pretty much echoed Jessica’s. I was in fear of being judged, thus the “revisiting”. Finally I just began to cry. It’s a hard enough day, and I make it harder on myself. In the midst of all of it another light bulb moment. There is always a root for every problem, and sometimes the person who planted it doesn’t even realize they are doing it. When I was a little girl, and had already begun to show talent, my dad handed me a photo of John Kennedy and asked me to draw it for him. In my recollection I was around five, but at the very least I was seven, because I still remember where I was sitting when he asked. He walked away and I cried because I didn’t know how to draw that picture and I didn’t want to let him down. Who knows what he was thinking. It’s a sad memory, but Dan said at least now I know where my lack of confidence started. Maybe I should rename the blog “365 Days to Psycho Analyze Yourself”, lots of stuff going on in my head these days. I want to say right now to my two children, if I have ever said something that made you think you weren’t good enough, I’m sorry. You have both always been amazing and the joy of my life.

Tonight, something for my mother. When she died her coffin was covered in yellow roses ordered by my dad. I don’t remember yellow roses being her favorite flower, they are his. I know that because my mom told me so. I remember lilacs, and that she smelled like Heaven Scent when I was young. I had some small pieces of wood, left overs from something, they aren’t even cut straight. Lilacs in acrylic on wood. Love you Mom.

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