When things settled down, Coley and I took the girls to the High Museum of Art.
For the first time, we strapped the girls into their car seats to go somewhere other than to and from a hospital. Every time I strap June into her car seat, recollections of our panicked trips in the past drive dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine and serotonin into my brain.
As I strapped them in, i paid close attention to my gross and fine motor skills as I moved about - things I’d always taken for granted. My fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet, all moving as I wanted them to without stubbornness or lethargy. All in motion, in unison, without me having to consciously coach them. Everything in front of me, in clear view despite the complex abstractions in obscurities in my head.
We arrived at the museum, walked the exhibit halls and looked at the collection of contemporary and abstract paintings. Always my favorites. I wanted to escape into the paint like I did as a kid. This time I’d let Basquiat and Pollock open the doors for me.
For the first time, I was with some of my best friends and my little girls in public. It felt great to bring such important parts of myself together: My girls, my friends and my love for art.
As we stood in the middle of all of the canvases and colors, art enthusiasts staring deeply into the layers of paint, Junipers eyes fixed on the flat white paint of the ceiling. Her soul seemed to disappear from the shell of her now quivering body.
I tried to portray calmness, for her, for my friends and for myself. I plucked her from the stroller and held her closely. I could feel the little charges of energy causing her muscles to contract.
I'll always remember that day. It was so very beautiful and terrifying. A lot like parenthood, in general.
The process of painting is a lot like life. We all start with a blank canvas. Maybe you have a vision of what you want the end result to be. You start adding layers of color and texture. You are making decisions all along the way, using the knowledge and skills you pick up to bring the vision to life.
Most fall short of the vision, but we all end up creating something beautiful as long as we look at it for what it is: something that is deep, colorful and unique, something that is as temporary as those that appreciate it, something that was created from nothing.