Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fallow time

Moving to Laguna Beach was a disturbing time for me. Diablo-Danville had been a time of creativity and mild successes. I was involved with the Church, the PTA, and the Arts. I knew almost everyone in our area. And I had a wonderful relationship with the children, three of them anyway.

And suddenly I knew no one. I remember sitting in the Laguna Beach amphitheater where our second daughter was graduating from High School. I looked around and knew two people in the audience. The parents of a girl I knew, the daughter of our garbage-man.

Our house was gradually turning into an empty nest. The promise of life going back to what it had been during our first five years of marriage was waning quickly. Looking back from this safe distance, I think I suffered from some kind of depression. Life was changing too quickly. One Daughter had moved in with her boyfriend at college. Another was living in a house at college where electrical wires were hanging loosely by the front door as you approached. Birth-control pills were kept openly in her bathroom. There were signs of drug use in the house. I had driven from Laguna Beach to Northern California to surprise my daughter, take her out for dinner, spoil her somehow, and instead I was surprised and my depression grew from a hint to a screaming (inward screaming) helplessness.

Driving home I saw a fantastic landscape. The mustard was in full bloom, almost blindingly yellow in the sun. But the dark sky foretelling thunder robbed one of the feeling of hope. And then there were the crows. Their blackness, and their ferocious screeching was almost scary. This was what my life was becoming. Fraught with uncertainties and danger and loneliness.


I had twelve or fourteen hours in the car driving home .. .And I had a mission

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the emotion and back-story behind the imagery of this painting. It truly evokes a sense of the landscape... the fragrance and the feelings. Thank you for focusing my (misty, rainy, Bay Area) Saturday morning. I hope that you have a wonderful day.

Haphazardkat said...

You are a true artist. Not only with your beautiful paintings but with your words.

No matter the content I always walk away a little changed inside.

Kat
Vancouver, WA

Joanna said...

Wow. To both the story and the painting.

Jane Ritter said...

Yesterday was Svensto's 89th birthday! Congrats, Mom, on your great stories that have been charming your readers.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for your Birthday!
Love your blog and your paintings. Please write often.
Katie

dreamsandfalsealarms said...

Sob.

Barbara said...

Well I was one of those daughters myself, back around the time you were driving out to surprise yours. Time went by and I gained enough sense to regret, but it's a common enough scene among the generations when both are of a certain age. On behalf of my generation, I apologize to you for the hurt we caused.
Barbara

Carmen said...

Happy Birthday and thanks so much for letting me, a total stranger, share little tiny bits of your life!

LeahBear said...

Hello Svensto, and happy birthday! I just found your blog a few days ago, when I was poking around the "About Us" page of the Daily Coyote. I wanted to let you know that reading your blog from beginning to end over that last several days has given me so much comfort and happiness during a very difficult time (my dad and grandmother are both in the hospital). I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your amazing life story, and I'm looking forward to reading more!

TM Photography said...

Happy Late Birthday!

Meagan said...

Happy Birthday! My it be one of many more to come :) Thank you for sharing your stories and your life with us. They're wonderful!

Anne said...

Happy Belated Birthday, dear Svensto. I hadn't realized you'd lived in Laguna Beach. I lived in Corona del Mar - we were so near each other. How I wish I could have known you. I love reading your memory book.

Melissa Weisbard said...

That is such a beautiful landscape painting! I love to paint, but I'm not very good. It is more of a part-time hobby for me. My true passion is photography.

You are a wonderful artist. I envy your skill.

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!