One cool morning last week I gave a second thought to my backdoor. I was departing for my routine jog, and an unreasonable fear of being locked out of my home prevented me from shutting the main door. A quick dismissal of outside threats, and I was on my way. Later that day, I spotted a flutter of evil rounding the corner of the kitchen to the back porch. It was dark, fluffy, and seemed to float close to the ground. I froze for a moment and then fell on its trail. No rodent could be found cowering in any corner, but its droppings secured its presence. My heart sank, and after dispelling panic, I set out for snap traps. Morning after morning, traps sat empty but robbed. No amount of tricks (tying on bait etc.) seemed to work. One night my husband spotted our small dormer and was able to confine it in my studio. After a few days of futility, I began tearing apart my workspace--removing furniture, emptying bins, rifling through fabric. I vacuumed and wiped up droppings in places that I preferred not knowing a mouse had scurried. Still, each search party failed to yield. Yesterday, on my Mom's advice I had talked with the mouse informing it was his time to go or he was going to get it. With new found resolution I purchased a different brand of snap traps as well as sticky traps. That night, I slept on a bed of hope dismissing the blur I saw while watching a movie in the TV room. The next morning, our traps weren't touched. All the bait was fully loaded. In one more moment of frustration, I asked my two-year-old in desperation "where is the mouse?". She answered me plainly, "In the TV room." Spotting one turd on the couch, I pulled the furniture from the wall revealing trails of excrement. I furiously moved traps from my studio to the TV room. I knew I'd have to wait another day to know if my sanity could be salvaged. It's astounding that something so small can cause me to unravel so grandly. This mouse clearly has the power of invisibility, I thought. I laughed at this thought because a couple weeks ago, I found it so charming to witness my daughter feeding her lunch to a make-believe mouse perched on her table. Who knew her imaginary friend could leave real mouse dung.
Last weekend I painted four small (5" x 7") works on canvas paper which I stitched onto fabric which I then stitched onto cardboard. I popped them into frames and also made prints for a sale in Aurora. I was thinking of them as stream of conscious pictorials. I liked their immediacy and flimsy nature. In the end, I think they resembled cards as in playing or tarot. Coincidentally a slow art show lead me to a tarot card deck where I had a reading. Long story short, I'm encouraged to treat my art more seriously. I feel ready to take the next step whatever that should be except that my studio and house is turned inside out and upside down because of our invisible mouse. I don't know how much longer I can tolerate the intruder and the upheaval it has caused in my art production. I will post an update hopefully soon--notifying its death.