June 19, 2012

beckoning + the process

things are always changing and yet always staying much the same. at least what i find myself focusing on or coming back to time and again.

like seeking balance.

i've been saying that i've wanted to find balance and only recently did it occur to me that balance, too, is an illusion.

once we achieve some state of perceived balance, something shifts somewhere and the whole thing is off-kilter again and it's time to start the process all over again.

it's a never-ending process.

i know some of you are probably laughing, like, "duh!," but sometimes i'm really slow to accept a concept enough that i can live it.

balance is ongoing. once achieved, the process starts again, sometimes a new process begins before an old one has come to an end.

days are somewhat easier, emotions are not.

waves can be ridden faster but the highs and the lowest of lows still happen.

i can breathe a little easier. it's all balance. all the time.

one big juggling routine.

all that said, i have no earthly idea how to balance taking pretty photos, living my best life, being patient with the kids always, 100% of the time, maintaining some socially acceptable ideal or my own idea of the perfect
{ earth } mother who can magically manage to meet everyone's needs, as well as her own, as well as paint and write and put a load of laundry away on the same day i wash it.

right now i'm balancing domestic duties, accounts receivables for my husband's business, playing/learning with the kids, and painting. writing and taking pictures off my camera in a timely manner and even maintaining more than the most basic of domestic duties is too much. when i start to direct too much time and energy to other things, the little bit of flow i think i've found gets all knotty.

the most important thing could be and probably is that i am more available to my kids but i don't know if i think that more to comfort myself or others. lately, the topic of how devoted does a mother have to be has come up in conversations and on facebook. i've decided that it only matters what one thinks of themselves (again with the duh. i know.) but if i am to take some of my own advice i'd have to admit here that the perfect mother does not exist and is certainly not a woman who gives so completely of herself that she has nothing left. no matter how ingrained the ideal of the selfless mother is within some of us, it's impossible to attain. this is a subject grappled by far better intellectuals than me and since i'm only now learning to live my true ideal, which includes shedding my own strict standards of what makes one a perfect or even a good mother, i won't get into it more.

but i will say that i think my learning to balance these specific areas of my life is simply so that i have time to paint. i think that if i'm honest with myself, the most important thing is that i am making time to paint.

it took a long time and i carefully avoided making my own space within our home. last week i spent a long night in my studio while everyone slept. it was gorgeous. it was better than i could have imagined. i know we're all told that the kitchen table will do and for a lot of us, it will or it can.

i don't want to feel guilty that i have a space to call my very own. i needed this.

interestingly enough, i recently picked up some anais ninthat a friend gave me for my birthday. nin talks about this very thing i'm experiencing - mentioning judy chicago's study that showed that male artist are more likely to have a studio completely separate from the home while women artists are most likely to use a common area like the dining room or a spare bedroom. so interesting. she also mentions a room of one's own by virginia woolfe. these are my people, these are the little whispers that allow my own inner voice to shine. that nudge me to tell my truth.

i can't feel bad about this. i can't keep making excuses not to paint.

i won't feel bad about this.

it's progress. my space is there and it calls me. it's waiting, with the acceptance that it can get messy and it will get messy and i can clean it up, at my own pace, after the projects are complete, not while they are in process because the mess is part of the process.

knowing that i can immerse myself is much more inspiring than picking up the paint and brushes for five minutes, spending more time setting up and tearing down the supplies than i'd actually spend on a piece.

i'm working on some new stuff and have also been working on a few pieces that i started quite some time ago. i'm learning to balance my time and energy in new ways. i know there may be times when i want to shut the door to my studio, sometimes to keep others from entering and sometimes to keep myself from entering, but mostly, i am enjoying the physical and mental acceptance of my space without closing the door to the busy-ness of the household. of course, when everyone is asleep and i go in there, it's magical. and i am grateful.

for now, the door is open. the ideas are flowing. the comfy, thinking chair beckons me, i love that you can't see my lovely but messy workspace from the doorway. it's hiding behind the bookshelf on the left and it, too, beckons me.

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