July 5, 2012

the girl's in circles again

circles and circles and circles again.
the girl's in circles and circles
got to stop spinning.

- cloud on my tongue, tori amos

last week my mind and my heart were very much focused on the circles i'm still in, the cycles i still repeat, the unravelling of it all and trying to make sense of things in a big way that sometimes, i worry, will never make sense.

my husband's brother (his closest and only living relative for all intents and purposes) had a sudden heart attack earlier this week. he's okay, in relative terms. he is in better health than anyone we know and that will aid in his speedy recovery and according to doctors he's no worse for the wear aside from the tiny metal stint in an artery and the requisite dose of daily aspirin.

i write those words because that's all i can really say on that particular topic. it doesn't feel like my story to tell, but it stirred something in all of us. mortality and frailty hitting especially close to home for my husband and his brother - for me, it's just another day. i contemplate the scary stuff all the time and breaking through the fear to actually LIVE is hard.

today, my kids are all out of sorts and have been banished to their room for the time being. i'm once again wondering how artists that are also mamas do it. i can't seem to squeeze in enough time to edit good photos for etsy and maybe right now i should stop trying to build such an online presence and focus on making more art for an upcoming folk art festival. have i even mentioned that i'm doing it? this year i'm doing the folk art festival i've wanted to participate in for, like, ever? i don't even know - i feel pulled in so many self-made directions, lacking focus, and wondering what the point of it all is anyway.

if the point is to find your bliss and follow it, to live and love and cherish each moment, why do i still find it easier to want to give up? if i seriously ask myself that, of course i know i couldn't give up. i never have, i just take these big long detours in these circles so that i feel as though i'm always repeating myself and rarely gaining momentum to actually go forward. of course, when i look at that seriously, i know i've obviously gone forward and will continue to do so but i find it hard to accept the journey, i suppose, when the destination seems intangible, still. what is it that i want? where is it that i want to arrive?

more often than not i feel like i can't do it. there are so many people who have helped me along the way and for that i am grateful beyond words but i still feel like i can't make the cut - i manage my time poorly, my kids don't seem to play well together, they're angry, i lose it, i cry and ask myself why i even bother to paint. why do i try to write or have any interests at all? why can't i just give my all to these kids who obviously need more from me? my motives feel selfish even though i am aware that it's healthy and necessary for me to follow my creative pursuit and have an outlet for my passion and, futher, i'm not very good at "playing" with my kids.

guilt sets in and sometimes i don't think i'm actually very good at anything.

and it's a circle, do you see? i want to give up but i won't or i can't or i'm afraid of what that looks like because what it looks like is me, driftless and wandering. but that's what got me here in the first place - my thoughts are often aimless - my focus is shit.

i want everything to make sense, i want to know that what i'm doing is worthwhile without wanting external gratification and in these circles, i don't know where to start.


  1. Holy cow it's like you are telling my creative life story!!! Just more elegantly than I would be able to state it.

    1. i try to silence the voices that tell me this would all be easier or more possible if i was a wandering drifter, free to be alone with my thoughts and my pen or paintbrush. i am not free in that sense of no obligation and perhaps no one is. i know i can't be all mom, all the time, but in this juggling act, the balls drop more than they stay in the air lately :(

    2. Val I do not think that some of these issues are much different from all creative souls. There is simply never enough time in a day. For instance this summer my plans for my blog and submitting works to a few different publications has all been naught because while my children are pretty much adults, I have other obligations. I work in a non-creative field by day and nights are all I have left for work when the weekends get here in order to be able to make rent I am doing all sorts of odd jobs, some artist ones some not and doing photo shoots just to make ends meet. By the time most nights, that I finally ge tto sit down with a cup of coffee and out of business attire clothes to work on art, check Facebook out and such, either I am too tired and my motivation / spunk is not there or it is time for me to go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow. You first have to worry about the kids make sure they have you when they need you but also make sure they have activities that allow you some sanity art time / YOU TIME. It is not just important to do so, it is imperative and it is not selfish. While the day to day stuff seems so grueling you are doing the most amazing job anyone will ever do with or for your children. When time permits keep making art..by the time they are out of your hair you will have perfected everything creative and be really ready for the next step in life! Keep your chin up!

    3. thanks debbie! i don't know if it's true for all creatives or if a shift in priorities can change it all. other people seem to manage their creative pursuit as a full-time career and i don't like to make excuses for myself but it's kind of easy for me not to because i have young, demanding, needy children and a husband that supports the household. the moms i know that really seem to be making it were either successful before they had children or they have true partners in life that love and support them and appreciate their talents.

      we're aware that there's problems on the emotional/relationship level (or i should say I AM aware) but he's at least willing to so some exploring with me. he doesn't support my art and might not until it's bringing in a respectable income or whatever but he is at least working through "how to heal your life" and doing the excercises with me. hehe!

      anyhow, i think it's about creating the time to do what you love and creating a balance. i know how it is to have bills to pay but i want to paint more than i want to go to work so i choose to be (and i hate to say it) poor and somewhat isolated. on the other hand, i know that i am blessed to be able to stay home an do this. i don't see money as the only indicator of success and i am able to DO art more often than ever before. sometimes i really don't understand why i get so down and complain so much. i mean everything i wrote in this post i still feel, on a daily basis, but i also know i'm blessed and moving in the right direction :)


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