Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ain't no mama got time fo dat!

I haven't been around much lately because the nitty gritty business of just living has been getting in the way of the more gentile and pleasurable aspects of life such as blogging, crafting and documenting. Activities which I bitterly  miss.

To put in plainly I have been grafting, earning my crust, busting my gut...We had no money so I had to get a job or two.  And I have been learning a lot about myself and the world through this experience.  For one thing, I totally get why poor people take out loans; because having no money is depressing, it really sucks, so you cheer yourself up by buying and doing things you can't really afford, taking a holiday to France for example, buying lottery tickets, getting a takeaway every Friday night, thinking "blow it, let's try for another baby" (and by the way since when did having children become a privilege of the rich?) I have a new-found sympathy for those on low-income.

But in putting my nose to the grindstone I have realised how severely neglected my creative inner world has been, and it's been suffering (I've been suffering) big time.  I didn't really realise quite how much I needed it until this morning when I took a gander through an old sketchbook. I was immediately taken back to a time before I had children when I had the luxury motivation to be able to take time to really reflect on my inner creative world, search my soul, listen to my whispers, hear my hearts calling etc etc etc. I was at a real high point in my creative journey where I felt on the cusp of something big, things were coming together, symbols, art pieces, meaning.

Some of my old sketchbook pages.

And then BAM...Children, and suddenly you think that  nurturing your creative spirit isn't a priority any more, or useful, or important.

It's not like I sat down one day and though "oh well, you know what? I don't really need all that arting around, it was all just a bit of a lark really, now I have to get on with the serious business of raising children."  It happened slowly, over time, almost without me noticing; my ability to be able to sit down and really reflect, search, discover, create, has been chipped away at, though tiredness, lack of free time, distractions (curse you Facebook) I have neglected to make a priority of these essential explorations.  And equally as imperceptibly a whole part of my spirit, my personality in a sense, has been degrading and has left me with strange empty gap which I have rather unhelpfully filled with feelings of anger, resentment and frustration. I can't blame my children, it's not their fault and they fill up another part of my soul even more measurably than that lack of creativity empties another.  I also can't blame myself in any useful way because it was just something that happened, maybe it was something that had to happen, I don't know. But what I know now is that no one else is going to drag me out of this rut, there is no lottery win over the horizon, no long lost relative who is going to die and leave me their fortune, if I want things to change then I need to pick myself up off the floor and make it happen myself.

And I am starting, not with some great money making venture but with small gestures, notes, journal reflections.  I intend to simply pay attention again, like I used to, because not only an I not a whole person without nurturing my creative spirit, but I am a far less effective parent to boot. Hopefully I'll be seeing lots more of you all over the coming weeks and months, be with me, wish me well, I need this.

1 comment:

  1. I can really relate to this post.  As someone with a degree in a creative field I sometimes reflect on how my current life is so very different than what I imagined when I graduated from university (quite a few years ago now!)

    My portfolio sits in our loft as a testament to my creativity; about 3 years ago I donated the majority of my stage design textbooks.  I finally realised that I really had no use for them anymore as I was not going to work in the industry (the books were probably outdated anyway) and kept only the ones that were particularly special to me.  I feel nostalgic about the productive creativity and self expression; the creative spirit was part of my daily life, however...

    I recently found myself doing a lot of drawing with the girls and right now they are very keen on depictions of characters and scenes from favourite stories.  The costume and scenic designer in me has been reawakened!  On some days I am turning out drawing after drawing of various princesses, mermaids and fairies for them to colour in - with the odd pirate, dinosaur and horse mixed in too.  It is lighthearted and certainly fun, but also stimulating and I am coming up with more concepts for extended projects and its exciting to feel those creative juices flowing again.

    This is only one example from my life, but I am sure in your home environment you are already using your creativity and imagination especially with homeschooling!  So much of parenting engages us conceptually: the role playing, storytelling (Giles is really good at making up stories for the girls), the games and crafting and diy projects and creating an educational environment.

    So although the scope of the journey is different now and the time for artistic reflection is extremely limited, I am realising that parenting itself can be a creative endeavour - and a very satisfying one!

    Keep at it - you are doing amazing work already (your sea cave under your dining table was brilliant!) and seek inspiration in the activities you are involved in and from your family life, so that your journey can feel more integrated with the person you have now become.
    Xxx Kasmira