Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sing a Song of Now

Ah, the irony of it all is not lost on me.

Did I not have all summer to draw, to sketch, to observe and record? Yes, yes I did. But I was somehow, "not in the mood." Of course not that school is back on my plate, all I want to do is sketch and paint. So now I am back to stealing snatches of time in order to draw. This is fine, except now, of course, I also need to be finishing up some Christmas knitting I am doing too. I'm SURE it will all get done... right? Yes, certainly, certainly it will.

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp is one that is waiting for me at the library. It is not a goal of mine to have a creative career - just living a creative life is enough for me - but the habits of those who do are good to glean from and emulate.

Oh, my fickle phases get to me sometimes, but I think I am getting better. This year has been a really big year of me for learning in terms of my creativity. Just doing it means I have begun to figure out what I truly like and dislike in terms of materials and tools, mediums, and style. It is not such a daunting mystery to me anymore and it comes from just jumping in and doing it.

Some day, perhaps, I will have enough time and money to take a class on some of these things, but I decided a few years ago that life is just too short to wait for that perfect time to come along. I am sure with instruction, I would perhaps shorten my learning curve, but doing something - even if it has meant that I learn from books and tips collected randomly here and there along the way - is better than doing nothing at all.

As I learn more through my own experimentation, I find that the end product does improve. But so much more than that is the bliss found in just doing it at all. I wrote this in my journal just a few days ago:

"What I realized (perhaps again) just yesterday, is that even if my children don't pursue art with the same fervor that I do (but perhaps some day they will), they see me working and creating all the time now. I love that it has become just something that I do and do regularly. I'm glad the girls aren't surprised to see me sketching something and that creativity and art are important in our home, are normal, valued, studied and appreciated. This is something I have always wanted."

So, today, I guess, for you, dear reader, two things:

1) If you are a mother with young children and you have felt a loss of a sense of your identity, I would say to remember that along with those passions that you have, you also wanted children and that they will be with you and small for but a season. My own children are still young, but not so young that they need me so constantly. In the past couple of years, my time has steadily opened itself up to me and my interests once again. That time will return to you, but the children, in their stages, will not. Don't have regrets about your time with them. Their souls are worth so much more than any song or painting or beautiful room or cake or garden or story or crocheted hat or quilted blanket.

2) Still, those things will be there for you in their own time. Do those things you love a little every day in whatever way you can. The snatches of time will continue to add up. Do what you can. A tiny, little haiku written on a note pad once a week (as some members of the Creative Mom Podcast Yahoo group are doing every Monday) will add up to a collection of 52 haikus. Just think: your own collection of haikus from the year your child was two or three or four. Those words and images will change when she is 16, 17, or 18. Write them now. Sketch them now. Sing a song of now, whatever that looks like today, for I recently read on another blog a quote from Karen Lamb, "A year from now you may wish you had started today."
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