Tuesday, July 22, 2008

come on baby light my fire....

The lovely Ms Hen, CB and BB arrived today from the West. We are planning a snow visit with them on the weekend. Neither K nor Beau have ever seen snow so we figured it may as well be now before we return to the Mediterranean-like shores of WA where there is not a snow flake's hope in hell of seeing a snow flake (although it did snow briefly in Kalamunda a few years ago I hear...) Ms Hen came baring gorgeous gifts (thanks again and to Tim's excellent thrifting eye). That apron is totally fabulous still with original tag from good old Boans department store which was an institution back in Perth's old days.

I've been having the odd freak out over leaving Melbourne and so it's good to be reminded of the good folk on the other side too!

Still reading the Divided Heart (see last post) and finding so much juice in it. One thing that most of the women Rachel interviewed seem to share is the ability to work very fast and be very creative and productive in the small chunks of time available in a day just "by sheer necessity". Mostly during their babies' nap times or in the wee hours of the morning before everyone else wakes up . Many of them talk about how productive and exciting those periods of time were in early motherhood; that the experience of early motherhood was so deep and rich and confronting and raw, they were compelled to create, sometimes in order to make sense of it. I'm wondering how it is/has been for all of you? Is that how you work? Was early motherhood like that for you?

If I think about my experience with Beau as a baby, I was so exhausted with mastitis and so absorbed with navigating the unknown waters of early motherhood and really it's only recently that I've started to think about sitting down to any kind of project let alone something as 'big' as writing a book or painting towards an exhibition, or recording an album. These are achievements that I find truly awesome given that unlike many of the the women Rachel interviewed, I haven't felt driven to do anything but get through a day with everyone fed and happy. But definitely I have been gathering seeds for the future. And similarly to those women, I feel that motherhood has opened my eyes and my heart and I feel so much more strongly or perhaps clearly about things that I couldn't really have expressed prior to being a mother; I feel everything more intensely. The primal act of giving birth and the reshaping of the psyche that comes of it is such a gift; in the way a Shaman has to experience a symbolic death and rebirth in order to fully step into the role. It's as if I've stepped into myself more fully since and so I feel I have things to say.

I've often wondered where is the fire in MY belly that so many people seem to have, that drives them into acts of greatness and beauty (or not!) and on into the next thing and the next. I do see it in the day to day events of my life; a drive to make the best of the mundane existence, to beautify it, make it meaningful. Rachel asked one woman something to the effect of "Do you try to perfect a life or a work?" I wonder can they be one and the same? I see in so many of us the deep commitment to our children; consciously parenting and endeavoring to do the best we can as an artist would in the midst of a project. Would I be satisfied to look back on my life and see that motherhood was my Magnum Opus? I think lately I am being more realistic and taking notice of the elusive 'thing' that I catch glimpse of; a shimmering something out the corner of my eye, something that wants to be caught but we are still just flirting with each other. It started to appear not long after I began blogging. I don't think it can be helped. If there's even just a smoldering coal of an artistic life in one's heart, it's obviously going to get fanned by witnessing the work and lives of women who are stoking their own blazing fires or at the very least giving them a bloody good fanning!


Esti said...

Very interesting post.
In my case, motherhood meant me stopping painting for almost four years, too absorved by other kind of priorities, and then findin myself itching, nervous, longing for making some art. I began drawing at night, and as my children grow, my drawing is growing too. And I'm so happy. A happy mother.

msaims said...

hmm more tears.
so emotional at the moment. your posts truly hit a nerve.

i think i need this book...

Jo Windmill said...

Oh the struggles of a creatively frustrated mother! I know it well...this is indeed a very complex situation on one level, and simple on another. Issues like identity mourning, surrender, restlessness, the expectations of women/people, to "achieve", perform, produce..ego dtruggles, depression, the challenge to appreciate the extraordinary cretivity required to create a HOME, not just aplace to eat an sleep in between worldly living...create a person, work on one's virtues/faults, share an enlivened etheric body with a new, creative being!
There are many issues at play here! I have learnt to seek the creative moments in life, to treasure them, acknowledge them, take them at face value, and marvel at the bi-products. To take time to breathe in an atmosphere created by your own devotion and love, perhaps drinnk in the beauty of a room , house, garden, card, you have created in this spirit.
Let us not compartmentalise our lives, but embrace the more full spirit imbuing all our waking days, all our work, our "mundane", unvisible tasks and our celebrated moments, and stay authentic to our enlarged perception of ourselves as creative BEINGs!!!
Love to you, everflowing Goddess of creation!

Kirti said...

oh jo, that's what i love about you, you live it totally. Thank you xxxxxx