time and space
This has been a weird year of hurry-up-and-wait for me. My kids are on the cusp of adulthood, and though I have regularly been shamed by my mother-hen routine (not to mention the Jewish grandmother in me that has to feed anything that's not nailed down) I'm itching for the transition to happen so I can pour the amount of energy into my painting and drawing that I need to. Never good with regular interruptions, I need large chunks of time to be properly productive and nothing makes me happier than productivity. I regularly fantasize about living the ascetic life of a hermit in a beautiful, remote place ... with a high-speed connection and a pipeline to an endless cache of art supplies of course!
In January I lost my precious airy-but-cozy basement studio to Carl's band's equipment, including the drum kit and all its offspring. The thing is that I love it when they're practicing here, so I've worked really hard at trying to make do with a small corner of the room. I'm weird about space (among other things), as my nearest and dearest will be happy to tell you, so it's been a struggle. Not only that, I lost it completely for a week in February when a friend was staying on the hide-a-bed down there for the Olympics and this past week when a band exchange student from Ontario has been staying there. It's been rewarding having another mouth to feed though, heh! (He's probably been less impressed, though, by having to share our only full bathroom with a family of four.)
All this need-to-nurture stuff really has a negative impact on my work life, though, and always has. Just yesterday I had this revelation which I shared with friend, Di:
What pisses me off about all this is that I bought into the middle class myth emotionally but totally rejected it intellectually. Emotions will always win in my mind/world which is part of the reason I’m an artist and not an accountant. I have blamed my toe-the-line parents but there’s no question that I wanted my own family and didn’t know any other way to do it so took the path of least resistance. I have spent every moment since then fighting the battle within myself.
On my good days it has been a battle well worth fighting. On my bad days I have railed against the economic circumstances and character weaknesses that landed me in the suburbs and all the mainstream conformity that the successful suburbanite represents ... and I don't. Some would say I have it really good, and I do, but I'm not the sort of person who's good at letting my work come second. I truly believe that I have a 'vocation' and hate to feel like I'm wasting precious time. I'm constantly reminded of the years when I completely squandered it.
But enough navel gazing. There are drawings to be done and groceries to buy. Photos to take and laundry to catch up on. And so it goes.