Oh Creative One, so very sorry I left for so very long. I developed a drug-resistant lung infection the month before my son was born and then really needed a month to get better. I left you hanging. I can only hope you will accept my apology. Tell me how you’re doing. Then, enjoy this clip

Vulnerable Creative One! Where is that spot? Where is that place that can be the source of shame or the source of power? Find that spot, be it large or small. I totally trust you to find the power in it. Your creative bits will be so thankful. X

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after i gave up

December 27, 2010

Oh Creative One, I wanted to come back from my break all chipper and skipping along. But, the point of this blog is not to be fake or saccharin. I received a rejection letter over the break. That plus 4 weeks being housebound due to weather, a lack of UK driver’s license, and 3rd trimester pregnancy mixed in with a sick kid, being stuck in a house that can’t be kept warm no matter how many sweaters I wear, a note from the NHS 4 weeks late saying I have another infection with the pharmacies closing imminently, no invitations to celebrate with anyone in the UK, and being far from home with no visitors over Christmas and few gifts delivered on time due to the weather… Too much. Just way too much for me. Sometimes the mantra, “do what you love to do and the rest will come,” seems like a lie. An outright lie. I just feel like giving up some mornings. Even though I’ve never met my rejector or seen her on tv, I wonder if she is my Simon Cowell, my voice of “best quit and stick with your day job.” I wonder if I had listened to my creative self earlier on in my life if I would be in such a stuck place. So, I tearfully gave up. For a few days I allowed myself to think, “This is it. I am done.” I made cookies with my kids, tidied the house like mad, stared off at the frost blistering on the single pain window outside my kitchen window… Then, those words and stories and poems starting whispering to me -maybe just try a different way…

Overwhelmed Creative One, thank you for allowing me to be your company while you give up. More importantly, when you’re ready let me whisper to you to try again. Allow yourself to listen to me and indeed, try again.

virus

December 23, 2010

Oh Creative One, my son is home ill. Only microscopic viruses can quiet his talkative self. When one hits, we take it seriously – especially due to his life threatening allergies. A cough due to a virus must go so that we can tell if a cough is due to a closing airway.

Darling Creative One! I will leave you with an additional thought relating to a post from two days ago. Go find your roar and then celebrate it! I will return the 27th of December.

too much information

December 20, 2010

Oh Creative One, 3 weeks ago clementines came into season and were shipped from Spain to little old Glasgow. My pregnant self saw these clementines in the market and I have eaten almost a bag of these citrus beauties every day since. I have witnesses. I do not exaggerate. They calm a certain pregnant craving. Oddly, these highly acidic fruits do not cause and even quell the persistent heartburn I’ve had with this babe. Today, after all of the snow and ice storms, I had a 3 week old urine test result delivered via mail from the NHS. I apparently have a slight urinary tract infection. I will go in to have a second test and to get antibiotics from the doctor if need be. But I must also note that high doses of vitamin c, such as that found in clementines, are a natural treatment and preventive measure for urinary tract infections. It provided another private example that my body knows what it needs to take care of myself and the babe in utero.

Craving Creative One! I want you to follow every craving your creative self tells you. If you are craving time with clay, but you identify as a writer, give in and let the clay teach you something. If you are craving time with your kids and not in the studio figuring the light in your painting, go romp with the littles and get back to your studio later. Your creative self will definitely take good care of you if you listen to its cravings.

how strange

December 16, 2010

Oh Creative One, today was lost on icey sidewalks, school runs, an ill husband, a Christmas party, garbage that’s not been picked up in 2 weeks, a truncated grocery store run in prep for the next storm, an ante-natal appointment and squirmy children. I had spent so much of my day looking at the sidewalk just a step ahead to ensure my pregnant self did not crack my tailbone, I had not looked up. My ill husband braved the streets, picked myself and the kids up afterschool.  After our return home, but before I opened the car door to attempt the few steps to the house, I caught the sky in the rearview mirror. It was if the sky was new to me. There was a peak of blue, clouds fringed with the colors of a winter sun, a clearness that was strange and refreshing. I sat and looked until my son started writing “Get out of the car” in the fog on the car windows.

Curious Creative One! Be open to seeing the familiar as if you are a stranger or as if the familiar were strange. If you do catch that moment. Relish it. It doesn’t matter if you create from that strange encounter. These moments need only feed your soul.

choose or lose

December 15, 2010

Oh Creative One, an acquaintance of mine contracted a virus whilst pregnant with her daughter.  This virus has terrible consequences if contracted while pregnant, but appears to be nothing more than the common cold in children and adults. Her daughter now has physical disabilities and potential mental disabilities due to the exposure to this virus in utero. I also feel compelled to add, though why I’ve not figured out yet, that her daughter is a delight: curious about the world, kind in her communication, and a wonderful companion. My acquaintance says she feels guilty about contracting this rare virus. My advice to her was threefold. 1) As a parent, guilt is a part of the territory. I’d like not to feel guilty, but I will find something over which to feel guilty. 2) The work it would take to overcome something like guilt is long, hard and time consuming. A commitment I’m not ready for nor a goal I’m able to achieve while changing diapers or trudging with the kids to school in the middle of winter. 3) If I’m to have guilt and I’m not going to do anything about it, at least pick a topic to feel guilty over which you can control. So, instead of picking a rare virus already contracted and done its damage, pick to feel guilt over letting the kids go to bed after eating sweets without brushing their teeth. Or, pick to feel guilty about not helping with homework or losing your temper. These guilts can be corrected and in being corrected are not a waste of her needed parenting energy.

Guilty Creative One! I myself have guilt over my art just as my acquaintance does over her child. I feel guilty that I did not pursue it as an undergrad. I feel guilty that I listened to the practical voices of my parents instead of my strong inner voice. I feel guilty I have made many decisions out of fear until recently. But these are large viral things that can hurt my work. Better to follow my own advice and pick manageable guilts. Like choosing to watch television rather than cut out the paper window overlay for a picture I’m making for my son. I can feel guilty and then choose to correct that guilt the next night and feel much much better. Do not waste your energy on guilts over circumstances that have happened oh so long ago. I trust you did the best you could. Now, chose your manageable guilt and get back to work.

http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/cytomegalovirus.html

blue or not blue

December 14, 2010

Oh Creative One, sometimes I just feel like I’m spinning my wheels and not going much of anywhere. I’d like to feel like there is more evidence of forward momentum in my life than that of my kids’ childhoods marking the time that’s passed. I get really down when I feel like this and there really isn’t all that much to do about it. I don’t have a quick fix or a sure thing that gets me out of this cloudy groove.

Moping Creative One! The best and only thing for me to do is to offer my company whilst you’re a bit down. If we lived in the same town, I’d take you for a coffee or meet you for a walk. I trust you and know that if this feeling could’ve or should’ve been fixed, you would have done so. You are, afterall, a creature of action on some level. I wish I had more to offer, though, I’m happy to be your buddy while you’re blue. I’m glad you’re here, blue or not.

take the long way home

December 10, 2010

Oh Creative One, it is getting harder for me to walk with this babe in utero. Every time I stand, it seems I’m getting larger and I have 10 weeks left! No one shovels in Scotland. No one spreads grit on the side roads and as it warms, the transforming snow refreezes at night causing ever increasing slip dangers the next day.  It is treacherous for me and makes me more housebound than most in this weather. When I crane my head from the upstairs window,  I can see the Cairngorms from my snowbound house. They call out in the winter sun, “Come on, get out the door.” Sigh. If only…   As you know, I’m reading Rebecca Solnit’s “Wanderlust.” Here is what she says about mazes and labyrinths: “sometimes you have to turn your back on your goal to get there, sometimes your farthest away when you’re closest, sometimes the only way is the long one.” (p. 69)

Lusting Creative One! There is still so much to be done before you finish. I know you can see your goal if you just peak over the hedge, but you’ve got a ways to go and for good reason. There’s lots of necessary work to be done before you get to the end.  In the words of the band “Supertramp,” take the long way home. Trust that you will get to your goal despite the length of your journey. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the walk.

yes, they can

December 9, 2010

Oh Creative One, my daughter took ages unbuttoning her pyjammas this morning. We weren’t in a rush as we were snowed in for the 2nd day in a row and my ever-gestating tummy makes ice-walking particularly concerning especially with my husband away. Though I didn’t mind the time passing thru her chubby 3 y.o. hands, she kept saying, “I can do it. I can do it.”

Snowbound Creative One, it would seem that I would say you should trust yourself to do your creative work after that example. But really, I want you to remember to trust your audience. They want you to succeed. They want to be thrilled by your work. Trust them with the leaps you’d like to take with them in your creative journey. They can do it.

scream queen

December 8, 2010

Oh Creative One, when I went to NYC this past April to meet up with beloved and missed gal pals, I did not scream or squeal with joy as I had wanted. I gave them a big hug. Turned my back as they checked into the hotel and bit my index finger knuckles to suppress the eeks and cries of joy I had. One of the patrons, who knew from our previous small talk that my friends were arriving, caught me mid-gnaw and just shook his head. In retrospect, where would the harm be? Shouting briefly in a posh hotel might’ve woken those well outside my tax bracket up. I wouldn’t have been kicked out. I would do nothing but let many others know I am alive enough to feel that wonderful and appreciative about my friends.

Joyful Creative One! Today I took a camera out into the blizzard and took pictures of the people I am thrilled to know in this beautiful weather occasion. I did not supress my joy or interest in the weather or my growing friendships. There is no need to suppress your emotions. They are one of your many gifts. Surely, you’ve absorbed the social norms for so long, you are in no danger of transgressing in an irredeemable way. Go on, get your fingers out of your mouth. Scream a little.