on january 7, 2017, i began my artist residency in motherhood. i was not sure what that meant. i just knew that i had to begin. i still don’t know what that means but i just know i want to continue.
i didn’t have a huge or really any sustainable creative hobby the last time i had a newborn almost four years ago. i read books on parenting instead and tried to figure out how to be a mother and recover from my birthing experience…that’s a story for another day. that may or may nor have been helpful, in the long run. i think if i had to do that time again, i would have done anything but try to be the “perfect parent” or read about parenting methods, i would have just knitted (very badly) or wrote or painted. i would not have read a single book unless it was fiction or inspirational not aspirational. i would not have listened to so many people’s voices about how it should be or what i should be doing…i would have trusted my own instinct and soul more.
i won’t say, i know much more now but i do know that having creative habits gives me sanity…especially when i am tired and sleep deprived. i know that trying to be perfect is a recipe for disaster. i know that labor, birthing and motherhood are so unpredictable, messy and joyously hard miracles that i wonder why people write books on the subjects at all. i know that thinking you can think your way into a life is so tiring.
so what am i saying, i know that recovery and post-postpartum time can be all over the map. i don’t know what the future holds but i hope that it holds small acts of creativity. that i keep returning to my studio and my tools, even if just for a moment. i know that working small and quick can be a mother’s best creative tool. i know that not feeling guilty about not doing chores when the baby is sleeping and painting instead a can be a slice of heaven.
more importantly, i think that having a mother who is expanding herself and engaged deeply in life is more important and rich than having a fairy tale mother, who looks good in pictures but is one dimensional in real life(not a judgement on anyone but myself).
i know that being honest about the struggles and joys of motherhood is my own deepest wish because this stuff an’t always easy or hard…sometimes it’s everything. i know that so many of us feel alone and like we are the only ones who can’t get it together. that is so not true. most of us are in the same boat and we don’t know it.
when i look at the scope of my work it is always about healing. it is about unbecoming and becoming. it is about fear and joy and uncertainty. i have not always embraced this path but now i see it as my gift. i don’t know what that means in the scope of things. i don’t know why it matters but it seems to matter that i show up as wonky and fearful as i am about the future and the present. i don’t know how to navigate it all but i am blessed in my unknowning.
maybe the whole point is that i don’t know but i keep showing up without all the answers. maybe, i get to keep creating…even with a baby on my hip and a toddler in lap. maybe, it’s imperfect and mostly unseen by others but it still happens.
maybe it’ about reaching out in the void and saying i am walking my own path alongside you and your stories…seen and unseen.
maybe it’s about reclaiming the hold of images and representation of motherhood and artistry that no longer serve. maybe it’s about coloring outside the lines and holding onto our faith that our small acts are fertile.
maybe, it’s something i’ve never even dreamt of and only by engaging in small acts of creativity and kindness can i catch glimpses of it. maybe there is no it. maybe there is only this– wild intention to live truer to the bone, to love what is, to trust my own widsom and dare not to compare my little path to anyone else’s…especially if they are on the internet with a zillion followers ( and trying to sell me a life).
maybe it’s about less following and scrolling and more listening and knowing (or not knowing). maybe it’s about being intentional with my time and my energy knowing that i can never get my time back. that this is it. how is spend my days and what i chose to believe about me and my life is part of my story to carry. maybe it’s about changing the story. or at the very least making if fuller and less about how it looks and more about how it lives.
maybe i don’t know what i am talking about and i am just blowing smoke in the wind. maybe i am just trying to calm my own shaky heart. maybe that’s okay. that’s enough.
maybe, this is how the heart engages in her own revolution.