there are truths i'm learning about writing that probably reach into all artistic creations. one is that it is hard to discuss what you do and how and why you do it without saying things like artistic creations.
somehow giving a vocabulary to process can be incredibly pretentious and disgusting. revolting even. artists are easy to mock. we are called 'artists'!
i'm learning that the things i have to do to protect my creativity are necessary or else it does disappear. it dies. it wilts. it loses its hard on and all i have left are sentences and paragraph structures and ideas that make sense but the gushing blood and guts of the thing have dried.
i've learned that my creativity is not a part of me like my love for my children is a part of me. meaning, it is not infused in everything i do. i do not make washing dishes creative. i do not decorate my house with abandon. i do not mark my body with tribal call outs. i do not do these things because i have children and because children take an enormous amount of energy to raise, including creative energy. and i only have so much. i am not a font of creative energy. Mr. Curry and I watched Montage of Heck and i was reflecting on how much more interesting my rooms were, when i was a teen. how recklessly i imprinted what i liked and loved. and the reason for this lack now is completely a choice of energy. the amount of time i put into guiding my children through life, into loving them, into providing a safe and constant place to land is the number one portal through which everything i am flows. ' she had nothing left to give ' a refrain we all recognize, and like most cliches it has truth at its birth. i cannot give my children what i do, my health and my marriage what i do, and then also, and also, and also.... there is a period at the end of a sentence that tells the story of what i can do in any given amount of time. and i would choose my children and my husband before any other choice. before my writing, books, money, travel, before all. so that is exactly as i want it to be, and i cannot struggle honestly within those parameters that i would die for.
i did not realize what an astounding choice i was making in relation to my writing in having four children. i knew it would be harder to write, to find time to write. i did not understand that it is not really about the time, or writers block. it is about the observant porous mind and heart that has before taken in the entire world- down to a tiny spot on the side of a suburban house where a chalk outline can still be seen, and the carmel belly of a pregnant spider bobs in the late afternoon breeze above an empty, abandoned container of fish emulsion and a bubble wand- now takes in four shining faces day in and day out, faces that shine so brightly... i still write, and sometimes, i still write the way i desire.
sometimes the muse appears and the words fly like sparks. but more often these days, i must demand the muse. and because she is a woman with children of her own, she shows up, understanding, tired, a little unfocused, but sympathetic and willing to give it a go.
in order for my novel to exist, i have to exist. in order to exist, i have to take in as much as i give out. and when that is impossible, the writing.