Christine: The Crooked Path of Creativity
I have been a trained, professional dancer, and am now a trained, professional speech pathologist.
I used to only view my creativity in terms of my physical and emotional ability to respond to music and choreography, but now I see that my gifts extend far beyond what I could do as a dancer, to encompass all the things I can do with my hands and my mind.
Right now, the majority of my work is in artisan jewelry, but the essence of my soul is one of a teacher and a student. I truly love any creative work I can do with my hands — fabric and metals and glass are my main media at this time. The physicality of swinging a hammer to forge copper, the intense concentration over a flame and melting rod of glass, the feel of textiles that I shape into three-dimensional objects feed my soul and fire up my life. There is really no art or craft I don’t want to try.
I am the lucky mother of three beautiful children — intense creations in their own rights. My eldest daughter is thirteen, my middle daughter is five and a half, and my son is three (“and a half, Mommy!”). When my son was born, I left full-time clinical practice to be home with my children. The creative work I do is not required to maintain our standard of living, and the professional work I do part-time (which does maintain our lives) can be done by telecommuting, by working off-hours, and by setting my own schedule. So, technically, I suppose, I am somewhat of a stay-at-home AND work-at-home mother.
Navigating the work, the household responsibilities, my children and their needs, and my own desire (NEED) for time to create is often exhausting on many levels. I admit to feeling a significant amount of stress whenever I considered ALL that I had to do or was responsible for in the course of a day. I often felt like I was running out of time, or that I needed to accomplish EVERYthing EVERY day.
What I have noticed more recently, though, is that there IS time for everything, and if something doesn’t get done, then it wasn’t supposed to get done that day. I view my artistic endeavors like tides: they roll in, and I get some sewing in, or pound a few bits of metal or make beads for an hour, then the tide rolls out and I move to something else, like preparing dinner, or reading a file, or playing with Legos with my kids. I try to set a goal to make something every day, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. If I can’t, I try to at least rearrange my tools, or put my hands on my materials, or sketch an idea for the next “thing” to make!
It’s a constant, this shifting of priorities and the right-placing of everything that makes up a day. Some days are wild with possibilities and are highly productive, while others are full of everyone else’s (and everyTHING else’s) needs. It’s all definitely part of life’s journey. Sometimes you have to surrender and just roll with it. Kind of like the tides.