In recent weeks I’ve been spending time thinking about my urge to create and putter. Before I gave birth to Huxley, I would virtually live at my studio, creating, puttering, always thinking of the next thing to do and explore.
Now, I still have the need to do it, but I seem to do most of the action in my head, not with my hands. I pour over books, wish for time to create, plan elaborate schedules to make things, even go as far as ordering supplies and make business plans (not real ones, but thinking about all the things I could make to sell). In my mind, I’m planning a whole new wardrobe to replace my old corporate rags. I go through bursts of energy where I think that I can create anything, that I will never sleep again, that I will just keep creating. I order way too many books, fill my brain with an ever-expanding repertoire of images, things, ideas. Yet when I have a bit of time, I squander it, or I am so exhausted that I don’t know where to start.
Is this simply a sign of being a mother? I do believe that there is this unseen link between mother and child that transfers energy and thoughts between us. Huxley will be 4 in a few months and I certainly have more time and energy than I have had for a long time, yet I just can’t get to create. I work 2 full days and 2 half days at my painting studio, and there I do make my mixed-media paintings. But I feel that my work is not growing as fast as I want it too. It’s not that I can’t focus on work because I miss Huxley, I’m actually happy to have this time to myself. I have shows to produce work for and galleries to keep happy, but beyond that, most things just stay locked in my brain. And they frustrate me.
The image at the top of this entry is of gnomes that I knitted for our Waldorf Schools’ Winterfair this past December. I made them at the studio while procrastinating from work on the paintings. So why not knit more at the studio? Because of the resin, I have to be very careful which fibres I work with, as these little ephemeral bits have a way of floating around and landing in the resin when it is wet.
On books: on the weekend I did a huge order of books from some of my online sources. I discovered a large number of items from my wish list for 1 penny each plus shipping. How can I not get them I wondered, and ordering them I did? Yet I also know that these books are in a way replacements for me not doing the actual creating. It is a vicious cycle… the more I want to create and make, the less time I find. Hence I’m overwhelmed and often do nothing. Huxleys’ bedtime is around 7:30 pm and if R puts him to bed, and if I go to the basement right away (where my sewing table is set up), I can usually go right up to midnight. But if I don’t get started before 7:30 pm, then I just want to sit down and rest or go to sleep.
Some people have remarked on how much stuff that I do get accomplished, yet to me, I see the potential in each day’s 24 hours and I only see all the things that must be possible to get done. I’m not beating myself up about it, but I am trying to get to know my mothering self and to find out what it is that I need to do to accomplish things. I also know that I spend too much time online, reading blogs, news, checking the weather, my mail, sourcing and perusing yet another idea. I know that I will find my path again, that as Huxley gets older, and that he will be less needy, but to think that our live just keeps going after having a child, is not my experience.