When I wake in the morning and it's a fresh new day there is a bubble of excitement in my belly. A bubble of excitement that does not match the drag of my feet or my zombie like stance in front of the coffee pot where sometimes I lose count of my scoops and have to start all over again. But none the less I am anticipating what may come out of the impending hours of the day ahead.
I listen to the wizz, pop, hiss of my 1969 percolator waiting for the increase in sound as the increase signify's the last attempts to brew the perfect pot from within the tiny water spurting basket inside. The baby sits on the counter as I stammer around the kitchen making sure there are clothes clean to wear for the school boys and a clean sippy cup for him as he giggles at me and calls for his drink. I hear the coffee is winding down and I make slipper sounds against the floor, hand the baby a chop stick which he stirs our coffee with. Hubby's to go mug nearest me, my cup on the other side... every morning this is how I assign the pouring of the cups. As I pour the cup the baby points at the creamer knowing what comes next and slips his chop stick into the hot java watching the cream merge with coffee as it turns into the softest and creamiest browns. It will be 15 minutes before my first sip... the percolator makes HOT coffee. But when I do I know that even though caffiene isn't instant, the habit is, and just the sipping motion of the activity starts to bring me to life.
After clothes, making of coffee and chocolate milk I think about what creative endevour I should take care of first. I want to go right into the studio, and sometimes I do... but in the morning the baby won't let it be. He has his routine as much as I have mine and most of the time he isn't content to lap sit while I use my brushes dipped in warm bright colors of paint. For me creativity is soothing... it's long imbedded under my skin like a tattoo that even if you tried couldn't be lasered off. It was given to me before birth I think, chosen as my mission, talent, must do... because as much as me and creativity pair up like the perfect pair of mittens or pea pods on a vine, we also fight like an old married couple.
Lately I have felt a lot of frustration with my creativity. I have been angry with it and sort of not talking to it. It didn't do anything to deserve this treatment but I have been turning my nose up at it none the less. It's pleads have been powerful... kind of like the broom in the Swiffer commercial standing in the yard looking through the windows with the music "baby come back" playing in the background.
When I was young, during childhood and highschool when I just wanted to draw until I was drunk with pencil smudges and paper cuts, I embraced my creativity without the spats and little fights... and I think it's because when I was young I didn't have to worry about being a success... or building a business from what I do. It was just about the pleasure of splattering my brains all over a sketchbook, or napkin, or notebook when I was supposed to be taking math notes. I miss that. I miss it very much and it seems now that I am an adult and feel like if I am going to be creative I also need to succeed.
Some days, and these are the days that me and creativity don't match up... some days I am overwhelmed by the lack of sales, the turn down emails from Somerset saying that a piece is being mailed back... and then I turn my back a little on my creative side and almost put up the front of "I don't need you... I can make it without you... you'll see!". But it's a bunch of bullshit, and I know it. I know it as I pass by my studio and look in there with a bit of stink eye. I know it as I see my paintbrushes still sitting in water being punished by pushing against the bottom of the jar, knowing the curve of the bristles will make them trash. During these down parts of the roller coaster tracks I let doubt slip in... I let myself get down and let self pity take over... and it's dumb.
I can't say what gets me out from the bottom and back on top but it always works this way. I struggle with staying at a happy medium, because creativity and I are doing the tango - we own the dance floor. When creativity makes dinner for me and sets up the plates and wine glasses, I happily sit down and forgive it for not doing it's job (even though it always does) (it's me, not you I say) and tell it I'm sorry.
But the table isn't a dinner and it doesn't have a wine glass. It's made of wood, it is home to my paints and brushes - stamps - ink - and chalk. Everything within reach of me and creativity and I sit there on our granny sqaure pillow till our rump falls asleep making sweet love all over a piece of paper... or canvas. It's then that the fight is over (for now). I let doubt and pity grow distant and embrace creativity with a firm hug and kiss on the forehead. I'm a bad lover in this relationship. I'm abusive towards my talent, but I think all artists are... it's just admitting it.
Don't worry, I won't go cutting off my own ear or eating my paints...