Friday, April 4, 2014

"Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life"

A lovely acquaintance of mine posted this quote (along with her adorable artist-in-training 3 yr old daughter) & it resonates with me - but maybe not quite the way it should.  I love the quote & believe it to be true but at the same time I find it so hard to live it.  Being creative in some sense is almost as important to my sanity as routines & wanderings are - there's nothing that feels so good as when I can create something anything.  When I can't, the world just seems to drag on & I feel like I'm stuck in some neutral gear that goes nowhere.  But then it should be easy to just do something because it's better then feeling stuck, right? Somehow though it is never that easy (for me)...

Every time I embark upon some creative endeavor I still feel like the small kid with Sister Jean-Marie standing over me, saying over & over again that my coloring isn't 'good', my cut lines are crooked, my drawings uninspired...I was never good at 'Art Class'; I had fine hand/eye coordination issues & a highly regimented brain that seemingly just followed instructions .  And I didn't inherit my grandmother & mother's talent for fabric crafting (quilting, doll making, knitting you name it!), so I assumed for a very long time that I simply didn't have (visual) artistic ability.  My father, an incredibly talented musician.but he made sure I knew that I'd never be as smart or talented as he is [truly not meant in a cruel way,it's just his personality].  I never felt comfortable playing solos or even competing for band chair advancement because I was convinced I'd do poorly (self-fulfilling prophecy most of the time)...although to be fair I'm sure this is partially due to my introverted nature as well ;-)

Yes, I have self-esteem & self-confidence issues - so what?! - It's not like no one else does, even those who appear perfect & natural, have demons I know this for a fact.  I know this without knowing them because it's basic psychology ;-), so I should be smart enough to not let mine get in my own way.  And yet they do - or rather I get in my own way.  I want to emulate the free flowing creative style that I adore in others but I want it to be clean & organized & perfect at the same time which is contradictory at best :-(.  The most annoying effect of these neuroses of mine is I can't seem to get comfortable with compliments; I accept them & I give the socially appropriate response but internally I dismiss it or write off (she/ he is a friend they have to say that, well of course a mother is going to show off her child's work).  I hate it, I really do - as much as I try to take what others at face value, I still pick it apart & over-analyze it.  At nearly 30 years old I should be at the point in life where I do things for me just because they make me happy - I should not care one iota what anyone else thinks or live in constant fear of criticism & rejection - But obviously I do, no matter how I hard I try not to.  And I care way too much what other people do as well; I look around & see people who (I'm convinced) are far more talented & creative then I am, I'll never have pictures like theirs, I'll never create nearly as beautiful projects as them and I'm feel like I'm just a pretender to their world not really belonging.  They certainly never seem to have posts like these among their gorgeous work!

I need control, I need absolutes, I need direction but I enjoy creating, I enjoy the process, design & satisfaction of a completed project.  I enjoy other people's joy at receiving something (even if I can't take it at face value :-/).  I enjoy the thought that my kids have something to hold onto even once I'm gone & at least in this moment I know they won't care it isn't perfect or accolade winning.  I just wish my mind could let my soul be free to wash away the everyday, to just CREATE for JOY - someday I'll get there, hopefully.

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