Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Not Waving

When I tell my non writing friends that I have been solicited or that I am working on submissions they always think I’m talking dirty and even when I cure my friends of the smirks on their faces, I still can’t talk about it at coffee shops, or I get smirks from other tables.

Yesterday I was solicited and it made me wish, it really had something to do with sex, b/c I came face to face to the realization I am not producing like I use to. My new favorite word for the week is “viscous.” I taught it to my second graders yesterday while doing a unit on liquids, after reading “My Life As A Wave” by Octavio Paz.

My mind has grown viscous and though it sounds really beautiful, it is NOT a good thing. I realize I will not write all the books I want to write. I hunger to withdraw and just create and yet everything I know pulls me back into the world.

I feel like I attend more meetings then Jesus and though I pride myself on actually loving this holiday, I find my myself quoting Stevie Smith daily I was too far out all my life, not waving but drowning.

So my question for the day is how do we remain artists in a busy world, when our jobs, children, society constantly calls us to be external and our writing pull us under? And is great art created by a balance of some sort or must you choose one, to withdraw or to be present?

You all nibble on that a bit, while I go out grocery shopping in three feet of snow…not waving but….

5 comments:

Anne said...

If you figure it out, let me know. I have problems with this and I don't even have kids.

Lyle Daggett said...

The only thing I can really say about this is that making time to write, in the modern too-much world we live in, requires a conscious decision, an act of will.

A friend of mine many years ago (in a similar discussion about giving one's life to art) recalled something about Mark Spitz, the swimmer who won seven gold medals in the (I think) 1972 Olympics. Spitz's swimming coach said to Spitz that if you want to do something worthwhile, sometimes that means giving up a lot of other things that are also worthwhile.

Also quite a number of years ago, a writer I knew slightly said that when you go through dry periods, it's important not to let it freak you out. You just have to learn discipline, he said, to stay calm and get through the dry periods, and wait for the writing to come again. It will.

Usually when I feel frustration or dissatisfaction about some part of my life or my life in general, one of the things it means is that some writing is about to break through into daylight. I obviously can't speak for you, of course, but that's usually what it means for me.

LJCohen said...

Treezaa--I struggle with the same questions as you do. Some days I feel like a piece of taffy--thin and being pulled in ten different directions. Would I write more if I didn't have the day job? The School Council meetings? The daily homework battles and carpools? I don't know. There are days I fantacize about a writer's retreat, or just sending the boys somewhere far away by parcel post without a return shipping label. But then they settle in to do their work and ask me how many words I wrote today. ('Mom--you need to do your homework too') They are convinced that my books will be best sellers and they want to come to all my book signings. Never mind that all I'm getting is agent rejections--they have faith. So I continue to fracture myself into pieces, knowing that the light that shines through will be far more interesting for the cracks.

xo
ljc
http://ljcbluemuse.blogspot.com

C. Dale said...

The real work of an artist takes place in the mind, in an INTERNAL place. Once you realize that, the pull of the external world cannot harm you as an artist. You will find time eventually, and you will write, or paint, or whatever your passion is in the realm of Art. When the external world pulls, relax and let it pull you. No matter where it pulls you, it cannot touch the real you, the you INSIDE. It is when you resist the EXTERNAL world that you mess up your Inner you. It is the resisting and the fighting that drains most people of all of their energy.

Kells said...

1) So my question for the day is how do we remain artists in a busy world, when our jobs, children, society constantly calls us to be external and our writing pull us under?

***We react to the busy world as artists and view everything as material.

We say no as much as we can to the things that don't/won't matter next year.

We stay up late and write when the family is sleeping.

We write in the car, on the bus, in the meeting, on email. We recite a line in our heads over and over on the elevator so we won't forget it or at least until we can find a pencil.

We realize we are not perfect and aren't trying to superheroes. We are best moms, workers, citizens, we can be without giving so much away that we don't have anything left for ourselves.

2) And is great art created by a balance of some sort or must you choose one, to withdraw or to be present?

I failed balance in school. I can do one thing well at a time. If you find out the answer to this one, email me. I haven't figured it out yet. I twirl many plates and walk through broken china daily.

Good questions, thanks for asking them.

Best,
Kelli