Note; I had planned a follow up to the last post, and even had it half-written, but changed my mind. So instead here’s what I’m thinking about now.
From painter Chuck Close on creativity, on the blog BrainPickings.org. (What a great name!)
“See, I think our whole society is much too problem-solving oriented. It is far more interesting to [participate in] ‘problem creation’ … You know, ask yourself an interesting enough question and your attempt to find a tailor-made solution to that question will push you to a place where, pretty soon, you’ll find yourself all by your lonesome — which I think is a more interesting place to be.”
I’m not going to write about creativity, but about asking yourself questions and trying to figure it all out. Figure what out? Your feelings. From the same site mentioned above, a post about a book titled; Lost Cats: An Illustrated Meditation on Love, Loss and What it means to be Human. In the last chapter the author writes; “Every quest is a journey, every journey a story. Every story, in turn, has a moral.” She believes you can’t ever really know anyone, but no matter, because; “love is better.”
In the days I think of as “hectic parenting,” a year after my marriage imploded, when I worked on finishing the job of raising my children alone, I went on a journey of delving in to understand myself. One of the hardest tasks in my new life; having no partner to tell the stories to at night, or to share reminisces, or to hold and be held- to be loved [and of course love right back]. The moral of my story then was; she managed, she found within herself a strength to find alternate answers, to accept her children’s love, her friends’ love, to explore with her writing and to run and swim and find nourishment in those exercises for both body and heart and mind.
It’s now many years later. My role of full-time parent has diminished as the artist/writer has bled through and now takes up more space, more energy. Yet always the task of understanding myself persists, perhaps because nothing stands still, all things change. I don’t sit back to watch the change, I immerse myself in attempting to understand. I’ve been writing stories for my children, so that they can discover who I’ve been, am and what I’ve done. Because they’ve only known me as the person who taught them things, or cooked their meals. I want them to know me as I’ve come to know me; a person both limited and limitless, full of love and flawed.
Last week my youngest son, who spent the longest time with me, except for his disabled brother who is 31 and still with me (as a roomie now) gave me a gift. My children gift me mostly with words, which is pretty wonderful, but I have to say this gift; words plus a tangible thing I’ve always wanted, was a sort of proof that I am appreciated for what I’ve given all these years. And that I’m loved. But already I knew that last bit because he and I have been expressing it to each other forever.
Words are important, more than gifts. Gifts break, die, get lost or returned, but words echo. I am now a confirmed bachelor- or the female equivalent, whatever the terminology. I would accept as much love as I’m given and return it happily, but do not trust myself to make a good choice. Rejection several times, by several people closest to me has left me with a desire to no longer be hurt by someone who says they love me or used to love me.
Today he and I talked by phone to catch up. We talked about meditation. For me knitting and swimming feel natural as a meditation practice, and sometimes when I create a collage too. I spend a lot of time in my head, I guess because I spend a lot of time alone. Good thing I like me. (Can you see my grin?) Lately a lot of garbage runs through my brain; such as why doesn’t X love you, why are you unworthy, why haven’t you accomplished more in your life, etc, etc. I’ve been combating the negativity by employing my homegrown, “just say no” philosophy. When I catch myself caught in a relentless bad-thought loop, I tell myself to stop. Admonish myself. That’s the “just say no” part. I don’t allow myself to continue. I’m not very good at sitting cross-legged on the floor staring into the abyss of nothingness, but I find quiet in my own way. Along with the quiet I try to find love and compassion for myself. It’s the only way I can live.
Lastly, a great article on TreeHugger.com about knitting as therapy felt like confirmation, so I’ve added some pictures of pieces of my knitting- top and bottom. The middle pictures; one of middle son and one of his stitchery with my “framing” and added bits and bobs.
Thanks for visiting.