Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Flying Woman

Feeling up in the air.

Always feeling up in the air.

That's because life could, at any moment, change into something different.

Maybe it won't change into a spotted purple people eater, but it changes, is changing, constantly. Maybe I just feel it more now because I have consciously taken myself out of the predictable life I was living as a teacher, and into the life of the artist, the on-edge, the adventurer ready to take a dive. (Although I do love my couch. My adventures will probably be along the lines of mental, spiritual, artistic, romantic, etc. Not climbing mount Kilimanjaro.)

In my art, I have a woman who keeps showing up-- a flying woman-- or is she falling? It's so hard to tell. She's been showing up for, oh, ten, twelve years. Since college. She shows up in many places, in many guises. Sometimes it's about my confusion. Sometimes it's because I feel like I'm soaring.

I feel like that woman, now. I have so many opportunities, so many possibilities in front of me, and yet... somehow, I'm still floating around, not really grabbing hold. Not landing on the ground and making things real.

Maybe my floating/falling woman isn't that active. Maybe she's all about maybes. Or maybe she just is right now.

I think I need to start working on a workshop to teach. No, not start working on one. I've been doing these suckers for five years. The work is done, the curriculum is practically set. What I should do is just put it together. Just start it. Chose a time, find a place. Get the members to commit. And do it.

Maybe if I were in a community of artists and creatives, I would find it easier to be out there in the world with my art and my writing. Maybe if we were all in one of my workshops, using our creativity to deal with what it means to be human, what it means to be an artist, and all the joys and pains that entails, maybe everyone would be able to fly better.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


I thought I lost my last blog entry. One of those computer snafus. So instead of getting pissed, I simply rewrote it from the top of my head. It was different, but okay.

Then when I published that one, and took a quick gander, it turned out that I didn't lose the first one at all.

So now I have two of the same, but different entries.

I thought I'd keep them. It's all about the process, anyway.

Self Portrait

The Spring rains fall hard. Thunder and lightning that seems to come from nowhere, although all winter has been building for this. Clouds have been forming in the warm upwellings of the Pacific, until they could flow across the globe to land here, on us, on the waiting trees and ground.

It has been a long winter. Cold and hard, and we have been hiding from the ice, to tired to hope for the green leaves that must ultimately come.

I have not been writing. I have not been creative at all, but I am ready to. I've been holding out, just like the green leaves, apparently.

My novel is waiting. I am yearning to paint, although I am not. I've been giving my time to other things, because life does move on. Things happen, seemingly out of nowhere, although they have been building just as much as these rain clouds.

I am in love.

As hard as that is to say, to admit, to toss out into the void for whomever to read, it is good. Most of my time has been given to him, to love, to our relationship. And that is good.

And even for my art, my poor neglected poetry, it is good.

The thing about art, that I'm realizing, is that it is all wrapped up in what it means to be human. You can not separate the human that is you from the creating you are doing. Anything in your life that is affecting you, is affecting your art, because art is about being human. It is going into the depths of what it means to be human. And so, if you have stuff that needs to be dealt with, you'd better deal with it, or it will come up.

For instance. I have not written.

And I can't really blame it on my new relationship. No, it's all me. Although it may have something to do with my relationship-- or atleast, what relationships mean to me.

You see, when I was a kid, my mother gave up any ambitions she might have had for herself to be a wife and mother. She gave up her art so that my father could be an artist. She was his helpmate, taking care of his home so he could be a genius. She was his assistant when he was making films. She put food on the table or struggled with how to pay for it, so he could focus on art.

Now, that won't fly with me. I am the artist. There will be no giving this up-- and yet I find my instinct is to do just that. To go right back to the familiar way of being that I grew up with. And then my instinct is to run away from the instinct, run away from relationship. Run away from creating. Hide my art and writing away, so no on can see it. Hide my heart from a man who would touch it. Hide my feelings from my family who hurt me so long ago.

Run away. Hide. Give up. These are the dark secrets of being human. Of being me.

And when I write, they come up. It's what my novel is about. And when I don't write, they come what. It's what gets in my way.

We are not just the artists who are throwing paint on a canvas. It does not come from the ether, it comes from inside. It comes from the life we have created, and the stories we tell to ourselves about who we are and what life means.

Every painting is a self portrait of the artist. Every story is the story of the soul.

I am not a poet
I am a poem.

Writing My Soul

It's raining today, hard. It's thundering. It should make me depressed, but I like it. This is spring rain. This is the kind that means winter is over. Next week, the leaves will be out on all the trees. The sun will shine, the temperature will soar.

Oh, my heart will soar. We really need this, Spring. We really need the warmth. It can be so hard and cold here in this city. We hide from the ice entirely too much.

I have not been writing. I have not been painting. I have not been being creative at all. My energies have gone else

It's taking its toll on me, this not being creative, but I have to recognize what is going on in my life to make this happen-- or not happen as the case may be.

You see, life has moved on. Unexpected developments occur. Like thunder and lightning, seemingly out of nowhere, although it took all winter to get here. I am in love.

It was hard to say that, hard to admit, hard to toss it out there into the void for whomever to read. But it was also good. It's a wonderful thing, but it changes life, changes my routine.

So I have not been creative, I have instead been spending all the time I could with him. I needed to, and wanted to, and our relationship deserves that focus.

But as the days go on, that little/big part of me is trying to sneak its way back into my life. It can't be denied because it is who I am-- my art. I must give in.

But, god, it isn't easy.

What I realize is that being an artist is hard, because whatever shit you have to deal with in your life-- parental resentments, money rackets, anger at yourself or your lover, insecurity, feeling unlovable-- whatever it is, that shit is going to rise up and demand to be heard. Because art digs into the depths, and surrounds the whole. It is about being human, so all the things that make you human are going to need to be dealt with so that you can create.

That's why it's so hard. That's why people turn to drink and drugs and other things designed to numb them sufficiently to allow it all to come up without tearing their insides out.

So when I struggle with not writing my novel right now, I am also struggling with my issues. Here I am, in a new relationship, and putting that first-- just like my mom always did with my dad. She never went into her own art, her own stories. She didn't become a filmmaker on her own, though she loved it. Instead, she was a wife and a mother and a helpmate. She made it possible for my father to be an artist, she gave up herself.

So I am struggling with the instinct to do the same, and the instinct to run away from that instinct. And with what having a relationship means to me. And with what it means to hide away, hide my writing from anyone who would read it. Hide my heart from a man who would touch it. Hide my feelings from my family who hurt me a long time ago.

What it means to be human. What it means to be me.

So when I write, these things come up. This is the story I am writing. And when I don't write, these things come up, because it is me, human, who is hiding, who is running, who is witholding and afraid.

Everything I am informs what I create. Everythinig I am informs what I do. How I act.

All painters are creating self portraits. All writers, are writing their souls.

I am not a poet,
but a poem.