Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Dilemma...

I began this post thinking of blog post titles.  At first I thought, "The Artist's Dilemma"?  Or maybe, "The Introvert's Dilemma"?  I even considered, "Libra Dilemmas".  But really, without over generalizing, it should be, "My Dilemma".

Recently I've become aware of this tugging sensation.  At first it was subtle and seemingly unnoticeable.  It was a creeping, quiet thing that would gently pop up and then disappear just as quickly.  Lately though, I've noticed an increase in this feeling and not from one direction, but several.

This isn't a wholly new sensation for me.  It revisits me every so often, as it has a chance to build up, like steam gathering in a tea kettle.  The source comes from an internal conflict.  Part of me craves the simple act of making things, to be wild in my creative pursuits and just make stuff.  This part of me doesn't want to worry about whether or not I can sell it or if it'l be good for business or if it will be profitable.  I just want to create.  The thing about this is that much of my process comes from a place of solitude and self-reflection.  It comes from ritual and finding pattern.  It's like runners who find their stride.  It's like getting lost in the vastness of counting stars or tracing the outlines of clouds in the sky.

The conflict arises from "everything else".  To be a creative professional means that you have to build relationships.  The relationships are ties with community and other people.  Those ties are strengthened by obligation, responsibility, and duty.  As a person who creates things, relationships develop from being able to find a way to sustain oneself by creating things in order to create more things.  And while that's not a bad thing, for the wild one who craves running through the fields of one's mind, the little things like paying bills, making dinner, and being pleasant to others in social situations, can seem monumental.  It's like a sink full of dishes.  Sometimes, when you're in the zone, washing dishes seems easy and the next thing you know you're done.  It can even seem a little fun and cathartic.  But then there are days when the sun is shining temptingly and the outdoors are calling your name or you're in the middle of a good book and the protagonist is just about to discover something incredible... but if you want to make dinner, you've got to clean that pot... but that pot is under some plates and that plate is under some forks and you really could do almost anything else... but you agonize over how much you don't want to do it and really if you just buckled down and did it, it'd be over and done with in short order.

I wish there was a simple solution to figuring out how to resolve the internal conflict, but there really isn't just one way.  Sometimes it includes organizing and putting in place a new system.  Sometimes it's some solid alone time and the exploration of nature and creative pursuits.  Sometimes relief can be found by working with a new material or by displacing oneself with travel.  In the past, I've found answers in taking a break from everything or inundating myself with inspiration that feeds my imagination.  Sometimes relief can be derived from spending quality time with kindred spirits or trying something completely new and different.  Writing about it can sometimes help.  Simply acknowledging it can sometimes be enough.  Ultimately it comes from finding and restoring a sense of balance.


Mary K. McGraw said...

I know what you mean and there are no simple answers. I think it is just finding a balance.

Deborah A. Miranda said...

Same here. As a writer, scholar, professor, frustrated artist ... sounds to me like what you need is an artist's retreat somewhere. Have ever thought about applying to Virginia Center for the Creative Arts?? They provide a studio AND a dorm room, meals, out on an old farm, with like-minded folks. It's sliding scale. I've been a few times, only for short stays, but you can stay a week or three months, depending on your availability. Check them out online! You only have to wash dishes after lunch! Love your work. Thanks for being such a good model for me about creating beauty and listening to your muse.

Anonymous said...

Your post resonated with me. I enjoy reading your writing about the things we all struggle with. Sometimes you have to abandon the dishes in the sink. They always wait. xo -- julie