30 January 2006

Grasping at a Straw of Creativity

As I sat down to create this blog tonight, I totally overthought the entire process. This is my lot in life. I'm an overthinker and a navel gazer. Some people call it being "melancholy."

I am supposed to be ironing my husband's work clothes. I have a homeschool co-op to plan and prepare for. The dishes surely aren't done (although I haven't looked), the floor not swept, piles of unopened mail scattered across the countertops... and yet, I sit here analyzing the color scheme of my blog template. And wonder why it won't let me insert one of my own pictures in the title bar? I try it this way. I try it that way. I try something totally different. Then it's back to Option #1 for another critique. Hmmm...
These are very important decisions to make. The design of your blog speaks volumes about the type of person you are.

Well, let me make it easy for you. I long to be utterly artistic and creative all the live-long day. I yearn for my hands to be forming a lump of clay, a stack of exquisitly printed paper by my side and a fantastic fountain pen in my hand, the newest graphic design software whizzing away in my hard drive, plane tickets to my next cultural adventure in my mailbox, my guitar in it's stand beckoning to me, the latest course catalog for the local college on my nightstand- all circled and marked up with my next semester of classes, my camera in the repair shop because I dropped it on my hike atop the Swiss Alps last month, my children begging me to tell them the stories of my time as an art curator in the Louvre, as an instructor at the Corcoran School of Art, and asking "When are you going to take us to Macchu Pichu, Mama?"

I will never say that I am stifled in the life I lead. That would be firstly, ungrateful, and secondly, untrue. I totally love my husband, my darlings, and the path before me. But my guitar is quietly in its case. The camera works and is snapping pictures of the kids doing their homeschool projects (and other antics I happen to be privy to). I was never an art curator or an "instructor." I've never ever been to Macchu Pichu and I'm not even sure I spelled it right. Graphic design is really a kick, but I just don't have time to get in there and learn what I need to know. No big trips planned in the near future. My children do ask me when we'll be able to travel and see the world. Can't say I know when that's going to happen.

But I did actually get to make a clay pot today as a part of our homeschooling lesson. (And I smiled the entire time. And probably hogged the potting wheel.) I say it was "our" homeschooling lesson because I'm learning all the time too.
If my husband and I had chosen to send our kids to school I'd have all kinds of time to nurse my artistic bent. And I know I'd have a brilliant time of it. But it would be mainly about me. Alone. Since we have chosen to homeschool, I get to share art with someone else- my daughters. I may not get to do the grandiose projects my heart seeks, but I get the joy of instilling a love for creativity in another human soul. Yeah, my days are pretty eaten up with the mundane. I feel like I'm grasping at straws of creativity when I put so much emphasis on a silly blog template. But I also got to do something grand today. I got to make clay pots with my daughters on a cheapy kids' potting wheel. We got covered in clay. And they learned a little bit about pulling, and centering and wedging. And we all smiled. And we enjoyed art together.

Those paper lanterns will be dangling over my head for several more years. Until I'm able to reach up and pull some of them down, the kids and I will just dance and play under them. Or try to knock some down with rocks.


Blogger gramarty said...

You may be grasping at straws of creativity, mulling so over your blog template, but you also spun some of the straw into gold...what fun! Bravo!

11:09 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Now that you're blogging, and I'm not so good (or dedicated) at writing the creative stories, thoughts, etc., can I leave it up to you?
I enjoyed reading up on your thoughts behind the blog and mostly loved hearing about you sharing your passion (art) with those you are passionate about (your kiddos).

3:16 PM  
Blogger relevantgirl said...

lovely post, Erin. And inspirational too.

2:14 AM  
Blogger gramarty said...

I was doing a little mulling about your choice of paper lanters as a logo or descriptive term for your creative dreams. I wonder where the idea came from and what would become of the lanterns if they were real. It seems more hopeful to imagine you lighting them up one by one than knocking them down and I like the idea so much that I'd like to hang some of my own. I'll begin by taking a surface design class this Saturday...care to join me?

12:32 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

The paper lantern concept actually came from you, in a way. I'll leave it a mystery for now and blog about it someday.

Sorry, STEEL CLOUD, you can't get off the hook that easily. I am still looking over your blog shoulder to see what's happening in the world of the superheroes.

8:05 PM  

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