I’ve been noticing the passage of time, the way things seem to be speeding up as the evenings get darker earlier, as the early morning air now carries a September chill, and as some trees are gently giving up their green and brightening into harvest hues of reds and golds.
It’s also a time of change in my home and family. I’ve been sorting, packing and making last minute purchases related to moving my daughter to college. She’ll be living in a city 3 hours drive away which feels perfect – it’s far enough from home to have a sense of the real distance between us but not so far that I feel she’s unreachable. I’m looking forward to our road trip, blasting music and car dancing (this involves lots of loud singing with wild arm and hand movements!) as we drive. She’s excited and nervous to be moving towards her independence while I’m tremendously proud of her attitude and focus.
Becoming a parent and watching another being move through all the stages of childhood and into adulthood has been an unparalleled joy for me; a gift unmatched by any other relationship in terms of intensity, energy, and learning. Hands down the most difficult and rewarding experience of my life.
I’ve heard some artists refer to their creations as their children and describe the creative process as similar to giving birth. I can relate to this idea and add my perspective that I haven’t so much created my child as allowed her to grow and flourish and come into being, and this is very much my attitude in my approach towards making art. I see her very much as her own person, someone for whom I have provided a healthy environment to grow and explore, experiment and take risks, make choices and often mistakes! I don’t consider her to be an extension of me, rather I see myself as being a witness to her growth, watching the challenging yet magical journey in becoming a person. While there are many ways that making art follows a similar process and brings me the same joy, I claim my artwork as my creation, my soul work, a reflection of my inner landscape and I feel protective and tender towards everything I have ever made.
When my daughter came into my life, everything changed abruptly and permanently, like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Big transition time there!! Now she’s easing out of my day-to-day reality more gently. The car is stuffed full leaving her room pretty much empty, leaving a quieter house with a little less soul and energy, and leaving me wondering what her creations will be and what dreams and ideas she’ll give birth to.
Until next week…