Friday, 16 April 2010


I'm not even sure how I describe the feeling. It's another part of me, something in complete diametric opposition to the part of me I am these days. It's as though I have two sides to myself that are incompatible. Split personality is the Hollywood glamourized way of saying it, although it doesn't feel as psychotic as that. Moreso like a teeter totter in an ocean. One side of me soars above the water while the other is submerged, then the other rises from the waves and the first side descends into the deep. I never feel like the side underwater is drowning; in fact, I hardly notice it while I have my head up and in the saltwater sky. I only ever feel this feeling when I take that first breath of air after that side has been beneath for a time.

Enough analogy. I am at once a mother, wife, homemaker, and an artist, free spirit, wanderer. I suppose some people find a way to reconcile the two sides, but most don't. I think an artist by nature is a loner. She has a need to process life without distraction, to descend into loneliness in order to birth an artistic creation. Misery loves company, but melancholy inspires brilliance. It is true that I can feverishly write and compose when I am unsettled; when I am satisfied I find myself empty.

When I embark on an artistic journey, it is not long before I yearn for the stability of home. When I nest among family I inevitably feel the tug of wings wanting to fly.

Art is all romantic notions. Not romance, but romantic - overflowing with emotions at impossible levels. Impossible in that one could never sustain an entire life living at that sort of emotional height. The great balance of life demands a continuous circle of ups and downs. I don't think my teeter-totter is supposed to level out permanently; but each end must be given its due time in air and in water, up and down.

This sort of mood settles on me after a certain book, movie, melody, poem, or vista. I can see the poetry of a lonely oak tree bending in a field as readily as in lines on a page or a beautifully crafted scene in a film or a haunting tumble of notes in a song. This evening it was a film: "An Education." It was a deadly combination, rather, not deadly, but obvious. The combination was an obvious one to bring on such a mood. Literature and French and Paris and youth and love and heartache and whimsy and reality. Watched in the darkness of my home, alone, with only a streetlight spilling its orange glow - a romantic set piece in itself.

Can you feel the difference in me as you read this post? I can feel that other self emerging in the way my thoughts form and flow onto the page. I feel lyrical, poetic, and expressive.

This self has been submerged a while. In these days of early motherhood, with babies and toddlers and day after day inextiguishable from the previous or the next, there is not much place or time to let the wandering artist free. One day, though, one day there will be a time when both have a chance to rise as often as the other. Perhaps then I, too, will find some sort of reconcilliation within.

No comments: