I'm a little behind, thanks to my fabulous trip to Ohio and the horrible amount of overtime I've been working since then...but that's ok, it's not a race, right?
This chapter, entitled "I gather..." deals with the things that we collect. Maybe you saw my cheating post from yesterday...the post I posted so I could post SOMETHING. Well it was fifteen minutes till midnight when I started that post and wrote in in all of five minutes, so I thought I should go back and re-read it because I doubt the intelligence of my brain when it's almost midnight and I try to use said brain for thinking...
I laughed as I was looking at it this morning, because despite the fact that it was a post for the sake of posting, there is a lot of real life truth going on in the picture in that post. And by that I mean, WOW what a mess...
But I also mean, in that messy picture, there was a lot of meaning for me.
Someone once told me that the reason I collected my various creative hobbies was because I didn't have anything better to do. He said that I did these things because I didn't have a life. Egads, it broke my heart when he said that. At the time , I did what I always did: I wrote a poem about it.
I'm tired of writing pretty words
and making pretty pictures to pass the time.
I think I must create these things
to forget myself and that I mind
that I can't feel like others do,
and only to forget a moment.
Things will never be as they once were.
The time for it is lost to me and can't be found again.
I think I finally understand
actions I could not comprehend before.
To be loved is not enough,
a person needs to feel it.
My heart refuses to understand.
And friendship isn't going to fix it
and I long for someone to hold my hand
without having to believe it's pity,
without having to believe it's a lie.
But that never comes.
So I keep writing lines
and I keep making marks on blank pages
to pass the precious time.
I wish he hadn't said what he did
because he ruined my words
and he ruined my pictures
by telling me the truth:
that I wish I didn't have to write
and I wish I didn't have to make marks
but that's all I have.
Even though that's not a life,
that's all I have.
I don't know if the person who said those things to me realized what he set off in my brain. I don't think it was said with malice. It was just an offhand statement. But for a long time after that, it was hard to do anything creative. I guess I resented my artistic side. Because my brain kept adding things to what he'd said: If you were pretty, if you were thin, if you were more interesting, people would want to be around you and you'd have better things to do than waste your life sloshing paint or sewing toys or crocheting scarves. My brain kept telling me that the only reason I wanted to be creative was to make up for what I lacked in other areas.
But because I don't listen to my jerk brain for long when it starts spouting crap like that, I decided to grab my brushes and an art journal and figure out the real reason I wanted to be creative.
And what I figured out is that I LIKE to be creative. It makes me HAPPY. I can't sit there in front of a television for hours a day like 'normal' people do. I couldn't stand that! It's not relaxing to me. It does nothing for me but waste time. And yeah, maybe I 'waste' time doing my creative stuff. But here's the clincher...WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE? At least when I MAKE something, there's an end result! There's something that I can look at and say "I did that, it made me happy to do that, and I grew as a person while I was doing it".
The over-analyzer in my brain knows that maybe there's a little bit of truth in the statement that I wouldn't do these creative things if I had a life. Or, more correctly, if I had a different life. I have a life. If I had a different life though, in all honesty, I probably wouldn't be creative...at least not as much as I am now.
The big issue for me is kids. I don't have kids. It's just not in the cards for me. I've talked about it before, so I won't go into detail in that regard, but I will say this: If I had kids (a kid, whatever) I probably wouldn't be so creative or at least wouldn't spend so much time with it. Not because I wouldn't have as much time, although clearly that's a factor...but it's more about the fact that kids are...proof that you were here. They're your legacy to the world. When you die, there will be someone to remember you, because you were their mom or dad. I don't have that. I'm never gonna have that. So how will anybody remember me? Sure I have nephews and nieces and co-workers and all that, but how much easier will it be to remember me when you're looking at a 6 foot long crochet snake that I made? And you'd know more about me...clearly, that I'm fun...and that I really LOVE my nephew (because I DID NOT want to crochet a 6 foot long snake...but I did...because he asked for it, and I love him...).
|I art journal in case this technology is not available at the time of my inevitable demise....|
It's the same with art journaling. If at some point I die...and they haven't perfected Futurama technology (...you know, that whole 'living head in a jar' thing...) my art is still gonna be there. For someone to look at and say, "so that's who she was and how she felt"...
To quote Edna St. Vincent Millay: "This book, when I am dead, will be a little faint perfume of me. People who knew me well will say: "She really used to think that way.""
In the end, you want to know what I really gather?
|"I gather wisdom"|
I gather wisdom. It's not always like picking flowers...it's not all beauty and fun and good times. I think it's more like mining diamonds...it's dark, its dangerous, sometimes people die, and there are times when you question whether all that effort is really worth it. But, you know, there's tremendous value in wisdom...infinitely more than there is in diamonds...
|Dylusions over washi tape and using stencils. Then craft acrylic and black sharpie for lettering.|
|I think this is quite a comical looking owl for such a serious topic, but hey, I am an mish mash of all kinds of stuff, it's ok if the cartoonish owl represents something deep and meaningful!|
Going back to the moral of the story...do I think I "wouldn't art journal if I had a life"? Not really. In fact, I honestly believe the art journaling is helping me create a life...helping me reclaim my right to my own life...helping me to live the life that I choose.