Thursday, October 06, 2011

Day 291

Just when I said I should at least show up, I didn't. It's not that I don't think about showing up. Of course I do, usually when my hands are dirty with the dirty work of sculpting, or I'm in the car doing the driving work of a mom.
I'm in survival mode. I wonder how well I'm doing, because sometimes I think I'm not doing it at all. I wonder how other single mom/artist types are getting along. I'm guessing if they're out there (and I'd assume they are) they're sort of like me and don't spend the time to seek each other out.
If you're struggling, tell me how you're doing it. I'd like to know more about the company I'm in. It's difficult enough to be an artist. More so in a time when art gets usurped by the immediacy of other concerns. We must step back, we artists (and writers too) and look at our collective long term contributions to this human experience. We may not feel very needed right now, but we are. Don't think for one minute that we're not.

That said, there have been good moments. There are always good moments, even when things are difficult. It serves us well to focus on those and on other people. Eventually, some day in the future, today may make a bit more sense.

On Wednesday, Orion and I got up early, watched the sunrise together in the chilly morning air and joined his fellow students, teachers, parents and city officials for our Walk to School Wednesday.
On Tuesday before that, we jumped into the pool and climbed out as quickly as possible. What a difference a week of cooler weather can make! We stuffed ourselves into neoprene and tried it again with more success.
I'm adjusting to life without Aubrey here. Not only do I miss her company but I miss all her help with Poppet Planet. I haven't decided how to fill the gap yet. In the meantime I'm getting a bit of help from friends here and there. She posted some lovely photos on facebook of herself and Jordan at a lake. It looked chilly, green and beautiful there.

It's very easy to get discouraged, especially after a week of getting up too early and working too late. But when I got in tonight there was a box waiting by my front door. I saw David Kirkpatrick's name on the return and a little spark went off in my brain. I haven't opened it yet, but I know it contains bits of laboratory discards. They'll be packed in protective material, and secreting inspirations and little stories.

I want to be done surviving. I want to disappear into other places and bring back stories. But it's not my time, not just yet. Just like it may not be yours. Don't give up. When the time comes, it will be all the better for the wait. I didn't make this up. It's just the way it works. Trick is, to believe it now. In the meantime, don't forget to laugh. Silly humans.

Is this reason, or faith? Talk to me.


spacedlaw said...

I like the idea of secret boxes of mysterious bits showing up on yor doorstep.
Hang in there, Lisa.

Shonna said...

Reason or faith - I think it may be a bit of both. I just used to take things on in short segments of time and take a few minutes each day to reflect on what I had achieved and what was good or wonderful about that day. I may have finally moved beyond just surviving, but it has taken time. Time where I learnt about myself, about others around me. I still take some moments at the end of each day to be grateful for the good things and for the challenges that are presented to help me learn and grow. And I now find myself not just doing that at the end of the day, I'm now trying to appreciate the moments as they happen and I see th elight at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter by the minute. Hang in there, its tough, at times its downright horrid, but experincing all facets of this crazy wonderful world is a precious gift. And enjoy that wonderful sounding box :) Love and hugs.

Diandra said...

I am not a mother, just a woman trying to survive and pay back her university debts while eating every now and then and paying taxes - and sometimes I think life would be so much better if I gave up my dream of becoming a successfully published writer and just concentrating on working, cleaning the flat and watching TV at night. But whenever I give myself up for a while, I feel like I am going mad, because the stories are clumping together in my head... so, no rest for the wicked.

(Still love your art.)

Anonymous said...

I put more stock in reason than in faith. Faith is too passive for me. Reason suggests action. What can you do to get through it, and what can you do to cope until then? I'm not good, however, at taking my own advice. I'm at a different spot on the survival spectrum. I'm not struggling to make ends meet. I have little debt. My husband was laid off back in August, but he has gotten another job. My job has been hellish since a system conversion in July, and surviving the soul-sucking ten and eleven hour days has been hard. The things I do to recharge--writing and photography--are neglected because I'm too tired when I get home, and weekends aren't much better. I'm on vacation this week and doing everything I can not to think about work and not feel bad about not being there. Out with the camera every day. Writing every day. Reading as much as possible. I hope this brief recharge gets me through the rest of the year. Things may start to look up by then. If not, well, be the change and all that.

DavidK said...

Glad to hear the box made it there - I hope everything survived the shipping...

Reason > faith, but faith is necessary. Faith is the road you travel on, reason is the means of transportation. However, by faith I mean faith in oneself and those that love you. Faith in outside powers is ultimately an abdication of responsibility, in my opinion at least.

Anonymous said...

Like Shonna, I say both: experience and logic say that nothing lasts forever. Nothing good lasts always - as Frost so aptly put it, "Nothing gold can stay." But if that's true, then it follows that nothing unpleasant or painful lasts forever either. I've sustained myself with this thought more than once.

I suppose that the faith comes through believing that it will be true this time.

The small moments of joy are important, and somehow we find them even in the middle of all the muck.

Hang in there.

Stacy Hurt said...

Been trying to get back to this since I read it. That tells you something right there. Only reason today finds me is that I've caught a cold (from an office worker) and now between sneezing and coughing I've not felt up to getting into that sewing room.

I think cats & poppets must be in leagues as one of my cats who never sits on my lap has insinuated herself just here just now and seems quite proud of herself for interrupting what was going to be a 'catch up on reader, blog posting, email day'. Ha. Ha. Ha. Silly human indeed.


So,the balancing act. Single parent, Full Time employee, Artist, sole Honeydo person, Housekeeper, Cook, blah, blah, blah... You know how it goes. The 'to-do' list is endless. And since it is endless, I've decided that I appear to be the executive, I will make the executive decisions. What stays, what goes.

Struggling? Sure. I really feel like I'm letting my art down most of the time because now as if creating art weren't enough (because really, isn't' that the easy part? LOL), you need to be a genius at social networking. You need to have a website, blog, be linked in, be an avid twit(ter). Post on Facebook regularly, have 'fan pages, regular pages, create lists, join networked blogs, ETSY, etc. I quail at the time allotment for all that let alone the rest of my life. Are they kidding?

Only thing I have found helpful is repeating in my own head that I have few really important things. Child, paying job, art. In that order.

That's only for the time right now. One of my favorite movie lines is from 'Duma'. 'We all have our time on the river'. So true. So for right now, at this part of the river when it all appears to be white water, we can guide our rafts and know that smooth sailing and calm eddies are just around the next bend.

sounds campy and cliched, but it's true.

Thanks for asking, it feels nice to be part of the conversation.

Michaela said...

Poppet and Mee beside me, giving you a hug, and me - i know that feeling as a photographer too - i´m not needed anymore, other people can do what i do much cheaper ( sometimes not better though) but Lisa: you are needed. i am needed.

i used to stick with Reason more than Faith lately, but after my vacation in Scotland i´m finding it hard to get back from just plain beauty and enjoying the day, to what other people demand of me. i guess it just takes time.. and then, today in my car when i was a bit depressed, Poppet told me "see silly human, other people would like to have your job instead of being in a threadmill office all day long" and Poppet is right, i can find joy so often, just in doing everyday passport photos,not only big artsy photo productions

Forgive me if this might be off-topic a bit, i just wanted to say, that i value what you do a lot and in spite of not ´giving any sensible advice or not being a mom,i hope you have lot´s of good moments to come. I believe Faith and Reason can go together.
One thing i learned in Scotland: the heaviest rains are over fast and leave the most colorful rainbows behind. i think yours is just on the way :-)