Friday, July 16, 2010

My Boat Has Not Sailed: Three Essays

Lately I am feeling swallowed by my family life, guilty that I'm not writing more and frustrated that my creative juices seem to have slowed to a molasses-crawl.

I have these words inside--but they refuse to form and make the book I feel such a need to write.

I get scared that it will all go away in the tidal wave that is motherhood....

and then yesterday, I read this amazing bit of writing and had to share it, because it is the thing keeping me going. The thing that makes me feed, bathe, cuddle, and teach my children while I let flashes of potential genius go by (or wait until I can pay those flashes proper respect).

Mommy Mantras: Affirmations and Insights to Keep You from Losing Your Mind

It's In There

A poet I know said she didn't write one word when her kids were small. Being so focused on satisfying the physical and emotional demands of young children leaves very little left over for artistic pursuits. She reassured herself that her urge to write would return by using the mantra it's in there. Rather than visualizing her art as a boat that had sailed, leaving her alone on the shore with tiny, hungry cannibals, she saw it as a seed that was lying dormant. With the proper conditions, it would bloom. This goes for hobbies, reading for pleasure, or urges to do anything but watch movies (if you can stay awake). When you wonder where your desire to learn Italian went, remind yourself it's in there. When you have more than four hours of uninterrupted sleep a night and have time to think of things other than diapers, choking hazards, and the lyrics of "Yankee Doodle," who can tell what might spring out of you?

To keep my spirits up and keep my creative drive alive, I've decided to post three of my favorite pieces (essays?) that I've written. I'll post one today and then two more in increments after that. I am sharing essays that are memories I have--because I like my writing best when it's personal. Though it's hardest for me to write well about the most personal things, it's also the most rewarding.


leslie the licorice stick lady said...

THANK YOU for posting this. It speaks to me. I often wonder what happened to my drawing and creative juices and my music. I drew and painted almost everyday through childhood and high school and the same with my music. In college I kept it up and my time at BYU-Idaho and BYU were my highlights of my music life because I was majoring in it, but as soon as I became a mother that all took the back burner and I miss it. I do play clarinet with a community orchestra, but my skils are merely satisfied and I don't feel like I'm gaining too much out of it. I'm glad that this points out that the seeds are there, but just dormant. I gives me hope for the future and tells me that my efforts in being the mom are most important now. I will have time to be me again someday. :)

Shayanne Snodgress said...

I love your posts Rae! I seriously get excited when I see that you've written something new. I can't wait for the essays! You have an amazing talent and there is no doubt in my mind that that will dissolve in any way. It will be waiting for you right where you left off. But Do please keep writing. I love it!!

Cynthia said...

I LOVE this! Same goes for me... My creative juices to draw and paint ARE IN THERE! Hopefully they will bloom sooner rather than later...

Qait said...

I like that a lot. That's a good thing to keep thinking. Thanks.

I'm excited for everything you do with your life, Rae. Don't forget that everything you touch has the flavor and particular genius of YOU. You're a great woman! So in the meantime, while your ship waits patiently (or not so), you're still amazing. :)