Tuesday, April 25, 2017

grief and creativity

For the first time in 20 years I am thinking about getting a job.  I feel like I am going through one of the most intense and painful transitions I have ever experienced-- my mother dying-- and going into my studio to make-n-sell stuff is about the last thing I want to be doing. I've been managing a few studio hours a day, or every other day... or once a week, but it has been very hard to walk through all of the steps one must walk through to make work in clay.

For one, my focus is shit. Daily tasks and things I'm supposed to do, they may or may not get done, depending on if I remember to do them, depending on whether I even care enough to do them. I can make a list, then forget that I have a list. I've had my wallet FedExed back to me twice in the past month after leaving it behind in various places. I've locked myself out of the house. I've left the stove burner on for a very long time, and yes, I left the house with it on. I forgot to pay my credit card bill, and then when I went to pay it, I paid the minimum instead of the balance. I have literally never done that in my entire life because I refuse to pay interest charges on my purchases. I won't do it. But I did it last month and as far as I'm concerned I may as well have set fire to a small pile of money.

Secondly, I feel this need to continually protect myself. When I go out of my house to go anywhere, I put on sunglasses and a giant pair of headphones. This is a combo I would normally never do, because I like to be open to the world and see what is going on out there, even if it's disturbing. But I can't handle disturbing right now, or sad and vulnerable either. My heart is shattered and I need to make sure nothing more messes with it until it's a little stronger. A protected heart is not a creative heart.

And my energy is limited. By early evening, I am tired. I'm also tired in the morning, and in the afternoon. I'm writing this at 10 in the morning, and I think I need a nap. Eight hours of sleep is okay. Nine is better. Ten is excellent, and even more if I can get it. I feel like my body is continually occupied with trying to adjust to this new reality, this new world without my mom in it, even while I am sleeping.

None of this primes to pump for creativity, or a zest for putting myself and my work out there. Even putting an image on my instagram seems like too much. The two things, grief and creativity, they just don't go together for me at the moment. Maybe they could, and maybe they will at some point, but not now.

I've gotten the suggestion that I make something that expresses how I feel, and the very thought of doing that makes me tired. The only thing that sounds good is making whatever I feel like and not worrying about how I'm going to get someone to take it off my hands and give me some money for it. I am so sick of that equation right now.

People have been asking me to make specific things for them, and that I like. I can do that. If there is something you want me to make for you, now would be the time to ask. So I'm not saying get away from the studio completely. I just need to take the burden off. I can't count on just making pottery right now.

This is one thing I have been doing: drawing flowers with white gelly roll pens on colored card stock. I could do this all day. So the fire is not completely out, it's just burning kind of low.