"I need a canvas - a BIG canvas, not one of those small-ish type ones - and some cans of paint like Daddy uses and I'm going to do that thing where you do THIS (she gestures wildly the act of flinging paint, like air guitar, only paintbrushes) and you make ART."
Like splatter art?
"YES! Okay, can you get me a canvas so I can do that now?"
It's Sunday afternoon and Hobby Lobby is closed so I promise my wild-eyed second daughter, the one who bursts from the seams with vim and vigor from sun-up to sun-down, that first thing Monday morning, I will get her her canvas and paint.
She reminded me again on Monday morning as I walked them to school. There was something inspiring about the urgency she felt to create the thing she imagined, so I moved heaven and earth and neglected grocery shopping and other pressing matters so I could get myself to the arts and crafts store.
Monday evening, in a beautiful moment of time alone with just her, we went out in the backyard and she splattered her art, flinging color at the canvas until it was just right.
I've been thinking about art and creation and creating a lot in the past week. I read each of your comments on my last post and took all of your thoughtful words and shared wisdom to an inward place to reflect. I thought a lot, too, about what it was I really wanted out of this Month for Mama.
And what I've come to is this: I'm feeling an internal pressure to create that is unparalleled in its urgency in my life.
I'm doing okay on taking care of most of my needs. I really am. The babies are sleeping better than ever (John Kyle sleeps through most nights and Mack only gets up once), and I've never been a good napper (they make me groggy and angry). I get outside as often as I can. I need to do better with physical activity, but really overall, I'm doing okay there.
I'm doing okay spiritually. I pray, I read the Bible, we are going to church (semi)regularly again. My spirit is being fed.
There is something in my soul that is pushing up in me with intensity.When I think about why I wanted a month for self-care, when I really dig down into that (and oh, I've been doing the work of digging down in the way only an introverted feeler can), I realize that what I'm pursuing is about something much more imperative than self-care. It's really about self-preservation at this point, about the survival of my soul.
It's like labor and I'm in transition and last week when I said it was impossible? It's that point in labor where you say I can't do it I can't do this it's too hard.
But y'all? I think I'm past transition. I think my soul is ready to push and I know there won't be any relief until I do.
I know the recent and sudden passing of Kyle's dad plays a role in this, too. For years, I've frittered with creative pursuits, playing at it here and there when the mood struck me. But there are things I want to do, things I want to leave behind, things I MUST get to while the gettin' is good. Never have I been so acutely aware of the fact that we don't have a guarantee of our next breath, let alone next week or next month or next year.
In a very tender way, his death has given birth to a consuming desire to create. And as soothing as it may be to be reminded that the intensity of this season is just that - a season - there's a part of me that is convinced that the birthing of new creations can't wait.
Looking back, I realize it was incredibly unrealistic to set a goal for myself to write about these things daily. But it's funny, because I actually don't need that accountability the way I used to. Every day that I didn't write in the past week still had moments of creativity. It's clear there are forces at work that are bigger than my ability to procrastinate and neglect. And that is something that has never been true in my life before. Never.
I don't know what things will look like here. Maybe more pictures and scant words? Maybe a weekly check-in? I don't know.
I just know I'm being swept away on a wave and there is such great freedom and thrill in being tossed and turned and caught up in the current.