Saturday, February 22, 2014

On Posing Nude, and Thoughts Half-Formed

Poster from Emma Bergqvist
Yes, I've posed nude for an artist before. Stick with me please; this is going somewhere. Last summer, while driving back from the Gorge I started thinking about another time I'd been there, seven years previous when I was part of a group of pregnant women posing for photographer Justine Kurkland's series of Utopian women communities.

Wondering what Justine was up to, I googled her and came across this profoundly sad article online. Well, to me it was profoundly sad, and brought up a concept I'd never thought of before: the pull specifically between art and motherhood. With two children, ages one and six at the time, I was struggling with this acutely, heightened by the ever-present gloom that comes from sleep deprivation.

So while Brian was driving back into Portland, I scribbled down my feelings in the form of a blog post, them promptly set it aside in my stacks of paper.

On my return trip from Camp Mighty I did the same thing: wrote down all my thoughts in article form and then promptly forgot them completely. In fact, as I scroll through my iPhone notes from the past year I come across all kinds of half-formed and complete articles that never saw the light of day:
  • How my issues around money and success tie into relationships in 6th grade
  • The "soul mission" of my business (to help people achieve their dreams)
  • Tips to increase creative thinking and problem solving (aka, how to overcome fears and bring your crazy ideas to life)
  • How to submit your work and not take rejection personally
  • On finding inspiration (especially during Portland's rare, beautiful summers)
  • My Ted Talk
  • CHA vs Disneyland
  • Oh, and a few random grocery lists and apparently notes to myself that just say things like "Joy. Apples. Diapers."
Image from the my Camp Mighty Talk, taken by Tia Lambert.

My secret hoarding of these stories can be attributed to two things:

First, there's of course always a lack of hours in the day. I have time to scribble thoughts on my phone or random scraps of paper while hanging out at the playground. But time to sit at my computer while fully awake is often a luxury.

But more importantly, and I think more happily, these articles never came to full fruition because they didn't need to. By the time I finished writing up my struggles with balancing creativity and motherhood, I had made it past that particularly stressful time and was feeling much more in sync. My experience presenting my Ted Talk on Getting 100 Rejections in 100 Days (which I gave at Camp Mighty) was so completely amazing and wonderful, I haven't yet felt the need to do anything more with the PowerPoint presentation still sitting on Brian's laptop.

All of which I think is a good sign. Anyone who's been a parent, or run a business, or probably just about anything else involved with factors both inside and outside of your control, knows that there's often lots of ups and downs. During the past year I've had plenty of both, but the down moments are being overridden by moments of joy more quickly, or perhaps that's just the Six-Full-Uninterrupted Hours-of-Sleep I got the other night talking. I can see the light at the end of the proverbial sleep deprivation tunnel, and have lovely dreams of more time to create and happy trips to Disneyland to come.

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