There’s a voice that bangs around in my head sometimes. Usually it is quiet and simmers in the background. Some days it is loud and testy. The volume slowly turns up when I haven’t had hardly any time to create, to paint, to draw, to knit or crochet. If I’m not careful, it will be full volume soon and nothing short of becoming a recluse and creating up a storm will quiet the words…”If only you had a different life, you could do/be so much more!”
A friend of mine gave me a CD of John Gorka’s music a few years back…I love his music. One piece in particular goes, “Am I a fool, at this late date To heed a voice that says, You can be great? I heard it young, now I hear it again…it says, You can be better than you’ve ever been.” I may be misunderstanding this song, but it seems to be wrestling with the same thing that plagues me: If only your life looked different from the one you have, you could really be something.
It’s such a shame, this voice. I, (and it seems John Gorka also), dearly love my life that is rich with family, friends, community. Yet it seems that these are the very things that I’m apt to blame for holding me back.
If only I had more time…I could attend some of the figure and portrait drawing sessions at Scott & Sue’s studio.
If only I had the time…I could get more of my patterns ready to offer.
If only I had more time…I could paint more shape paintings.
If only I had more time…I could make those fiber paintings I’ve been wanting to make.
If only I had more guts…I would paint more abstracts.
If only I had the resources…I could attend the Knit & Crochet conference and meet editors and other designers.
If only…I could…
“If only I had more time” often gets translated, if I didn’t have to cart kids everywhere, if I didn’t have to “work”, if I didn’t have to clean the house, if I didn’t have to cook for 4 other people, if I didn’t have to…so many things.
I wish there was a movie, like It’s A Wonderful Life, for artists. The main character would be given a glimpse of what his/her life would be like if he/she actually HAD all the time in the world to pursue his/her artistic dreams. This life would be devoid of a spouse, kids, friends, community. I think the movie would only last about fifteen minutes. The artist would lose not only his artistic desires, but probably his desire to live. I know I do NOT want that kind of life.
Could it be, that the life we live while we are making plans and dreaming dreams, is actually the FUEL for those dreams? Could it be, that the love of spouses, children, friends; the mundane chores of cleaning, organizing, cooking, carting are actually the bedrock for our creative plans? Could it be, that WITHOUT those things, our creative juices and ideas would shrivel up and die? Could it be, that a kite cannot really fly unless it is anchored to the ground? This last thought comes from another song…one written and sung by my brother and sister-in-law who sing in a Pittsboro based group called Trilogy.
If I Laid My Burdens Down
If I laid my burdens down like they told me, what’s to hold me? I might fly right through the sky without some boundary to wrap around me.
If I took that leap of faith, shook myself free from what’s held me…I might leave the earth underneath and I’ve never been there up in the thin air.
Wild and free and lost at sea; these wings have always longed to be…high above the safety that I love…the things I’ve to thank for being my anchor.
What’s to keep me on the ground if I lay them down?
If only I could rid my head of that insidious voice…
I think I’ll go fold some laundry.