Friday, January 27, 2012

a true poet?

"A true poet does not bother to be poetical," said the poet Jean Cocteau. And perhaps one could say that a true artist should not bother to be artistic.

I have been filled with a certain anxiety about my role as an artist. I question where I stand with my work now and, since becoming a mom, the level of which I exist as an artist. Some days I think how easy it would be for me to hang my hat up on art making, so as to relieve some anxiety about the process involved and the productivity I expect from myself.

This past month I took a very part-time job in hopes that a few hours of work would pay for two days of daycare and allow me to get back into the studio. The transition was much harder than I expected. Not only was I filled with guilt about bringing my daughter to daycare twice a week, but I began to feel guilty if I wasn't spending my time in the studio effectively. (Define "effective" in the studio?) Is all the trouble worth a gamble on whether or not my art will ever prove successful? Amongst laundry, crying, fevers, feeding, dirty diapers, and playgroups will I ever have the bandwidth to invest in a well thought out and complete body of work?

My horoscope this week says: "Don't you dare try too hard or think too much or twist yourself like a contortionist to meet impossible-to-satisfy expectations. Trust the thrust of your simple urges." Perhaps if I don't bother to be artistic, an artist (and mother) I shall be.