Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Is It Worth It?

Can there be art, can there be creation, I ask myself, without self-sacrifice? Or sacrifice of others? Can one juggle between being a mom, and being a (good) wife, and trying to write, (and going to an utterly unrelated workplace), without loosing oneself in the process? I’m not even such a good juggler, because – at least until now – I’ve always put my duties to others first.

I am almost always split. I cannot entirely enjoy the glee in my older daughter’s eyes, her innocent enthusiasm when she talks to me, because – often - while I look at her, and while I hear her voice and her laughter, I am not fully seeing and not really listening. I am often thinking about the yarn I’m spinning. I sit in her room, while she’s exercising her reading, but many times I have a pen and paper in my hand, and I scribble away my thoughts. I’m physically present to guide her homework in her first year of school. However, only a small part of my mind is there.
Same with my younger daughter. I would make a snowman with her, or dance, or read fairy tales, or build a castle, and at the same time think of a deep love scene that makes me float with the flurries in my stomach.

Yet, paradoxically, and without false modesty, I have not encountered a more dedicated mother, except maybe for my own. My children come first. Always. Hence the constant torment, the guilt, the feelings of lost time, the longing, the desire to witness every moment of my daughters’ childhood, my need for a romantic love, the whirlwind of all these and of the daily chores.

Guilt-ridden, I keep telling myself that I should keep the thinking and the writing for when I’m doing unimportant stuff. Like cooking, for example, or gardening, or being at work.

One needs not to be published to be a Writer – and I’m not saying that only because I haven’t published anything yet. Publishing depends on luck, and discipline, and perseverance, and friends of friends, and luck… A Writer you are or you are not, with your whole being, and, when you are, you have inside you an all-consuming flame. But could you burn, could you loose irremediably your “ordinary,” your “real” life, in it?

Oh, Daniel, I ache for you. Where are you?…


April said...

Thank you for your message. I am young. And I will not let my youth pass me by.

Writing is certainly an art, an art that I have yearned for and craved since I was a little girl, just as you talked about. There is hope for us all yet!

Amy said...

I am also a mother, wife, cook, wash woman, sometime employee and WRITER! How your words echo in my mind and mimmick many of my own journal entries.
Here's to mutual understanding!
see blog http://medviews.blogspot.com/

Vesper said...

Amy, thank you for your message! It is very comforting to be reminded, once in a while, that you are not alone. I am eager to read your journal. Thank you again.