What I love about my artist residency in motherhood is, it helped me to see the creative energy that was already pulsing through every moment of my life. By calling it an artist residency, I put a frame around it that made things visible, and gave me a reason to create for the sheer joy and necessity of it.
Have you heard of Sister Corita Kent? She has an exercise that’s the physical version of this – you find a frame and hold it up anywhere in the world. That’s art.
This was like that, except the frame was time.
It helped me to notice the poetry in my everyday life, like this:
Being more attuned to noticing these moments made it okay that I had much less time to transfer them into … you know, actual poetry.
There is a poem to be written about the feeling of piano keys on a newborn baby’s feet, and I don’t know when I will get around to writing it. There is also poetry in just noticing it. For every fully formed piece of creative expression, I have ten that are half jotted in my journal or my iphone notes or deep in my subconscious. And somehow, that becomes part of my practice. Like scattering wildflower seeds – the beauty is in the scattering.
It helped me see patterns.
It helped me step out my frustration and see the genius in my four year old’s chaos theory:
My artist residency in motherhood could have been an artist residency in anything. In activism, in gardening, in mountain climbing. It could have been focused on summer itself, and maybe I’ll do that someday — focus all my creative energy on savoring sunshine and river swimming and garden harvesting and dancing by the light of the midnight moon.
Will I continue my artist residency in motherhood throughout the year? Will I have time / space / capacity to hold it while running the creative magic workout? I don’t know. I also want to do an artist residency in dismantling white supremacy (starting with myself) and the world seems hellbent on convincing me that now is the time to start that one. I’ll keep you updated, and I hope to hear about your residencies too, wherever you are.