Feb 10, 2014
The kids and I were in the kitchen as we usually are most days at some point. Fiona was in the playpen and Eamon was doing whatever 8 year-olds do in that spastic way that they do them. But Fiona wasn’t feeling like she really wanted to have her freedom restrained by that playpen. And she started to shriek at me.
Eamon goes over and starts trying to keep her from crying by chattering at her in a high voice. Because at some point he’s decided that stopping her from crying is his job. And the high-pitched voice he’s making combined with her shrieks and wails is unbearable.
I say “Buddy, can you please stop that. And besides the pain in my brain, here’s why you need to”. I explained to him that when we respond to every little shriek she makes, she starts to think maybe she’s in charge. Even though it seems like she wants to be in charge, she knows that she’s incapable of being in charge. There’s too much going on and too many decisions to be made and responsibilities to have.
So the next place her brain is going is to Overwhelmed Junction. She’ll be frightened that she’s been given that level of power to be in charge. And she’ll then know that she’s living with crazy people. Because only crazy people let their babies run the show. Crazy people set no limitations and boundaries on their children which makes them feel unsafe.
I asked Eamon to tell me what he had heard me say and he can actually explain this to you if you asked. Maybe it’s fun to think of parents as the “Crazy People” when they really aren’t. We’re the kooky fun parents who talk a lot and love a lot. And Fiona can keep testing us to see if we have our licenses but I will assure her, we’re still driving.
Feb 7, 2014
A friend of a friend phoned me recently. She is in charge of the fundraiser for the local Humane Society and would I be interested in painting a chair to be auctioned off to raise the money? I said yes, of course. I was flattered to have been asked. She would send me a form to fill out with my artist information.
There are 29 other local “artists” participating. And I wondered, as I attempted to fill out that daggone artist info sheet, what defines an artist? We’ve had this conversation before. And we’re having it again. This is my definition of artist.
I am creative. I have not, however, had a lick of formal fine art training. I’ve a BS in communication. There’s some who say, once you’ve made money from something, you’ve graduated to being that occupation. I sold original collage pieces so I suppose I qualify as a collage artist. It was super cool to be paid for my writing too but I think I was a writer and a collage artist before I received payment.
Another delineation I’d like to blow to smithereens is that between crafting and arting. The popularity and merchandising of crafts of all sorts, from scrapbooking to sewing, has increased the accessibility of the supplies and number of crafters in the world. That’s a fun plus. No not all crafters are artists but some of us have crafty methods and the product is proof of good design and art in its own right. The lines are blurred somewhat between design and craft. And if the fine artists know their own talent, I’d think they wouldn’t be offended if a crafter defined themselves as an artist.
If you are a devoted designer, be that quilter or a paper maker or graphic artist, are you an artist? My vote is yes. People are calling themselves “creatives” and that is fabulous. In the end, the proof’s in permitting ourselves to just create,
No Matter How Untalented We Think We Are Or May Not Actually Be. Talent has nothing to do with definition of artist.
Just saying yes to the block of time to get lost in the flow of creativity and find out what we’ve made on the other side, that is the stepping stone to our art. I am the beholder and my eye matters most.
Any thoughts? Is it all about semantics? Is my child (or inner child) an artist if they think they are?
Feb 5, 2014
I am fairly certain you would agree that getting an actual letter in the mail from a friend is one of life’s little gleeful joyous gifts. It feels nice to get positive comments on our Facebook pages, yes. But a card in the mail with words meant just for your eyes? Heaven.
I was so incredibly intrigued when I fell upon Kim Werker’s Write Me a Letter page on her blog. She seems like a super swell lady and she would like for you to entrust to her your creative fears put on paper and delivered to her door in Vancouver. Of writing letters to friends in her younger years, she says, “Even if my friend never wrote back, I needed to have the experience of examining myself from what I anticipated might be their perspective. And I needed to feel, sometimes, like I got things off my chest. I needed to share the burden.”
That sharing and letting go of mental burdens was certainly the impetus behind the PostSecret project. If you are unfamiliar with this project that turned into something amazing, visit the post secret page and you’ll quickly be stunned.
I have very fond memories of a pen pal from grade school. And I was once voted the person most likely to have just sent you the last card you received. I love sending people stuff by snail mail. And I suspect I am not alone in this love. I am awaiting a new pen pal match up exchange from the postmark society arranged by Bedside Design’s Christie’s Jones and Kory Woodard. View the description here and here.
In the end, we are made of our connections. They are scrolled on our hearts with calligraphy flourishes. And they can only be installed there with interactions. Kind and thoughtful interactions. Ones that mean more. Like a piece of you someone can hold. A letter, a photo, and words you have touched.
When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone you liked or loved or wanted to gift your support or admiration to? If you want me to write you, find me on Facebook and direct message me. I’ll be glad to.