14 October 2010

Back with Bells

Hello, hello, hello!

It feels like I've been away forever.
This semi-new commitment to having "me-time" is still a bit of an adjustment.
I have to say I'm loving it,
though I'm a bit surprised at how difficult it can be.

I spent the better part of an afternoon antiquing with a couple close friends,
also mothers,
also jewelry designers,
and amazing ones at that.

We all felt it was time for a break.
To hang out with one another,
no kids.
No work.
No internet.

We did us pretty proud.
{Actually setting a date and time rather than just
staying in a state of perpetual planning.}
Showing up after a long span of not seeing each other,
all hugs and how-are-ya's and so ready to just BE.
To have fun.

And the three of us,
delighted to be together,
laughing and joking,
exchanging ideas and stories and encouragement,
picking our way through salvage yards and antique-laden barns,
still found ourselves somewhat split in the head.

Amazing how we can somehow feel guilty no matter what we're doing.
If we work,
we worry we should be with family- namely our children.
If we're with our children,
we're concerned about finances and business,
and feel we should be working.

So even as we laughed and picked and puffed up a bit from the deflated,
uninspired souls we'd been in the days before,
we also kept finding one other glancing at our watches.
Checking cell phones.
"What time is it?"

It's so hard to balance,
even when making the time to have a time-out,
and I've been thinking of this often the past few days away.

I settled on this:

Though at times it is certainly frustrating,
like when I just want to forget the clock and spend time with friends,
I do think there is something wonderful here.
Something lovely in the lack of being able to cut the wires
that seem to overload my brain.

if I didn't love what I do,
I'd be perfectly able to put it down.

But it sticks to me,
a passion like some strange glue that perhaps gives and stretches,
a taffy-type love.
It lets me stray from my work, but only so far,
then a spring and a snap and I'm whipped back to its side.
As adhered as ever.
Quite possibly hanging upside down or in some wonky perspective,
maybe confused and a little lost in terms of the direction I need to be going,
but there nonetheless.

I can't put it down.
Nor out of my mind.
My lack of letting go is a symptom of real passion for my chosen path.

And the girls,
they get this.
They understand my push and pull affair with what I do.
"What time is it?" I ask, and they laugh softly.
Each in her own endless battle with balance.

The breaks are good.
The "me-time" is good.
A solid necessity, even if I'm still learning to embrace it.

But the passion is good too.
I need it like food.
Am hungry for it when it's gone,
and miss the making when my hands are still.

Somebody said,
and I've heard it many times since from these other passion pioneers,
. . . that art is not a choice.

Rather for those that live the creative life,
art is central.
She can deplete us and save us many times over.
Push us hard and wear us down,
only to then build us up and make us happy in a way that nothing else quite can.

She seems to know her timing,
when to shove and when to embrace, and when to switch it up.

For me, today she is kind.
I'm back on a fresh wind and ready to blow through some new ideas,
until she sees fit for me to lay low again for awhile.

Perhaps this has all been nothing more than
a tangled rambling of words.
Essentially, I learn more and more that the creative life
really is an ebb and flow of inspiration and burnout.

Maybe burnout is a healthy part of the process.
A time to recharge.
To reconnect with friends and other parts of life,
{like glittered bats and noodle soup and cranberries on a string}
even if we can't quite let go of work.

I'm so happy to be back and bubbling over.
It was a wonderful time away.
I have blue fingers and gold toes to prove I enjoyed myself,
but that siren is singing,
it's time to get back to the bench and crack this perfect coat of polish.

Shop update tomorrow.
XOXO and then one more,


  1. boy can I relate to this post! So much of what you said sounded like it could have come right from my lips :-)
    PS- this "antiquing" thing is a new concept to this northern girl - love the pictures!

  2. I am so glad you are finding balance: you deserve as much 'you' time as you need :)
    Love you,

  3. Glad you enjoyed your time away and what lovely pictures...I could go away without a problem seeing those pictures : )

  4. welcome back lovely lady
    ahhhh you speak my language, I hear every word you say so clearly
    I love how the burn out causes us to slow down rest, put our eyes on something else, and in that time the inspiration is reborn...like the Phoenix...

    always a pleasure to see you
    love and light

  5. Good for you for taking a well deserved vacation. I'm happy that the down time has helped you recharge. I love how you described the push and pull of balancing life and work and family along with the ebb and flow of creative energy. Welcome back. We missed you :)

  6. Glad you're back after having some well deserved introspection and down time. Love the pic of that old whiskey bottle...Old Grand Gag!

  7. so lovely:

    so good:
    to get away.
    to come back again.

    see you on friday.

  8. like cat said. the phoenix's cyclic rising and burning in flames is the nature of man, woman and nature's bounty. i am a total fan of Fawkes from HP... excuse my nerdy reference... before that it was greek and roman mythology. either way, the soul needs its diametrically polar areas to inform the meanderings of the mind.
    i am totally willing to come and go with these in spite of how crummy it can feel sometimes.
    personally, i would love to come to one of those buildings to play and paw through some rusty stuff. it would be a total blast. instead i am working through my own polar extremes in flowers etc.
    looking toward and forward to your new ebulliences.

  9. here's to seeking balance and letting ourselves lean on those who live and understand the struggle.

    here's to dear friends who encourage us and allow us to do the same for them.

    here's to allowing ourselves 'me' time and feeling comfort, if even too short, in knowing that brief respite is needed time to remember just why we do all this.

    here's to you. thank you, friend, for the reminder, the insight and the time.

  10. What a great post! Don't you love Suzanna's Antiques, it is just down the street from me, I could get lost there just dreaming.

    Sissy & Jack's

  11. WOW that is just how I've felt the last couple of months - and for you to put it into words - really does make you stop and think doesn't it.
    I had 2 weeks away from the bench and I can say that I definately needed it - my family needed me too and it was an enjoyable couple of weeks off - but I still felt the pull to get back and create - it's an addiction for me I think but a healthy addiction.
    You are such an inspiring artist - good on you for giving yourself some ME time