Had to work on some questions today for a class that are studying my James Franco poems and felt a little of the writing spark starting to return. Mostly, I am hella-busy, with makes me anxious with all the not-writing happening. Art seems easier and faster and not as much of a commitment when I'm swimming through a sea of press-related doings (layouts, orders, cover designs, manuscript reading) AND library-related tasks (the general fall reserves rush, performance evals, and Aesthetics planning/happenings.) But talking about things I've written, while sometimes they feel very far away helps. Re-reading and remembering I'm actually a writer helps (sometimes, I swear I forget or seem to want to forget). Remembering the WHY and the HOW helps too, especially when I'm stuck mid-project and wanting to bail.
One of the questions they asked me was about being the creative misfit in a family of non-artists (actually both me and my sister are) and I started thinking about my mother and her painting all those porcelain or bisque figures when I was a kid. Large white persian cats. Clowns, Victorian ladies. (Figures and statues that many of my relatives and my mom's friends still have, though I actually don't think any of them given to me survived past adolescence without getting busted. I'm not even sure my mom has any of them anymore. ) Both me and my sister begging to paint with her (usually to no avail--the supplies were sort of pricey to be wasted on kid antics.) She would paint things FOR us though, walking us through the OFF THE WALL store picking out the things we wanted. For our bedrooms. For her frends, for various relatives. I remember how they smelled, the tiny colorful smooth jars. . Both the paints and the stinky varnish you put on them afterwards.
Of course this was prior to her going back to work when I was 11 or so, when she mostly babysat other people's kids for extra money while my dad worked, but was home all the time and aside from keeping an eye on the kids and making lunches, could do as she pleased. . Once my dad was laid off and she went back to work, the painting mostly stopped and she'd arrive home exhausted, fall asleep in her chair with the tv on. I never made the correlation til just now, but it makes sense.
As I grew up, that was perhaps the thing I feared without knowing that that was what I was really afraid of. How much the things you have to do take away from the things you love to do. I've got it relatively good in that my day-job demands outside of time are lighter than hers, I'm only taking care of myself, not a husband and two kids, and and I fight like hell to make both things happen, but it's never easy.
But I do find that talking again about writing makes me want to do it. Thinking about it. Being immersed in it.