Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Longing

Hop on over here to see some kangaroos in their unnatural habitat - on a golf course as photographed by Aussie student Sue Smith. Sue sent me a blog comment and a "You Make My Day" blog award. Thanks, Sue. It made my day!

I did not see one kangaroo the whole time I was in Australia - a year and a lifetime ago. I was in awe the whole time I was there and am now in awe that I was even there and that it was only a year ago. So many of my dreams have come true, so many goals achieved, it's no wonder that I sit here today and wonder where to go from here. There are so many things I want to do, so many I need to do and then so many things than I end up doing each day instead of the wants and needs. Or does that mean that what I am doing is what I really want. Here's my week so far:

Monday - Lunch and visit with Dad, Sam & Riley
Tuesday - 2 week check-up with Sam & Riley, babysit Emma, Annie & Kathryn 6-8 pm
Wednesday - Lunch with my 4 daughters/DIL and 5 granddaughters (1/2 day school)

The big studio clean has been on hold while I prepare for the Quilting Arts Festival taping, arrange for product testing for my new transfer technique (more on that later), and galavant around with my family. And the art? where is the art?

Fortunately for me, whle I was teaching in St Charles last October at the Foundry Art Center I signed up for a class with Laurie Doctor. A dear and lovely student, Peggy Wade, offerred me a place to stay and I booked my flight when I got home. A "no backing out" plan. I leave March 12th and will spend a glorious 4 days immersed in art, back in the saddle again, abstract painting and marrying of landscape and lettering. I have been looking forward to this for months. It's out of my comfort zone and a return to paint. I so miss it. Have I ever shown you any of my paintings? Perhaps next time. I was really into it until Kelly started getting into it as well, as an active and inquisitive 2 year old. But that was 11 years and another lifetime ago.

But back to how I spend my days (and I'm thinking out loud here): Ars longa, vita brevis. Art will always be here for me, but family will grow up, maybe move away, dad will move on and babies will one day choose lunch with friends over grandma. So I know this is the right thing to be doing right now. Yet I long to be creating, to pour out the love I feel and the life lessons I learn into something visible for all to see. It's almost as if I am back where I started so many years ago, with a house full of children, soccer, hockey and homework, and a longing so strong, so deep that it ached, a desire to create, to find and make meaning in my life other than though family. The beauty of the moment is that I am not back at the beginning, that I am mid-stride, mid-journey. I have walked the creative life, traveled the world sharing my passion and realized so many dreams and goals. It's a good thing that the longing is still there, that the fire still burns. But I also feel like the kid on the bleachers with my family watching everyone else in the game. I want to play...but it's not my turn. Am I even on the team right now?


Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Oh, I *so* know what you mean about the fire's burning, but it's not your turn to play! I'm in the first iteration of that journey, though, since my kiddo is only 8-3/4 years old. I've been struggling with this for a couple years, but I feel as if I am finally gaining some momentum. I am coming to trust that things unfold at the right time and in the right place.

Contessa Kris said...

There's a time and a place for everything. I struggle with this everyday as well. Since we homeschool, time is short but my art is of the essence. So I try to fit itin when I can or I'll go stircrazy. Hope you find time for yourself soon. Family is important too though. Have fun on your trip!

Liz Kettle said...

Hi Leslie, I am in the same place, with teens still at home and one grandchild arrived I just want to create but must get these larger creations on their way...I have heard great things about classes with Laurie Doctor. I wish you a great week!

Michele said...

Oh, how the grandma pulling one way and the art pulling the other way dilema consumes me, too! It's good to know I am not alone. Your comment "Ars longa, vita brevis" was just the perfect reminder to me. Thanks for that!