Art on the driveway

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Change. When you make art on the driveway in winter, here is what happens to it over the course of several months.
I would like to speak today about the idea of being, at least in part, a public person. I wonder how others do it. How do you manage to travel, to run to appointments, to make presentations, and dress professionally, and be brushed and unwrinkled and fresh smelling? How do you exercise and eat well and keep a sharp eye on your children’s needs, both physical and emotional? How do you clean your house and yard and fold laundry and cook food from scratch, and lovingly tuck your children in at night, and read them bedtime stories? How do you go to the soccer practices and piano lessons and swim lessons and travel tournaments and meets? How do you teach classes and welcome students and read essays and comment and mentor and remain open and flexible and funny and never bitter? How do you host meals and go to parties and celebrate birthdays and be a good partner? How do you meditate and feed your spirit and do yoga and stay fit and healthy of body and of mind? How do you continue to make art that is worthy of being called art?
I know I set the bar high, and I know it’s me doing the setting of the bar. We all have our (tragic) flaws. Mine may be that I want to do it all, big and small.
I want art on the driveway. I want books in translation. I want to run fast. I want singing. I want fun. I want to braid hair and apply bandaids and hold hands and honour all the stories. I want deep still quiet reflection. I want to stir. I want to comfort. I want invention.
And I’m sitting here in my office with the dogs, slumped on my stool rather than walking on my treadmill, with eyes at half mast and emails unanswered, wondering how exactly to do all of this. Because I really don’t know.
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advance reading copy, i.e. not for sale, still needs to be proofread, but looks awfully book-like
And then this arrives in the mail. Seeming to say: well, you’ve done something you wanted to do, woman. Now, enjoy it for a moment. So I sit on the radiator (because I’m cold because it’s still winter, this spring), and I read the first chapter out loud to myself (and the dogs).
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mirror, mirror
How to host fun stuff when the house is full of dog hair, and other laments
Art on the driveway: a rebuttal

7 Comments

  1. Wonderful! I can’t wait to get my hands on that book, too!

    Reply
  2. How, how how: yes. I’d like to know how, I keep asking myself this question. But isn’t it better to plunge right in and fail than waiting to figure it out? I think I’ve been sitting on the sidelines too often trying to figure stuff out, but am learning to jump and just go for it.

    And I can’t wait to read Girl Runner! I gave a friend The Juliet Stories a couple of weeks ago and I’m thrilled to know that I get to read more work of yours so soon.

    Reply
    • I actually wrote a rebuttal to the above, which I plan to post tomorrow. All these questions, but I know there are ways to jump and just go for it, as you put it. And I don’t want to sit on the sidelines. Life’s too interesting.

      Reply
    • Life’s too interesting and way too short. Looking forward to your rebuttal!

      Reply
  3. Those glamorous writer moments, at readings or conferences, are wonderful. The perfectly silent writing hours are wonderful. Motherhood’s wonderful. It’s the TRANSITIONS between the three that are killer. The afternoon when I arrive home from a conference and discover the laundry pile has come to life and produced spawn. Or when I drop my kids at school and rush to a presentation, only to find my sweater’s on backwards and I’ve forgotten to use my speaking-in-public brand of deodorant. It’s tricky to be different people at different times.

    The ARC looks amazing!

    Reply
    • So true! The transitions are the hardest part. And I probably need slightly more sleep than I’m currently getting. But the ARC is making me very happy.

      Reply

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