As part of my Artist’s Way program, there is a weekly date. An outing made to fill your inspiration cup.. Trip to a greenhouse, visit to your favorite bookstore or a good browse through a thrift shop… You get the idea.
Mine was Anthro, and although you’re suppose to go alone, seeing as Maria had never been there, I took her along.
As usual, the store itself did not disappoint, the installations , the prints, the homewares.. Each more beautiful than the next.
And it’s all made in China.
ALL OF IT save for one piece of pottery.
And the planner I’ve been scheming for months?
They have it.
And the mumus I’ve been painting?
Got those too.
And the warm toned abstract acrylics that I’ve been sketching?
And a book on Sonis Delausnay? The subject of my last Art History paper?
But having spent an ENTIRE WEEK OFF INSTAGRAM, I thought I was in good shape! Clearing my intake to make more space for my output, trying new things out, feeling SO MUCH MORE efficient in my design work and all around much less “burnt”. All of it undone by one trip?
I’ve been crippled with the idea that it’s all been done, a million times over by someone with more intent, more means and more hard skills.Even with 10 years of blogging under my belt, I feel terrified almost every time I press Publish.
Today’s paralysis is brought to you by the very common fear that by letting the creativity stuff take over, I’ll have nothing left for my family. That by choosing one thing, I’m free falling away from the rest. Last night, after a chores related meltdown, I banished myself to the studio and painted for an hour. Nothing good came of it, but nothing good would have come from me navigating Luca’s tantrum either. I felt sad and selfish that I went dark on them, but my need for solitude overrode my will to parent. If it wasn’t shrouded in so much guilt and shame, I think I could congratulate myself on noticing and then acting on what I needed. We’re so seldom encouraged to put our needs first. If you were telling me the story, I would be hi-fiving you just for recognizing your limits, but again, we so rarely wear the white gloves for ourselves.
I need either more or less coffee.
Where was I? Ah yes, what’s wrong with Anthro?
Nothing and everything.It left me feeling inspired and unoriginal. Special and part of the flock.
It’s essentially a Kmart with a phD in art history. And yet, of all the stores, it’s by far my favorite. The bedsheets? The shower curtains? THE DISHES??? There is NOWHERE else you can get stuff that pretty, without paying triple the already hefty pricetag.
Alas, the thought of all the containers slowly making their way across the ocean from China to the shores of North America… all in one goal;: to raise IPOs and line the already well padded pockets of the all male, all white Republican Board of URBN. Today the cost of it all makes me want to go back to sleep and wake up in a cabin, in Alaska. Alone with my carved spoon, and a chambray uniform dress. And cashmere tights (this is a fantasy, after all)
I’m in the parking lot of Michaels, about to buy the craft version of the Anthro wears, I’m watching an angry mother try to handle her toddler. I’ve got acrylics paintbrushes and canvases, I’m tired and numbed by the hundred failed flowers of the morning. When my eyes close, I see dozens of ideas float by, but the block makes it impossible for me to grab one.
Maybe like you, I feel torn between my obligations and my longing. It’s far easier to stay here than to move to action and make a plan. Today, plans are exhausting. Today, I cannot see who I am in the midst of all my roles.
Today, I am empty and honest, and it’s not pretty like an Anthro installation, and it’s not made in China either, but if I know anything at all, it is that feelings are impermanent, and destined to shape change when cast by a new day’s light. And tomorrow is almost here.