September 21, 2008
Yesterday was a firm reminder of how hot our summers can be. It was sticky and humid and very very warm for September. I spent the day resting and feeding Che - he had a fever and just wanted to lie next to (or on) me. It is just so awful to see him unwell - I get so worried. No doubt it is an experience that all mothers can relate to.
As we rested and talked quietly to each other I did manage to read a few chapters of Rachel Power's book The Divided Heart - Art and Motherhood.
Oh Ms Power, I am so grateful to her. I have never met her, only read her words, her very beautiful words. In this intelligent and insightful read, she has interviewed some of Australia's most respected artists, writers and actors - all of whom are women and mothers. And they speak about their art, their creative passions and their role as mother and how it is hard, so so hard to balance the two. They are all divided.
It got me thinking about the last year and the way motherhood has changed me as a writer. I have so much more fuel, so much more passion for words and yet so little time to sit and write. Yes, words get written between stirring soup and playing with Che but there are some times when I wish I could have a full day to work at my craft. And if I did? Perhaps the illusive mother guilt would arise and I would sit at my computer torn and questioning.
Can we have it all? As mothers and artists. In time, yes. When our children are little and needy? Maybe, maybe not. Alice Garner speaks candidly about her role as mother to Rachel Power. Her reality being that her life as actor had to take a back-step so she could raise her little one. She chose to do it that way because she couldn't bear to miss out on those precious first few years.
Becoming a mum has unleashed a raw energy within me that I didn't have before. My writing is easily more emotive and lyrical and yet, at the same time, I have managed to become more analytical. Wonderful advancements for a writer and so bitter-sweet because of my lack of 'writing' time. A short story, a news feature, a novel will get written. There are sentences on notepads, cooking books, in my phone. But for now I am a muma, proudly so and soaking up all the experiences so that one day I can reflect on them and compose, in words, a story.
The story has already begun, there are words on paper but I have accepted that it may be a piece years in the making. Dream big, write when I can and if the dishes and the washing have to pile-up - so be it.
An art piece & motherhood...two immensely creative journeys - it's finding the balance that's so hard.