Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Honoring your talent

Jo in New Zealand said this in a comment left on my last post, "These posts, and the forum {that would be the Joggles forum for the Personal Library of Stitches}, have taken another turn for me, and have created discussion and thought on honoring your own talent and accomplishments. Do you have any thoughts on that?"

Well... I can address that a little bit... I think maybe others would have a more educated answer than I, but I'll speak from my experience. I can't say that I have always appreciated my artistic and creative talent. My husband always appeciated it more than I. He loved to show off the results of my artistic endeavors (still does) and it took me a long time to be comfortable with that. Actually, I'm still rather uncomfortable with it... something I really need to work on!

A few years ago my SIL referred to me as "Super Woman" and I was totally, and I mean totally, dumfounded. I have always thought of myself as barely getting by, as being only an "OK" mother and an adequate wife... and here is this woman, who keeps an immaculate house (something I can never, ever, claim) calling me "Super Woman." I thought about it long and hard and came to realize that it was because I did all these different things... I cooked supper every night, I gardened, we renovated the house and I was always "crafting" in one way or another... I was just plain driven to try, at the very least... to do it all, and creation was a big part of that. I absolutely had to create in one way or another and I was always searching to find a way to do that.

I would ignore the dishes and the laundry... leave the dust bunnies and animal hair to multiply under the couch... and I would create. I would create until the clutter and chores waiting to be done would make me want to implode and then I would have a small (well, think Mt. St. Helens here) meltdown and Glenn would calm me down and then we would do a thorough clean-up... and then the cycle would start all over again. I wouldn't recommend that route for everyone but it did work! It resulted in 3 pretty damn good sons, a husband who does most of the housecleaning (we share the laundry and I do the cooking), an enduring marriage of 32 years and someone who feels confident in tackling almost any creative challenge. Don't ask me how the hell it happened, but it did!

I guess where I'm going with all this blather is that both Glenn and I honored my talent simply by acknowledging it's existence, by (let's face it) indulging me, myself and I in my constant need to create, and growing through the whole rocky experience. I don't know if this answered your question, Jo, but know this... a creative person has to create just like they have to breathe. It is totally a part of what they are, how they think, and where they are going. Hang on and enjoy the ride!!

Oh, and by the way, Glenn hasn't totally suffered throughout this... he gets fresh, hot coffee in bed every morning of his life... a more than adequate trade-off in his eyes! :0)


Jane Ann said...

Marty, I love both these posts (this one and the previous one). As Jo said, it's like a mirror of my own experience. I have nurtured my creativity wherever I could work it in, whether it was raising wonderful daughters, baking and cooking, hanging wallpaper, trying paint treatments, or sewing something (usually something utilitarian like curtains).

While husband #2 (you really gotta train 'em while they're young, so it's harder when you start fresh with a tough old bird) admires and praises what I do, he often resents the competition and I hear lots of whining about housework. But, been there, done that crap. I see my eyesight and steady hand, my memory and confidence ebb with the passage of time, and I'll be damned if I'm going to waste what good time I have left stalking dust bunnies and vacuuming 4 times a week.

This IS a nice time in life, to indulge ourselves and even, as you say, dedicate a whole room in the house to our artistic pursuit. And it's nice to give voice to our individual journeys from time to time. I enjoyed yours; thanks for prompting mine.

Jo in NZ said...

Thanks so much for your reply Marty. I am now utterly convinced that I have 'single white femaled' your life .LOL

I too have a very supportive partner. He doesn't get what I do, but does get that I must do it, and he is also on first name terms with the vacuum (I don't even know its surname!).

Anonymous said...

Very thought-provoking post. I would have to say I feel much the same way. And my husband honors my talent more than I do. He respects my time in the studio as if it were a very important job. (which it is!)

Creativity is something that has to come out. Whether it's drawing or sewing or sculpting or sawing. We do it for the sake of the doing of it. To not create would be like stopping breathing. Impossible.

Allison said...

Sounds like yours is one of the great marriages, Marty.
You've spoken for so many of us here...thank you!

Susan said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on honoring your talent. I, too, have a husband who is happy when I'm happy creating, and who had taken over, in our retirement, all the housekeeping jobs, including the laundry and cooking. He did most of it before retirement, truth be told. The secret to our 35+ years of marriage is, "If it bothers you, *you* take care of it." Nothing much bothers me. When I'm creating things, I don't even notice! =)

Rissa said...

Sounds like you are both lucky and you really might be superwoman. :-)

Anonymous said...

Both of my husbands have been understanding and supportive of my creative side. I made it very clear from the very beginning that I needed my own dedicated space for working and they both agreed & gave it to me.

My first married a home ec teacher so he knew exactly what he was getting into with me.
My second married a rubber stamper so he had an indication. When I moved my studio equipment into his house, he quickly learned that rubber stamping also involved quilting.

Both men would probably agree, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" and mama is happy creating.

I also told Wes, my second husband, that if he couldn't afford for me to stay home and be an artist, then I couldn't afford to marry him. Apparently, he can afford that luxury! LOL! (and he runs a mean vacuum, dustcloth, washing machine and dishwasher!)

It's all in the attitude.