Wednesday, November 27, 2013

when you want to be an artist mother

I have loved art for many years.

I was an art history major in school for a while, and I've often regretted changing it.

I will never forget the first time I saw a real Rothko. The colors of the piece seemed to blend with the atmosphere and I was flying with my feet planted on the floor.

I fell in love with my husband in a room full of Rembrandt sketches. I leaned my head over on his shoulder and slipped my hand in his, and we both just knew.

Art makes space for us to find meaning in all sorts of ways. Artists are always saying something with their art, but what we hear and feel in the presence if their work can be an altogether different message.

It's a risk artists take, to let people look into the colors and the light and find truth and songs that they didn't know could live there.

Artists must be brave enough to put their work into the world, and let it speak for itself.

Most of us are too didactic to do that with our lives, though. We insist upon being heard, understood, accepted, and known. We hammer our beliefs into the people around us, explain away all the mystery and joy in the name of being direct and to the point.

This obtuse way of living can be a risky business. It can push away creativity and beauty in the name of direct communication.

It's exhausting to always be making people understand you. Especially when those people are your children.

I have decided that I want to be an artist mother. I want my children to watch me live and find space in my love for them to seek out truth and art on their own in God.

I pray that my life inspires them, my faith opens their imagination, and that my attempts to live beautifully calls out to their own dreams.

More and more I find myself biting my tongue when the advice wells up, because good advice rarely makes for good art.

Someday they will find the Rembrandt that shows them their heart's true desire, and the Rothko that shows them that what they see with their eyes can change the way they feel in your soul.

I am letting go of the understanding and the explanations a little, so that God can sing to them in His own way about all the wonders of the universe.

It's time to let them find some art that transcends what I can explain. And that starts right here, in my own heart. It's time to let go a little more today....
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