Am I living in a dream world?


in Creativity

In my last post, Creativity as a Religion, I wrote about treating creativity as a sacred part of our lives – complete with ritual, rhythm and reverence.  To many of you, I’m sure this looks and sounds like a beautiful dream.  Or a far-fetched fantasy.  Faced with the never-ending demands of work and family, taking the time to honor creativity in our lives seems untenable. 

I can relate.

As a single mother of a small child who is dependent on me for just about everything, it can be hard to think about leading a life centered in creativity – let alone actually live it.  Except, in an odd way, it really isn’t.

Admittedly, there are days when I would like to pull my hair out when I am trying to write something or tease out an elusive thought and am wondering if anybody is reading or cares anyway and am interrupted every two seconds with, “mommy can I … or mommy can you ….” 

At times like this, Virginia Woolf slips unbidden into my mind as she suggests that all a woman really needs to fulfill her creative purpose is a room of her own.  Sometimes I’d like to run to that room and lock the door.  But I can’t.  And so I must pull myself together, take a deep breath, and start again.

Having the time and space to create in peace and quiet is a beautiful thing.  My heart yearns for those moments because I rarely have them.  I am almost never alone.  My daughter wakes when I do and I am too exhausted to stay up at night after she goes to sleep.  At the same time, I wonder if I would be as productive or dedicated to my creativity-centered life if I had all the time I needed and wanted.  An interesting question, isn’t it? 

So, instead of wishing for what isn’t, I have chosen to accept what is and see if I am creative enough to make it work.  I have chosen to keep creativity in the midst of our lives – not something that is hidden in private spaces.  I have chosen to find the sacred in the ordinary, in the simple, and the practical.

When stuck in traffic during a commute, I use the time to flesh out creative concepts and engage my daughter in the process.  I ask her how she would solve particular problems or what color I should use or what I should write about.  Her responses are fresh and unfiltered and inspire my own thoughts. 

I write at the dining room table as my daughter colors next to me and shreds mountains of paper with her snub-nosed scissors.  I write in the backyard as she picks blueberries and waters the plants.  My sacred spaces are where she is. 

My rituals and rhythms are informed by my daughter’s needs and schedule.  I announce that I am going to write or work on a project – and hope for two minutes of uninterrupted time.  I find moments for creative dreaming as she snuggles in my lap while I drink my morning coffee. 

We celebrate together when the creative thought strikes or when the wished for result occurs. She shares my delight and reverence.  Nothing compares when her face lights up as she says, “mommy, we are so lucky!”

Yes, we are. 

Although it is not perfect or easy, creativity fills our ordinary days.  And it is not a dream.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ronna August 10, 2010 at

Ah, that we could always have such a perspective: aware of and grateful for what is, making the best of things, finding the beauty in the midst, etc. I’m more often in the run-to-my-room-and-lock-the-door realm or, more likely, “what’s on tv that you two could watch for a while?!?”

I’m grateful for your perspective and practice, Andrea. Your daughter is learning much about what it means to be a woman who loves what she does, who creates in any and every space possible, who makes sacred the most mundane.

Beautiful. Creative. You.
Ronna recently posted..Stating What’s True


Andrea August 10, 2010 at

I’m pretty sure I have a foot in both worlds … if all else fails, I’ve been known to employ a bit of distraction to get a moment’s peace. Sometimes it is all you can do. :)


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