The Push and Pull

 The Push and Pull

The Push and Pull

At the onset, let me tell you that I haven’t found an answer. But in the same way that I am trying to work this thing out on canvas, I’ve got to try to work it out on paper.

I chose to be an artist. Its something I tried to hide from, but it, in every good way, creativity won me over. Hiding from it is no longer an option. Similarly, my plan hide from love for a bit and to wait and marry when I was in my early to mid thirties was also foiled. He won me over and I couldn’t say no.

I regret neither of these choices. Life would be empty without either. I have been engrossed in a life full of hugs and kisses and laughter from my 3 little ones. A life, maxed to capacity, of sharing joy and sorrow and everything in-between with this little tribe we call family. It’s bigger and brighter than I ever could have imagined. Its also harder and more draining that I ever anticipated. I used to feel immense guilt for admitting that it is hard. I now have come to know the hardship of it so well, that I’ve decided, there’s no guilt necessary, its simply reality. We all know it. We all chose it because the good always outweighs the struggle.

My small people are getting not so small. I cry because the moments feel like water in my oily hands, slipping away so easily. Like it’s their job to slip away. I also cry because my individuality has been smothered by all those wonderful moments. (and all the not so wonderful grit of being a mom) I often look in the mirror, see dark circles, and wonder where I am. I wonder if it is still possible for Me to emerge from the fatigue and everyday ‘momness’ of my life.

At the end of a long day when all I want to do is play with some fresh paints and have my creative release, I’m torn. I see the kids laughing and wanting me to play a game with them or just snuggle on the couch, and it pulls at me. I know that sounds ridiculous, like really, you are trying to choose between painting and laughing with your children…?! But here is the thing, I feel guilty if I don’t choose the kids, and I feel like I’m going to suffocate if I don’t choose the release. Most of the time I stand still in frustration. I don’t let myself fully enter in. So how do I move forward?

How do I gain the freedom in heart and mind to fully access my creativity? How do I engage my family and truly get my fill when the basin seams bottomless? I am constantly left wanting more. More of it all. The push and pull is cumbersome and sometimes too heavy to handle. I want to be fully there. In both. Giving my kids and Sean my all, all of my heart and my mind. And I want to give my art my all, all of my heart and my mind. They have all given me so much, I want to honor the sanctity and give in return. And there it is, the word I’ve been searching for… balance. There’s got to be balance in the push and pull.  

This piece is a representation of these thoughts. The forces that ground me, make me stable and my heart true. The forces that make me want to reach, and stretch and pursue the creativity that intrigues me. There’s a mystery that I crave in my own creativity. I know it comes from within me, so I should know it well. But that’s the thing about it, it’s mystery and intrigue. Getting at it is where the joy and satisfaction come from. The same way that little toothless grins and quirky 6 year old thoughts on life give me more joy than could be conceived. Always leaving me wanting more.

What a struggle to have, right? The truth is, there isn’t a choice to be made. I’m in need of both and both need me.

More on the balance to come. xo- Kate

Kate Thomas