November 17, 2019
Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only.
Women Who Run With the Wolves
By Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Clear Water: Nourishing the Creative Life
"I've seen women work long, long hours at jobs they despise in order to buy very expensive items for their houses, mates, or children. They put their considerable talents on the back burner. I've seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write...and you know it's a funny thing about house cleaning...it never comes to an end. Perfect way to stop a woman.
A woman must be careful to not allow over-responsibility (or over-respectability) to steal her necessary creative rests, riffs, and raptures. She simply must put her foot down and say no to half of what she believes she "should" be doing. Art is not meant to be created in stolen moments only."
I feel attacked!!! How many hours have I lost during weekends where I insisted this or that must be cleaned, and while true, used it as an excuse to not sit down and do the work? Insisting if I could just get whichever chore out of the way I'd be able to focus—a thought followed by the full force of frustration when I run out of time. Blaming the inability to outsource the task as the fault when I really needed more discipline.
"And yet, a woman may do this to herself by talking away her ideas until all the arousal is gone from them, or by not putting her foot down about people creeping off with her creative tools and materials, or by the simple oversight of not buying the right equipment to execute the creative work properly, or by stopping and starting so many times, by allowing everyone and their cat to interrupt her at will, that the project falls into shambles."
"To create one must be able to respond. Creativity is the ability to respond to all that goes on around us, to choose from the hundreds of the possibilities of thought, feeling, action, and reaction that arise within us, and to put these together in a unique response, expression, or message that carries moment, passion, and meaning. In this sense, loss of our creative milieu means finding ourselves limited to only one choice, divested of, suppressing, or censoring feelings and thoughts, not acting, not saying, doing, or being."
"When women are out in the cold, they tend to live on fantasies instead of action. Fantasy of this sort is the great anesthetizer of women. I know women who have been gifted with beautiful voices. I know women who are natural storytellers; almost everything out of their mouths is freshly formed and finely wrought. But they are isolated, or feel disenfranchised in some way. They are shy, which is often a cover for a starving animus. They have difficulty gaining a sense that they are supported from within, or by friends, family, community."