I Still Got It

Today, I have a day off. Husband Dearest has taken Bonhomme for the day to Upper Canada Village to see the sawmill (and the turbine, and the gears, and the millstone grinding the wheat, and the brooms made out of sorghum, and the big fish… all of which I’ll hear no end about for at least two weeks upon their return). I’m free! I’m actually feeling quite poignant that I chose not to join my men, but the opportuntity to spend a day in blissful quiet, with no schedule and no interruptions was just too tempting.

The thing you lose the most of when you become a mom is time.

So, I am spending the day doing those things I used to do when I was just a person, not a title.

One of which is painting. This, my art, has had to be put on hold for over 2 years – a lifetime to someone for whom painting is sustenance, faith, freedom, consolation and pure joy. Literally a lifetime, since it was the onset of wiggles in the womb which first forced me to set my painting aside. It’s awfully hard to paint a straight line when you’re randomly being kicked from the inside out.

I can’t express how difficult a struggle it has been to maintain my sense of self when slowly my idea of myself as an artist eroded away. I’ve never resented placing my son first, not even when it meant placing my body last (resulting in bodily injury I’m still recovering from today) – but I’ve profoundly mourned the near-death experience of my art.

But today, I’ve got time. I have a silent house, a reasonably well-rested body, no impending exams to study for (having finished my last one two days ago, another reason for Dearest offering me a reprieve today), and a mood so good I’m practically bursting.

As I walked out of what used to be my studio but is now a storage room and looked back at my easel tucked into the last 4 square feet of clear floor space, I stopped short, rooted to the floor. I did that? I made that masterpiece of colour and flow and molten emotion? Yes. I did.

So I did what my toddler has taught me is just about the most important thing to do, ever. I danced a little jig, and crowed: “I DID it!”

My art isn’t dead. It has, if anything, been concentrated – instead of a flood, I now pour it in drops, interrupted for months at a time. But it is still there, despite the mood swings, the exhaustion, the demands, and what few crumbs of energy I am left with.

I so, very much, indubitably do, still got it.


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