It is fitting that I have not written in here since that previous post about the artist, toiling away in secret, productive and focused and brilliant. In the last few years, I have spent a lot of time wondering where that part of myself is, the part that needs to create something, tell some story, reveal something about the world and the human condition. To emphasize, I have spent time WONDERING, but not really doing anything about it.
Recently, I read a blog post by Neil Gaiman, where he sits in an empty house, getting ready to move. “There is nothing quite like moving. There’s also nothing like the last hour or so in the house, when, bit by bit, everything is gone, and you retreat to the last room in the house with a table in it, and then there’s no kettle to boil water in for tea and no mugs to put the tea in even if I boiled the water and nothing to sit on while drinking the tea anyway.”.
My last room (metaphorically AND in real life, as I have moved), of the home where I lived and worked for the past 6.5 years, is actually the workshop and it is there in which I am finding my center. Before me are pictures, kernels of painting projects, foul matter from publishing projects (so much foul matter!)… All the dreams that I kind of packed away, especially during the last 6 or 7 years in which my personal identity was stripped to a nub as my principal engagements were family life and a paycheck. There is also a nagging awareness that to have the luxury of a “personal identity” or even the ghost of one, is a pretty privileged place to exist. The problem persists: what am I really doing to help? Of what use?