Yes you read that correctly - but I did not have another child. Well, actually, maybe I did; brainchildren that is ... I pitched A Christmas Song" to several ops, took some photographs and made a simple lyric video for the holidays, released as a single a song I recorded years ago, wrote a poem or two, worked on editing many more, and released the third book of a poetry.prose.photography trilogy.
And now come a cold wintry January day, I feel just a little blue around the edges. This phenomena happens after periods of productivity. A friend and fellow artist duly warned me about it. I asked about how he felt each time he released a new work and his answer was quick and he took no time to reply, "I get depressed every time a new album comes out."
Thus I had this foreknowledge in my arsenal of the well-informed artist as I watched the drama unfold in slow motion at a friend's debut art show. We were at a local coffee shop having tea when she announced, "I have my first art show coming up!" Equipped with the date several months in advance, I scribbled it on my calendar and made a mental note to show up and be supportive.
As the day drew near, multiple facebook invitations and announcements were made, advertising banners were created, and there was a general near-hysteria of nerves and excitement on her part. The night came, and despite cold temperatures and some snow, a few brave people came out and ooh-ed and aah-ed over her very fine art work hanging on the walls and her hand-made jewelry on display. The jewelry sold well. Her art work will remain for sale and hanging up in the coffee shop during the entire month of December.
After stopping at some other venues during the evening, I made my way back to see and visit with her at the end of the show. I walked in and could read it on her face as clearly as a newspaper headline ... a weary, worn look that silently mouthed "postpartum blues," or greens, or perhaps some shade of gray. Whatever color you choose to assign to the palette of that particular feeling, the impression was clear, and not easily misunderstood.
You see every work of art, every small piece of prose or tiny poem, each blossom of a new song or line of a play, is, for the artist, like giving birth. After carrying it around in our minds and souls for a season (nine months, or nine years, or even longer) there comes a time when we push that "thing we've made" out into the daylight for all the world to see. And whether one person sees it, or hundreds, or the thousands and millions we dream of; after the drama and labor and delivery of birth, we lie back exhausted and feel ...
Just a little empty. Just a little drained. Just a tiny bit like we may never create again.
Then after a long day, or days, or months of feeling spent, we wake up one morning (or in the middle of the night) to a small voice that whispers, "Come, get up and bring me forth" ~
A new song, a new verse, a new dance step, a new idea! And the cycle of life continues ...
Let the music play!
*I'd like to thank Mellissa Adams for allowing me to use part of her story in my blog, for painting a fabulous cover for my album Pear in the Pink Thing, and for being a good friend. You may check out her blog at the Original Notions Company!