I long to have a rich cultural history and generations of beautiful and important familial traditions to share with my daughter.
That reality is not applicable to me. What I have is patchwork of family members and blue collar-wonder-bread-and-bologna-chain-smoking-thrown-together-at-the-last-minute history of my youth. The story goes as I know it, I was abandoned as an infant at my Great Grandparents by my biological Mother to live out my childhood and adolescence as what felt very much like a handmedown. Ill-equipped were these often exasperated Great Grandparents of mine to care for an infant. They trudged through parenthood with their ageing bodies and old fashioned, rural ideals, passing me around to family members and evening sitcoms in a living room filled with shag carpet and cigarette smoke, to oversee my survival as best they could.
I don't ask for sympathy, it came with its own concentration of rich black Earth from which delicious creativity is often borne. I say this in relation to the passing of a heritage to my daughter. The grass is always greener...
I have come to envy the Cultural backgrounds of others. Aboriginal, Black, Mexican, Portuguese, French. I know this sounds naive, and I absolutely don't intend to diminish the amount of suffering some of these peoples have gone through and continue to go through. Many individuals I know who descend from any of these backgrounds have a definite, though often terrible and sad history that they have had to or still try to overcome. Is it wrong to envy these cultures? That definitive "I come from this..." "I am definitely this..." What do I come from? A patchworked bastard with a void history. Rushed turkey dinners filled with heavy, musk-filled silence. So great was the lack of ceremony I could hardly breathe. The blanket of conditions they wove for me was so astoundingly monumental, the love beneath it was often impossible to find. Judgement, yelling, pain, and indifference. A matted ball of lint and dirt and hair of emotion. An adolescent struggle of richly dark angst that was never allowed to resolve after the death of my mom (Great-Grandmother) as my 19-yr-old self remained in the throes of hormonal discord.
Our family is this... This definitive WARMTH; this definitive PAIN; this definitive STRUGGLE; this definitive PEOPLE....
I long for that definitive story, a tale to proudly tell my girl. A tale she can take with her and grow. Experience. Pass down.
Luckily I am able to use my own experience to grow a rich, creative life. I hope to discover a way to also translate it to a story for my Isabella. <3
rI started this residency officially on October 4th, the day of a surgery for me. I first heard of it 2 (ish) years ago when attending a forum on parenting in the Arts, Lenka Clayton was one of the panelists.
I've wanted to be an artist since I recall having cognitive desires. It was always for me. A daydreamer. Lolligagger. Dragged my feet everywhere looking at everything. Wandering with wonder. Staring out the window at snow, sun, rain for what seemed like hours. Always on board to toil away the time with crayons and pencils and thoughts. So many thoughts. Nothing is only what it is. Everything has potential to be so much more.
I still believe that. Through a lifetime of droids trying their best efforts to brainwash me into practicality, I won. I won when I became pregnant and something switched. I'll be damned if I give my life over to this little person as an imposter. It was time. I couldn't shake it. Art was calling me home. Nine years later and the fires are fanned frequently. I'm on a roll. Art and Motherhood are my two passions, I love them both unendingly and inseparably. This residency is allowing me to communicate aesthetically and with direction an immensely powerful, complicated, fantastically magic journey of the intertwined existence of Motherhood and Artisthood... Thank you Lenka!