When I started thinking about my week 3 assignment, it seemed fairly easy to identify a few ‘characters’ who have I found sitting on my shoulder, next to the right-ear.. challenging me with condescending comments about ‘craft’ vs ‘art’, a long and endless debate about what is or isn’t and the validation and acceptance of either. I have long tried to banish the need for a ‘label’ but due to the many debates and forums that have gone on for time-eternity… the word ‘craft’ depending on how it is used, can generate a very determined-focus of applied thought, creativity and skill... or a debilitating sense of ‘being less than’.
Seemingly, innocent comments from my gallery-peers, indifferent family and friends --- ‘what a lovely little crafty moment you are having’… ‘this is an art gallery, not a craft gallery’, ‘how’s the kitchen witch business?’ – (and though I do not wish to discredit the kitchen witch industry, I don’t make them); processing all these mixed messages, have a very draining effect.
Thankfully, this is not an exercise debating the virtues of ‘craft vs art’ or ‘language and labeling’, but instead, about those that can find my ‘trigger’ and effectively shut me down. The messages my right ear processes starts the questions ‘what I am doing?’ ‘why am I doing’? And ‘where do I go from here’… undermining the ‘just being and doing’. I don’t really get it… but I understand that I have a choice in whether I continue to listen to the committee or dismiss them. That’s an easy call… and even easier to banish them and their ‘power’ to effect me.
However, this week’s exercise also ran me up against a committee member that I didn’t expect to find, a discovery that has made for a difficult week. You have all shared so much… your stories have given me strength to ‘present’ mine as well…
I have just left 30 years of working very hard at looking after many others, including 20 years as a single mom and fragile parents. I shelved a huge part of me for all those years, to make sure I fulfilled my responsibilities… Four years ago, when my (now) husband’s career decision relocated him away from our home I decided to ‘retire’ from my own successful career to be able to go with him – and to give the passion of what I had carried all these years inside, a chance to live out its possibilities. But somehow, in the process of doing this, instead of becoming more fulfilled, I learned this past week, that I have become less.
It would seem without my ‘ability’ to contribute equally to the household finances… I no longer have ‘decision making’ ability. Thus… I have become less in a relationship that I thought I was ‘whole’ in… Now, smacked in the face with words I didn’t expect, followed with my own pride, intense independense and stubbornness, do I push on and through ‘this committee members’ perception of me? do I again, shelve what has been at the heart and soul of me and get a ‘real job’ to retain my place, my value...? I am only 60…
Or do I let it all go… ?
The committee member’s words seem to play in a loop in my head.. and in my heart. ‘I have become less…’
It is very hard to hang onto ‘the just being and doing’ right now…
.. and it would seem that dismissing my committee is not going to be easy after all..