her overall piece is about the artist, alice neel, and the choices she made as an artist, human, mom, etc. and the whole thing is worth a read, but this little section spoke to me today.
courtesy of jessica hopper.
I thought of art-making as instinct until I had William, and now, I think of it, like everything else, as a choice. It would be easier, much easier, to be only a mom–not to write, not to fill his every nap and night time with work or trying to keep up on music or reading or ideas. I think when you become a parent, everything outside of that relationship shifts to being a choice, even the things that seemed immutable, automatic and absolute before–those are secondary, or at even further down the list. Your old hours seem a luxury, you cram where you can–your inner artiste has been deputized to other duties.
To have both–“a life”, or a job, or a modicum of creative fulfillment–and a family is to “have it all” though, right? Really, just to feel human and a continuing participant on Earth–BOTH seems the minimum. That choice of making art is choosing to live, choosing to continue your existence–beyond being a vessel, a minder, a milkmaid and a parent.
this eloquently puts into words something that i’ve been feeling for the past nine months now. well. six months. the first three, i couldn’t really think at all.