Saturday, September 20, 2008

30 days of gratitude : 12

Yesterday was a firm reminder of how hot our summers can be. It was sticky and humid and very very warm for September. I spent the day resting and feeding Che - he had a fever and just wanted to lie next to (or on) me. It is just so awful to see him unwell - I get so worried. No doubt it is an experience that all mothers can relate to.

As we rested and talked quietly to each other I did manage to read a few chapters of Rachel Power's book The Divided Heart - Art and Motherhood.

Oh Ms Power, I am so grateful to her. I have never met her, only read her words, her very beautiful words. In this intelligent and insightful read, she has interviewed some of Australia's most respected artists, writers and actors - all of whom are women and mothers. And they speak about their art, their creative passions and their role as mother and how it is hard, so so hard to balance the two. They are all divided.

It got me thinking about the last year and the way motherhood has changed me as a writer. I have so much more fuel, so much more passion for words and yet so little time to sit and write. Yes, words get written between stirring soup and playing with Che but there are some times when I wish I could have a full day to work at my craft. And if I did? Perhaps the illusive mother guilt would arise and I would sit at my computer torn and questioning.

Can we have it all? As mothers and artists. In time, yes. When our children are little and needy? Maybe, maybe not. Alice Garner speaks candidly about her role as mother to Rachel Power. Her reality being that her life as actor had to take a back-step so she could raise her little one. She chose to do it that way because she couldn't bear to miss out on those precious first few years.

Becoming a mum has unleashed a raw energy within me that I didn't have before. My writing is easily more emotive and lyrical and yet, at the same time, I have managed to become more analytical. Wonderful advancements for a writer and so bitter-sweet because of my lack of 'writing' time. A short story, a news feature, a novel will get written. There are sentences on notepads, cooking books, in my phone. But for now I am a muma, proudly so and soaking up all the experiences so that one day I can reflect on them and compose, in words, a story.

The story has already begun, there are words on paper but I have accepted that it may be a piece years in the making. Dream big, write when I can and if the dishes and the washing have to pile-up - so be it.

An art piece & motherhood...two immensely creative journeys - it's finding the balance that's so hard.


  1. I would love to read that book. I can get pretty frustrated and often wonder what on earth I did with all my free time five years ago. I just have to remind myself how these years are brief and to savour them. My baby is sick too. It's just awful. Hope Che is feeling better.

  2. I have this book too - I dip into when I have a little free time - usually five minutes at the end of the day before I turn out the light. I dont consider myself an artist but someone dabbling in a little craft - but motherhood is both a unique and a universal experience and reading these stories has been a delight and a realisation that regardless of what we do, we give up a lot and sometimes the road is tough but that it is all worth it.

  3. Beautifully said. Im no mumma... yet, and probably not in the very near future but hopefully in the next couple of years a little family will evolve. The balance and thoughts of if/when I will be able to achieve the things I still want creatively as well as have the fam is definitely something I've thought of. This book sounds like a valuable read, mumma or no mumma!