I’m usually torn between being inspired and discouraged.
When I was a kid, my mother believed in being honest. Perhaps her own mother didn’t outright lie, but she certainly wasn’t forthcoming. And after the divorce my mom did her best not to speak ill of my dad, but she did in a moment of anger say, “Your father is a liar. Don’t be like him.”
If my mother had lived longer, we might’ve talked about this one day, but all I can guess now is that she decided to live by example. She didn’t want me to lie, so she wouldn’t lie to me.
As far as I know, she didn’t. She told me the truth about the divorce and childbirth and money and a whole host of other things. It meant she wasn’t a parent that pretended to like things she didn’t. Or if she did, I never found out.
In my senior year of high school, I showed her some work I’d done for the school yearbook, and I was worried about it. The teacher hadn’t taught me much of anything about creating a page for printers. He just gave me the graph paper pages and told me to layout the ads. I did my best. Granted, I hadn’t wanted to work on the ad pages in the first place, but I did want the ads to look good.
Mom had heard my ongoing complaints about being on the yearbook staff. She’d sympathized and been supportive. Then I showed her the finished pages.
“I wouldn’t be proud of those pages either,” she said.
I quickly closed the book and put it back in my bag. I changed the subject. She tried to say something else, but I plowed ahead with my other topic of conversation, graduation night plans, I think.
To this day, I’m impressed and slightly amazed by people easily proud of their work. How strange and confusing it seems.
Sometimes I am proud of work I’ve done, and it feels like a dangerous thing to admit. I’ll often immediately apologize for my foolishness.
But now it is November, and I’m taking part in NaNo again. I’m writing and sharing work (here and on Patreon). My art is hanging up at Genuine Joe’s Coffeehouse, so I keep putting it out there in spite of the panic.
In other news, I’ve been catching up on Laurie Anderson. She’s been doing this speaking series with the Mahindra Humanities Center. The videos show up on YouTube and then disappear after 24 hours. I happened across the first episode and then subscribed, so I’ve been able to watch them. The video is posted below, but it may be gone by the time you see this. It isn’t that I like or even understand everything she does she does, I just like her endless curiosity and willingness to try.
The other magical artist I learned about today is Lisa Ciccarello. (Thanks to my friend, JES!) I’ve now subscribed to most of her things. Her site made me wish I could work more on my writing and my art. That’s not to imply I don’t wish this every day already, but sometimes I see something that really touches that nerve. Oh, for the want of energy and time!
Hope you are well and safe.
Thank you for reading.