A Small Add to Poetry Challenge: Environment II

"European Eagle Owl", janekohut-bartels, 2003, watercolor

“You are so fierce!”

Yeah, I get like that.  I heard from a number of residents who happened to read my blog.  Usually the blog readers are writers, poets, etc.  This time, I was surprised at the local readers.

Apparently, I struck a nerve.  There seems to be a lot of anxiety out there….people losing their jobs, their houses, having to relocate for jobs or just to be closer to family in these unstable economic times.  But some of the anxiety is over some deeper and more intangible issues.

I talked over the weekend  to a number of friends  in this part of Atlanta.  They expressed some of the same issues I did in this previous blog entry.  Whether it’s a concern for developing their creative abilities in the bigger and longer picture of life, or concern as to where that support for such comes from, well, we all seem to have something of the same issues.

One thing was consistent:  Developing  individual creative abilities needs focus, isolation, a lot of concentrated energy.  When you are in a community that constantly calls for your energies to be applied to broader social and economic issues, you can put your creative abilities on the back burner.  When you do this, you can , over time….lose the drive to produce.

I heard a lot of comments, questions, relating to time, energy and guilt!  Guilt is easily manufactured by self-doubt and listening to other agendas.  I think it’s a balance we need to strike here, but I think our own creative impulses, abilities, talents, whatever you want to call it, need to be in the forefront of our minds when we make any outside commitment.

I had breakfast with a friend and neighbor, Julie, yesterday.  She is about the same age and has lead a very interesting life.  She listened to my concerns and simply said  ‘life must have a balance: there must be a net gain for what is put out.’  Something like this.

And she’s right.  We can’t consistently deplete ourselves in the service of  the ‘ other’.

I found over the weekend that community I was seeking.  Not that we are a local, collectively gathered group of active artists: we are scattered, fried and united by guilt and questions.   But we are supported by knowing that others here feel the same.  Knowing this, we feel less isolation.  We have less confusion as to those gnawing  questions we face.

We can get to work knowing someone has our back.

Lady Nyo

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5 Responses to “A Small Add to Poetry Challenge: Environment II”

  1. Katie Says:

    Yes, too often we put our need to create last. I am now living alone, with no romatic attachments and my time, after 12 hours working to pay the rent, is my own. While I am never far from anxiety about money I wouldn’t trade my freedom for the finest house. And as far as money goes, I have learned to calm myself down about it…the sun has continued to rise. Thank you for your beautiful work and your determination to keep doing it!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Katie!

    You know what? Everyone I talked to this weekend (except one) was an artist working alone. Of course everyone of us has the issue of concern, worry, about bills, etc. This wasn’t unusual, it was a constant refrain. But also, people had the same ‘freedom’ you are expressing and I think a strong determination to keep going. They also found the same obstacles I had stumbled over in this community. So what I wrote struck a chord in others. In part, it was an acknowledgment we share the same slings and arrows in life. Sometimes that is enough to break the isolation and proceed.

    Katie, you have found a balance in your life and a determination to work that balance. I am so swept away with the beauty of your artistic creations, and having a few here has meant so much to me. In fact, this last present has spurred me on to more art. I picked up a watercolor that I had started probably a few years ago, I can’t remember….but this time…it was pure joy to paint. I had nothing in front of me, it was just inspiration and more fun than I can remember. I relied on imagination and had behind me, years of painting technique to draw from.

    I think I made a personal breakthrough here with this watercolor. I am a worrier about painting, and many people over the years have asked me: “Isn’t it relaxing?”….

    Hell, no! I worry from painting to painting that I haven’t learned enough technique (in 20 years of painting!) to relax into it.

    So, the struggle is internal and external. In most things I am finding out.

    Yes, the sun continues to rise…and that is a good philosophy to carry in all things!

    It’s also very good to have friends (and presents!!!!) from artists like you!

    Love and Hugs,



  3. Jingle Says:

    you have raised an important issue here.
    thought provoking post.

    welcome linking up with potluck, 12 hours before closing.


  4. ladynyo Says:

    Ah geez, Jingle…I was in a rant…LOL!

    Somedays I feel like a momma cat with not enough nipples for her kittens. I think we all can feel that way at times. Conditions push us that way, and we have to learn to push back.

    we have to find that community of artists that will be supportive and encouraging, or just be. That sometimes seems hard, but for some reason, I was contacted by a number of local people saying the same thing.

    So…perhaps it is more universal than I realized. In any case, I will try next week to link up with your potluck….I am really intrigued.


    Lady Nyo


  5. Kourtney Chima Says:

    nice post… if you guys keep this up ur gonna get huge in the blogosphere soon!


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