Thursday, January 08, 2009

January 8, 2009- There are bumps along the creative road.

I've been working on a project, I think I mentioned it in an earlier post, an album of my mother's life. I had really good intentions. I've done a lot of work on editing each photograph, etc. and yet I hit a real snag today. I forgot what working on something like this can do to your emotional state.
I started the project with an objective and a rather detached attitude, good for my emotional state but not good for creativity. Parent/ child relationships aren't always easy to deal with.
As I worked on my mother's life I could easily divide it into a four act play.
The first act contained more than enough pictures of her life but they didn't tell an honest story.
Do I put the one of three pictures I have of her "mother" holding her as a baby and holding her as if she doesn't know what to do with her or do I put the umpteen pictures of her "aunt" holding her, laughing, thoroughly enjoying her? Do I put the pictures of her grandmother and grandfather that raised her and whose house she lived in all her life or do I pretend that the posed couple of pictures I have with her and her "brother" and "sister" are what they say they are? Do I just present the facts like the family has always presented the facts?
Act II is where I come in. Do I include our "happy" household with Daddy in the pictures?
Act III is her life with her second husband and my new family of three step sisters. Very few pictures of that episode but plenty of pictures of her and her husband moving to Europe to live.
Act III really becomes Life in Portugal, then Life in Hawaii, then Life in Florida, then Life in North Carolina and then Back to Florida again.
It's wearing me down. The time spent back in memories is like a painful therapy session. I just want to be done with it and I know that's NOT the right attitude for working on something creative.
But is everything that is creative pleasant to do? Doesn't it sometimes involve pushing through STUFF? I feel like I'm slogging through soup. Picture soup.
Then I come back to Act IV, her life alone, ill health, living in an assisted living facility. I don't even want to express how I feel about all of that.
I think what I really need to do is remind myself of my original intention for this project. Go back to square one and ask myself what I NEED to do to put this together FOR HER.
This project brings out a lot of stuff that I probably need to take a look at, journal, art it, whatever but my issues right now are not what is important for this project to get finished.
That's probably another album!!
I know you probably just wanted to see a pretty picture or hear about the wild life around Dog In The Hole but I appreciate you stopping by and listening.


  1. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Bea, I stop by to find out what you're really thinking. The wild life is fun, the pretty pictures are nice, but what you think and how you approach creative issues, now that's interesting and keeps me reading.


  2. Thanks Janet, I appreciate your comments. As I have always said the creative process is a journey and sometimes what happens along the way surprises me. I learn something about myself that honestly, at my age of 60, I thought I had already dealt with or addressed.
    I guess I'm still growing up and that's kinda nice to know. :)Bea

  3. Anonymous6:34 AM

    Hi Ma - that is a tough one! Is this album for you or for Grandma? I guess the route you take with it all depends on who it is for, and what it is meant to do for that person? If it is for Grandma's benefit, maybe put the pictures that make it feel/sound as happy as possible (good karma route). I guess the same would apply if the book is for you... put the pictures that make you feel the happiest, and have the best memories attached to them? Even if they don't necessarily have Grandma in them?

    Love, Justin

  4. Thanks Justin for stopping by. Your thoughts are appreciated and very much along the conclusion that I came too. I guess that apple didn't fall to far, did it? lol
    Love, Ma