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The Man Behind the Mask

I'm a loner caught in a noisy world. When the kids are at school and Tish is working I don't seek out others to chew through the daytime hours with. The phone doesn't ring and no one knocks on the door. I'm could spend days alone without seeing a soul if circumstances allowed. I write and muse and pet the dogs until the time comes to do errands, rescue the kids from school, think up meals, and sort through all the other family hustle that come to the fore. Again, late at night, when the house is sleeping along with the rest of the western hemisphere, I go down to my workshop and tap images in silver and create flutes until 3am.

The contrast between my quiet work and the bustle of our family life is huge. Three kids need food, hurt feelings need mending, homework overseen, 3 dogs clamor for their share of the rowdy, and so forth all swirling around in constant tornadic activity.

As any artist will tell you, it is very hard to turn creativity on and off. I can't get up in the morning and automatically be ready to write or draw or sift through ideas. All too often I spend the day in anticipation of when I must go out to get groceries or haul someone to the doctor or whatever else my calendar will foist on me. So I get my coffee, read the news, and suddenly find that I have 90 minutes before this, a possible hour after that, and maybe 15 minutes waiting between one thing and the next.

Ready...set... create! Write that brilliant chapter that binds a sub atomic concept together with human spirituality. Think up a plot structure for your sitcom pilot - and don't forget you need 3 jokes per page. Weave together a interesting blog that gives my readers something to mull over. Can't quite pull it off between loading the dishwasher and peeling pee soaked sheets off a bed? Why on Earth not? No wonder I find more peace in the fluteshop at night where my work is more with my hands than my thoughts.

Who I am is my imagination. It is my core. If I can't find the peace of mind to let my imagination flow, I am rudderless - my career and my sanity will grind to a halt. Do I protect and defend myself from this at all costs? Do I let it in and take what comes? Can I balance them better without collateral damage at either end?

For all my artist readers - how do you balance creative life with busy reality?