And for once I was SuperMom

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Cowgirl and a Mom

One of my friends looked at me last week or so and with one eye ball trained on me asked,
"So, what do you want to be when you grow up?" My first reaction to that,
'Oh, so my confusion shows?' I should have said, 'fairy princess.' But I was caught off gaurd enough that I answered honestly.
I told her that eventually when all are kids in school we can re-assess and I can look into teaching at the collegiate level or getting another masters, but at the end of the day I am really an artist.

A couple years ago my friend and I were camping on the beach of Lake Superior. I had just spent all day on solo, which means I upended driftwood into the sand to make huge Stonehenge-like formations of logs. I don't know why I did this, we photographed it. I think the film is lying somewhere, undeveloped (yes, it was that long ago). Maybe I was hoping that someone taking a walk along the beach would find it and enjoy it. Think it's pretty, wonder who did it, add some interest and peace to an already peaceful walk. At one point my friend and I were walking along, she grabbed my hand and snapped a photograph of our shadows, and said,
"See I like to capture moments, and you like to create them," in one sentence she differentiated the mind of photographer and the mind of an artist. She is compelled to capture what is here, I am compelled to create what hasn't happened yet.

When I was in college I went on a semester abroad in Tanzania. During one hot afternoon while on safari, my cabin mates all chose to take a nap. I don't nap, or I can't nap, so I sat on the porch to journal or sketch. As I sat there I heard a crunching. I got up, walked over to the edge of the porch and peered at the side of the building. There was a huge bull elephant just munching away on the grass roof of our cabin. My heart froze, what do I do? It peered at me with one eye, I knew it wouldn't hurt me. I dashed back over to the door opened the top of it, and hissed into my friends that they needed to get up now and CHECK THIS OUT! I remember my friend sat up, whilst twirling her hair, and gave me this look like, 'you woke me up for what?' I thought, 'forget about them,' and rushed back over to the side of the porch. I kept thinking, 'What do I do? How do I record this? Do I sketch it? Do I photograph it? What? What?' I started a sketch and a few lines in realized that I was taking too much time. I rushed back to the door, to wake up my compatriots, so that they could share in this natural miracle, and all three of them were plastered against the window. I grabbed my camera. I think I decided against it because I didn't want any noise to disturb it. Right then and there, I just stopped, and watched the elephant. My friend Andrea came out onto the porch with me. As she did the whole herd silently, staidly, walked around the cabin. We squealed and gripped each other's hands as a baby came around the corner with it's mother.
I think that was my moment, when I just decided to enjoy life instead of trying to capture it for posterity all the time. I think both ways of thinking are valid, and I think there is strength in knowing how you think.
When I was in preschool I wanted to be a cowgirl and a mom.
When I was in kindergarten I wanted to be a zoologist and a mom.
About when I was six we discovered that I could draw.
Ever since then I've wanted to be an artist.
And a mom.

1 comment:

ThaiHoa Burroughs said...

I agree with you that both ways of thinking are correct or good. That moment is obviously in your heart and head still without the painting or picture.