Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Balance Defined

This is our latest family photo taken last Sunday when our new daughter-in-law's Assyrian family came for a visit. Unfortunately, our son-in-law is missing, because he was taking the photo.

If we do not limit our inflow, we become swamped by the life demands of others. If we practice too much solitude, we risk being flooded by stagnation and a moody narcissism as our life and our art become emptied of all but the big question "How am I doing?" What we are after is a balance, enough containment and autonomy to make our art, enough involvement and immersion in community to have someone and something to make art for. Taken from Walking in this World by Julia Cameron.

I've swung too far wide in both directions in the past. It's easier for me to now recognize when I get out of balance. If I stay home too much, I get slightly depressed and too inward-focused. If I stay away from home too much, I get grouchy because I'm not doing my work at home and also not being creative.

So I try to stay home as much as a twelve-year-old's schedule will allow. I do need contact with the outside world 2-3 times a week for me to feel connected. Of course, I'm talking to my children and parents on the phone throughout the week. I also connect with friends by e-mail and Facebook. I also try to have lunch once a month with a friend, and I have bookgroup and art association once a month. I keep my four grandsons at least once a week. Add church fellowship and homeschool group once a week, and that's plenty of 'peopletime' for me in a week.

My problem is having enough solitude and long stretches of time to think and be creative. That's the lack right now. Until the summer, that's the way it'll have to be; unfortunately.

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