Yes. That is the question. It rose in my mind when I became engaged and then married. I had already been active as a poet for a few years. To my surprise, many fellow poets believed that my getting married would affect my poetic work in a negative way. I would somehow become conservative, boring, locked up, a “mere house-wife”. I would be less free. “How can someone like you get married?” they asked. I only knew that I had found my soul mate and that he was making me feel that I had finally arrived home, after many years of wandering. I wanted to celebrate this love. I wanted a ceremony and blessings from family, friends, God. It was as simple as that.
So the question is: Can an artist be happy? Can an artist be a parent? Can she love her home? Can she be fulfilled? Can she love other artists? Can she be filled with light? Can she be kind? Does an artist have to be dark? Does she have to be moody? Does she have to be self-involved? Does she have to be competitive? Does an artist have to be a “starving” in order to create art? Or can she be “thriving”?
A fellow blogger, Marisa Haedike, has written about this issue: http://creativethursday.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/03/i-am-a-thriving-artist.html.
Yes, an artist can be anything she wants. Maybe the art she produces changes according to her lifestyle. And that is ok. It means that she is true to herself, to who she is and who she is not.
The poetry I had been writing was very aggressive. It was a result of me being angry for the most of my life. I wanted to make my readers feel somehow shaken, even uncomfortable. This has all changed since I understood what it is to love.
“The opposite of love is fear”, says Alexander Schmemann.
to be afraid