When I was a kid in Catholic school, Confession was mandatory at least once a month (I think. The regularity I don‘t exactly recall, but it seemed frequent). As any Catholic reading this will know, you had the choice of whether you wanted to do the confession with the screen or face to face. I always opted for the screen. Then I bared my sins, the priest blessed me, and instructed me to go to the pew to say 10 Hail Marys and 2 Our Fathers or something like that.
I wish other things in life were this easy. Profess, be forgiven, repent, and then life goes on as normal. It all seems so black and white.
While I’m stretching a parallel with sins and art, this new year has brought with it the inner struggle boiling up again. Last year, while I was pursuing my art and setting aside the practical things, I was sort of sinning against my responsibilities. I took a great risk, had some minor success, worked harder than I ever had, burnt out, and 2009 came to a close. January was a long, lonely and paralyzing month. I retreated from the world.
And then after certain epiphanies that the responsibilities of home and family were of course still on my shoulders, and I could not ignore them because no one else was going to find solutions, I am repenting. But did I really sin by doing something that I was good at and something I loved? Seeing my art as this sort of forbidden fruit has always been an internal struggle for me. It’s something I love and hate at the same time. A constant push and pull. Because there is a deep traditionalist in me, too.
Right now, I am in an absolute slump of creativity. I know this about me, though. I’ve come to recognize the pattern. I go through highs and lows of creative energy like a manic person with moods. I have no medicine for it, though. I don’t know how to correct it, but not sure if I want to anyway. Because when I’m on a creative streak it is a really good one.
So here I sit in my slump. I’m looking for full time work, and so that is taking up all the energy in my days anyway. That call of responsibility is never far away, and there’s no ignoring it. It’s reality.
But I suppose unlike other people, I’m OK with that. Perhaps I thrive a little on the sinning and the repenting because it keeps me alive. If I were constantly one way or another I would be bored and frustrated. I like change, and so maybe the creative rhythm is something my body needs anyway.