Creating from the Feminine
I feel more alive when I’m writing than I do at any other time–except maybe when I’m making love.
― May Sarton
Creativity, the feminine, writing, journaling, sensual flow…what to call the space I fall into when I concentrate on catching words and images, whether it be standing at my kitchen counter with my laptop open, staring into white on white snow on lake, or hunched over a writing pad in my comfy armchair, or cutting and pasting images onto a 5 x 8 SoulCollage® card to represent my Writer Self, my Wild Feminine, my inner child….
I am in love with that time/space-warp feeling. It feeds my soul. A feeling of being full and empty at the same time— mind empty, heart full or at least emptying into fullness. I want to dedicate whole days to losing my sense of time.
Yet mothering demands so much scheduled time that it’s hard to balance the need for magical time alone with running a household, the errands, cooking and cleaning. Until two years ago, when my kids were away from home for the first time at University, I had limited amounts of quiet time. And a lot of divided emotions about being a writer and a mother, as if they were two separate worlds. I did have a space of my own and time to write in, but I was not always clear about how to commit to it. I managed to publish two books of poems and a non-fiction book, but in another way, it’s taken me a lifetime to really value myself enough to focus on my creative projects. I still don’t have a proper writing schedule.
But now I have an empty house. I think I’m ready. If I don’t write, I can’t blame it on the kids, the cat, the dog, the long list of things ‘to do’. I have a bunch of short stories on my computer waiting for my courage to dive in and edit them. I feel a bit stalled, although I have peeked at them recently. There’s a part of me that prefers to keep spiraling, gestating new projects, and another part of me that’s finally ready to slow down after a super busy, crazy productive year (new website, book, CD).
Am I finally learning to balance the need for feminine receiving and down time with the masculine ‘up and at ‘em’ energy of my inner Amazon? The Hestia in me loves being a home-body, likes to make soup from scratch, build fires to keep the hearth warm, and puttering in closets is my favourite way of putting off writing. Lost a few hours this morning looking through old letters, birthday cards, in dusty boxes looking for an image of my mother for a SoulCollage® card. The big question is, What is it that makes me put off my heart’s desire?
Recently I wrote in my journal, “there is a desire in my for sanctuary, order, retreat, simplicity, to return to the simple lifestyle I had in my early 20’s – a call to read, meditate, concentrate on the inner life, but also to serve others in some way. Something is out of whack in the self-promotion demanded of an author – it goes against the grain – even as I seek to understand how it all works. A wish to withdraw and redraw the lines of marriage, work, devotion. To whom and to what do I give the days of my life? To which cause? Which outer need is so pressing that I ignore all my own needs, for tranquility, for connection with others, for serenity and peace, for inner focus. To remove the distractions of Facebook, email, chatter and settle into a writer’s daily discipline. I am being called by my true voice. It feels momentous. ‘Your voice is the vehicle of your soul’s purpose’ reminds Jean Houston (A Passion for the Possible).
Reading The Journey from the Center to the Page to find inspiration, I follow the author’s suggestion to breathe into my heart and ask, What am I writing for? “To inspire others, to show off my wisdom? To expose my vulnerable heart, to nurture myself, to tell my girl’s version of an age-old story, to reclaim innocence and youth, to understand the conflict in being a woman, a sexual being, a mother and wife, to find out what it is I want, to be redeemed, in my own eyes, to help girls find their way.”
The stories are calling me, and I’m digging deep in myself to find the blocks, the fears, the vulnerability and shame, preventing me from doing what I think I want. This morning in meditation, after reading Mothering from your Center (Tami Kent), a voice whispered to me – focus on your woman’s wisdom. Center yourself in that. If I can clear space in the body, connect with my uterine, creative, feminine energy, loosen the tightness down there, it may free my writing voice. I want to try that, now that I’ve been given this open space of a few months (until everyone heads back home).
Time is finite. I’m hovering close to sixty. It’s time to dig deep and find the courage to publish those stories about my teenage sexual discoveries – they’re wrapped up in brown paper bags waiting for my censor to calm down. I guess that’s why I teach others, so that I can learn myself, how to free that lovely Censored Voice, the one that speaks of longings, taboo feelings, the one especially that says, make time for Me. Or I will wreak havoc in your life: explosions, sleepless nights, PMS, mood swings, murderous rages and depressive dips… Allow time for my wild self, my creative soul, my need to be Alone for one hour of uninterrupted time a day/week.
This writing journey has allowed me to nurture and heal myself. I continue to learn about honouring the creative, feminine power, the words that bubble up and want to be expressed. I will always need to gather the women, hang out and share words, even if not over a laundry line. And also dive deep into that solitary space, finding my river of words, my sliver of truth, my hot from the belly little jewels. Mothering the Muse, who keeps me seeking little bursts of inspiration to share with other women. Especially mothers. Especially mothers with a creative side. Especially like you.
Jennifer Boire is the author of The Tao of Turning Fifty, a work book that addresses the emotional turmoil of menopause and the mid-life transition. She blogs at Musemother, scribbles on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and leads Creative Circle journaling and SoulCollage® classes near Montreal. Her first book of poems, Little Mother, addressed feminine taboos, from childhood abuse to childbirth, making love, pregnancy and breastfeeding, to a prayer to Kali about mother-rage, and her mother’s alcoholism.