I get into an involuntary artsy mode fairly regularly, and I just have to make stuff or I'm a royal grouch. Usually it's music... I see the same phenomenon in my eldest child and only daughter. We apparently have an inexplicable, hardwired emotive-compulsion that comes on ragin' of its own accord and we have to get crackin'.
My own mother was uber supportive in wonderful ways (both great and small) when I clicked into this creative gear as a little girl. Anecdotal dialogue example:
Ma: "Louie (only my mother is allowed to call me "Louie") it's time to clean the kitchen and do a laundry change."
11-year old Louie: "Mom. I'm inspired. Please. I beg you. 10 more minutes."
Ma: (sighing audibly from across the house) "10 more minutes."
And those 10 blissful minutes with my pen or my guitar, my beads or my chunk of soapstone and dull steak-knife would fill me plum replete with a glorious sense of connectivity. Let the shavings land where they may!!
So that is why, though it occasionally drives me very very bonkers, I allow my own daughter to do nutty things all over the house and yard. Below is a fun list of some of her titillating activities:
Matilda: Age 10
- Making a cake (sounds nice in writing)
- Making scrambled eggs (still nice enough, but post-feast she magically dematerializes and I've got only an egg-encrusted iron skillet to remember her by)
- Singing in the bathroom (a poppy stream-of-consciousness improvisational love song, of course, including instrument breaks and big finish)
- Cutting lots of things with scissors to make anything that comes to her mind (paper snowflakes, plastic flying devices, "Dear Mom, can we go to the general store please?"-type notes, old apparel into new dishrags, inedibles)
- Creating a body of work to "sell at the farmer's market" out of my own art supplies, then giving up after the 3 or 4th masterpiece creation and, again, disappearing into the ether.
- Making varied and emphatic facial expressions in the mirror for a silent dramatic dialogue with the other imaginary characters which she is also playing. (these are some of the most entertaining sessions to watch surreptitiously, and I intend to get video footage one day for her to enjoy later)
- Decorating (we're talking walls, lights, appliances, trees, feet, pets, little brothers..)
- Mud sculpting and body art
- Random wild-crafted potions including inks and dyes, syrups, mystery chunks, and "perfumes" that must be stored properly or they immediately grow greenish fur..
- Magnifying glass and sunbeam fun--both dangerous and stimulating!
- Crocheting with the Klaus Von Kitty. Always good fun until things turn ugly and yarn tangles start to migrate into other rooms-- indignant cries resounding.
- Wild animal and insect "rescue" and the subsequent whoops of delight and fevered creation of artificial habitats comprised of just my own personal stuff. Once she secretly dumped out my potted Concord Grape vine so that she could use the container to house a crawl-dad. She then forgot that the crawl-dad existed and left to her Grandma's for the weekend. Guess how the discovery was made!
- Encouraging the neighborhood dogs to bark by barking at them from the front porch
- And, of course, bursts of frenetic body movements that pretty much always ends with a terrifying "BLAMMMM," followed generally by a sheepish but reassuring, "I'm okay Mom... It was just the aquarium..." or, "it's not the aquarium this time."
Thanks Ma. I owe you one. Yeah, um, it wasn't just a phase.
Linked below is my latest musical outlet called "Trouble Song."
"Come on and let's get into some..."
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