TW: This blog post is about fertility - I am in a tender space now, and figured if I need a TW right now, someone else might too...
I recently realised I was working on a deeply personal painting about fertility. It was a shock and surprise.
After a few days work the part of me that wants to divert and numb was like, "No, sorry - this painting is not in your style, turn back - STOP!". I didn't see it as that, as a diverting/numbing technique. I just latched onto the feeling of fear and didn't touch the painting for a bit.
Yesterday, I got some happy news about someone being pregnant. It was clear on the call that I wasn't supposed to know - but the cat came out of the bag, and I was truly deeply happy (like I wanted to cry happy), but then all the thoughts of what this "secret" meant came flooding my head. I feel like women my age, in my culture, with no kids, become kind of like "wicked fairies", our alleged deep unhappiness of not having children, is automatically transferrable, like we take that energy and throw it at the pregnant persons belly. Maybe people feel like we envy and covet, so deeply that we cause harm to the foetus and mother/carrier. OR we are so consumed by our not having kids and woes around it, that people don't want us to be sad so they don't tell us - like a kindness...while all the time, our bitterness pokes through.
Of course, it could be a myriad of other reasons - but as I get older, I see people avoiding telling me their good news more and more - with no idea of my fertility, my choices, or struggles. To be plain, it hurts and irks.
Suddenly I realised my smile looked a bit maniacal, and what I really wanted to do was get off the call, fast.
Yup, this was the smile!
After the call, I was: "ok definitely can't finish that canvas now, if they see, they will think this was about them, because also - it's totally not in my style!"
So today, I planned NOT to show my art coach this painting I am working on. I know why, because she has a talent for revealing the fallacies in my thinking, while still validating my feelings. She makes me say, "Doh!" and get on the ride again. And of course, by some very random coincidences, the canvas ended up near my desk, and during todays conversation, I showed it to her. Her response was simple, but cut to the heart of the issue. "Style comes after the fact", "Everything you paint is your style, because you are you". So boom, my "excuse" was gone. I think it is such a brilliant thing to remember in this day of needing to have a style and the drive to find a style, which is rewarding, but can also be stifling [but that's not the point of the post!]
So for the rest of the day I have been sitting with this idea of "fertility", just like my painting wanted me to, and it's a ride, but ffs I got on! I don't know when I will get off, or what I will learn, but I will finish my painting - I will feel what's going on in here *points to wicked fairy heart* and I will probably share it all with you.
Much love, Tamka. Out.