Julia Cameron talks about taking yourself on an "artist's date." The idea is simple: every once in a while, you just go off by yourself and do something that feeds your artistic side. Maybe you'll see a foreign film, or pop into an art gallery. Maybe you'll take along a notebook and sit in a cafe afterwards.
I wonder if she'll revisit her classic - The Artist's Way with a new volume. Might I suggest the title "The Artist's Way for Way-Overworked Mothers?"
Well, I am not sitting around waiting for that one to hit the bookshelves.
Over the holidays we had a two-week break. No school for the munchkin, and the husband had to use up his time off or forfeit it. I tried hard to keep my freelance work from encroaching, and presto - there we were enjoying the holidays, cooking and hanging out.
I suggested that in the midst of this break, my husband and I each get a day to ourselves. We've done this before - once on vacation at the shore when I used the day to walk, sit on the beach, shop and get a haircut. (I get up early.)
He was open to the idea, but when my day rolled around this weekend I wasn't sure what to do - get a haircut? My ends are very split, it is true. A hair cut was overdue. What about the gift cards collecting dust in my purse? How about a nice little solo shopping trip to Macy's?
But I have been reading about Pipilotti Rist's exhibit at MoMA and just had to go. I made a plan of action - step one - don't sleep in forever. Go downstairs and do a short yoga DVD (there hasn't been a lot of exercise going on around here, unless you count trying to ice skate with a four year old). After that I went into my office and actually typed up some of my poetry. Then I did some bills (hey, I had to stave off the guilt of taking time off somehow) but I still managed to catch a bus into Manhattan and took myself to the museum.
Of course it was mobbed with tourists, etc., but as I strolled through the galleries it hit me: I was on an artist's date. Alone!
I absolutely loved Rist's exhibit, which she described as "spiritual vitamins." I sat there, up against a blue suede coach, my notebook in my hand, soaking up the images and people watching: the little kids toddling about, the young happy father rough-housing with his boy, the couples napping and kissing, the almost teenage boys whose eyes popped out of their heads when they saw some of the images (naked woman crawling through the grass, for example.)Continued on the next page