Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Circle of Quiet

Over the last week I've been spending my spare time reading, looking for inspiration to jump start my creativity.  While I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be in great shape once school gets out and I've had a good nap, I realize that's two months away.  I need a shot in the arm sooner than that.  There have been a couple of times in my life when fatigue drained my energy for all things art, so this isn't a new sensation.  I just don't like it.
If the title didn't catch my eye, the sweet little watercolor on the cover would surely grab my attention.

In this deep and insightful book, L'Engle writes of her creativity, her need for self-expression and the struggles she endured waiting for someone to accept her writing -her art- and publish it.  She discusses feeling like her need to write might not be valid if someone wasn't paying her for what she created.  This has been particularly thought-provoking to me lately.

"I don't know what I'm like.  I get glimpses of myself in other people's eyes.  I try to be careful whom I use as a mirror: my husband; my children; my mother; the friends of my right hand. If I do something which disappoints them I can easily read it in their response.  They mirror their pleasure or approval, too.  But we aren't always careful of our mirrors. I'm not. I wasn't making money and therefore in the eyes of many people around me I had no business to spend hours everyday at the typewriter.  I felt a failure not only because my books weren't being published but because I couldn't emulate our neighboring New England housewives.  I was looking in the wrong mirrors.  I still do and far too often. I've looked for an image in someone else's mirror, and so have avoided seeing myself."  Madeline L'Engle
I've realized I have a basic need to create most of my life and believe the old saying, "I paint because I must."  However, lately I have not been sure that is enough reason to spend so much of myself on it. As I've re-read "Quiet," L'eagle has helped me begin to see myself more clearly.  Again. Sometimes we people things get lost in our lives, especially me.  Not often, but it does happen and when it does, there, on my shelf, sit my books.  Old friends who come to my rescue, who can be relied on to help me get my perspective back.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice


RH Carpenter said...

I may have to get this book, as it sounds like something wise and easy to read (and I, too, love the little watercolor on the front). Thanks for sharing - wouldn't it be wonderful if we could truly see ourselves and like what we see?

Alice Jo Webb said...

I'd love to hear what you think of it!