Monday, March 24, 2008

Produce and Reproduce

It's Easter Monday. I am at loose ends. Being pregnant is usually pretty consuming for me. What I mean is, even if I can't think of anything else to do, it is enough to just be pregnant. I sit there, I think "I am not doing nothing. I am being pregnant." I am not the sort who can happily do nothing (this drives my husband insane sometimes, I think). I must produce! Whether baby, garden, writing, art.... I haven't managed another way of measuring my worth. I am worth what I produce. If I am producing nothing, then.... How stupid is that? From the neck up, I know this is stupid. I would never judge anyone else by those terms.


Being pregnant is my lazy way of producing? I shudder to think that, but it has occurred to me:
"Draw? No, haven't had time for that! I'm busy being pregnant!"

Could I draw and be pregnant at the same time? Of course. And paint, and write.... But I haven't written or drawn anything for a year now, and that is why this question keeps popping up.

Did I get pregnant so I could produce without risk? OK, there are risks, but different risks. My artistic self-confidence has plummeted. But this has happened before; long gaps in my drawing, painting, writing, and at the end of each gap, the question- can I still do it? Can I still produce things that meet my own standards? Each time, it is terrifying- which amazes me! Why? Because every single time, after every scary, desolate hiatus the answer is YES. I always do produce again, every time, and yet during every new dry spell I think 'Will this one be different? Will this be the one that creeps in to settle permanently?'

So now I have the question. (Which on top of everything else, makes me feel a fool- in retrospect it seems so obvious.) Did I 'accidentally' get pregnant (never mind my hyperfertility- we'll discuss that another time) as an excuse not to test my ability to produce art? There is only one possible way to answer that question to my own satisfaction. I must start drawing, now. We have decided that we will discuss babies again in September. I must produce a piece I love before that, in order to know my own motives. It's the only fair solution- to have a baby in spite of my art, not as a substitute for it. Don't misunderstand me; I would have loved that little boy- I do love him, with all my heart. I miss him every day. Especially at Easter, I suppose, when the entire northern hemisphere is pregnant.

Is unpregnant a word? It is now. I feel so unpregnant.


Here are some eggs, dyed the Swiss way, in all their glory:

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