Beth Meadows

Not Now, While I'm Lying Here, Wide Awake

Beth MeadowsComment

I'm terrible at quoting books and movies, but I'll butcher it anyway to get the gist across...

I think it was in Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is talking about the creative process. And she's telling the story of a writer who would get inspired at the most inopportune moments. She'd be outside, working in the garden, and the creative inspiration would roll in like a mighty wind, and she'd have to run inside to catch it all on paper.

I don't remember who she was talking about, but I love and hate this story.

I think it was also Tom Waits who would get inspired while his hands were on the wheel, and he'd grunt, "Not while I'm driving!"

I've been waking up at 2, 3, 4am. For years. I don't want to do anything at this hour. Nuuuuu-thiiiiing. 

But I'll lie in bed and think about writing, or about a painting that hasn't been born yet. Or let fantastical anxieties dance through my mind.

I've gotten up the past two days. Yesterday at 4am. Today at 2:45am. It's 4:14am right now. I wrote yesterday, and developed the idea for a new painting, one that I have asked to patiently wait for its turn. it told me it's not going to wait.

I all ready drew this morning, something I started last night. And now I'm writing, which is something I daydream about constantly but never do.

There is something deep within me that won't let me rest. Sometimes I believe it's God. Or God's hand on me, the person he made me to be- full of pesky inspiration. Whatever it is, it won't let me rest. There is something it wants from me that I've been neglecting, at my own expense. It's hard to want to go deeper, into pain, or grief, or ideas. I believe it won't let me rest until I've processed it through my hands, to process the beauty, too. 

You'd think it would be easy to recognize this deep prodding and follow it, but it's not. I'm sleepy right now, and I may be sleepy the rest of the day while at work. And I hate feeling sleepy. I also don't want to - no, I do want, but- it's hard to make this work that I have asked to wait. I don't feel ready for what it's going to take. And I'm fearful of making work that isn't readily available to share and show. It could take years to create. 

Or not.

I think this is why I moved my studio home. I knew my brushes needed to be closer to my bed. Getting to them by car at 2am would never work.