I sort of cheated with today's Q&A because I am really asking myself: "What will next year be".
Honestly, I don't think I have the entire answer right now, nor if it even is of interest to anyone. I had planned to talk more about meal planning and such, but that will have to wait.
I don't know. I have just, this month, been really peculating the past two years in my head. All that I have learned and accomplished, all the mistakes and successes they are really starting to sort of float to the surface; the cream on my milk if you will.
I know that next year WILL be another project year. It has come to mean to me, these past two years, much to have a very goal driven focused aspect to the coming year. It gives one hope and reach. I feel I need to go there.
What I have been coming to realize is that in many ways, the molding of myself into a middle class homemaker is, in some ways, an almost course of study one needs to become a mother. The need to create and nest to make that place in which to grown and raise children happily and successfully.
However, hubby and I are still very much undecided in that realm. I have sort of given myself a two year time limit to make that final decision. And, I feel in many ways if the idea of an actual child does not pan out, the child of art will still be in me. The need to nurture and create and live within a sort of 'idealized' world that I would want for a child might then be transferred to art. In that I mean, creating tangible things, be it paintings, clothes, what have you. And not, I now find, with any real sense of commercialism.
The one element I have learned these past two years is how much the commercial world DOES play in our modern lives. That element which, though not vanishing, really was diminished here in the 1950's really resonates with me. The idea of creating art simply and soley for its sake, much as I would create a child and help build their life for their sake, not for any future gain or hope other than their happiness. This seems, to my own personality, a very healthy almost freeing realization in the terms of creation.
In many ways I have really begun to see these past two years not only as the best and hardest course of study I have taken, but in a way an almost conceptual art piece. The two years, taken together, in a way are my 'performance piece' and again, not for anyone nor for any grant or recognition or purpose, but because I was driven to know and understand.
In that 'piece' then, I have come to appreciate and realize the art and beauty in the simple. To know the artist in all we homemakers, the sheer talent in the fold of the crease, the steam of the iron, the table setting, the glaze on the ham, the smile on our friends and family at a party we have made or the smell of bread fresh from the oven. These things, these very visceral poignant moments were to me often elevated to the feeling I have got in a great museum or a European Cathedral. Not in their ability to mystify nor make me wonder in my smallness, but to make me relish and enjoy the beauty of the moment in my own small yet amazing way.
I certainly see the term 'artist' in a broader sense. I see the countless mothers and women out there as artists working in the medium of family, home, food, fashion, life; living itself, the making of a home is and should be seen as an art form. And art, in its purest sense isn't done to shock or show off or even be sold, but done because the artist is drawn to do it. It is made becasue the artist cannot imagine NOT doing it and striving to improve it is part of that process. And Homemakers, all of us despite our different takes or various skills, are artists. We all strive daily to improve that piece of art work, that ultimate performance piece: The Home and Family.
So, this is really not a post at all but simply a stream of consciousness I am now feeling. I hope, for those of you who have followed me this far in my journey, will stick around to see what next year, my 1957 might be. I hope, in some wonderful cathartic moment, to know just what that will be come the 31st of December. We shall see.
But, in the mean time, even though my posting for this month has been erratic and not as informative as it has been in the past, know I am thinking of you all and relishing and reveling in all your artistic greatness as homemakers. I salute all of you.