Ya’ll. It’s one of those days. The art just isn’t quite happening, I got a disappointing work e-mail, and my child is, um, boldly spouting some “alternative facts” about a chocolate bunny I found under the sheets in the top bunk bed. Gross.
So I made him a sandwich since the bunny he deviously hid in the bed was due, as he put it and I now summarize, not to an unformed conscience but to the outrageous hunger pains in his stomach. I’m so frustrated that I accidentally set the glass mayo jar down a little too hard on the granite countertop and you can guess what happened next. I just got the last piece of glass out of the bottom of my foot with some tweezers. Oh, and the mayo? It’s in a glass jar because it’s of the twelve dollar variety. The kind that isn’t made with soy or canola oil, but the real stuff– olive oil. Don’t worry, I’m rolling my eyes too at the fact that my twelve dollar mayo is not only all over my counter but the jar which holds it was literally just in my foot. Do I really need to buy twelve dollar mayonnaise?
What am I doing with my life? That’s the question currently rolling through my head like an overactive pinball machine. Then I remember that yesterday I saw a play in Mandeville Louisiana with one of my best friends. At the small but comfortable 30 by Ninety Theatre I laughed hysterically as the characters in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels danced around the stage delightfully deceiving one another. My friend and I haven’t been able to get out much together and when we do there is almost always at least one of our kids with us– we needed some good belly laughs. We left feeling refreshed, and energized, already making plans for the next show because, wow, Mandeville has such good theater? Who knew?
Fast forward to the foot healing from a glass cut and an artist with little to no current inspiration. The pinball is bouncing off a corner that’s thinking of the play wondering “Is this what art does?” Is it refuge in a world of twelve dollar mayo and career let-downs and you-name-it-all-sorts-of-other-much-more-horrendous things?
And then the very quiet, very cautious question: Can my art do that? And even the possibility that it can is enough to make me get back to it. We need art, dammit. And thank God for the people who are willing to make it in places like Mandeville, Louisiana because we need it here too.
Has this ever happened to you? Has art every lifted you out of the “everydayness” of life? I’d love to hear about it whether it’s big or small!