I spent my childhood and early adulthood lost in art. Living in New York City I had access to museum after museum, free concerts in the park, puppet shows, music libraries, Broadway shows, the Strand bookstore, Washington Square Park, subway cellists, Union Square break dancers, Lincoln Center, Little Italy, The Blue Note, Harlem Jazz, Greenwich Village, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Martha Graham, The Natural History Museum, and Woodstock.
I grew up with a mother who was a former dancer, a father who was a musician, a grandfather who drew and painted, an uncle and aunt who made beautiful creations through woodworking, and a step father who was an avid photographer. My mind and spirit were bounced gently and profoundly upon an ocean of artistic musings and poetic vibes; it wasn't until I wanted to pay rent that I slapped myself across the face repeatedly and told myself to snap out of it.
What followed was approximately twenty years of my trying my best to "go straight"and create some sort of life for myself that wasn't the equivalent of a Schoenberg 12-tone poem; disjointed, artful but out of context.
I didn't want to be a walking Haiku, I wanted to have children and let them play sports in the suburbs.
It's been a long, hard road, and my younger son finally tried and then dropped football, but here we are with a lovely house, a second marriage, a dog, a cat and a yard, gorgeous public schools funded by astronomically high property taxes and myself, with two Master's degrees and in my fifth year teaching - legit at last and sigh, so happy.
But through the chores and the striving I still hear Joni Mitchell crooning in my head; the improv of the day still catches me with its rhythm; my poet's heart makes a moment dive to the bottom of my soul's sea as I turn a phrase which sometimes does, but often does not make it to paper or a computer doc.
I still dream of taking myself and a digital camera to England, to Paris, to China or Uruguay, snapping photos and making songs of impressions and being silent for weeks at a time.
Art has such a strong place in our lives.