I have been thinking a lot about light and dark lately. Opposites. Binary. One or the other. Either/or. This or that. Pick one. Make your choice.
It's been appearing in my photography too as I've been experimenting with light and dark compositions of the same flowers or food.
I know myself enough already that if a certain theme keeps coming up for me, I need to explore it further in words and in images.
I've been thinking about how we limit ourselves by thinking this way. Or how I limit myself. The words we choose when talking to people. When we talk to ourselves. Where do you live? What do you do for a living? What are you going to do with your life? Do I choose this job or that one? Better make a choice. Better make the right one.
Let's start with where do you live as an example. My husband and I talked recently about how we can be a bit "two in the bush" about where we live, whether it be a certain city or a particular house. We have the "bird in the hand" yet often yearn for the "two in the bush". Yearn for that tweeking, making this change or that change and it will all be perfect.
And what about what you do for a living? Melanie of Inward Facing Girl asked me to write about motherhood in anticipation of Mother's Day, both my experience of mothering and of being mothered. One strong message that I got growing up from the women around me was that their lives WERE this or that. You could either be a mother or you could have a life where you followed your passions. There was no combining, no balance, no give and take, no slack. Or if there was, it was in the leftover moments once everyone else was fed and watered and cared for.
There is a part of me that wonders what life would have been like if I had stayed in the same place and at the same career with the same people. But I don't wonder for long because that never WAS me. I was that 11 year old dreaming of leaving my small city and moving to NYC. I don't know how but I KNEW that there was more out there for me.
So does it have to be this or that? Do we have to pick one career or one place to live or one way to live? Are they mutally exclusive? How do we celebrate our varied interests and passions? How do we choose?
Maybe the answer is making a decision that is good enough for now. Not necessarily good enough for tomorrow or next month or next year but just for now. Maybe by avoiding the light or dark, the this or that, I can lower the stakes a bit. And take a breath and just be with what is right now. Here. In this space and this moment.
Maybe the answer is exploring and embracing the "and" - motherhood AND creative pursuits. Perhaps not in equal amounts of time but with equal amounts of respect and commitment.
Maybe the answer is accepting that I am both the light and the dark. This AND that. Not just one thing.