Friday, May 28, 2010

The Disjointed Artist, the Rockstar Dilemna: Thoughts about a kindred spirit, Melissa Etheridge

I've been reading through some of Tammy Etheridge's blog, HollywoodFarmgirl. This is just nosiness and pure speculation, but maybe Melissa Etheridge got too comfortable and bored in her home/married life with Tammy and tykes to be productive. As artists, we often flourish (our work flourishes) during moments of drama or turmoil. That is to say: intense emotions have a habit of increasing artistic productivity.

When things become too simple or repetitive or mundane -or when our emotions no longer drive our art, the artist might become restless. She may even misinterpret that restlessness for unhappiness rather than seeing it for whatever it truly may be. Then, as a result of this misinterpretation of self, the artist might self-sabotage in the name (misname) of happiness or freedom (or whatever other bull-shit she's selling herself); when in fact she is actually seeking out the unhappiness that drives her to create her "best" art. The "best" art may also be a MISinterpretation by the artist, as she has bought into the public's valuation of her art (and, therefore, internalized their valuations and devaluations of her art).

Her self-worth then becomes tied so deeply into her public image and artistic fame that she will abandon anything that poses a threat to either. Day-to-day family life (aka life with children) DEFINITELY threatens artistic productivity, public success AND fame. It's pretty much impossible to live the Rock Star Life and commit oneself fully to family life.

As a stay-at-home mom, I know that the balance is very difficult to maintain. I'm a semi/low-productive poet and full-time stay-at-home mom. Family comes first because it has to come first AND because I am committed to it coming first. If you're famous and you have a lot of money, you can delegate and hire and come in and out of the family dynamic more freely. But that disengagement comes at a price, usually.

To be continued. LIFE calls.

4 comments:

Tammy, midwestern girl/Mom said...

your blog is pretty damn insightful. xo

Mason McFadden said...

hey! i wrote the post a while ago, well, you know when. but i'm glad it actually carries some weight with it and wasn't just as much bullshit as the bullshit the artist might be telling herself. isn't it funny - we can convince ourselves of almost ANY thing in order to justify our behavior. i include myself. it's all distortion. it's really hard to find anything that's real. real(ly) hard. when we start to question our own thoughts, that can be trouble, too. i appreciate that you ventured onto my blog! peace and love to you...

Mason McFadden said...

i would comment on your poetry and writing (on your blog), but it isn't possible...at least not to me (i.e., the public). anyway, just want you to know i read and enjoy your blog. and wish you well.

Tammy, midwestern girl/Mom said...

Thank you for your comments- you really really REALLY seemed to get it dead on when it was so hard for me to put into words as it was happening! I found this post a while ago... But was hesitant to comment because it seems everything I comment on these days gets blown out of proportion/misinterpreted, etc. So I've actually returned to your blog many times to read this particular passage, and used it as "validation", that others understand, go through it as well- both the artist and the people that they surround themselves with in their home. you have a great blog- you're very insightful... Keep writing, keep observing... you NEVER know what TRUTH you are going to write about next! How's it feel to be able to speak truth when others have duct tape over their mouths? Thanks for speaking true when others cannot. Really. xo Oh- and I don't allow comments cuz I'm afraid that the comments would affect the way i write.... and i like to write for ME, not others...... you know?