Monday, February 7, 2011

Here's How It Is

Well, here's how it is:  I am a bad blogger.  At least, that's how I feel sometimes- not guilty, really- just kind of disappointed that I've been unable to keep all the balls in the air.

 "Jugglers at the Cirque Fernando" by Renoir

I can't post every day, or even every other day.  Right now, I'm lucky if I can post once a week.  I feel bad when I don't have enough time to leave witty and insightful comments on all of my friends' posts, if I even get a chance to look at them.  Admittedly, I feel at times like I'm seeing them the way one sees the gorgeously tantalizing flowers in the neighbor's garden from the window of a speeding car. 

I feel inadequate, but all I can say in my own defense is that even the best juggler (which I certainly am not) can get caught up in trying to juggle more balls than he/she can handle without the addition of some extra appendages.  (Yes, I realize I'm mixing my metaphors again; it's like a big ol' metaphor soup up in here.)

"The Egyptian Juggler" by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema

So, I've been wracking  my brain about how I could resolve this problem.  It came to me like a bolt of lightening out of the sky (no, that's a simile!)- there really is no way to solve this conundrum short of somehow bending time.

This may be possible in theory, but not even Einstein had the slightest inkling how to apply it to our every day lives.  Where's my Wayback Machine when I need one? 

But then I was reading a post on Rice Freeman-Zachery's wonderful blog, Notes from the Voodoo Cafe, that made me feel a bit better about the whole thing.   She says this about working artists:
"You try to get in touch with them, and they don't respond, and you think, scornfully, "Diva!" But that's most often not it (sometimes that's it, but not very often). Usually it's because they have a certain day of the week in which they respond to email because the other days are a flurry of all the various things they have to do to try to stay afloat in an economy that bites and a culture that doesn't value working artists." 

She goes on to say that most of us have to decide what we're going to give up in order to make art a priority, such as TV and the internet (except for blogging, of course).  I have to agree; it's all about prioritizing.  I rarely watch TV, except for the news and a couple of other shows.  I don't have a social life, and my house probably isn't the cleanest, if you know what I mean. My husband graciously does most of the cooking. I try to answer emails, but sometimes it takes me a while.  Sometimes I forget to respond to comments on my blog posts, but that's due to the age of my brain, and is not at all  intentional.

I used to try to accept the fact that I didn't have the time to make art, but I failed in that effort, because I was miserable.  I came to realize that I would have to make that time by deciding not to spend it on other things, like watching TV, or going out for drinks.  If I have to cook, I'm probably not going to make something that takes three hours to prepare, and I made a deal with the dust bunnies that if they don't look at me, I won't look at them.  If I have to work a full time job, then shouldn't part of the reward for that be that I get to spend my off-time doing something I love? 

The Traveler's Tale: Balance

It's a balancing act, without a doubt- full time job, making art, marketing the art, etc.- but it's something I have to keep trying to work out as best I can. We may not be able to adjust time, but we can adjust our thinking.  It really is, ultimately, all in how we look at it.


  1. gosh, where did we get all these rules about blogging? when I started, I don't remember signing anything that said we had to blog every other day!! lol! I get it done when I can and if that is once or twice a week, well ok, fine!! I think you can put your whip away, I think you are a great blogger and I love reading your posts, viewing your art and photos! big hugs!!

  2. I'm with Cat...this is not a race and there are clearly no rules.

    But I love your rap and it is true that we are the ones who make ourselves crazy. STOP IT ;-)

    You are doing a grand job of juggling, and you do a grand job of describing the process of dropping the balls.

    We all drop the balls we're juggling.

    That's why I love following the moon as a time keeper rather than just the sun...the moon streches time out, provides breathing room and gives us a chance to focus on ...well on focus.

    This is a very good post...we all ought to think about how we don't have to be superhuman just to be normal.

  3. Wow, I can't seem to even get the balls in the air. I must admit I'm more into it for the art as apposed to the rhetoric. I enjoy looking at the art, I just don't always have time to make pertinent comments, like right now I should be in bed.

  4. Great post, Sharmon. You've conveyed the urgency that a lot of us feel, I think, when the juggling balls or the spinning plates are out of control again. But you ARE making art and it sounds like the work is there, bubbling away for when you return. No one else can make that art except you. Wishing you slow roasting vegetables in the oven while you work on that piece.....And we'll still be here when you post again. Ax

  5. Yes... totally with you on all this really Sharmon...

    Sometimes I have to float away from blog-land to survive and then I come back and pick up the pieces.

    Im thrilled that you were so kind to respond to the recent questions I had about that Food Safety Bill.. that takes effort to contribute in such a valuable way to a blogger across the pacific!

    Do what you can and when you can and never feel guilty. Clearly whatever you do you do with a huge amount of engagement and attention.

    Take care and know that its all good and timely... whatvever you bring!


  6. I'm with you on all of this! I only cook on certain days of the week now - if you can open a tin of baked beans then you can fend for yourself!

  7. Um, can I borrow this post and use it on my blog??

  8. I am delighted to have you as one of my bad blogger buddies- maybe we need a label. I posted everyday in January (I was doing a month long observational challenge- which was a good way to get through January) but felt a bit self conscious about posting that way. I for one will continue to keep up with your daily, weekly or sporadic posts- hugs

  9. What you have to offer on your blog, when you have time to offer it, is a gift, not an obligation. And when we receive it, we're grateful, blessed, and pleasantly surprized that you had the time and inclination to share it with us.

  10. Don't worry, be happy.

    Of all the blogs and sites I follow (my Update Scanner in my browser says that's 224..), you post the *most* consistently and I find your observations of art, nature and existence by far the most interesting, enlightening and downright helpful. After all these years traveling down the timeline, I am so glad you became the artist/teacher you were meant to be. I think the anxiety you feel is when you aren't able to fulfill that highest purpose as often as you'd like. Public psychoanalysis services are free here.

    As others have said here, it's not a contest, but a gift. Thanks for sharing as you can.

    Don't worry, be happy.

  11. Earlier in the year I made a pie chart of how I wanted to spent my day- 8 hours sleeping, 2 hours internet/blogging....It works! As bloggers and followers of blogs we just have to accept limits.

  12. I feel this way too Sharmon...I want to connect with everyone, I am so grateful for every comment...but it is too much to respond to everyone...all of us have other things we must do and limited energy and it is unrealistic to be able to "do it all"...and unwise, and unkind to our hearts and minds to abuse ourselves with guilt for the impossible. We send out our love as much as we can, and hope it touches at least one person...maybe more and we reach out and connect with a few when we can...and trust TRUST...that love and compassion...friendship are more expansive, forgiving (for giving) than the guilt we use to cut ourselves down...we must stop this, you and me and all of us who are feeling needless guilt and anguish...when the truth is we are doing our very best...we are good and kind and do what we can when we can...and that is a blessing.


  13. I agree with most of the replies here, you're right on target with this post. They say time is money but it's worth way more! Blogging and browsing is as social as anything else. More worthwhile than television; definitely. Of course, to blog every day makes it harder for other people to follow. Perhaps then, a lack of time to blog can be a blessing.

  14. This is a great post. As you can see, there are a lot of us that feel the same way. Juggling too many balls while sightseeing in a speeding car during a lightning storm can be a lot of fun, but also quite dangerous. Be careful out there...


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  16. OK Donna; you're right- I stopping!

    Annie- thank you for the kind encouragement.

    Patti, you can totally use it- be my guest!

    Don, you're so sweet! I think you're lying, but I do appreciate it! you know me, insecure to the very end!

    Laura, you're too nice as usual, but I'm so grateful to have you as a friend. Thanks for the big dose of encouragement!

    -Don, you're too funny! I'll try not to drive too fast while I'm juggling; do you think that's more dangerous than texting?

  17. from Spain with love I send you much encouragement!

  18. Sharmon, have you been reading my mind? Hang in there girl!

  19. Sharmon, you are very perceptive. You are right, of course. I have to admit, after looking more carefully, I was lying. It's only 221 sites and blogs that I follow; 3 of them no longer exist. I will try to add some to enhance your ranking. Please accept my apologies. =)

  20. There are so many Dons crawling out of the woodwork over here!

    Sharmon I'm so glad you wrote this post. I've been feeling overwhelmed just lately and seem to be forgetting to reply to comments and emails and feeling very bad about it. As Cat said, where did we get all these rules about blogging? Lets just go with the flow and do the best we can without feeling guilty otherwise we will stop blogging altogether which would be very sad.

  21. I can so relate Sharmon - No matter how many times I tell myself it's purely self imposed pressure, I feel it. None of my reasons are similar to yours, but days and weeks still go by, and I feel guilty, especially when I see others able to leave comments, blog frequently, and somehow seem to stay on top of it all daily!! Recently I've even thought about simply withdrawing it all - no blog, twitter, facebook - just go away, and perhaps come back another time, if and when life seems more functional! but I know that's silly, too - so i let myself off the hook and am grateful when it all falls into place, because then I can connect with special people like you :)
    As everyone always tells me, I am happy to see and read what ever you share, whenever you share. it's always rich with wisdom, beauty, honesty, and You!! hugs and love,
    xox K

  22. blogging should be something fun, not an obligation! No one is going to hold it over you for not posting or not commenting or not replying...if they do, well, that's their problem! :)
    I know for myself I can't keep up with making art, blogging, reading blogs, commenting, etc. plus take care of my kids, my home, have a life outside of all of this! I just don't have the time or the energy. I try my best, but sometimes, actually often times things fall through the cracks. ah well, life is imperfect and so are we.
    you are doing just fine! And the important thing, the most important thing is that you know that making art is your priority. That is HUGE! And that is what matters.

  23. we want so to live lives of attention and presence, and yet there is so much to see, to say, to do.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I'm happy to reply here, but may not always have time for individual emails.