Monday, November 12, 2007

pregnancy, plums, peas, and a painting

I wrote a poem about plums once—I had a bowl of perfectly ripe plums ready to burst. Seeing the plums and holding them in my hand reminded me of a pregnant woman's belly. So I wrote about it. I wrote about what it must feel like to lose control of your own body. To have to displace a piece of your body to make room for a new one. It might get messy at times, but the ultimate joy it elicits has no match. But there's also an element of fear there. Fear of the unknown, for, truth be told, I don't really know what it's like being pregnant. My friend Elisa does though. She wrote this week's posting for Eat Peas Weekly.

Pregnancy is in us all I suppose—well, us women at least—whether we've experienced it or not. Whether we like it or not. Even if we never get pregnant. The idea of pregnancy is ingrained subconsciously in our biological and psychological make-up. But I didn't always think this, or think about it. Yet the feelings and the shapes would always surface unexpectedly in my creative output.

I remember during my final senior art show as a student at Middlebury College, a woman from the campus newspaper came to interview me and review the show—a culmination of 4 years of intense work and exploration. She mentioned an apparent pregnancy theme in all of my female figures. I think I returned her comment with a blank stare. If it was indeed there, it was purely unintentional and I told her so. But looking now, I'm in awe that I—the creator of it—could not see such an obvious statement in plain view. It's there, is it not? The pregnant woman in the painting, flying through the air (jumping or falling?) gracefully full speed ahead. How could I be so blind to it? Or so dismissive?


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