Art Inspired By Norman

Re-enacting A Norman Rockwell Self-Portrait Photography Style by DaNice D. Marshall

Over the years I’ve tried to express my creativeness in ways that were conducive to my position in life. So, as a mother and wife, I decided to set aside my paper and pen, to raise my daughters.

No one told me not to write. How do you formulate those words? But it was self-imposed, I knew that I couldn’t commit to being both a good mother and a good writer.

Because writing is such a solitary task, selfish in nature, which requires that one be immersed in the moment. And as the mind pens the next group of words, there’s little patience for a little girl who’s broken her favorite crayon.

That’s how it was for me, because I had lost a son earlier in my life, so having two healthy daughters was a blessing not lost in me. Still, Virginia Woolf’s “Room Of One’s Own” had a special meaning for me, like her I didn’t have a space for myself, but rather than quibble about it, I just packed away my word processor and put on my “Mommy Hat”.

Do I have regrets? I’m sure. But these don’t outweigh the real joys I’ve experienced. But there’s one wish I do have now, it’s too late for me, but might help another mother and that is, I wish someone had told me that kids grow up and don’t need their mother’s anymore.

That’s an important piece of intel for a career woman to know, so that she can make knowledge-based decisions. I’ve no doubt that I would have made a few select choices about my writing career earlier, had I been armed with the fact that all women will eventually have free time, when their children are grown. But because I didn’t know this, I did sacrifice my dream. Imagine my surprise when Poof! My daughters had grown up & were gone!

I’m not complaining, it is after all what we raised them to do. I just didn’t know how competent they would be, that is we did a really good job, because they’re flourishing and I suddenly have time to do all the things I wanted to, except… and here’s the hard part, after so many years of being the support for others, encouraging their dreams, that I’d forgotten how to support my own dreams.

Suddenly I have the proverbial room with a view, albeit painted in pink, with Power Puff Girl blankets and silly knick-knacks, with no other purpose than to collect dust. Something for me to sneeze at, as I replaced my old word processor with a new used laptop & sat down to write.

Isn’t it funny, how life has a way of not coming together as we planned. And my words, which had always been my friends, words that once gathered together, my nouns predicating verbs, which aligned neatly with dangling modifiers in a perfect paragraph, now seemed elusive. Lost were the sentences full of meaning, absent was my emotional prose, all seemed to fail me now that I had time to write.

And it wasn’t writer’s block, that foe of so many playwrights, but instead the words didn’t come to attention because that story no longer needed telling. That is, the daydreams of my youth had passed and now, only the blank pages stared back at me.

Being a creative is special. I’ve always known I was a creative and I’ve always honored that part of myself. Others might be amused at my need for color, that’s okay. Others might misinterpret the creatives’ gentleness for over sensitivity and our need for change as excess. But they’d be wrong to deny that creatives are very necessary to balance in this world. That the creative people help strategize life. Left to our own vices, we creatives can make the most mundane thing seem extremely interesting. We can make a burden lighter, as well as solve problems with intuitive inventiveness.

So, when I couldn’t write, because my words wouldn’t come out to play with me, I got creative. I resorted to build something, as I had done when my girls were little. Back then I built fortresses with couch pillows and fleece blankets, but this time I built a revised re-enactment of a painting. For the next week, our living room became Norman Rockwell’s self-portrait painting.

My creativity carried me out of my comfort zone to see myself as a photographer, capturing a moment of life & making it stand still… forever in a photograph.

It’s official!!! I’ve put on my artist hat and I’m not taking it off. It fits me perfectly!!! I feel free, light & easy. Come, please join me. Namaste 🙏

Published by DaNice D Marshall

Pronounced Duh-NYSE. Published writer. Roxbury native, residing in Boston, Massachusetts.

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