Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tending to the creative fires more important than a clean kitchen

I was standing in my kitchen a few weeks ago talking to my friend that just moved here.  I haven’t been to her house yet, and as she stood in the chaos that comprised my kitchen that afternoon, she remarked how she wouldn’t feel apologetic to have me over to her house after having seen mine. 
            I laughed.  Good, because I want people to be comfortable in my house, and while I do prefer clean and clutter-free to messy, that’s not my reality most of the time.  I can’t stress out about it too much, or I’ll miss out on what’s most important to me, which are people and relationships and following my path of what I think makes this world a better place.
            My friend and I stood there in my messy kitchen and talked about how we fiercely hold on to what we’re passionate about and we make space for our creative fires to burn hot and bright, even though that often means letting go of other things, because when it comes down to choosing between tending our creative fires or having a clean house, we go with the fire tending.      
            Should we feel guilty?  Nah.
            Later I was re-reading a passage in one of my very favorite books of all time, Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women Who Run With the Wolves, and I read this: “I’ve seen women insist on cleaning everything in the house before they could sit down to write…and you know it’s a funny thing about house cleaning…it never comes to an end.  Perfect way to stop a woman.”
            Estes talks about the wild creative force flowing into each of us like a river, and will we pollute it or keep the waters clear?  Our creative ability is our most valuable asset.  I love that. 


  1. As always I enjoyed your article. This one happened to be one that really spoke to me.
    You sparked my interest about the book. Lucky me, the library had it on the shelf and I am reading it now!

  2. thank you so much! are you local (to me)? I ask because we have a wild women book discussion group where we get together monthly and discuss chapters of WWRWTW. if you like the book and are interested (and live around here), you are welcome to join us. :)