New book of poems is in the making... I'm gathering the pieces from the time of pregnancy onward so it will be all motherhood-related. This is one of my latest.. It's called 'Who Will Pay For My Work' or 'The Multitasker's Blues' ; )
Who will pay for my work?
I don't mean paying for my many night hours
spent at birthing new arts
I don't mean paying like during the
- time when a woman is designed to be
with child and no distractions -
I mean paying for my
that I do
and that is sometimes being called
an 'easy way out'
or a 'comfort zone'
Who will pay?
For those 18-hour-long days
always on duty
with weight-lifting and much of it
often in the heat
For the dish washing
and much of it
only after the three previous loads
has been dropped at the
Who will pay me
for the insane, napless, breast-tugging days
with too little sleep
and a mild depression creeping in
Who will pay me
for making of
breastfeeding infinity meals
and much of it
done on time
Love takes time
Who will pay for mine?
spent on diaper ironing
love-filled and willingly given
Who will pay
for my loyalty, commitment
Monthly time spent shopping
carrying it home
then unpacking and sorting
Monthly time spent on
sweeping of floors
tiding of rooms
bringing out and recycling
Who will pay
for my organizing and management skills
teamwork, solitary focus
full-time-any-time repairing speciality
ability to deal with stress
and innovation in problem-solving?
All that while
trying to be
a person of my choice
who loves what she does
and does some for herself
I paint and write
dance and sing
craft and stretch
balance on the rope
ride my bicycle
my ideas inside out
connecting with people and
for to make my child's heart sing
I first need to make
my heart's sing
the louder - the better
All that while
drawing snails and sea-horses
playing lego for hours
digging the sandbox
taking my sunbeam out
to meet the world
and interesting people of all
All that while
growing my knowledge and patience
and physical pain endurance
compromising my needs
training for better stamina
running a few websites and having
a stolen alone-in-the-bath time
All that while
still having an idea
of being a better mother
a better wife
a better artist
Still having an idea
of being more engaged
present and gentle
attentive, productive, harmonious
to become a yoga teacher
a published writer
a paid artist
A quiet morning half-filled cup
of chamomile tea after
5 hours of sleep
Who will pay for this rainbow chaos work?
Who will pay for my
to the just world?
Who will help me to stay
on my own
with one wallet filled
of no weight
package of dreams?
Who will pay me more
than a boring 9 to 5
with 7 days off in summer
and 7 days off in winter
but none on the week
when my child is having fever
and needs me to stay
Who will pay me
for being home,
a domestic goddess crazy artist adventurer
and a mother
The work i offer my family is not a paid one,
though it could be.
So if something more is being asked of my
- as a change within or a money -
sorry, but I don't give,
someone else must.
Vilnius, June 2019
I started to paint you in the deep winter, beginning of 2015. That's over 4 years ago. I've taken you out to the forest to paint with music by the bent pine tree and to the square in the city center to paint openly.. You've changed homes with me and traveled to far south. Eventually a Child came to stay, and you witnessed that too. She was stepping all over you in her first crawling delight! I stamped you with kisses, painted naked, painted through my resistance and through my excitement. On 18th May 2019, I left you in the alley of Jonas Mekas - as a gift to him, and for the sake of letting go. I know you've wanted that for some time now - to travel and explore and change your perspective... I wish you a happy life and eyes that will find the place in their hearts for you. I started to paint you in the deep winter, beginning of 2015. That's over 4 years ago. I've taken you out to the forest to paint with music by the bent pine tree and to the square in the city center to paint openly.. You've changed homes with me and traveled to far south. Eventually a Child came to stay, and you witnessed that too. She was stepping all over you in her first crawling delight! I stamped you with kisses, painted naked, painted through my resistance and through my excitement. On 18th May 2019, I left you in the alley of Jonas Mekas - as a gift to him, and for the sake of letting go. I know you've wanted that for some time now - to travel and explore and change your perspective... I wish you a happy life and eyes that will find the place in their hearts for you. I started to paint you in the deep winter, beginning of 2015. That's over 4 years ago. I've taken you out to the forest to paint with music by the bent pine tree and to the square in the city center to paint openly.. You've changed homes with me and traveled to far south. Eventually a Child came to stay, and you witnessed that too. She was stepping all over you in her first crawling delight! I stamped you with kisses, painted naked, painted through my resistance and through my excitement. On 18th May 2019, I left you in the alley of Jonas Mekas - as a gift to him, and for the sake of letting go. I know you've wanted that for some time now - to travel and explore and change your perspective... I wish you a happy life and eyes that will find the place in their hearts for you.
The winter on 2012 was going to be spent in Spain. It was my first time taking a leave from snow with a wish for sun, waterfalls and bare feet. The ultimate flight's destiny was Barcelona, but I took a leap through.. Sweden.
I wanted to visit my friend who at that time lived in a countryside near Gotenburg. I remember taking a train from Stockholm, knowing it was going to be such a long trip. The train took me into the evening and then into the night.. People were curiously staring.. I had a big bagpack with many things dangling at its sides and the layers of my colourful clothes must have looked unusual. I was still not sure if I had enough of warm clothes for November in Sweden!
But there was not much snow there yet right untill 24th of December.
Norsesund - a beautiful, forest-bound locality, about 50 km from Gotenburd, driving North-east. With it's own train station and less than 280 inhabitants in 2010, it was said to be a place of artists and my friend showed me to the garden and gallery of his neighbour who used to paint and make sculptures there.
Unfortunately, that man had died only around 2 weeks before my arrival.
So I found myself walking down that road everyday, my feet taking me to the old man's garden and his gigantic painting displayed between the trees.. of people picking mangoes and smiling.. I would stare at the closed door of his gallery/studio, imagining our meeting and how he would let me to use the space to create with him, and how I would bake cookies and bring them to him in the morning, our walks in the first snow, and many other things.
I have gotten myself an invisible friend and he was my local source of inspiration.
I have then still not experienced death in my close range of family and friends, and that man was not even someone I knew, but through my gentle mourning and dreaming about the Grandpa Rosen, the "Lost" Old Man, I saw how death can have a significant and wonderful impact on our creative lives!
During my stay in Norsesund, I was having a lot of time walking, dreaming and photographing. I took up the knitting again after several years of break, I baked heart-shaped Pepparkakor in enormous amounts and did some little paper handcrafts to decorate the house for Christmas. I also borrowed a set of markers for drawing and started a blog to write about my days of travel.. (you can find and read the Norsesund-related post right here wloczkastory.blogspot.com/2012 )
Although I've never gone to the gallery to actually see Rosen's works, it was important for me to feel it was so near.. really, a few hundred metres away! There were other households in the area with an evident artistic vein in them, I could see it through the windows and in their yards.. together, with the Mask Rosen Gellery, they formed a supportive ring around me.. adding courage, zest and a nudge to explore in that new place I've come to live in.
I've been making a lot of self-portraits some years ago. It was my way to learn about photography and a part of self-discovery in my late teen years. I got my first digital Canon for 20th birthday and celebrated wildly through a couple of following weeks by making different sorts of photo-sessions, experimenting with monochrome and then learning some Photoshop. I really got into it!
I was photographing myself - it was the easiest, most accessible way to continue doing portraits and develop my artistic language. Landscapes and abstract were good. But it was the eyes and human body that I wished to explore way deeper. I was with myself 24h/7 so there was a good deal of collaboration.
It never felt like posing. It is so intimate.. The soft anticipation before you go to the other side of the camera to view what have become out of your attempt..
And it was before I've ever heard the word "selfie". Or perhaps before selfies even existed.
No. They existed. I remember this sort of pictures on some of MySpace profiles back in 2004. MySpace was what facebook is today. In a way..
So yes, for me the self-portraits were different than that. Different than just posing to capture the look of my face.
It was one of the glowing channels for my magic.. And it continued to spring for several years onward.
Then at some point I stopped. I guess it was about the same time I started travelling. 2011.
I was 22 and have been playing with the camera for over 4 years then (at first I was using my Grandparents' Lumix - they are both photographers). I started to gain a different focus. I wanted to travel light, I stopped taking camera with me. It was still there when I first ventured to Ireland, but then I quit..
And the self-portraits never really returned.
After my journeys, self-photography was not something I was interested in anymore. When I gave it a thought - it felt like it would have distracted my focus too much onto material things.. the external looks.. the images.. the computer work.. I was on a whole another wave then and wanted to remain afloat.
But what I see now (and couldn't then), is that I developed a sense of "not wanting to make an impression of a self-centred person". Yes.. the slight fear of judgement was underlying my choices.. and not that I was a self-centred person - though I think we all are, to some extend - but I just didn't want to be perceived as such.
And today I recognise that I was not altogether free in my choice. I was actually getting attached to that "new version" of me - One Who Didn't Photograph. One who did not try to capture the moment in the lens. And for sure one who did not try to capture herself in the moment- what's the use of that.
So now, as I begin to hear a silent call from the familiar direction - I'm getting interested!..
I'm thinking to myself: "Oh, so you want to try that again?"
How would it be to photograph myself again after almost 8 years have passed?
I am a different person now. A different woman.
I carried my first child, I gave birth, breastfed, carried in a wrap, was entwined with another being... and that everyday! I swam among the sea of new responsibilities and callings and impressions...
Next to that I've been living in a relationship with a man- the longest I've had so far.
There was indescribable beauty, and there were some dark days and nights too, some of them probably the darkest in my life...
How would it feel now - to photograph myself ?
What would my Self feel?
My name is Agnieszka, I am an interdisciplinary artist and mother.
Gifted with motherhood over 3 years ago, I feel on a mission to celebrate it through arts.
I am a writer, painter, singer, photographer and spinner and nurture a great wish to continue with my passions to make them a strong source of financial support for my family.
Recently I meet more and more women with similar attitude - it brings me hope and I feel proud to be walking that road less traveled..
I believe my daughter can benefit immensely by seeing me doing the things I love and not giving it up for a less desired "job".
I have strong faith in the purpose behind my creations and let myself be guided by them.
Visit my website where I share the creative process of our mother-daughter duo:
Thank you for your support!