a big dilemma of the artist is their parents. i think many of us often wrestle with the emotions from the fact that our parents want us to come home. we run away to big cities like new york, paris, berlin to find ourselves and when we do, we realize that we like where we are or where we are going and we don't want to go home but keep going forward. we run after this (un)attainable, romanticized dream to write the great american novel, paint the ultimate masterpiece, become a rockstar, contruct a book of poems that will transcend and help bring Poetry back into the hands of the people. but the truth is, many parents wonder when we will outgrow this "phase" and finally come home. many think once we find ourselves, we will fly back to the nest.
and it's not always true that all artists escape home and runaway. many would like to return to the nest, but it is not an option. we wonder if we are being selfish, but really we know deep inside that it's self-sustaining. we are running toward the end of the rainbow and though we may or may not be disillusioned by what is found there, the journey is what keeps us going. and this is life. this is why we continue to wake up every day. there have been many artists' letters where the artist expresses this dilemma and write home expressing what they've discovered, explaining why they must stay and will not be returning home just yet, if ever. these letters document how difficult it is to deal with these emotions and to mend the rift caused by their "great escape".
and even if parents wait hopelessly for their child to leave this childish dream behind and finally get a real job, or if they convince their child to come back and write or paint in the attic, the truth is as difficult as it is, it's worth the stay. there may be no heat and there are days we live off coffee and cigarettes, but isn't it worth it?