A book about the daily rituals of great artists ….creative geniuses – mostly men – …their schedules and daily routines.
…Their wives protected them from interruptions; their housekeepers and maids brought them breakfast and coffee at odd hours; their nannies kept their children out of their hair. Martha Freud not only laid out Sigmund’s clothes every morning, she even put the toothpaste on his toothbrush. Marcel Proust’s housekeeper, Celeste, not only brought him his daily coffee, croissants, newspapers and mail on a silver tray, but was always on hand whenever he wanted to chat, sometimes for hours.
……Thorstein Veblen wrote that throughout history the people who had the ability to choose and control their time were high-status men. He dismissed women on page two, writing that they, along with the servants and the slaves, have always been responsible for the drudge work that enables those high-status men to think their great thoughts.
…I think of an interview Patti Scialfa gave on how difficult it was for her to write the music for her solo album because her kids kept interrupting her and demanding her time in a way that they never would of their father, Bruce Springsteen.
…Women still spend at least twice as much time as men doing housework and childcare, sometimes much more.
…The men spent more of their work days in long stretches of uninterrupted time to think, research, write, create and publish to make their names, advance their careers and get their ideas out into the world.
…I remember interviewing psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, famed for identifying the state of flow, the peak human experience when one is so absorbed in a meaningful task that time effectively disappears. It’s the state that artists and thinkers say is a requirement for creating anything of value.
What a clear and unconscious cry for respected and distinct boundaries in one’s life.