On love in confinement: essay by Carissa Potter

Carissa Potter, The Creative Independent, April 15, 2020

(excerpt) As the pregnancy dragged on, I started to feel inspired despite the extreme fatigue. I said “fuck it” and just made what my mind wanted to in the moment. I didn’t think too far ahead. I told myself time would be tight when the baby arrived, and felt like this would be the last time I would be able to make anything just for the pure joy of making.


As stereotypical as it sounds, I let myself just paint. Looking back on what I was doing, I now notice they were all sumi ink drawings of couples with flowers blooming.

Alongside these hormonal surges of inspiration, I obsessed over how my body was working on the most complicated project I would ever make. I was in total awe of how all my life I thought I was in control, but really the smart one was my body. It felt like a new center of control and creation had taken over, and my consciousness was not allowed inside.

My nature seems to be anxious; I use worry as a coping mechanism. The theory with this way of thinking is that if you imagine a worst-case scenario, you will be prepared in the event that it ends up happening. Worrying is like taking a proactive approach to bad things.

Despite this, at the time, I felt a strong sense of certainty—a sense one should probably never have about anything—that the baby would be healthy. To combat the already accelerating fears of all the unknowns a child brings, I knew she would be ok and took every healthy scan as a sign from god* that she was going to be perfect. And all the scans lined up and pointed straight towards a confirmation of my faith*.

*I don’t know what I mean by this term. I am an atheist.

*I suppose it is a belief in an unseen, natural order of things.