Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

‘all just breaking like waves’

The last two and a half weeks of xmas and new year disruption feel like it has gone on forever, I’m desperate for the dawn to break, the fuzzy chaotic darkness and midwinter chaos cave dwelling to end, for a boost of energy, some space, to attack the lagging workload, pressing problems, clear the decks of holly ( or paperchains at least ), to grasp 2012 and make some changes. Typically the fates haves other ideas and has given me a rotten cold and toothache, holding me back like a dog straining at the leash after the scent of the hunt.

Its only a cold, a couple of days slowed down, is no big deal, surely? Not when i have 6 pages of comic to colour in 4 days, followed by 22 pages to draw by end of the month, plus job hunting or perusing a new business idea, plus desperately trying to sell enough books to afford food this weeks, plus…well there are other major work pressures which i’ve been told i’m not allowed to talk about. Its only a cold, take a couple of days off & go with the flow, a couple of days off emergency call ? Let the others take up the slack ? There are many areas in my life were there is a lack of back up, resilience or cushioning.

I once worked at an establishment with a poster on the staff room wall, reminding staff that none of us are indispensable or that important and we can all be replaced easily. Very motivational ( not ). Yet the American dream, cult of the individual repeatedly tells us that with hard work anyone can achieve amazing things, we should aspire to be heroic, ruthless, pursuing individual goals. The UK version cherry picks from this ethos, dog eat dog, but stay in line, stay in your class, don’t rock the boat, you are not important, cogs in the machine, get back in the box. I was raised to compete, perhaps the competitiveness was in the genes? nature nurture? I have amended this programme, i compete against myself, against the hand i’m played, against adversity, against those who attempt to limit or oppress me, rather than against other individuals. So are we all dispensible, just windblown seeds, breaking like waves, generations nudging forward, or do the actions of one individual matter, do they ripple out like the butterfly affect?

I have chosen to mostly believe that we can all matter, each one of us, it’s a better incentive to get out of bed in the morning. But the harsh demons that drive me require a supreme effort to make as much difference as possible, to do everything humanly possible, that nothing is ever quite enough, which does leave me with no room at all to get a cold. This cold could have a massive butterfly affect for things for me and others at the moment, if i’m not fit and well in 6 days I may not make it to a training course or pass that training course, which could have massive implications in the area that i’ve been told i’m not to discuss. That’s a hell of a lot of pressure on one person, its not the way things are supposed to be. Is it any wonder i’ve gotten ill? I’ve been going out jogging in storm & hail to try & be fit enough for this course, taking the burden of the whole thing on my shoulders.

It’s probably time i was dispensable. I don’t know how things will play out this week, there is a time to fight, a time to run and a time to curl up & wait. I’ve never been sure if i know when to do which. passive verses active. You know those passive aggressive people? I wonder if i’m an active submissive! ( < quite proud of that one ! ) As in; running around busily taking on everyone else’s nonsense.

As an artist, are we important? pushing things forward or just another ripple in the tide? part of a whole…or both? wave, particle or massive cosmic event ? It doesn’t really matter as an artist is compelled to create regardless of outcome, but these questions do impede the creative process. I’m quite sure one of my little pictures won’t be the butterfly wings that start a tornado, but they may join in with all those other little actions which gently ripple out and touch who knows where. Quantum physics tell us that every electron in the universe has a different energy state ( that sort of thing makes me feel rather queasy and no i don’t understand it ), so every electron than changes state means that every other one in the universe has to shift as no two can be the same. It makes the butterfly wing concept seem rather mundane! But Its a great notion to be thinking on! me typing here shifting things out at the edge of the event horizon? or behind some nebula? Could my cold affect a whole workplace and my whole work-life for months years to come? or will i get better & back to cutting it fine, business as usual? does it really matter? Will i be doing the same things next month or something completely different? 2012 has certainly started as an unpredictable one!

2 comments on “‘all just breaking like waves’

  1. Frances
    January 11, 2012

    Hi, I came across your blog last year, and have been peeping in every so often. Your art is wonderful – lively, inspiring, beautiful.

    When i'm feeling like you describe, i step back. Firstly, to the heart of yourself – what is the essence of yourself? All you ever need to do is connect to, and be true to, that.

    Secondly, step back and look at your life as a whole, from birth to death. It's big, it moves in strange ways, it can't be controlled.

    Thirdly, step back further, and imagine looking down at Earth from space. You are on it, somewhere! Don't know why, but thinking of that always seems to lift me when i'm feeling swamped.

    All the best to you.

  2. Vicky
    January 11, 2012

    Thanks for your feedback Frances! I had other feedback that indicated that the blog came across 'depressed' which i wasn't, just bogged down by things outwith my control! A lot of the problems come from things i'm not allowed to write about eg my Fire service work, with government cuts and extra work pressure piling on i'm sure you can imagine things are not good!

    The perspectives you describe are good, I do the whole life one a lot, and without realising do spend a lot of time in outer space, the universe is very giddying! I do need to take more time to the inner though! that one is a mystery to me! Thanks. x

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2012 by in Blog and tagged , .

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