The strange days continue. My life has been doing a lot of changing this last half a year. On good days it seems like a nice linear journey, about which i can write or paint or draw or describe. On bad days I am left without any means of expressing anything, a rabbit in the headlights, a cowering mouse in a burrow. Personal journeys are fine to capture and narrate, to weave into the artists story. But when that journey is a lot about other people and external factors, it becomes locked inside, hard to process, to express, hard to gain perspective, hard to manage.
But at least I have managed to get a little painting done
For my own part I have been taking up new hobbies, things to use my hands, brain, body in ways that are not connected with anything stressful, work-like, business-like or ambitious, Just things to do. Health and well being stuff.
One of the Life lessons i’ve been mulling is “don’t ask WHY, ask HOW”
There is no ‘why’ to my ongoing passion for willow weaving, I’ve signed up for an 8 week evening class and am learning lots more ‘how’.
This was supposed to be a small garlic holder, i took some odds and ends of willow home & made a quiver instead.
This was me playing with different weaves to see what effect it had on shape control and just how much i could push things in terms of using tiny scraps and bending the rules.
I’ve also taken up climbing. Even having a go at my age feels like a victory. I had waited and waited for months to get my injured arm better before i did anything as strenuous as this, but It seems that the arm will go on being sore for ever, so We just made a start anyway, Andy has been doing it for years so has been showing me the ropes – literally.
It is tricky, because I am so used to the general arm pain, it is hard to know when i have pushed it too far. Some days holding a paint brush is more damaging to it than something like climbing. So i try to conserve it as best as possible and know that after something like hoovering, writing, driving or climbing, it may be bad for a couple of days after. But I love climbing, it is very weird, i like the feeling of safety with the tension of the rope and Andy Belaying. I like the height, i like the ‘in the moment’ness of it all. I like the knots, i like the learning how to shift weight, use different parts of the body and trying to find some way of hauling myself up there. I like overcoming the pain and frustration , shakes and cramping forearms to manage those difficult bits and get to the top. I like it so much i went wild and invested in some proper shoes instead of slip sliding around in my hill-walking boots, what a difference they make! I was worried about me being able to do it in these shoes, because i have collapsed feet and any pressure on the front of my feet gives me cramps and trapped nerves- yes, i am sounding like a right old crock here! However so far so good, i have lots to learn about techniques and equipment and i don’t know if i’ll ever progress onto harder routes But that doesn’t matter. Not why, but how?
Oh I have also started Yoga, which leaves me feeling great, but more sore than climbing, and that is another story. I need Yogic kneepads or something.
So I’m chipping away at work, trying to keep up with the basics, trying to not get burdened with 20 million voluntary tasks for other people, trying to say ‘No’ more. The days are getting lighter, signs of life in the soggy garden. But so much stress with external situations, wrings the joy out of everything. In fact latterly i was left too shook up and scared to function. When we sprain an ankle we are told to rest, when we have a migraine, go to bed, so how come when we are distressed, upset, frightened, shocked or worried, we tend to try and ignore it – ploughing on regardless? This time i packed my bags and went to Andy’s to rest and recoup for the week. I feel safer and calmer there, time to digest. There is limited computer access, so I can’t get on with my normal work. This turned out to be a blessing, because i was able to do some painting ^ see above and below. I have some bigger canvas ones on the go now too.
This wee Hare has sold already, but is available as a print!
Andy paints too! But his set up is not something he can pop into a bag and do anywhere. Behold the master at work! You can see some of his work Here.
Here are some photos from East coast spring days and walks. Spring is here now. Here is hoping that life soon settles into something calmer, simpler, with plenty of creative time and sunshine. Time to pick up the reins, or rudder or steering wheel and get this wagon back on some sort of track…maybe.