Monday, 9 January 2012

a new year

My first thought for the new year is about place. Space. Somewhere to work in. After the totally disastrous effects of giving up my workroom for month last year, I now have completely claimed this room. No more piano, no more spare bed, no reason for anyone to come in, and certainly no reason for anyone to stay there for a week or a month!!

It makes a huge difference to the state of my mind when it comes to this work. I know that, in principle, I can work anywhere - that I can work small or large, that there are things all around me to stimulate me, and that a kitchen table can do the job. But in reality, it doesn't seem to work out like that. With the level of recurring self-doubt that I have learnt inhabits me, even if it is diminishing, it seems that it is actually very important to have a space that I can walk into that says - Look! Here you are, you art person you! Here's a bit of your mind you didn't know existed until yesterday, and over here a wee chunk of your heart, and look, here's something you actually saw in the outside world!

Instead of having to decide whether or not I have enough time to clear the table and get the stuff out, I can just walk in and see something half finished that only needs me to walk over to it and take the top off the waiting tube of paint. I have somewhere to put the board with the stretched paper that had to be done yesterday so that it was ready to paint on today. And, I have somewhere I can wander into when I have no intention of working at all, where I can sit, and breathe, and let tiny molecules of the importance of art become part of the material of my body.

Folk go to CBT to learn to how to stop thoughts and behaviours that are slowly doing them in, week after month after year. More and more, whether we read neuroscience, the daily paper, or study Buddhism, we seem to be coming face to face with the fact that we make up our lives every minute, whether we think about it or not. Having this room helps me to reinvent the world I know.

no world but this

Other worldly light
is this world
those strange angles
I can find
Where the world
lights up
with oddness
or seems
suffused with
love or horror
with mystery
or grace
All this world
no other

And I
standing in
the middle
of it all

Of course
it makes no
to say that
there is
but my

plants and
people, politics
and injustice

And yet
it is also
that everything
comes to me
my senses

As I
story and place
the whole


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