I have been busy working through the last few months of documentation from the work done this year on MAKE=BELIEVE. So much to think about, and many, many threads of research to pursue. The longer I work on this installation, the more I learn and discover. What a joy that is.
Here’s part 1 of a walk through the installation – I hope it’s a chance for people to pause for a few minutes, and maybe provide a little break in these odd and crazy times.
Looking forward to any feedback you may want to provide. Stay well & safe.
I’ve been thinking a good bit over the last few months about self-care, and in particular the need for conscious self-care on the part of artists.
In part these thoughts come from my own understanding of what I need – starting with saying ‘no’ more often – and honouring the fact that I need LOTS of recharge time on my own to be good to and for others and for the community I wish to support and serve. That means fewer opportunities sometimes – which has its own sort of stress. But for me right now, that’s necessary. These thoughts also stem from many conversations (truth to tell, too many) with other artists over the last couple of years about the reality of their lives, and about exhaustion and burnout.
How incredibly focussed and dedicated my colleagues are – and how tired. Juggling jobs (two? three? more???) some of them, to keep head above water in a gig economy. OR, finally landing “THE job” – the one that pays enough to forego the side gigs – just to see time and energy eaten week after week by the needs and demands of the work at hand, because there aren’t enough hands to do the work, or hours in the day … and they are responsible people, who care about their colleagues and the work they do.
And these bright, talented people ask themselves (and have admitted to me): “I wonder if I am still an artist? Can I even call myself that anymore?
That’s a hard thing to hear, especially given that it’s evident how much talent they have and how much they have to offer the world and their community, on all kinds of levels.
SO – why on earth am I talking about this, and interspersing these observations with pictures of autumn leaves, and glancing sunlight, and panorama photos of coastlines and sky?
Because I have the privilege of being able to take some time for myself just now; I have joked that I have “run away” temporarily … but I haven’t really. Not at all.
If anything, I have gone away to be more totally present. I had the opportunity to get away from my home city and all that is familiar, and to spend some time in another part of the country. I jumped at it. I knew I needed the break very badly, and was (and continue to be) incredibly grateful for the good fortune that has allowed me to do this.
To just be for a little while.
To figure a little bit more out – what next, why, what are the limits, how far and hard to push, and in what direction.
What is healthy (for me) … what is healthy for each of us? It can’t be the grind that I see so many people inside, in all walks of life. Is it any wonder so many of us are angry? Sad? Feeling desperate?
Do I have the solutions or answers or tools to help? I have no idea. But I do know that not having the opportunity to just STOP for a little bit, every so often, absolutely precludes the opportunity to consider these questions – and to seek the answers that are right for oneself.
May the world shift in favour of more humane ways of being for all of us.
Tomorrow is another day, and perhaps it will be a good one, for more of us.
Gathered with family yesterday evening to celebrate the Season; many hours of good conversation, cooking together, and eating. Spent the entire time counting blessings, and losing count over and over.
It was a culmination of sorts: a time to put aside the busy-ness of the last many weeks for all of us, to stop for a bit and share some laughter, catch up with one another, and leave the frenzied part of this Season on the other side of the door.
So very welcome, that.
And today, I was blessed with a truly quiet and peaceful day.
Took a walk with my best friend and partner late in the afternoon, and brought our cameras along to see what we found …
SO quiet. Almost no traffic, even on the busy streets; almost no one (save us) out walking.
Fingers wound up fighting with the cold and working our camera controls after a short time, so found a place for coffee – and found it surprisingly busy, but even so, people seemed still – reading, journalling, talking with friends.
As we walked home and the last of the day’s light faded, I was able to catch a few shots that seemed to sum it all up rather well:
It is my sincere hope for everyone that you might all find some time to
today, or over the next little while, and have the opportunity to enjoy a little peace and silence in your day.
May all of us find the world we share a little bit kinder, a little bit gentler, a little more compassionate than it was this past year.
May we all be part of making it a better place to live (in however small a way) each day, and carry that spark with us, and let it infuse our actions with the best that humanity can offer to each other and to the planet.
All the very best to you all.