Have you ever noticed how moods are assigned colours? Feeling blue? Think of Holly Golightly's 'mean reds' or Churchill's 'Black Dog'. Maybe you can think of a few more? These days having a spur of the moment huff requires planning which takes the edge off things (hound, nappies, two small people, snacks, car seats ... the usual). In the old days I could just walk out the door and along the Thames to the Tate (or Tiffany's for that matter - Holly was right, it's the kind of place that calms you down). I spent the night before Finals sketching the Brancusi's in London - and seeing them recently at MOMA they are like the 'old friends' Alan Bennett was talking about. These days to get any sense of calm with the gang in tow I need space - big space, West Wittering beach, Forest of Bere. Talking with a good friend yesterday we shared a longing for space - Chiva Som would be good, but a proper old fashioned solitude filled retreat would be a dream. Are we the only ones? Simply getting outside every day and walking is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave me when you have young children, no matter if it feels like you are preparing for an expedition rather than a stroll through town or up the lane.
Brancusi 'Bird in Space'
Last night waiting for the girls to finish ballet, one of the Mums was saying her little one wanted to do pottery but was worried she'd be expected to produce a perfect pot first time. I don't know about you but I identify with that feeling. Maybe that's something I'm still learning - people screw up, mistakes are made on a global and personal scale. So what do you do with the rubble of your life? Sit and wallow, or get back up and rebuild things - stronger, safer, better? A very wise woman said to me a couple of days ago that crisis can be good - if you've taken your eye off the most important things in your life, (if you've been throwing bricks haphazardly on even the best foundations), it gives you a chance to start over and build something better. I've said before one of my favourite quotes is from Tom Stoppard: 'Life's bounty is in its flow - later is too late'. Change, crisis, flow - we're all up against it at the moment, but this can be an opportunity if we take the challenge.
TODAY'S PROMPT: I remember reading John Mortimer talking about the value of changing the script of your life once in a while. Don't know about you, but I've been experiencing a complete paradigm shift thanks to what has happened recently. All cultures have ways of describing transformation, awakening (think of yogic/ayurvedic kundalini shift). Change is never easy. We're all living in a new uncertain world - what are you going to do with it? What have you been wanting to try with your work - or life, but haven't dared? I was invited to record a new piece for an arts radio station last week. No fee, but you know what? I did it yesterday and it was fun. I'm going to be recording some of the blog posts and prompts as podcasts for them too, and it feels really good to be taking the work in a new direction. (Well it's that or hide in bed watching Brief Encounter with a box of tissues ...) No, enough of lying doggo. If I can figure out how to embed the posts in the blog I'll put them up here for you too. So, how about you? What one new thing do you want to try today?