Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The pleasures of things tiny

One of the things that I’ve learned through having ME is an appreciation of small things that I might not have paid much attention to when I was well and very very busy. I don’t think I’d ever have gone around my garden sniffing the bushes’ leaves or delighted in the tiny white hairs on the stems of my one tomato-plant which grows right next to the chair I have breakfast in on a sunny morning. As I have been housebound a lot my focus had to shift and find inspiration in what I’ve got around me. I discovered the light/shadow-drawing made by the sun through my drawn blinds in the old bedroom and watched it slowly moving across the wall as the morning passed. The green hill that I could see from my bedroom became my Switzerland. A rare outing to an exhibition with a friend can nurture and inspire me for weeks and weeks.
My energies have been fluctuating a lot lately, so I’ve had good moments (rather short) and bad ones (much longer). The good moments are seized on and enjoyed to the hilt; it’s those seemingly endless grey mind-body-soul-numbing fatigue-periods that are hard to take as they obliterate everything, sensation, thought, desire. I have art-projects for every kind of energy level, making tiny light things when it’s difficult to hold stuff that has any weight at all really, straightforward simple crocheting without pattern or counting when my brain just doesn’t work , slightly more complicated stuff for when body and mind are reasonably in sync (i.e. working with hair) and something with pattern and some weight (the often mentioned red dress) for the better periods. Often that means that I work on different things during the day. I’m better in the morning, so my newest hairdress usually grows slowly early in the day, in the afternoon something else will be focussed on and in the evening, if my arms can still be lifted at all it’s something simple and straightforward.
It’s hard to say if I’d started crocheting if I hadn’t fallen ill with ME, but it suits me well now as I can do a lot of it lying down. And I’m expanding what I can do with crocheting, learning new stitches, trying out all kinds of materials, from yarns to hair to wires to wire-sleeving. My head as usual is buzzing with ideas of all sizes. From the child-size walking legs featured in my first-ever blog to hair dresses to tiny wire-doily-like things and something (so far only imagined) suitably large-meshed to be made from the coil of red wire-sleeving lying in my hallway the possibilities are endless.
PS. I am playing too!
PPS. I just love the way the real object peels away from the shadow in the second image.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Playing is hard

I’ve been thinking a lot about playing lately. Playing experimenting trying out letting things happen not working with a plan, it’s something that doesn’t come natural to me. I like to know what I’m working on, even if it changes while I’m working on ’it’. I like to have a bigger plan that guides my creative steps. Lately that has left me dissatisfied. I found that it quenches strangles chokes cuts off some of my artistic impulses which suddenly demand to be followed up. I am torn. Between my need to work in a structured manner, to produce coherently, to be good, to do good, to do right, to do well, with a clear aim in sight, and this new urgency to stumble mumble fumble in the dark. Normally I start out with an idea about what I want to say, what I want to explore. Things branch out from there of course, accidents happen, new ideas and impulses find their way in. And I’ve done some good work like that. But then I started thinking about playing… and found that playing and thinking are mutually exclusive. As soon as my ever-domineering head kicks in JUDGEMENT comes into play and spoils the fun. Judging does not go with playing. This is not new to me and playfulness has never been my forte, but having ME has strengthened that forbidding voice: every small period of energy has to be used and made the most of, every instant of alertness probed and squeezed and utilised and manifested and made meaningful in that vast grey fog of fatigue. In those short moments I have to prove myself. In a strange way I’ve remained a workoholic, only one of a very condensed kind! First work and then play is still my self-activating self-regulating over-arching motto. Ha! No more! Says she and then doesn’t know what to do with herself. Panic. I’m breaking into a sweat just writing this. But I want to play and see where it takes me. I want to be excited and surprised and have adventures with myself. I have tiny moments when I can, do, tiny moments.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Concealing and revealing

girl’s tapdancing shoes wrapped in mercerised cotton and suspended

to wrap – to fold or wind around so as to cover, to surround or conceal by surrounding, to enclose, immerse, or absorb, to fold, wind, or roll up, to be or become wound or extended…

to bind – to make or become fast or secure with or as if with a tie or band, to encircle or enclose with a band, to place under obligation, oblige, to impose legal obligations or duties upon, to make irrevocable; seal, to restrain or confine with or as if with ties, as of responsibility or loyalty, to place under certain constraints; govern, to bandage, to cohere or cause to cohere, to make or become compact, stiff, or hard, to enclose and fasten between covers, to provide with a border or edging, to employ as an apprentice; indenture…
(from Collins Concise Dictionary)

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Drawing with light

Yesterday a burst of energy coincided with perfect weather conditions and I was finally able to try something that had been on my mind for ages. Summer seemed to be back (last seen in April) - the sun was shining full-blast and I took outside a copper-wire doily I’d crocheted. The sharpness of the shadow-drawings delights me no end. Glad I seized the moment as sky overcast today again.
(if you click on the individual pix you can look at them full-size, it's worth it)

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Hey there

My blog is on my mind a lot, it’s become one of the things I really want to do and I hate that I have such long periods when it’s impossible. Had stuff on my mind to write about, made notes, but too tired as apart from washing of self washing of clothes of the essence today. A blog can be a whimper, a whisper, a shriek, a cry, a halting bit of speech, a steady flow of words, a stammering, a bursting forth, a tentative groping for meaning, a trickle, a pouring out, a bubbling up of laughter. Today it’s just an out-breath, a barely audible sigh