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.

5 comments:

redredday said...

boy, i almost flipped when i saw the first picture. i thought it was red fallen hair in the hand. just the other night i dreamt of my hair falling out and from a quick glance, your image of the skin with the copper was exactly what my scalp looked like in the dream. it is really weird. but thank you for making me see some beauty in something that's been disturbing me.
your words, the works you have going, continue to affect me like crazy. you talk about some lack of energy but the energy you give off is so incredibly powerful (and i don't think i am not the only one feeling it).

Marjojo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kruse said...

The shadow 'drawings' are very beautiful. I would love to curate a show on the ephemeral, the unconsidered, the delicate and lowly. Would'nt that be beautiful? It would have to be in a very special place though. Maybe a cave or a hut in woods....

Amanda said...

This happened to me too when I first got sick! I spent ages lieing around watching and appreciating as different shadows and reflections moved around the room. When I bought my first digital camera I was able to capture these and some of those photos are still among my favourites. I did consider making my masters about light, but I wasn't really thinking clearly enough in the beginning to have confidence in where I could take it. A few of the photos from that time are here: http://flickr.com/photos/amandaw-w/sets/1667996/

Anne-Laure said...

It seems as though you have found wisdom in learning how to handle your health and your limitations - finding the doors that they open that you would have passed by otherwise - I've been having health difficulties recently, and this is new to me, not being able to count on my body to do what I ask of it, and I've been spending more time trying to fight it or just being frustrated, so your words are good reminders to me. Thank you!