I’m watching Andy Murray battle Roger Federer in the Men’s Singles Finals at Wimbledon. Today I can’t complain, as the sun has come out, though it’s still very windy and changeable. Those clouds keep racing past the sun and turning everything navy blue again. It’s ridiculous how much my heart plummets to my feet at those moments, and then how uplifted I am when the wavering shadows reappear on the floor that signal the sun’s swift return.
Our car is broken down again, so we’ve resigned ourselves to a weekend at home with no journeys or trips. I can’t describe how much more relaxed and peaceful it’s been. We are homebodies anyway, and rarely go far these days. But to not even be able to nip up to the shops is quite delightful. I used to fear not having a car; fear the feeling of being trapped (we’re not exactly remote where we are, just a little off the public transport routes and a bit more than walking distance to any shops and services). Living here was supposed to be a step closer to the dream of living on the side of an Australian mountain. Like doing it with our training-wheels on.
The rain cleared yesterday evening for a while, so I pulled on a coat and some walking shoes and left the boys alone for a while to stroll down to the river and the meadows. I was surprised by how lush our local habitat is looking. I shouldn’t have been, after all this rain. It’s positively heaving with greenness, so that it’s almost obscene. Like Nature gone dirty, with her short skirt on and all her wares on display. Fecund. Even the aroma fits the description. The privet hedges are in full bloom and the smell makes me feel quite sick as I walk by them.
I was considering how to reframe my position on our recently atrocious weather. All I can think is that the Land is trying to cleanse itself. Maybe Earth is out of balance and she needs this right now? But thinking like this just makes me feel so sad about the state of the Earth and what we have done to her. Of course she’s out of balance. How can I begrudge her the right to whatever she needs? It’s not personal, after all. It’s not like she’s doing it to piss me off. But the suggestion that we’re all in this together doesn’t help me, either. Yes, climate change is affecting people and places all over the globe, but I still don’t feel that we’re united enough about doing something positive about it.
I do feel embittered at the moment. We seem to be in a time of heightened awareness about the imbalances that are underpinning our society. Since the so-called “credit crunch” started, the gap between rich and poor has widened in this country. Being poor is being almost criminalized by our current government in their policy speak. They use phrases like “getting troubled families back on the straight and narrow” to equate the need for social or economic support with notions of dishonesty and ill-gotten gains. Meanwhile, they are decimating our employment market and our public services, from healthcare to policing, to libraries, universities and the arts, with absolutely no regard for what the resulting effects of this will be in future. They are the rich and they have no concept of what it is to struggle or to be without.
I am reminded to be grateful for what I have got. We have a roof over our heads. It’s not quite the home we have been dreaming of, but it’s a good little house in a very pleasant setting. But most of all, I have this. One precious child.
I have been thinking about ways to approach a creative recovery.
1. Removing goals
2. Writing/Journalling/Start morning pages again?
3. Baby steps
4. Something about looking at what inspires me
5. Artist Dates?
For me, it’s hard to let go of the sense of purpose behind what I do. When I take my foot off the gas, my faith in what I do waivers. Finding that faith in myself seems really important right now.