Friday 29 March 2013

Creativity and the True Fairy. And some spiders.

In my garden, is my studio.  I can see it from the house, and I get to it from across my garden.  As the garden floods easily, everything in Bognor floods easily, Alan has constructed two long thin planks of wood, single file, as a bridge over the waters from the house to the studio door.  Even if there are no floods, visitors coming from the house into the studio often think that they ought to balance their way across the garden upon this bridge like thing, as if it is a test.  You cannot enter the studio by normal means, it seems, I want you to prove your courage and true heart by tottering along some fiendish construction sent to test your ability to understand art.  If you can cross it, you can enter the studio and you will be one of us.  If you fall off it, you will land in mud, or if there is no rain, you will just fall off and feel you need to go back and try again.  There are those that ignore the bridge, and wade across the garden in wellies, or cross the garden in fine weather without noticing it; they have no tests to pass, in their hearts, they are just fine as they are.  I am mentioning this because the studio is, to some, a thing apart.  A place where art happens.  A place where creativity happens.  A place where otherness takes place.

Even to me, as I look over the garden to the studio, even to me and it is my studio, I feel a little bit of alarm.  In there, I paint.  What if I can't paint any more?  Will the bridge break and the studio melt away?  It is a place I have used over the years for creativity, for thinking, for being broken and mending again through art - that is where the A Graceful Death exhibition evolved - I have used it the play, to organise, to be entirely in the creative zone.  There is no housework in the studio, there is no cooking, there is no making the family work, as there is in my house.  In the house, I can be called away to all manner of things to do with having children, keeping a home going, being available to the outside world.  Sometimes, I look over the garden at the studio as a place I shall never enter again.  Sometimes I feel that life has taken over and that I have fallen into every day life as if into a bowl of blancmange, and I shall never climb out again.  That passes though; I gird up my loins, and with a bellow of intent, I leave the house to either cross the rickety bridge over the floods to the studio door, or stride across the garden in my slippers, scattering daisies as I go.  With a look of grim determination on my face, I pull out the newspaper wedged into the door which doesn't close without it because the lock and the handle fell off years ago, and I enter my studio.  Even though it often is so messy I get the hoover out and clean it up before starting any work.  Even though it is often so cold I can see my breath on the air as I breathe it.  Even though my paints may have congealed because they have been untouched for a while on the old chipped plates that I use as a palette.  Even though all of this and more, it is where I have left my real self, it is where I am enabled and challenged, it is where I can do things. 

Sometimes, as I sit down at the desk in the tiny office part of the studio, a single spider descends on a web in front of my face, silently, slowly, as if to check that I belong here, and I won't disturb the quiet, the equilibrium of the place, before continuing on to the floor and scuttling off to report the rest of the wild life in the studio. Once I put my old painting apron on, and a very large spider jumped out the pocket and ran away.  Oi!  it said, less of the rushing in and disturbing me!  Shriek!  I said, I will never wear this apron again!  So now, I check with my I love all God's little creatures hat on, but I do it with gritted teeth.  So far, no more big spiders have been living in the pockets of my painting aprons and old thermal painting coat, so far, there have been only tiny ones, and I don't mind them.  They can stay.  I feel we can do business.  The big ones need to go before I come in, and not live in my painting clothes nor die quietly in the drawers of my desk, amongst my printer paper, their eight legs all drawn into their middles, looking huge, pathetic and ridiculous all at the same time. I used to dress up like a Scene Of Crime officer, in a white all in one body suit showing only a bit of my face, with rubber gloves and a dustpan and brush to get rid of them. 

 Now I just sigh and, still with my rubber gloves on, shake the drawer into the bushes outside.

I am an artist, and I freely accept that.  But how I do anything that I do, is beyond me.  I have this studio, I have done time in there, and produced work, I have done art in it.  But I cannot for the life of me explain to you how it happens or why it happens.  I was wildly artistic when I was very young.  Those were the years in which I discovered that I was a true fairy.  I was bullied at school when I was little, the girls telling me that only those born in 1959 or 1961 were real fairies.  Since I was born in 1960, I was just a pretender.  After much painful discussion with a tree in which the fairy queen, Esmerelda, lived, I had a moment of cosmic revelation.  I, Antonia Rolls, was the True Fairy, and the others were just fibbing.  I never looked back.  My middle years were spent raising children (possibly the ultimate creative act, having babies) and doubt and worry set in.  Being an artist became too unreal.  The world got in the way, life got in the way, and I tumbled into making ends meet and trying to be a mother.  I lost sight of myself, and the True Fairy that I am, went into hibernation. 

Now that I am in my fifties, my babies are grown and I am able to think a bit more clearly.  And I still cannot work out what it is that makes me do what I do but now, I respect it more, accept it more, and firmly believe that though this creating lark is me, it is not mine to control.  It comes from somewhere outside of me, it is bigger than me, and is beamed into me when I ask for it to come.  This creativity never lessens, never increases, it is divine, wonderful, beautiful, glorious, and always there.  I can tap into it and tap out of it.  I can feel it has left me, I can feel it has overwhelmed me, I can feel any number of things, but it is never about this ocean of creativity leaving nor overwhelming me, it is about me diving into it myself, and walking away from it by choice.  I have never found painting easy, it is too serious and amazing to be easy, for me.  But I have found it totally fulfilling.  When I am painting, creating, writing, thinking, I am really who I was meant to be.  And of course, the studio will not melt, the bridge won't break.  I will always be able to paint, always be able to create, always be able to do things, because the ocean of creativity is not about a building, not about a single person, it is available for ever, for the asking, wherever and whatever we are, it is just there, waiting to be summoned. 

The True Fairy is in her element, and all is right with the world.  Except for the goddam spiders. 

The studio.  No spiders.  Just art.  Phew.

Friday 22 March 2013

Quiche, Soul Midwifery and A Graceful Death.

It is Friday and I am writing my blog.  This means I am on track and all is well in the heavens and on earth. Friday is my blog day and here I am doing it on Friday.  Recently, due to wobbles in the fabric of my life and times, I have ended up doing them on Saturdays, or Sundays.  I have even considered not doing them at all, or writing Heeeelp Meeeee as an entire blog entry.

I am lying on my sofa downstairs, fully dressed (in control) and wrapped up in a pink and white spotty blanket.  The sun is shining in through the window and I have had quiche for breakfast. I like quiche, I have made enough to keep me going for seven years.

 My two boys are here, the giant one is ill and the other one is still asleep after being enigmatic and popular at a party somewhere last night.  My daughter is ill in her house, and does not need to come home because her friends are bringing her honey toast, and that is making a big difference.  Quick! said a text from my daughter while I was at a meeting yesterday, urgent!  I phoned her back in a panic, tell me, I said, are you going to die?  No, she said, I need the recipe for pancakes.  I cannot eat honey toast any more, and I must have pancakes.  Quick, what is the recipe? 

I had a Soul Midwife meeting here on Monday.  This will have been the fourth such meeting, open to all Soul Midwives, and is a friendly, thoughtful gathering of people who have trained as Soul Midwives, and who work in many different areas within end of life care.  It was as usual, full of passion and discussion.  It seems to me, and always has, that we Soul Midwives need each other.  We need to meet and talk, we need to see what other Soul Midwives look like and how they are using soul midwifery in their working lives.  Left alone, a single Soul Midwife may wither and fade, as it takes time to assimilate our training into a form we can use.  Together, we are full of information, experience, thoughts and advice.  I need the input from the others, I can't do it alone.  At the meeting, we had nurses, community and palliative care, a nursing home manager, a sound therapist with a law background, an artist (me!), and a lady with nursing and care home experience who is dedicated to setting up a community for birth, life and death. 

I am still, though, stepping back from Soul Midwifery to concentrate on my art.  I will continue to host these meetings because I love it, and there is much inspiration from listening to the people who come to share their stories, thoughts and opinions.  I am a great hostess, I look forward to a good gathering, and I love to get people together to connect and inspire.  But my journey is through my art, and any Soul Midwifery I do will be within A Graceful Death.  So if, for example, someone staggers up to me at a train station, and gasps, Quick! I haven't got long, I want you and only you to stay with me till I die, which could be any time within the next ten minutes to four days, I won't say Be off with you!  I will only do it if I can paint you and interview you and Eileen records it. 

I will always do what I can to help people at the end of life, and their families, and I am looking forward to our next Soul Midwife gathering here, but I am taking a step back. So I won't pursue Soul Midwifery, but if it comes to me, I will do it gladly.

Yesterday I spent time with Julia, who I have mentioned before.  Julia has Motor Neuron Disease, and has become immobile and housebound within a year of her diagnosis.  Today, in fact, is the anniversary of that diagnosis.  I am painting Julia for the A Graceful Death exhibition and so I went back to see her, and Barry her husband, to update them on what I am doing.  It is lovely to see her.  I don't know Julia really, I have only met her with her MND, and always through the work I do for the exhibition.  But I am struck by how articulate and honest she and Barry are.  My interest in their story is the day to day reality of it.  Doctors and researchers can fill me in on the way the disease works, and how it affects the muscles.  There can be any amount of facts to learn about it, and that is invaluable.  What I want is to know what is it like at 3am?  How is it on a Tuesday when Julia needs an oxygen mask during the day when she has not needed one before?  What is it like for Barry to feel tired and worried about running his business from home, and caring for Julia, and the two children?  Barry summed it up for me in mentioning their front garden wall.  A bus went into it a while ago, says Barry, and he wanted to repair it.  He can lay bricks, it is not something he can't do.  But he has never got round to it, Julia has needed so much care.  I feel people are passing by outside, he says, and wondering why that family hasn't mended their wall yet.  What is keeping them?  But behind the front door, says Barry, they have no idea of what we are coping with.  When everyone carries on with their lives, we are having to change and adapt and do the best we can with Julia deteriorating fast. No one can tell that from looking at the wall and at our front door. 

Julia said that she needs patience from others.  It takes her a long time to say what she wants to say, and it is hard for her when her listener doesn't let her finish.  Her listener may finish her sentence for her, or walk away before she has finished, and think that they know what she is saying but they don't.  Often, Julia says, they get it wrong.  And, she says, she can move her legs.  She takes a long time, but she does not need them moved for her.  This made me aware of how we as a society, do not like silences, pauses, and slowness.  Julia can't join in a conversation as it is whizzing by her, but she still has her opinions and much to say.  It just sounds different to stop, and wait for her to articulate. How many of us do that to those who are slower in speech than we are?  Mike, who I am painting for A Graceful Death too, another MND sufferer, communicates through an ipad.  It takes time and silence for Mike to write down his sentence, but there is nothing wrong with Mike's mind.  In order to talk to both Julia and Mike, we have to go through silences and long waits.  The dynamics of interaction change, and we are not used to it, nor comfortable with it, nor do we often even notice it.  It will take practice to stop and allow a long time to have a conversation. Mike has said that there is a running conversation going round in his mind.  Same with Julia.  I am very keen to use these interviews with Mike and Julia in the exhibition.  These talks with Julia, Barry, Mike and his wife Michelle, are golden opportunities for us who are not ill, who take for granted our speech, movement, long life and strength, to stop and hear what it is like when we don't have these things any more.  And on top of that, there is nothing wrong with our minds.  We are still the same person we were, in our hearts, before our diagnosis.  Both Julia and Mike dream at night that they are running and walking.

Tomorrow, I am going to Leeds with Eileen.  We are looking forward to visiting Dr Kate Granger to film an interview, to photograph her and to chat to her as she will be joining the A Graceful Death exhibition too.  Kate is 31, and a medical doctor.  She has terminal cancer, and has chosen to return to work as a doctor.  Kate has also written about her experiences, which are ongoing, of being both a medic and a patient, a wife, a daughter, a friend and a terminally ill young woman.  Kate's blog is worth reading -

I find her observations from both sides of the hospital experience fascinating.  I met Kate in Edinburgh at the Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief annual event, and liked her very much indeed.

And next week, I start to paint!  I have all that I need to start on my four paintings for this year.  I know what I will do, I will set up four large surfaces and work on all four of them simultaneously.  It may take me a long time, but I feel they are linked in many ways.  And of course this way, I can get thoroughly messy.  I will lock myself away and become a little potty, and I feel I may end up in the studio like this -

And now.  I must pack.  I am staying in London with Eileen tonight so that we can get to Leeds nice and early tomorrow. I have less than a week, then, before I go into the studio and come out some time later, a little eccentric, but with four new paintings for AGD.

And in the meantime, some more quiche.

Saturday 16 March 2013

The Future. In a purple cardigan.

Last week, I made the decision to step back from everything but being an artist.  I feel so much better.  I even wore my new purple cardigan yesterday,  big, stylish, fancy purple cardigan.  I know I looked a million dollars, I kept passing the mirror and saying with a single raised eyebrow and a knowing smile to my reflection, Wow, Antonia, you fancy creature, you.  A million dollars, at least.

The excellent Eileen Rafferty, photographer extraordinaire, is staying this weekend, and has made me a pot of tea.  I have carried it up to my bed where I am more comfortable, inspired and happy than I have been for a long time.  I have burrowed back into my bed, pulled two deep pink and white polka dot covers round me, and arranged three huge fluffy cushions in hot magenta and white behind me so that I can sit up and write this. Right now I am a hot magenta artist that wore a purple cardigan yesterday.  It feels good. I am good.  Hear me roar.  And drink tea.

A Graceful Death

I have four new sitters this year.
  • Claire, who has come back, somehow, from a terrible cancer, and is living with a heightened awareness, one day at a time. Claire is beautiful and articulate, and has much to give.  Eileen has filmed Claire and her friend Jackie talking about dying, being in a Hospice, and not dying.
  •  Mike, with Motor Neuron Disease, completely immobile in a wheelchair, full of energy and ten years into his illness.  He communicates through an ipad, and has prepared me a power point presentation for AGD about Motor Neuron Disease, for which I am very grateful.  Mike is a man on a mission to tell people about this condition, and as an ex teacher, is very good at it. 
  • Julia, with Motor Neuron Disease, a very progressive version of MND, deteriorating fast, just a year since her diagnosis.  A gentle, loving, strong lady with a young family. Julia is, like Mike, completely immobile, but she can still speak, and has much to say, though it is increasingly difficult for her to do so.  Julia just wants her family and her friends around her, and to be honest.  
  • Kate, a young doctor who has terminal cancer.  I am going to meet Kate next week, up North, and interview her.  Eileen will photograph and film her. I have met Kate once, and have heard her speak, and I know she will be wonderful.
After this year, 2013, I will stop painting for the exhibition.  I will instead, take on painting people at the end of life, at any stage of life or death, as private commissions.  I will still work with the dying, but not for the exhibition.  I will continue my work privately, which will give my sitters much more attention and time at whatever stage they are if they are at the end of their lives, and will include their families in the whole project, too.  All the work done, painting, writing, filming and recording should that be requested, will be for the families and sitters alone to keep.  And so, after the four sitters mentioned above, I will keep the exhibition this size, and rearrange it all.  How so?  Well today, I am going to London to seek advice and wisdom from a friend who trains high fliers to fly high well.   She will sort me out.  She is very good at thinking, and planning, and not being an idiot.  To say thank you, I am going to give her some Reiki energy treatment, and then she is giving Alan, me and my brother a meal.  I think I win here. 

AGD goes to St Catherine's Hospice in May, for Dying Matters Awareness Week.  Fab.  Not all the paintings will go there, and this is exciting, this is how the future looks.  I will be able to select from the body of work and take the paintings that will best enhance the organisation that is using them.  It frees me up too, to talk more about the paintings and the work that I do.

In November, I am, with huge excitement, organising a three day Exhibition and Soul Midwife event; I have been offered the use of the Unitarian Church in Bridport. Already the amount of help from Soul Midwives and friends for this event, is astonishing.  I will have creative workshops, discussions that challenge, talks on Soul Midwifery, and much tea and cake.  There will be a piano concert by Lizzie Hornby, who composes the most beautiful and heartfelt music for A Graceful Death.  And I hope to have my four new paintings on show, with film and recordings. Mike, in his wheelchair, is hoping to come.  And Claire, now that she is well again, is going to take part in a discussion about dying.  And I want to fill the whole building, for this event, with lights, and flowers, and love, and wonderful scented candles, and strength, and understanding, and knowledge.  I want everyone to come away feeling as if they have touched by grace, and leave with another piece in place of the jigsaw of their lives.  I want this event to be unsentimental, straightforward, honest and inspiring. 

Soul Midwifery

I am hosting a Soul Midwife meeting here in my home on Monday.  I have met so many good people, made some deeply loving friendships, through Soul Midwifery.  The meeting on Monday is a little different from the others that I have held here.  I have arranged it, with the other Soul Midwives who are attending, so that we spend the day with an agenda and discussion points.  It will be a way for us to all meet again, and talk with each other, and to enjoy each others company.  But to make sure we actually listen to each other, and come away with ideas and encouragement for the work that we do, this meeting is much more formal and structured.  Afterwards, it will be a free for all in the kitchen, and this is why.

My old pal, a Soul Midwife from Ooop North, is coming to stay.  It is her birthday.  After the meeting ends, we will take little time out, catch our breath, and start up again with a tea party and balloons to celebrate old pal's birthday.  Some Soul Midwives, having come from a long way away, will stay the night, so I expect and hope that the tea party will go on long enough to get a takeaway in, and carry on until we explode.  Sounds like a good way forward.

The Future

I like the future.  It revolves around the work I do with A Graceful Death.  I can concentrate on this again.  It is a very good exhibition, I look forward to making it the best it possibly can be.  I look forward to using it as a spring board from which all sorts of events and ideas come.  It is the centre from which I work.  The paintings started in 2007, and now, six years on, I have much experience around the kind of effect it has on people.  It can now be used in many different ways to make a real difference in end of life awareness and education. 

The future is all about me.  What do I want to do?  What do I not want to do?  I don't want to be chasing my tail any more, and I don't want to take my eye off what I do best.  I do want to paint, talk, write, heal, think and inspire.  I want to work within A Graceful Death, from which all things that touch me and teach me, come.  I also want to play.  I am creating a small AGD shop that will sell items around life, death, love, mystery, God and the universe.  Creating things for this shop is pure happiness.  It is playing, it does me so much good.  I aim for it to do you good too.  More about that a bit later when I have something to show you.

And so.  I have had my pot of tea.  It is time to get up and see what state my sons are in.  Asleep I expect, with a mountain of crumbs and food piled high around them.  When they are asleep, they are my best friends. When they are awake, I hide food around the house in an effort to only do one big shop a day.  Otherwise, when they are not asleep, they are like Desperate Dan, with cow pie on the hour every hour.

Or like Asterix the Gaul's companion, Obelix

Time now to get up, then, and put on my purple cardigan.  Time to go to London for some high flying coaching, time to leave Dan and Obelix here with the unsurpassable Eileen and hope that only she remembers where all the food is.  Time to get on with the future.

Saturday 9 March 2013

A Birdie Singing In My Heart.

 Where am I now?

In bed.  It is 10am and the sun is shining through my window.  Beside me is a breakfast tray.

Before me is a day that, last week, would have seemed daunting in the extreme.  Behind me is a time of rethinking, reconnection and extreme exhaustion.  I am in my bed, and I am fine.  I shall get up at some point, and the things that I shall do today that last week would have made me despair and collapse, are the following.  1.  Have a bath.  2. Iron a skirt.  3.  Buy a birthday card for daughter.  4.  Drive an hour to Alan's, with reluctant Boy Giant, and go to a party.  Even now, if I could stay in bed and not do anything, I would.  But a little birdie in my heart has begun to sing, and it is singing about joining the world again.  I am in bed and though I am still tired enough to stay here, for many more days and nights, I am becoming curious again about how that world out there, is doing.  I drop off the radar for a little while to hide, but the traffic still passes on the road outside, day and night, carrying people who have not stepped off the merrygoround, carrying on with their lives despite whatever may be happening in mine.  I shall iron a very flouncy frilly skirt today, and wear it with a view to dancing tonight.  Perhaps.  Dancing is a little extreme, I feel, as I sit here in my bed.  Despite the birdie singing in my heart, I think that just to arrive at Alan's with Giant Boy will be enough. 

Where I have been  

Mostly, I have been horizontal.  It has been a time of silence and resting and a bit more.  It has been a time of doubt, emptiness and fear.  It has been a time of not knowing, a time of stopping.  I have been running full tilt at too many things. I have wanted to be a part of so many things all of which are terribly important, at all of which I must be present, and all of which are galloping off in different directions at the same time.  It is not possible to run after each and every one of these things.  It was as if someone had dropped a box of little rubber balls and I was there, at ground level, determined to pursue each and every little rubber ball as it bounced and rolled off into infinity, with equal determination and passion for each rubber ball project.  Well, a thousand projects, a thousand and one commitments, a million pulls on my time, and only one little me - it was only a matter of time before I fell over and could not get back up again.  And so, a few weeks ago, I ended up fast tracked into hospital.  I remember as I was told I must not walk and put into a wheelchair and wheeled to a bed, that it was rather nice to be not in control any more.  It was rather nice not to be able to answer the phone nor talk to anyone, and that I was to not even walk.  I did know, deep in my heart, that I was not ill   I did know that it was a collapse of body and mind, and that it was long overdue.  A wake up call, you may say.  A go to sleep call, I say. 

And so it turned out.  I am to take time off and rest.  It has been hard to stop the wheels turning, and hard to decide to pull out of things.  Hard to make the phone calls, hard to be not the mega efficient whirlygig I thought I was.  It has been hard to stop the frantic bustle of being all things and every thing and telling myself it is necessary.  It is not necessary. 

So I lay down these last few weeks and let the full effects of just being me descend upon me.  I have been paralysed with exhaustion.  There were no distractions, and no escapes.  It was a lonely, sad, empty place to be.  I did get up and do things, I did go to London to see the Manet exhibition, I went to see Anita Moorjani speak, but I carried with me a feeling of not existing, of being laid bare, of being nothing.  My pain was not being really there, here, in this world, at all.  Not being much more than a whisp of smoke.  Where was Antonia? Had she ever been there at all?  If there was nothing to be excessively busy about, did she exist?  And worst of all, I had no desire to even enter my studio.  It didn't belong to me any more, it was part of a mirage that was no longer me.  I was a puff of vapour, I was a person of no substance.  My soul, my mind, my body, had unwound, flown away, and left me a shadow that could only watch as they drifted off.

It is a feature, I think, of these feelings, to imagine that you are alone.  In all of this, I was not alone.  Alan, my friends, and my family all stepped in and did not let me believe that I was mere smoke, nor empty and alone.  It is not that you are empty and see though now, they said, it is that you have been stretched so tight and thin that we could no longer see you then.  Now, you are coming back to your self.  We like this.  You will like this.  Have patience, have faith, we will not let you go.  My mother said, be quiet my love, and listen to your heart.  And it is in my heart, in my chest, that the trouble started, with not being able to breathe properly, and having a mildly unbalanced heart trace.  Listening to my heart has been the most difficult and the most wonderful piece of advice.  I am in my heart, I do know who I am, and it is my heart that I have been afraid of.  And so today, when I awoke and the birdie was singing in my heart, I know that I am back.

Where I am going. 

Apart from going to a party in a flouncy newly ironed skirt with Alan, I am going to start again.  I am an artist.  That is what I am.  All things that I do come from that.  I am not a community leader, I am not a nurse, I am not a campaigner I am not a million different things and and artist.  I can be all of those things if I am not an artist, but I am not all of them all at the same time.  As an artist, I am going to concentrate on my art.  My A Graceful Death exhibition is my passion, it holds all of the things that I love, and that is what I will do.  From that, I will paint, write, practice my Soul Midwifery, heal, learn, and be inspired.  I am going to stay within my own heart and from there I will do less, and be more. 

Sunday 3 March 2013

On Being True To Myself

This week, I am going to explore, briefly, being true to myself.  So important on the one hand, and on the other, rather absurd.  Why so?  I speak for myself here, and I say to you, should you require me to be true to myself, that I cannot work out which me I should be true to.  Still speaking for myself, I am made up of many selfs, some of whom cancel out others.  The self that desires to clean out the garage right now, is being overruled by the self that wants to lie down.  But the self that has won through is the self who is writing the blog.  And yet another self is coming up on the inside lane, which is all about making piles of cheesy spaghetti and eating it all, from under my blanket here on the sofa, before my sons find out that I have made it.

It interests me, this being true to yourself.  There is, at one's core, a true self, a true essence of who you are, and from this all things come.  But it seems to me that life is too short to have any idea at all where this core is.  I am changing all the time, I think I have grasped my essence and breathe a sigh of relief, only to be challenged and have to rethink it all.  I am an artist but I don't want to do anything remotely artistic at the moment.  Being true to myself means listening to my inner voice right now, the answer coming back is, lie down, why don't you?  And I think, gosh, that is precisely what I want to do, my truth is spoken.  It comes from my inner essence but I fear that this truth has overridden the other one, that of being an artist.  So I may have to accept that though I am an artist, I am also someone who needs to lie down, indeed, desires lying down above all things, and am, at my essence, tired out.

Being true to myself right now means being honest with myself.  If I am honest, then, I do not really want to engage with the outside world at all right now.  Do I get a sense of relief having written that?  To be honest Guv, yes I do.  Does this mean, having been so very honest with myself, that the self that comes to the surface here, is the real one?  Yes, probably, this is the true one.  It, my true self (this moment's one, true selves being multiple things even at the best of times) is so tired that it can't even consider the garage, it would rather sell it and all its contents than clear it out and have to physically move even one item in there.  It, my true self, is so tired that it thinks that the cheesy spaghetti will have to wait until I can stand up for more than five minutes without the need to wrap up in a fluffy blanket and lie down then and there on the floor, and rest.  Most of all, the self that I am addressing above all of the other selves, is the one that is rising most noticeably to the surface, and therefore is the one to be most true to.

And so, having come to this conclusion, I shall go.  A short blog this week, and an important one.  I have discovered that having found the self that needs the most attention, and having set myself the task of being true to it, it requires no more energy than is absolutely necessary.  It requires a great deal of lying down. On that happy note, I shall focus on this current self, and being already on the sofa wrapped in blankets, put down my laptop, and sleep.  I may be here for some time.  What a lovely thought.