Life in the realm of nelabligh has been mixed for the last few months; just the normal ups and downs; not helped by the recent political unrest. During, this time I have given notice and plan to retire from the library in a few weeks. This, is of course is among the ups and I am very excited; I have been planning this for a couple of years and my art studio is ready and waiting. However, as the time gets closer the feeling of dread at times has become overwhelming. The reasons for this is unclear and is not helped by the fact that I have also become afraid of performing or being an artist. This is a real shame as it was and remains a dream and I enjoy the practice, the play the experimentation, I am good at it. I have a fine portfolio and wonderful back catalogue; I just fear the performance, the exhibitions, the framing, the finishing and the show!
I do suffer from depression, so these fears are not unknown; but this time I am at a loss as to overcome them , taking the line of least resistance is not an option … I have come a long way and like I say, the studio waits but I am afraid … as my friends and colleagues are preparing for the summer shows and I am having panic attacks and making bookmarks … They are lovely and been a good opportunity to practice setting type; but not going to rock any boats.
Today’s blog post can go one of several ways; in my life at the moment there is much to celebrate. I am fit and healthy, my garden is looking spring-like, I retire in a few weeks and creatively while I struggle with time and ability, all is well.
However, there is one thing that am finding difficult to reconcile and if you know me then you know what is is and if you don’t it will soon become apparent. I suffer from alopecia universalis; which means I have no hair anywhere on my body. Now, I can laugh about this because it almost funny, and until you experience say; no nasal hair;they do curb the dripping, eyelashes too; while I save a fortune on mascara, they do have a function. Eyebrows too do serve a purpose; I have given up remembering where they were; so pencil is redundant. The other hair … no need for a Brazilian and I care little about my bikini line! Then, there is the warmth; those lovely hairs as so cosy; I remember!
The cause is unknown; it is surprising how many people I meet think they know and they always seem to know someone who has ‘had’ it. Please don’t say stress; because because believe me none of us would have hair! There is no cure; sometimes it comes back often it doesn’t.
So mostly I muddle along trying to be brave and mostly it is a charade.
This weekend a friend was offering a walk-in photo opportunity; it was something I have wanted to do for a while. So, on Saturday on the way to meet a friend I dropped in …
I cannot say this is a celebratory pose; who does enjoy standing in front of a camera; stone cold sober. It was a mighty step to remain steadfast in my bid not to consider any alternatives unless to keep warm. So my dear friends no matter how well intentioned … remarks like ‘Oh you are so lucky scarves suit you, and hats they are such a delight’ aren’t helpful I feel ugly and vulnerable most of the time and a smile is all I need … and a hug if appropriate to keep me warm.
Or just a laugh about the joys of hair lest I forget!
Today I am attending a poetry workshop; something I have wanted to do for a long time. While I enjoy writing poetry, it is not, I think, understood by other people. I am self conscious of my attempts to explore and celebrate ordinary objects; then in conjunction with my art work it becomes even more difficult .. for me it makes complete sense.
So I am hoping this class will either; allow me to see where I am going wrong or suggest that I am doing OK .
What more can I expect in 5 hours … miracles?
In a few weeks I retire from full-time and paid employment to become a full-time artist. While I have made plans for my ‘retirement’ including making a print studio and organised workshops and courses; the transition after 50 years of ‘work’ will be difficult.
On one hand, I have the joys of fulfilling a childhood dream and on the other a huge space and lack of structure. I have spoken to others about my fears but have been assure that they are exhausting and unfounded.
So I have decided to grasp the nettle … not the stinging kind but one like this one I came across in the Book of British Flora for boys and girls by Mabel Coleclough.
I will at some point have to abandon my blog … begun when I had much to say about libraries, dead languages and my life surrounding those interests. So, I suppose this is where my regrets and fears come from and until I face them and celebrate my new life, there will be tension but I am thinking there is no harm in that is there?