Altered Shores... The Journey Continues.
Hi, it's so good to be back; good to be with you again, sharing something of this strange and incredible journey that we call life. I took a break in December, declaring I'd be returning in January. Ok, so it's now March and though I'm finally back blogging, I'm not sure that I have returned to the same shore. Time is relentless in its forward motion and we so often find that in going back, we have actually moved forward. The situation we came from, although it may look the same, will have changed... we will have changed. I have certainly found it so as I've sought to return to writing after a break. I had a kind of epiphany during my time away. I realised that I am finally through ten years of M.E./Chronic fatigue. It is a strange and wonderful feeling.
I started the little painting above when in the grips of the illness. The longing to fly away from the weight of my exhausted body is evident; not to fly away just anywhere, but far away to a new adventure. I have thought about finishing the painting, but whenever I consider doing so, I realise the moment has passed. However much we want it, going back is never really an option. Time ticks on. Looking at the painting now, I am amused at the disconcerted look on the woman's face in the image. Perhaps I always knew that when this day came, when I returned to health, I would find myself poised over some creative output, staring into an uncertain future and feeling quite disconcerted.
What a wonderful, daunting, and exciting journey life is. Time moves on and so do we. As surely as winter becomes spring, and spring, summer, new life blooms in us and in the people and circumstance we left behind us. When we take the return journey, we find we are not the same. Perhaps it is the brave ones that neither cling to the past, nor strain toward the future, but who hold fast, determined to ride the wave as it takes us toward familiar, yet altered shores.
I hear you asking where all this is leading. Isn't this a writer's blog? Yup... kinda. But I suppose, at present, it is more of a 'me' blog. I find that cannot give you a version of my progress that would work well in a promotion or that would sell my work. That's the stuff that got me stressed and I'm just not that person. All I can give you is my own journey, however ragged and wayward it is, and hope that you glean something of use from it.
So... moving forward... here are my thoughts.
In my last newsletter, I mentioned a sequel to Kitty Canham in which Sarah's son returns. The spidergraph plotting out the new novel is rolled in the corner of my room, sometimes calling, sometimes accusing. However, before I set too on it, I have other ideas forming that I want to explore. Writing Kitty Canham gave me so much. I loved telling her story. I loved the writing of it. I did not love the technical side of publishing or getting it out there. I do want to continue to write, but I have also remembered my love of the visual Arts and poetry.
Poetry and visual Arts share the extraordinary ability to bring you to a moment that opens you to something that is so much bigger than itself, which I find incredibly exciting. Don't panic, I will unpack this idea at a later date! So, I want to spend some time working with these genres once more. At present I am playing, which is always the best way to start any creative pursuit. I am writing a little, sketching a little, thinking a lot, and letting my imagination take me wherever it leads.
If you are interested in taking that journey with me, do pop onto my mailing list here You'll receive a link to my blog and newsletter, but I wont bombard you! And please do leave comments and let me know of your own experiences of 'going back'.
I'll leave you with a poem. It was written when I began my journey back from constant exhaustion towards a more normal kind of life.
RECOVERY, with thanks to Shakespeare
I stand... toes curled over the edge.
To walk or not to walk
that is the question.
To turn back is to
But to walk into
the virtual space of tomorrow
when the unmade bed of yesterday still haunts?
So I stand betwixt and
I know this place
this place knows me,
To return is no option
as time and age
But to walk?
I barely remember
it is a phantom
hiding in the dark
It wakes and sighs
that bleed the soul.
So... to live
Ah... to be
or not to be
that IS the question.