Sunday, December 30, 2007

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Another year is almost over.

Where do I begin this entry?

Well.... finally I have my own laptop. I bought myself a Mac Book on Thursday evening and have spent all my spare time over the past few days uploading all my music onto iTunes. I have missed music featuring heavily in my life of late. I finally feel like I am starting to get my life a little organised again after being back for over 6 months now! It has been a slow process and an eventful year. 33 has not been anything like what I had imagined - but what age or year ever really is?

I have felt a little more robotic than human recently. Art, or at least my production of it, has taken a back seat in my life, which has been challenging. It is forever in my heart and on my mind but this year took a strange twist and I found myself returning from Japan in June with financial debt and a mixed bag of emotions. The mixed bag, despite leaving a relationship as well as the country, was partly just one I carry around at the best of times but the financial bit I had to do something about.

I returned to the hospitality industry shortly after my homecoming in order to get things 'sorted'. It's a fickle industry, a strange place for an artist at times, but oddly enough - I have a love for it.

The painting waitress. The waitress who paints...the painter who waits... and I have been waiting.... waiting for the inspiration to come sweep me off my artistic feet again - but it has remained hidden for most of this latter half of 2007. It has been a time for putting other things first, which at times has been very difficult and has had quite an emotional effect on me. Still, I have worked hard to get back to some sense of normality or should I say stability... never without at least a little bit of artist's chaos. The festive season has been an exceptionally busy time for the 'painter who waits', and with Summer comes the tourists and long, long hours. At times it is a bit of a catch 22 but I know part of this is temporary so I do not let it concern me too greatly.

I have been burning the candle at both ends a little lately and my body and mind are certainly feeling it. My art is suffering from it but I do believe in the long run my art will benefit from this - it has just been somewhat hard to see that until now.

I have a strong desire to re-read 'Skinny Legs And All' and once again bond with the character of Ellen Cherry Charles.

I also have a strong desire to begin my new body of work. Fresh ideas have been few and far between since I returned home but I can finally feel something brewing.

In my semi-robotic schedule of late I have neglected, (not always through choice or lack of want), my 3 main personal passions: art, music and words - (reading and writing them). C bought me an iPod nano for Christmas... Despite being a mad music lover this is my first mp3 player. It has probably come just in time as my CD collection was beginning to take up too much space. I have now synced it with my iTunes and feel delighted that music will be more accessible to me no matter where I am and can once again feature heavily in my life. My dear C also bought me Jeanette Winterson's latest book; The Stone Gods. I am looking forward to reading it. I have also really missed writing. It has been so long that I am actually struggling to string words together for this entry. It's not that I have nothing to say or write, I just feel out of practice when it comes to the delivery.

I received a letter from one of my dearest friends just before Christmas. She knew I had been struggling with the art thing and she wrote: "And of art...what becomes of Simone when she isn't painting? My guess is that she does a lot of writing and/or reading. Have you had much time for working lately? I suppose the artist is 'working' every day, even when brush doesn't hit canvas, because of the inspiration the subject's life gives rise to every day. Kind of like the cook simmering the stew. Whatever the case, I look forward to your 2008 exhibition...I assume there will be one." It was a typed letter, made on the computer, printed in a rather small (10pt?) and elegant font, consisting of two pages - the second not quite a full page - yet with these words, it hit home just how 'robotic' and passionless my regime has been recently. Her words reminded me of the simple things that bring me much joy, and how I have not been making time for them. Time for me.

Speaking of which... C and I joined a gym a couple of weeks ago. A first for me and something I thought I'd never do. I believe it was a good decision though. It has inspired in me a motivation that I had been lacking, a motivation to do something for myself and to do something that makes me feel better about myself - and the bonus of feeling fitter and healthier is more than welcome. Between a hectic hospitality schedule and getting a persistent cold for Christmas I have only managed to get to the gym 3 times since joining. There's a new years resolution just bursting to be made!

So what of 2007? The year that is nearly over.

Although there are many aspects of this past year that I would happily forget, I know I will want to remember much about 2007 in years to come. Hence wanting to catch up a little on the blogging side of things so as not to let the most part of 6 months slip through the files of life with little to know record or recognition.... It has been an important year - and years to come will show perhaps just how important it was.

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