Friday, 11 September 2015

Endings. And Beginnings.

I went through a low spot after the last blog entry, where I didn't see a way back to living a normal life again: I've gone through them often in the last four-plus years, of course, but this time, I felt like I was reaching a dead end, figuratively and literally. One of the very few bright spots was an interesting piece on CBC Radio One, about how having chats with people who are relative strangers can actually make one happier than sitting and talking things out with people you know.

And, I discovered, it's true, because some amazing things began to happen.

The first was a conversation, where we swapped life stories over four hours. That's usually not how I spend much of my time -- in fact, I'd be hard-pressed to remember the last time that both breadth and depth of one-on-one discussion occurred with such spontaneity -- and two days later, so many random ideas that had been percolating in my brain began to coalesce into some solid ideas on executing work I had been thinking about, new exciting pieces to create from scratch, and many pages of soul-searching in my journal.

The second was an opportunity to have a second set of eyes look at my artist statement: I knew that it needed help, and was grateful to have some. If there is anything I have learned over the years as an editor, it's that even the best writers (not that I put myself in that category) can benefit from another perspective. Some of what I had written was well received, but there was some excellent constructive criticism as well, and I switched from writing by hand in my journal to tapping madly away on the computer, trying to meet another deadline.

Near/Middle/Far (closed)

An unanticipated bonus was taking some of the ideas I had scratched out in my journal and incorporating them into one of the proposals I was writing on deadline: combined with the revamped artist statement, it was the first time in quite awhile where I saw the possibilities that might be, even though I wasn't sure how to get there from here.

Near/Middle/Far (open)

Until a door I didn't even know existed, opened: one of the first thoughts that came to mind was Jack Hodgins' "The Invention of the World", a novel of mysticism on Vancouver Island, that I had read many years ago, when I lived in Vancouver.

By turns, life has been magical, overwhelming, thrilling, scary, liberating, and challenging, frequently all at the same time, and I'm still in the middle of trying to sort out the medium- and long-term future.


That being said, I'm at the point of being able to nail down some things that will happen between now and the end of the year: I have three deadlines to make by the end of the month, and I'm slogging hard away at them.

I will finish off a series of art works in October, once those deadlines vanish.

And finally, with the exception of five days in November, I will, once again, be on the road: starting by crossing somewhere off my bucket list.

It feels good to be running to a future that's becoming more certain every day, instead of away from a painful past.

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