All around us: The profound azure blue of the Lake dotted with thousands and thousands of small, star like diamonds – and I had been so busy thinking about … everything. I hadn’t even noticed it, and we’ve sailed what? An hour…? At least. “It’s the high noon sun,” Jacob notes quietly. “And we’re in way up in the mountains – not a cloud on the sky. So in a way the lake is almost close enough to touch the sun. It looks that way, doesn’t it?” “It’s more … it’s so beautiful,” I just repeat, at a loss for words again. “I wish I could take a photo, but with my old camera it’ll probably end up like shit.” “Better just to watch it then … ” Jacob says. “Maybe it’s always better to try to experience the most beautiful things in life directly… ” And so we try.
Yes, the breeze was freshening. The boat was leaning, the water was sliced sharply and fell away in green cascades, in bubbles, in cataracts. Cam looked down into the foam, into the sea with all its treasure in it, and its speed hypnotised her, and the tie between her and James sagged a little. It slackened a little. She began to think, How fast it goes. Where are we going?
There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city, between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants including an extra gardener toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.
So we should see to it in the new year that we take more time off together - maybe go to another city and just loaf, go more to cafes and a bit on restaurants. We have to dig into Char's inheritance and maternity leave insurance, unless I make more money soon. But I think it is necessary. And yes, these are sweet activities we can do with Jay - i.e. without a sitter. He is still very young and it would be a lot to leave him for a night with someone else. It would not work yet. But go a bit more out together (and with Jay) that would work. Maybe going to another city and playing tourists. Just that. It will be enough. For now. But we have to do it!
I'm not saying I can live without money. But I can live better without worrying so much about money.
Frequently, beauty is playful like dancing sunlight, it cannot be predicted, and in the most unlikely scene or situation can suddenly emerge. This spontaneity and playfulness often subverts our self-importance and throws our plans and intentions into disarray. Without intending it, we find ourselves coming alive with a sense of celebration and delight. The pedestrian sequence of a working day breaks, a new door opens and the heart recognizes the silent majesty of the ordinary. The things we never notice, like health, friends and love, emerge from their subdued presence and stand out in their true radiance as gifts we could never have earned or achieved. (John O'Donohue)
That is another good form of beginning, I suppose: To constantly imagine what I will draw, even if I don't have time yet to draw it. Or have even decided how ambitious I am going to be, and can possible be, about it. But these are seeds, and they are nurtured at times when I am slogging through the winter rain to get some thing or other for Jay's dinner from one of the few super markets open. And thus they grow.
So all in all it was as it should be on X-mas even, or as we wanted it to be despite various tests (baby fits, chemo therapy, tired from work). But I think it always works out like that if you are minded for it. Not in a 'let's-push-this-through-despite-everything'-frame of mind. More like a 'let's-take-it-easy-and-wait-and-see-and-give-each-other-some-room'-mind. That's good to remember, also on other evenings.
What it is that we can come closer to that makes life stronger, despite the outward signs that it becomes frailer and closer to an ending? What is it that makes life worth living for, even more? I have an ex-friend who has now more or less walled himself in. He sits in his apartment all day long. He is a pensioner. He has the occasional cancer-scare, too. He has some reasons, yes, but overall it has, I will argue, been his own choice to give up and just wall himself in and not reach out for any other life qualities than safety. Which he can never completely have? How safe is it sitting and watching TV and waiting not to get cancer? Maybe he won't get it, but in terms of having a good life experience I think my mother is better at finding that path that makes her life feel stronger, despite all the shadows that chase it.
So money, miscast loyalty to others, and devotion to productivity methods that may work for others but not oneself. Those three agendas sucked out a lot of energy from the YA novel, until I shelved it when other parts of reality killed the last of my motivation, notably my need to focus on my own business, on getting settled in yet another new apartment and dealing with the personal and relationship fall-out after (at first) not having been able to have Jay, after many treatments. Oh, and a couple of close family members died, too. Just sayin' ...
Last day alone and I simply drew a line and finished the office space, although I could have done a lot more sorting. But even so the room that now serves as dining, office and living-room for about 20 sq meters still felt ... nice in the evening. Like it was actually a real room in a place where we lived and not just half-storage. So I have accomplished what I wanted and needed here. Thoughts too about family health, X-mas logistics, earning money and carving time for art and the occasional bleep about where our relationship is going with all this 24/7 baby-focus. They stood in line. I knew I couldn't really solve any of those 'items' on the agenda, and I was very tired in the late afternoon, so I took a walk, ate some quick food and then went home and watched a movie - Wind River. I felt only a little bad about not drawing or watching educational videos on my last free night. But it was necessary to recharge and keep some kind of balance, or so I felt. Well, it felt right. Right this day, the hyper-focus on either drawing as relax or business videos as 5 minutes pastime between diaper changes and house tasks did not feel right ... simply because that context was not there.
I have a hard time restraining myself from writing - or drawing - now that I have some sort of time. In principle. But I manage.
So where to go from here - with The Blog - with all this doubt for the nth time about whether it is Good Enough? I guess there is only one way: On.
"The new work of art does not consist of making a living or producing an objet d'art or in self-therapy, but in finding a new soul." - Henry Miller