Let’s get lost

Uncategorized

So, this week heralds the start of this year’s Glastonbury Festival and, just as last year, I begin to turn down the volume on the radio as I get in the car and avoid logging in to Instagram. I cannot face the excessive excitement because, essentially, I am ridiculously jealous.

Instead, I will spend the weekend texting my best friend, just as I did earlier in the year as Coachella played out without us. Texts filled with promises and prospects of future fun. I will text her whilst I drink wine in my pyjamas on the sofa waiting for my daughter to fall asleep.

I have never been to Glastonbury and, let’s face the sad truth, I am now never likely to go. However, having been to a few festivals, as I am attacked by the build up from every angle, I can honestly say I wish I was there!

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Because I need to get lost. I need to shake my hair out, dress in clothes that cannot viably be worn anywhere else and play pretend for a few days. I need to run away from reality.

Everybody needs to escape. Everybody need to explore. Everybody needs an excuse to be somebody else for a few days.

But sometimes finding a few days is simply unrealistic. There are days (like today) when finding five minutes feels like an impossible task. And I know that, instead of walking out of a tent in to one world of make believe, I will climb under the covers and find an alternative world all of my own.

I will draw the curtains and turn on the bedside light. I will find an old, treasured favourite, inhale and begin. And, page by page, I will walk away. Slowly at first and then completely. I will reject reality and embrace my escape…

A favourite photograph by Tim Walker that speaks to me of the beauty of escape.

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Beauty and truth

Art, Uncategorized

When I was a little girl I wanted to be an artist.

I would draw and colour and cut and stick and create… My first commissions were requests from friends to ‘do the people’ in their classroom projects. I took pride in my equipment; a well stocked pencil case with pin prick sharp colouring pencils and pens that I only ever lent to people who could swear on their life to colour with in the same direction. Summers were spent transforming rubbish rejected by the rest of the house into anything and everything else.

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As a teen, photography was my medium. Never without my camera, I would observe my changing world from behind a lens. Documenting each day with snaps that, in the days before digital, I would wait patiently for before devouring. My bedroom became my gallery: ceiling to floor images spoke of my life, love and everything else.

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Obviously, art became my favourite subject. Guided by my trusting teacher and in fierce competition with my close friend, I would experiment and explore. A setting of stacks of dated newspapers, the tinny sound of cheap speakers and the oh-so-lovely smell of white spirit became my sanctuary. I would lose myself in books and galleries as inspiration struck.

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But it just didn’t stick.

From there I wandered. Lost my focus. Not quite falling out of love but I was certainly playing away. And then, scared to commit, I gave up on my childish dream.

But here I am now hooked on something else. Words flow and I realise, even without my dream, I’ve never broken that habit. Never mind what medium, art is just an outlet for searching for something in our own lives.

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Something that is beautiful because it is true and greater than ourselves. Something that resembles our dreams.

The importance of sleep

Art

Waking up in the wrong bed is always weird. There are those few seconds where you blink open your eyes and, somewhere between sleep and reality, you have to find your way. You feel strange sheets. You are aware of the light. You listen to unfamiliar noises and wait for your consciousness to catch up with you. And it feels difficult.

Because there is something important about a bed. It’s a place for vulnerability and rejuvenation and intimacy and privacy… After all, it’s where we go to dream.

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I have always loved the work of Tracey Emin. I love the honesty. I love the openness. I love the beauty. I love the reflections. I love the strength. I love the words. And something about her work speaks to me personally. Like a shared secret.

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In her work I see the importance of that space. That space between two words; dreams and reality. And I see the possibility of being reborn.

I am one of those people who needs sleep. Needs to go to bed early (the earlier the better I say), in my own bed, and sleep through without interruptions to awake feeling refreshed. I’m terrible if I am tired. And maybe that is why. Maybe each day to me is a fresh start, a new life and a chance to get things right.

I haven’t slept well this week. Too many things in my head. And, last night, this unfamiliar bed.