When major changes enter our lives, either through our own choices or because of circumstances, normal routine can become non-existent. Such has been the past couple of months.
In the throes of preparing to move house, my environment is at present an alien place. Half-packed boxes brood in each room, waiting to be filled and taped. Walls have been freshened with new paint, and the familiar has become the opposite through the lack of personal items and mementos. The house no longer looks or feels like my home. Soon, I hope, it will be someone else’s.
As I sort, toss, file and pack, too regularly agonising over what to keep and what to discard, the past thrusts its way into the present. Events, the great and the terrible, are reviewed before being sealed away. People, once dear and cherished who have slipped from my life, are remembered with fondness, and at times regret.
There are moments, and hours, when I feel like a youngster, trying to assimilate and comprehend a world viewed for the first time. There comes the urge to throw back my head and howl, with a mixture of fear and confusion, and, in celebration of the changes taking place. Twenty-one years is a long time, the longest I’ve been in one place in almost sixty decades.
I’m yet to tackle the studio, the place ‘of my own’ that I longed for and worked so hard to manifest. It calls to me, almost hourly, demanding in its neglect. It is also a reminder of what is possible. What I’ve done once I can do again, perhaps a tad easier and with less restrictions on space. Even so, it will take time and a whole lot of physical effort before I can grab my morning coffee and walk through the garden to my creative haven. In the meantime, the muse pokes me, hard, in the back, unwilling to be ignored. For a while, at least, you’ll find me sketching and pulling prints at the kitchen table. No great hardship when the view through the window is superb.