On 1st February, Imbolc, the midway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, one of nature’s thresholds, honouring Brighid the Goddess of the hearth and this year a new moon, I decided I had to embrace the notion of “being back to work”.
I’ve been finding myself reluctant, full of reticence, daunted and dragging my heels as we move into, adapt and respond to this next phase of pandemic living.
I loved lockdown living. I realise how lucky I am to have experienced this, but I’m an introvert and an HSP (check out The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron) and for the first time in a long lifetime, I felt a sense of living in my own time. A matching up of the cultural societal rhythms and of me. I became more creative, more proactive, more responsive and more deeply connected and collaborative in my arts practice and in my way of living. I laughed a lot and felt liberated. I literally caught up with myself. I also rested (which I desperately needed) and I slowed. Deep lockdown was such a strong frame to respond to, collaborate with and be held by. I felt safe and sure in my choices, responses, learnings and contributions. I scraped by financially and I made new, unexpected, work that took me by other ways and means into a whole different world of moving and thinking, understanding and awareness. One always there in potential but a stone as yet unturned.
So, of course, I wanted to hold onto all of that, not lose it, or give it up. But the reality is, that time has gone, and rightly and thankfully so. My dilemma of not wanting to go back to how I was working and living before was being fed by hiding, ducking down and procrastinating. Daunted though it feels I simply just need to do it – go back to work, even though I never actually stopped. It’s a conscious stepping forward and into, taking these new ways and findings with me.
Like many artists, my work is an active engagement with the now, with people, politics, places, with what’s on the doorstep, in the world and on the planet. A process of observation and noticing, a set of values and ethics, accumulated experience, and particular knowledge, that is all processed, like deep research, filtered through body, movement and mind in order to make meaning and a contribution, so we can get by on a daily basis as well as making a better world for us all and for the world itself. I’m up for sharing anything that helps.
So, on a day of a new moon, of gathering together around the hearth, I felt I could step over the threshold offered by Imbolc, and can’t wait to get on with it.
Here’s a good start : Ordinary Human Bodies
Launched on Feb 1st as part of In Conversation With… a series of podcasts by 4 artists commissioned by Fair Access and CPP at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to engage, in conversation with students from both Fair Access and CPP courses
“conversation as an artistic research tool, as a way to nurture, as a way to better understand, share knowledge, make sense of the world, and a way to more deeply understand a subject position beyond our own”
Thanks to :Bishop Down, Gudrun Schmidinger and Tabitha Dearie for talking about what matters to you
And to Amanda Aitken for recording and edit
And here’s the ‘getting back to work wall’ of what’s to come