Friday, 26 June 2009

Black dogs

Winston Churchill called his bouts of depression "Black dog". I had many black dogs and the amazing thing about them was the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel, the cosmic sensation of joy you experienced while going through the darkest time. I remember very vividly a few: a night sitting on the boulders in Genova with my then best friend smelling sea air and an incredible cold breeeze, feeling the shivering on my body as an electric energy running through me; discovering W.G. Sebald at a time when I was exploring the concept of exile and finding that he had nailed it to an extraordinary level of accuracy. In my recent dark days I came across Dan Eldon and his illustrated journals and through the intensity of his short young life I felt almost purified. He used to say that the journey was the destination and I've learned recently what that really means in terms of giving up expectation and witholding judgement. I got in touch with his mother and learned yet another lesson about pain and joy and strength. I don't have heroes in my life because my search pushes me forward all the time, but I have had magical encounters, Dan was one, Christina was another.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The art of travel and The Art of You

I made a list of things I wanted to do during my travelling, some I'm doing, some I haven't done yet and maybe will end up not doing, like collecting ball point pens from all the places I go to, and then use them all in one very intricate drawing. Among the things that I have done was to attend a workshop at The Art of You in San Diego. It had been on my list for over a year, and it turned out to be as great as I expected, and better. The studio has every possible art supply, found objects, ephemera, magazines to cut from, glues, paper, scissors, whatever your imagination tells you you need, you find it there. The idea is to let your creative mind express itself without all the limitations imposed by our tyrannical rational mind, things like judging the importance, usefulness, beauty - or lack of - of whatever we do. And when you give your creative mind some space and say, "I won't judge and I won't be judged", the journey really becomes the destination.