For six years this place was my blog home, the place where I wrote about being an artist and a parent, the beautiful environment I found myself living in, the weather, and my musings and reflections on these things. I stopped writing here when my life took a very new direction following a number of changes that happened in our lives which I found difficult to navigate for a while, a significant one being leaving the beautiful place we had grown our family in. But now, more than two years after moving, and over a year after winding up this place here, I have a new sense of where things are going, as though my head has finally just broken the surface of the fast, muddied eddy that I have been caught in. I'm not clear yet, there is still murky, choppy waters ahead to negotiate, but it's a move in the right direction.
I am an artist, first and foremost. I stitch and mend things. Thread, needle, wool. I make. I also use words. I use them as I would a paintbrush, suggestions rather than hard lines, and I love to use them to reflect on those things such as what I mentioned above. The path I weave in my art is patchy and only faintly consistent, as I suffer from distraction and great ideas that have nothing to do with art, that pull me off down into exciting rabbit holes of adventure, and which I gladly explore and always love to share with others.
Over these last two difficult years a number of different things have begun to take root, and not only are opening up exciting ventures both personally and as a family, but are prompting me to examine more than ever how we live, and our response-ability in the choices we make. How do we do this thing, this Living In The Modern World? The time has gone when we can just look the other way, or stick our heads in the sand and pretend that all will be well if everything looks good. We now need to put up our hand and say 'I pledge to strive to live a sustainable life', to do the best we can, no matter what, and, to paraphrase Paul Kingsnorth, author of One No, Many Yeses, a book which was a turning point for me and one I refer to again and again, to figure out our own Yes in the multitude of yeses that are in response to the one resounding NO. The no, in this case, being 'NO, we won't be part of this plunder any more, we won't buy into the rampant consumerism that has it's claws in every one of us and is sucking the meaning and joy and poetry out of Life, and (insanely) is destroying the only damn thing we have to keep us alive, this beautiful planet of ours. The insane part of it is that we all know this, yet those insidious claws go deep and most of us haven't a clue how to extract ourselves because it's all so neatly sewn up that it appears we cannot.
As Marshall Rosenberg said: "We're living on a planet where we have enough resources to meet everybody's needs. We've enough food so it isn't necessary for millions to starve. We have the medicines that could be preventing millions from dying of diseases. So it's only the consciousness that we need to alter..."
But we all do our bit, in however small a way, and here in these reawakened pages I am attempting to create a new place where I can bring together the many different strands of this new, resolute part of my cloth that I am weaving now; how we eat, how we educate our children, how we live, how we commune, and how we express ourselves on these subjects. I am no expert on any of these things, but I muddle through, and am willing to try, and to share this journey with whoever is doing the same.
Because I for one am not ready to give up and walk away, as Mr. Kingsnorth has. I understand why he has, and some part of me thinks he is right, but I'm just not there yet. I need to have hope. And so I will keep trying, I'll keep on trying to figure out the how, for whatever good it does. Because our children shall inherit this earth, and when my child turns to me, as has happened, and cries and asks why we are so beholden to money and why we believe we can only do what we are told we can and cannot do, and not what we know is right for us, I want to be able to say that, at the very least, we did our best to do what is right, to do things our way, and that will have to be good enough.