It sounds majestic. It sounds nihillistic. It sounds fancy. It sums up the brooding grey clouds of formless thoughts that rise from nothing and go back to nothing. It sounds awfully clever. It's very effective.
So here I am on my sofa. I have never sunk so far into amorphous masses of nothingness that I could not go and make a pot of tea; I sit here with my tea and a bowl of wild rice and garlic and think that perhaps the mass of nothingness was temporary and that I am over the worst. This last week, my 14 year old son, who we call Boxing Boy, had a surge of testosterone and turned into Colonel Gaddafi. We are dealing with it, and when things have died down I will say to him, Well, that didn't get you very far did it? Banned from polite society and wearing leg irons, tsk tsk my son. Time to find another approach to life. And the other son, the older one who we have called the Muppet, or the Furiously Independent Son, he has not found a way out of his furious unhappiness yet. I stand in the side lines watching and waiting for a way into his world, and thinking what if I never will? What if he is lost to us forever?
Back to the sofa. I like it here, it is a rare moment in my house when no one, absolutely no one, is home except for me. My lodgers are out. My children are out. Alan is on his way back from Greece, and I am utterly alone and utterly silent. I have had a bath, I have made the tea, I have got my books, but all I want to do is Nothing. Not read, not eat, not talk, not even think. All I really want to do is listen to the silence. My grandfather clock is tick tocking behind me, and the odd car is swishing by outside, and in between those sounds is such a deep quiet that I can feel my soul recovering. Funny really, I had this past week set aside for plodding along with my preparations for A Graceful Death in Birmingham next month. I thought, I have been such a busy bee, such a focussed individual, so nice to everyone, oh my reward will be to be hidden away in my studio painting and fiddling and humming away to myself - a dab of paint here, a tweak there, emails pinging to and fro between me and fascinating people, it was to have been a glorious week. But it wasn't to be. If you are to be taken seriously in this world as a painter and a person of substance, said God, you need to be able to deal with character building stuff that I will chuck at you when you are least expecting it. And so last week was a week of character building stuff that I was certainly not expecting.
However. Despite the madness of the past week, I have done the following. It's quite impressive -
- Started the Sue and Stuart portrait diptych for the new A Graceful Death exhibition next month
- Wrote and sent out a press release for the same exhibition
- Bought a shed load of food
- Went to see my Old Dad in London and took him through the Soul Midwife course that I am going to do with Felicity Warner next month
- Listed and noted all the paintings for AGD and repainted bits of them that were damaged and had marks on them (like boot marks. Not really, just thought that was quite funny)
- Spent the afternoon in the Hospice making tea, chatting and listening.
- Collected my daughter from Haywards Heath because she was too tired to move (she is a student nurse and works too)
- Did a mercy trip to Petworth to save my mother who had a cold and needed her bed changed, a nice hot bath and some oatcakes and smooth pate.