Woolf works

img_6476I have seen many ballets within this rich tapestry called life, a aficionado of dance, not by any means but the thrill that music and movement can instil is unforgettable.  I have seen the proud somewhat arrogant Nureyev bring the audience into a frenzy to the graceful elegance of the long limbed Sylvie Guillem but nothing in all these years has moved me so much as Wayne McGregors’s  Woolf Works.  Plus it was a live screened performance from The Royal Opera House, sitting in a cinema !

A ballet triptych describes three books, which takes you through life from an ageing perspective,  looking back at the vibrant memories of 1920’s  England in Mrs Dalloway, to the energetic, fast moving dynamism of youth in Orlando, then finally to death with The Waves. By the end I had been through so many emotions, my heart had been pulled this way and that and at times felt it would leap from my chest.  I felt expanded, exhilarated, as if my body had filled the auditorium.

I watched mesmerised as the dancers moved with such grace and ease, their limbs, muscles, tendons showing the strength needed to perform such a strenuous ballet, especially in Orlando.  So many avenues of thought and feelings erupted

Then came the rhythmic hypnotic swelling of the waves, not only in the music of Max Richter but the dancers and the compelling back drop of raging foaming seas in  in slow motion as you watch and hear life ebbing away.  Actress Gillian Anderson reads Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter written to her husband before she drowned herself in the River Ouze,  the words  so moving in themselves.

I have now listened to this so many times since seeing the ballet, downloaded from the trusty itunes.  Its stunning, moving , haunting and magnificent and so much more.  This week sees the start of my week in Totnes and this mornings playing produces these quick impromptu sketches  and I can see this is going to inspire the senses in many ways as the days,weeks and months roll on.

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another 365 days further around the cycle of time

morphing-27-72dpi A glorious day, sun shining brightly illuminating the frozen ground into  thousands of jewel like like sparkles, a beautiful and uplifting sight.  So what does if feel like to be 68 I asked myself this morning………. I cannot say  the number of years  moved me  or the the fact it was my birthday, only the numbers  curvaceous proportions spoke to me.  The softness of their form  reminded me of the feminine, our great mother,  bounteous, voluptuous, abundant, sensuous  and giving.

I suspect in numerology these numbers have great significance as there cursive forms suggest, possibly abundance and nurturing come somewhere in the gifts they manifest.

 

are we walking away or towards the light

I just dont know what to think  at this very moment, the world is in so nuch pain and distress and feel so helpless to bring  any kind of relief except run away from it, but where, the world now seems so small.  This Vaughan Williams piece of music is helping me through ( clip below) and the need to escape to somewhere green is ever present

So yesterday I had a splendid afternoon wandering the Cass Sculpture foundation’s 26 acres of forest.  Some pieces did not touch me in anyway, just passed me by without any real dialogue, some spoke to me, lured my thoughts and feelings into unexplored territories, some lifted my spirits to a higher plane and one piece in particular mesmerised me totally.

Looking at all the figures staring at me in the woods made me think.  The faint watery sunshine was glinting though the trees, it looked as if  this gathering of people had marched away from the light, given up on what life used to be, they looked sad and I began to ponder of what life was like looking through they eyes of a child.  Now past my prime and sullied by the toxic life we have slowly inhaled these past decades, that light of innocence seems so far away.  I walked through the gathering of these eerie metallic shadows and felt the alienation they all felt, severed from their roots, walking aimlessly and then I glanced back and in an instant hope returned.   The view had a different energy a real strength and I realised why, we were all walking towards the light, all of us together as a tribe, a community.  Together we can change the world, one step at a time and we must not give up hope.

I realised I do not want to feed or support the corporations anymore, enough is enough, I don’t want to give my power away anymore.  I am streamlining my life.  Why do I have “stuff”   I thought I was already doing this, but it’s not enough, I need to do more……………………………  it’s all go to go

Let our  dream for the world he big

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the morning ritual

watercolourwaking when the sun stirs is a beautiful gift, hearing the birds sing, seeing daylight slowly come to fruition through my curtainless windows.

Slow has to be the way I describe this time, slow and gentle, writing my thoughts, cleansing my head in readiness for the day as well as the body with long glass of warm water and fresh lemon………….  tranquil time before the demands and rigours of my interior design practice try and pull me this way and that.

I couldnt do it any other way

 

an opportunity to write

May 24th saw my month in the greek sunshine.  Four weeks of quiet and solitude amongst the ancient olive groves of Northern Kefalonia.  My aim here was to write my story as explained in my last post and what a setting I had to write all this.  An old farmhouse, lovingly restored, plenty of land , fantastic views and my own chickens

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I write “morning” pages and have done so for nearly a decade, so used to expressing what is going on for me, so I thought writing a book about my life would be easy.

Fist I went headlong in, typing in word on my laptop, the words and memories just flooded page after page.  Exciting or what, as one memory  was written down another came to the for and after writing almost  daily for a couple of hours I had written 35,000 words and still only reached ten years old.  Since my return I am still writing, trying to put my life in its historical setting and the whole process now seems one of “layering”, going back over and adding life’s memories from all vantage points.  I am now nearing 60,000 words an 13 years old, its 1962 and threw myself headlong into the 60’s lifestyle when every social norm was challenged, clothing, music, drugs, sexuality, formalities, schooling and dress. The rigid culture of the past decades could no longer be contained, and the call for greater individual freedom broke free. Youth found a voice and every social constraint was there to be broken from Racism to Sexism. Everything was turned on its head, thrown up in the air, and the repercussions of this are still being felt today

Without setting out any real structure before I began only the need to express all this right now , I am finding it rather unwieldy, trawling all these words, to check continuity, tracking my revisions is not easy and perhaps in hindsight I should have done some research on “how” to write a book first.  My personality is such, that when the passion comes to give birth to a creation I have to make a start right then and there.

 

Reliving the past

My love affair with jewellery making seems to have lost the lead at the moment !  As usual I have many projects on the go.  I see them like horses in a race, all jockeying for first position and for now writing has taken first place.

I have amassed so many components, tools, different clays, inks, beads, findings etc etc plus all the beads and items made carefully sorted and now stored away in a mass of boxes.   They were all crowding in on me and felt quite suffocated by the process and the obsession to keep making that I feel quite relieved that all the “stuff” is now housed along with many other obsessive months of work.  Its strange I have made hundreds of bracelets and necklaces, most I have given away because when it comes down to it I don’t like wearing jewellery unless it feel it is part of me, difficult to explain really, I don’t like ” decoration ”  pretty girly things, I am earthy and so the items I have made in the last months only 4 items remain in my wardrobe, large faux pebble necklace and three large faux ivory bangles .  Oh yes, and a necklace that looks like broken eggs

So how did the writing start?  a friend wrote his memoirs, after reading the  seed had been set.  It’s been percolating for a while and all the recent deaths in the media and then attending my stepfathers funeral, the seed sprouted and  has now grown into a book for my children, I wanted them to know the complex character called Mum is a woman shaped by many life’s experiences both good and not so good, it may help them to see what shaped me and what makes me tick …….  It is amazing that once  the memories begin to flow, the more memories begin to surface, it’s also interesting researching the 50 and 60s and plotting “my story” in their correct social and political context

So looking forward to my holiday in Greece in a couple of weeks time, I can then write to my heart’s content without  any work demands which have been full on demanding these past 6 weeks.

 

Image is a recent visit to Birmingham, New Street Station roof !  and me waiting for the meeting in Birmingham Art Gallery which is just a stone’s throw from the station.

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