The difference between a magical day and a tedious one is the events that fill it.
Take yesterday for example. The sun shone and I spent a lazy afternoon in wonderful company watching the sunlight dance on a calm sea like fireflies made of diamond. I felt the warmth of the sun on my skin and all the many things I have to plan and worry about could be safely put in a box for the day marked “another day’s problems”
Today’s weather is equally pleasant, the sun shines just as brightly, the promise of the sea is there but… I am stuck indoors waiting for a gargantuan stack of cartridge paper to be delivered via some unspecified courier company or other. I have plenty to do while I am waiting, I was cutting up an old pair of jeans at six am to make a hat out of and now I am writing a blog and then when the charge in my iPad runs out I shall do some Photoshopping of prints I am having produced for my show and then I shall write this blog again, then do a few quick drawings/paintings to add a bit of visual interest to it. The thing is though is choice, however valid my achievements will be today, however much I get done, I will not have been my choice to do those things at the point in time that I was doing them.
And as foretold the iPad ran out of juice and… Well, I made a hat! Like you do! And whilst it was amusing and engrossing, it fundamentally failed to help either my preparation for my art show or for the illustration workshop that I’m doing one bit. But, hey! A hat! Marvellous! The parcel finally turned up at two in the afternoon, at which point I ran out of the house as fast as I could. The reason? Well…Back in 1998 my life hit a brick wall. The sort that Wile E Coyote would go smacking into when road runner had stopped to paint a tunnel on it. Long story short but months of lying in bed and staring at the floor turned into years of living in isolation from the world. Fast forward to now and after years therapy and life coaching I can live a limited but passably normal life and part of that normality comes through going out every day and engaging with the world. It’s only partly that a sunny day like today is so alluring but even on the rankest of days when the sea swishes around like a washing machine and the wind is so strong that the rain goes sideways, I still have to do it. If for no other reason than because I like it so much at home, I love my flat and I love quietly getting on with my thing, I have the Internet, I have books, I have the telephone, I have good friends, I have art materials and most of all I have a wildly vivid imagination. I know I love my home too much though and that is why I have mustn’t stay in it.
Waiting days like today for me are like a sober alcoholic in recovery visiting a brewery, a trial beyond imagination. Talking of which, one of the major reasons for going out first thing is the nature of St Leonards on Sea in the mornings, the street drinkers are only just taking the edge off the shakes, the posers and pretenders are still tarting themselves up for the day and pulling themselves together after schmoozing in the couple of local trendy pubs and bars with the other wannabes the night before. Mornings are pleasant here, afternoons are barely tolerable and by evening…. Forget it! My afternoon stroll was much as predicted, I bumped into a couple of lovely chums but the scene on the thouroughfare was akin to that of Hogarth’s Gin Lane with an extra helping of Frederick Neichze’s bungled and botched, grown adults sat in paddling pools in their front yard smoking spliffs, the kids of heroin addict sold her possessions from a pasting tray set up on the pavement. However it was lovely to see the sea but it was lovelier to get back home, incident free. So as I sit here on my sofa, the sky a pearlescent number that you get hereabout’s that the Impressionists came to paint so many years ago, the gulls crying in the distance, wood pigeons calling and birds twittering, I can feel a sense of relief that I faced the world and although I found it slightly wanting compared to yesterday’s loveliness, I survived humanity for another day. Plus, yay!, I have a new hat.