I just went to do an artists residency in the Sonoma Hills of California. I have to admit when I arrrived there was a storm a brewing inside, I did the same residency last year and the whole landscape and experience was so pregnant with the love I felt and received from someone special, that to go back to the land, to retread those sacred footsteps alone suddenly filled me with fear and as the plane took off I just wept.
There is a term in New Orleans called 'taking the beast for a walk', well that is exactly what I intended to do, was gonna get on that hill and curate the sky with kites, like speech bubbles, or bat signals, or even exorcisms of the fliers. So excited to collaborate with the wind and in my mind I wanted to build this huge whily out of control kite, that wouldn't necessarily work with the wind, that would furl and unfurl, morph and and just rah in the sky. I didn't know if I could do it, I had an excellent kite construction book and of course my usual cockiness that anything can be done.
So as we are driving from San Francisco we stop and get a bite to eat at this funny little seaside restaurant with a cowboy band honky tonking in the next room, we fill our bellies and say cheers to the impending adventure with a litte sparkly. Before we left, I needed to dip into that sea, cos when I see the sea, I just need a little baptism, so i ran in with my clothes on, (to be fair my little jumpsuit was not much more than a swimming costume and bang, it was a real boistroous sea, it gave me a real tumble and I swam out to where the waves were a little less crashy. I will tell you, it was beautiful and fierce, it was icey cold and th waves were so powerful, it was being at the mercy of nature at its best, I ended up swallowing a whole load of sea water and really struggles with all my might against the undercurrent that would just wipe out my progress in a second. When I got to shore I had a moment of that elation, the stingy pink of my skin, the pride of the wrestle, but very quickly I couldn't see straight and sitting in the foot well naked swaddled by a blanket I puked my guts out into a coffee cup. When we began the ascent up the hill, with the sun glittering through the evergreens and the smell of the forest all the fear had gone, all the memories were washed out. I was so weak and base, all I culd think of was gratitude for all the beauty as my head began not to spin anymore and I felt the warm air that rising to the peak washes over you, by the time I arrived, it was just a sweet warm relief to be in this place I knew so well and loved.
When I got there I quickly realised there was no wind to play with, I ran around like a silly puppy with my maquette kite, enjoying the sweet exercise and youthful sprite it takes to fly a kite, but it was fruitless. Without being able to try out the simple kites I couldn't get a sense for how it all worked and quickly my confidence and sureness melted away, which felt awful. I was only going to be there for two weeks and already a fair few days had passed by this time. The ghosts of the land started fogging up as the San Francisco smog crept up like a beautiful, but sinister blanket and the beast was sitting right on my chest, I was definitely not taking it for any walk.
But as life always does, the little sparks of inspiration started their little glow and it is all thanks to the people, it always is, that is why there are so many people in my work, the beautiful encounters we can have, the inspiration and the mutual button pressing that goes between people when they share their souls so openly, that magic, that always fires me up. Some of the people I meet in my life are magnificent, the wildness of a personal intimacy between two people is so unique, even in its ordinariness. I was so inspired by my artist friend Daphane Park, who just manages to bring so many people together by asking for help and having ideas on the table as a forum of discussion, it made me realise how limited I am sometimes, how I just work away in some squirrel hole alot of the time, just to be able to feel some all-encompassing ownership and I can say that, that my work is all mine all mine, but that attitude has only brought my loneliness and often exhaustion from having big ideas and trying to achieve them alone.
And Pamala, she has created a forum for deep discussion and relation in a place of safety, that is such a rare and rough diamond, that kind of devotion is so uncommon to me and I wonder and admire that she is evolved in such a way and I can see that she has such depth with so many people she touches.
Adrina my collaborator and dearest friend, we truly do cross oceans for eachother and pioneer our lives to involve eachother for meetings of the minds but also for the future, to always have a path that somehow includes eachother.
And Elliott the warrior, who let me talk on the phone for an hour in circles beause sometimes that is just how realisation and understanding comes.
And John for finding the glitter in the dark with a torch, for John because he is a special person and ecouraged me to play the organ, when the rest were getting sick of my bad teenage renditions of love songs.
To Miles and Valentine, for moving the slight cinic (inbuilt london barriers) so physically and emotionally with their psychic ceremony. They told me that I could reenact a few scenarios in my life, ask back the parts of myself that I gave too freely, they also led me to imagine that my aura was an opening and closing rose, opening to let the joy flood in, closing to protect my sweet self.
Seed and her gentle compassion and understanding.
I made some work, some new kind of work, I started something that has been inkling in my mind but never made it out as a solid pursuit and I left happy, stinking to buggery as the electricty and therfore hot water, had run out two days before, warm from the candlelight talks, a head full of glitter and some serious cowboy boots on my feet increasing my stride by 1.5. On the way to the airport I felt the beast on my chest again. And then the tears just flowed, nothing lasts forever, some beauty is just a fleeting gift.
I made a droplet, a geometric construction. This holds so much weight in my mind this form. It seems to have it all, it is the top of the hierarchy of needs, it has all of life in it, it has release, it has that mid air tiny slice of the present, it has left the source and there is an explosion impending, it is that perfect tiny slice of the present that I always think about, that doesn't really exist since the future is sucked through the portal of the present to become past in a seamless transaction. It is so relevent.
Now the last drop of that year yonder love has left my body, I have a banging body, well as much as it can bang after having a kid, but it does, all that doughy flesh that seemed to appear when love was in fruit has gone and what is left is the ferral necessity, the lythe muscles it takes to get through a day in my life, which can be a little on the edge of possibility, I feel ready to pounce.
And when I was putting the eyedrops in my nearly five year old daughters eye, who has glaucoma and has just had her second surgery all in the space of five weeks, I realised the how connected we were, that the drops would go into her eyes and come out of mine.
I am going to make some films and y'all will see them soon. really soon and I think I might turn all of them into a book.