Life is a merry go around not a ladder

13.44pm (at home sat on the sofa)

The sound of the radiator humming out its heat. My bottom sinks into the cushion of the leather soda. Cars and lorries and buses on the road. The constant slowing and moving off. The temporary traffic light, amber, red, amber, green. Stop. Start.

Syd is upstairs in bed, he is pale and unwell. He is tucked up warm watching a film. I collected him in the car from school.

Naoise wouldn’t wake this morning. I am glad that there are only two weeks left of the term. I literally had to prise him out of bed. I had to carry him on my shoulders, and even when I put him down on the pavement he was slow, slow, slow, his legs just waking to the vertical of the day.

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The day started badly. Arguments and stress over lack of funds. The trigger was Syd asking for some guitar strings. He seems to be going through guitar strings like water. I pay for them with what change I have in my bag and by dinner P has apologised for over reacting to Syd’ss request. I have talked to Syd about keeping back £10 of his fund for strings. There is understanding and things are back to relative harmony. P will be working late tonight. I will be holding the fort.

I hold. I hold the family. I hold it together. Mothers are glue. Mothers create a space to hold the lives of others, and they have to find the time to hold themselves.

The mindfulness exercises at the friendship group were good. I noticed the clock, my breath, the passage of time, I sent rage off in a cloud. I replayed the morning at home, mainly what had gone wrong. All I see is the crosses. I ranted about mental health and the lack of funding and I got annoyed at the ignorance of one of the members of staff at the sure start centre. I need to learn not to open my mouth. I need to train my brain not to think. Not to speak. Go hum hum hum. Shhhhhhh Shhhhhh just listen, don’t comment. Its not always helpful to speak. Better to just be present.

The ladder of capitalism. The list of to do’s. I do. I do. I do. What happens if you stop doing. If you really practice this mindfulness lark. If I concentrate on the keys of the computer. If I don’t think about the needs of m family. If I think of nothing. If I just watch and become the observer.

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I am on the merry go around. Occasionally I get off and I can see, then I jump back on and around I go again. Soon this project needs a full stop. The journey will continue, but the writing needs to slow down. I need to be still with a pencil and a line. I need to take the line for a journey. The writing makes me question too much. Analyse.

I feel annoyed with this project so its best that I do stop. I have managed it. I set myself a task and it is almost done. I like the idea of the project. It makes you to make. I want to make drawings. A drawing a day. the focus to be on the visual. Only the visual. I am not a writer. The drawing is a fluid medium. It can be pencil and paper. It can be sculpture or performance. It can be a shopping list. It can be a walk. It can be meditating. It can be anything but there must be a record, a document, a trace, some evidence. Then that is a drawing. Words and language can be drawing too, but I like the idea of setting myself the challenge of abandoning this form. This ramble. This reflective ramble. This ramble is not satisfying me and my curiosity for what I can see.

I need to be the WATCHER. Maybe WATCHERS are happier. WATCHERS are careful. WATCHERS are mindful of the passage of time. WATCHERS see what we are doing now. WATCHERS stand back and learn and are open minded. WATCHERS don’t judge. WATCHERS sooth the threats and lessen the drive. WATCHERS are compassionate. I WATCHED the mindfulness woman. I want her Zen. I want her knowingness. I want her calm. I sit her on my shoulder. I will bring her out when I need to. My watching woman.

What will I do with this project:

1/Try and crowd fund the publishing of four books; spring, summer, autumn, winter

2/ A participatory project

3/ More readings of m(other) stories. Think about how to develop the audience. What time frame? How

4/ An exhibition

5/ A celebration of the completion of the project.

6/M(other) Stories part two: a drawing a day?

7/ Evaluation

I was ever so grateful for all those that came to visit me at the open studio. I loved the children that drew in my space. I love to share my materials with children so that parents can be my audience. I think I make my artwork for adults. Is that ok, probably not as art needs to be for all. It needs to be for all if you want to tick all the requirements of a funding bid.

I was happy reading in the presence of friends but I need to think about reading to strangers. I do need to get myself out of the valley. Not myself my art. My art needs a wider audience. My art wants the city, the passer by, the random person.

I need to complete the form to do voluntary work at the mental health organisation. I realise that I need to turn my rage into something proactive. I need to stop ranting and start doing. Is your to do list longer than mine. Do we need to have a to do list. Where does all this busy-ness come from. What happens if nothing happens. What happens if I do nothing? Life moves on.

Tomorrow its the Be-friender training course that I cannot really discuss. I can talk about me in it. Thats what I will do.


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