Overcome, endure, transform, love

The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering

-Ben Okri

We carry our children from our bodies, we give birth to our children and we hold them close, feed them from the milk in our breasts and when our children are too heavy and fidgety to carry any more we carry their love  in our minds and hearts. We carry their love in our bodies till our own bodies and minds disintegrate and can no longer carry these thoughts, these fragment, these memories these people that are ours and our future.


Till our skin shrinks and pocks and marks and wrinkles and blue veins fail to red and our skin withers and becomes translucent and thin and dries like the crisping of the autumn leaves. Till our bodies struggle to carry our own bones and flesh let alone that of another. Till our bones become apart of the dry stone walls. Till our flesh rots back into the earth. Life and all its cycles. The vivid green of spring shouting out  hope and renewal,  the crimson and russet and yellow ochre of autumn holding on, letting go, falling and dying back.

I have drunk too much wine. Its friday so it is the wine doing the talking. My tongue is slipping and scootering over tarmac.

Patrick is reading Naoise to sleep. Syd is out with his friends enjoying the last of the milder evenings, but its dark now and although he is clever and independent and tall and strong I still worry. I will be anxious until he returns. I wonder what it is he does with his teenage freedom. He is kicking out. Growing. Maturing. Challenging me. Asking and demanding and crying and shouting. Asserting himself and his independence. Striving for more and shirking his embarrassing parents.

I am glad that it is the end of a long week. The end of a week when each day I was late to school with Naoise, that is until today. I wasn’t late to school today because I put Naoise back to bed yesterday. When I could’nt even spoon feed him yoghurt for breakfast as I watched his head hang heavy and could see that he could hardly keep his eyes open I sent him back to bed. I sent him back to bed and he was s happy and relieved and he slept for over three hours and when he awoke he thought that only five minutes had passed.

I spent the day staring into space with blind panic. Panic about money and art and studios and money and children and what to do next. I thought about giving up being an artist altogther. I often have wobbles I often feeling like throwing the towel in. To hell with it !, There are mild wobbles and there are semi earthquakes. Yesterday was a quake. All was dark and impossible. I had become something I was not. I was deep inside a cave of self pity. I was running home to my mother. I was telling her about the wrongs of the world. I was desperate.


Naoise got me out after waking, eating, showering, and doing the worlds biggest poo we got out. I scootered along side him on Syds scooter to the local shop and we bought chocolate bars to eat. It was so warm in the autumn sunshine, elderly people, cats, dogs all were sunbathing, and catching the last warmth of the year. The birds were chirping as if it were a spring celebration and the butterflies were busying themselves on buddeia.

What was it that I was going to write. Something about artists and their generosity. I proclaimed my minor nervous breakdown on Facebook. There are too many reasons to explain my sadness. It would be too self indulgent to list them and I don’t want to.

Artists wobble. They wobble for a reason. They carry insight and hope and dreams and they imagine another world beyond this one. They look beyond plastic and television and money and look at dew clinging to a silken web. A mother/artist feels small. She feels. She feels her children’s worries. She negotiates. She shows them humility and compassion and kindness. She is far from perfect and shouts and gets irate and worries abut things that she shouldn’t worry about. She tells off her child for being cruel for calling another child names. She internalises her childs anxieties. She lets her teenage child play out with his friends when she would rather feel his presence in the home. She realises that he is wanting more and more to be in the company of his friends than in hers.

She spins her  web. She throws out her thread and her wobble to the world and her friends send her a virtual hug and she is carried by this kindness and support and she wraps her arms around their thoughtfulness.

I have Jeremy Corbyn to thank for the Ben Okri quote.

I have got to the end of a long week when I was failing and slipping into black when I was crying and breaking down in front of my children and when they were carrying me. We carry and we are carried from womb and back to earth.

Its been a good day, I have a job interview and a promise of inclusion in an exhibition. I am relieved, I can just breath and relax for a little bit. Its friday. Thank goodness for Friday.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *