‘Moving Forward’ @Sam Shendi part of The Only Human Collection
2017 began literally with a disappointing New Year’s Eve event for the sculptor followed with tragic news in the first week of January. I am ending the year with a cold-flu-cough that has lasted near on three weeks and a year which has flown by without a sense of much achieved personally. It has in all been a strange year, one where I have discovered things which I am hoping will steer me into a clearer direction in the new year. So I am starting 2018 with a totally new approach. Goal setting, time planning and organisation. Looking into 2018 with hope and my focus word for the year; Purposeful.
Each year I think I have been looking forward but staying in exactly the same spot. Cue sculpture,’Moving Forward’, similar to the last sculpture I wrote about ‘Awkward’, somehow defies gravity and plays with it so that you think it might fall. Yet stable and unmoving, we can be like this, think we are progressing when really we a stuck in exactly the same place.
Despite feeling unhealthy and a little bit overwhelmed at how little I have done over the last few weeks I am determined not to let that affect my resolve to achieving my goals. I am hopeful that setting goals will be more purposeful than a resolution.
Let us all make 2018 a year of change, progression and moving forward. Wishing you a happy and purposeful 2018.
I always feel the December holidays are hibernation and a time for slowing down. I hit against it every year but this year was more resigning to it. However, 2017 has begun and already a week passed, time stops for no one.
It hasn’t been the best of starts to the year for one reason and another. Some trivial and some profound. Yet I am hopefully 2017 will be a good year.
Today the rain outside is relentless and as we drove to school this morning the eldest said it still felt dark. Here it is a gloomy dismal day and it though it doesn’t totally reflect my mood, there is a stillness needed.
So I post some stunning images in black and white, sombre and shadows and think about serenity.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr
‘Hammer head’ in progress at the studio (2016)
I don’t know why a number on a calendar which is just part of one system causes such a turmoil in feeling. Some time has ended and some new time is beginning. Each day is a new day but there seems something more significant in a ‘new year’. Because of the cold wet climate here it is the perfect time to stay in, under the duvet and do nothing but think. I was listening to a snippet of a radio program on diaries and just caught the idea that journal writing enables us to see self-development. As I flicked through my journal last night I realised the last four years is a bit sparse with entries but then I have regularly ‘blogged’ perhaps instead. I wonder if it is slightly more filtered than my weepy outpourings of motherhood in my journal.
However, I begin this new year 2016 on a more upbeat optimistic outlook as I approach a new stage with the boys entering into a more ‘junior’ stage. Over these holiday days the sculptor, never one to do ‘nothing’ took the time to carve a bull but with him he took the boys to enjoy being with him in the studio. Always trying to be grateful for what we have, the only thing I think they need of is more outdoor play, exploring for themselves and having freedom to do so. As they grow our little back yard diminishes in space for them to do that. So the larger space of the studio yard during these wintry days has been a perfect way for them to let out steam, spend time with Baba, for the sculptor to carve and for me to carve out a little bit time for myself. As I just reassuringly read in the blog that inspired me to start ‘blogging’ five years ago, when we mother’s do get this precious time it can be hard to know exactly what to do with it.
We move from a year which has had its challenges, tests of patience but been full of activities and achievements for us all. It feels another year has flown even faster than the last.”The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience” Tolstoy.
Thank you for taking the time to read this little online journal of our continued journey of sculptural exploration and family life. Blessed Friday, Happy New Year with hope that 2016 may bring peace, love and the time to bring that all together.
I post photos I have taken of studio moments, carving out sculptures and memories.
old art work decorating the shrub land
Boys playing outside the studio
Muddy bike riding in the space at the front of the studio
Inside the dusty studio
Carving out the bull
Bull in progress
Years used to be punctuated in school holidays, more so because my parents were both teachers. Gradually this shifted in my 20’s to January being a month of heavy diary entries, promises to improve and a new way of seeing the world. Last year a list of three things. The first I achieved daily, the second a little in the last two weeks of the year and I can’t even remember what the third one was. Such is the way of resolutions.
2015 has begun in cocoon not even realising a sense of time or day. 18 days of sunshine, with sea air was the tonic to an intense and busy four years. I sat starting out at sea and wondered why we like to find peace in vast open nothingness. I heard somewhere that the sea is the world’s consciousness. Perhaps, we stare at the blank blue canvas which give us a mirror to our own conscious being. For the boys the days on the beach with the sculptor were playing and digging resulting in these:
Now we have to dig in and start again or get back on the treadmill of reality. So I slowly uncurl after being spoilt with an amazing trip and focused family time. Having been in the sun and coming back to the cold is a little disorinatating and the new year seems meaningless. It has made me realise how arbitory time is. When we looked at the creations of the ancient Egyptians the mind blowing factor was just how long ago it was created and that it was all for the afterlife. The creativity of humanity with the drawings and the pigmentation within the desert showed their skill and precision and search for meaning.
Each time I go to Egypt I learn something, somehow the country challenges your comfort zones. Perhaps this is more so because my husband is Egyptian and this time I realised more than ever that I am raising two Egyptian boys. They thrived in the heat, they learnt some arabic and displayed their social skills meeting family for the first time and making friends everywhere they went. I embrace this for them, the uniqueness of having two cultures so diverse and so contrasting and hope that they can use the best of both for themselves. I have lots of little anecdotes and stories but feel it would make this too long. We are back to the every day life of juggling work and art. The boys struggled last night knowing Baba was going away, even just for one night, having had such quality time with him. The Sculptor is already in London collecting the appropriately named; ‘The Family’ from it’s stay in Berkley square London and this last week has been busy packaging up ‘The Kiss’ which we say goodbye to and send to Panama on its new journey.
So we use the ancient writing on the wall to move forward, the sun’s energy to give us strength to get through a grey January and the thoughts of the sea to develop our consious awareness. It’s the start of a busy year for the sculptor and so for all of us on this journey of art and meaning.
I am setting myself a little challenge. In 3 days time I will have been blogging for 2 years. It is amazing and confusing as to where those two years have gone. Swept up in the daily life of being a full-time mama and ‘Sculptors wife’! Not only that, I have three blogs to write to reach 100 blogs. So I am giving myself a bit of motivating to try to write every day, which isn’t something I usually can do, but must, in order to hit 100 blog posts on my 2 year blogging anniversary, if I can use that expression.
mmmm………..The uncertainty of it is finding the right images with writings and relevance and having the time to sit and write!
This piece, so aptly titled was one that was well and truly lost in the fire ,as unlike most of the other work it was made of recycled materials. I could create a competition to ‘Guess what the sculpture is made out of’ …The rest of the work is slowly being recovered and a busy schedule is starting to look promising for this year ahead.
This time of year can create the feelings of uncertainty. The year ahead lying before us unknown. Why it makes us more prone to renewal and rethinking I am unsure. For the first time the ‘New Year’ had no real meaning for me. I was in bed early and I didn’t have a feeling of expectation or disappointment. After all, it is just another day. The marker of time is not really that significant, it isn’t actually 2013 now, the world has been in existence for far longer. ‘Today’ is really all that we have, yesterday is gone and can no longer be changed and tomorrow. Well, we have to wait and see what unfolds.