It has rained as Cyclone Blake formed somewhere out there in the Timor sea and then kindly dumped a considerable amount of water on this dry part of Australia. Gusty winds from the storm made bicycle riding a bit interesting but we had to venture out and relocate Sonny the pet parrot belonging to a friend who was out of town. A safe spot during the blowy period made Sonny much more happy. The red Pindan dirt begins to turn green with vegetation about now as everyone talks about no rain, more rain, when it rains, how much rain, clouds and heat and cyclones.
I have survived this draining sticky hot time by nibbling on a Vietnamese treat I buy at the local “Fongs” corner store. They stock many treats from Asia and it is a store that I have used for years. I devour a lot of these cakes that are made from - mung bean, taro and durian. They all taste funny, smell funny and look a bit funny but I adore them. Carolina refuses to indulge which is great as that means more exotic cakes for me. Carolina keeps busy waiting for more rain…
The "Bristlecone" works are coming along in the studio as I have been sewing and painting these mixed media trees for some weeks now. This series began in USA where I first saw these ancient pine trees but I still have some ways to go before they are completed. On the other studio desk I have created a large series of 42 mixed media works on passport paper. Some kind of working title is scribbled on some paper somewhere somehow someday someplace but thats something else to mention some other time. Yes it is all a bit vague I know but it is difficult to be decisive once humidity levels climb over 70% and I must say that prancing about in the studio is not recommended either. Is it time to nibble on a durian cake?
It is the year of the metal rat in the Chinese Lunar Horoscope world so I do hope it is a cute, positive and friendly little robot rodent as opposed to a filthy rabid critter running about with a leaking toxic battery. We shall see. I do wish everyone a good 2020/Rat year. I am sure it will be as unpredictable and as tricky as ever no matter how many detailed and informative horoscopes are published. My recent horoscope mentioned something about - “… searching for money on Wednesday morning and also some romantic planet is soon to align with a star that will induce heated feelings in a foreign city where fruit grows creatively…” As an artist one gets used to adaptability, instability and especially a fluctuating wage but as the decades slink along it would be nice to have other sorts of feelings besides my ongoing optimistic fuzzy hopefulness. A bit less frustration and assorted woe would be just fine. “We all have our ups and downs as they say.” or “Thats life!” There is nothing much to do except to “keep on rowing the boat” as my Dutch father who spent most of his working life on ships tells me. Heave, ho, heave, ho, one, two, one, two, one, two….
I must of course be generally pleased as I am one very lucky fellow considering I have health and warm connections both near and far. I have also been able to see an enormous chunk of the planet so I cannot complain too much.
A commitment to the creative life with abilities to focus, plan and visualise have all shaped my life and somehow helped me to make many things, see many lands and meet many people. A great deal of “rowing” has been necessary that is for sure.
Over the years, on a variety of vessels I have performed all sorts of rowing. Through cold monstrous waves, over lukewarm sunlit ripples and sometimes I have been stuck in the doldrums for a bit longer than desired but I continued to paddle onwards. Knowing that the forecast always changes and nothing stays still, ever anywhere.
On some days I have toiled and pumped those oars like a frantic maritime hoon going around in circles or a like a hyperactive rower in a drunken dragon-boat race. Other days it has been more like a mellow dinky paddle across a serene lake in a tiny pinky dingy made to look like a swan on holidays. Then there are the days when I embrace the doldrums and just drift about in the water. Putting the oars aside like now as it is really far too hot to expend any energy rowing or to even think about rowing. It is time to simply float. Slowly drifting, contemplating and sweating out a few zen or perhaps zombified flavoured thoughts. Is it durian cake snack time yet?
In this slow motion suspended mind-set I can acknowledge all those fabulous little things all around everywhere that make up my world. A zephyr hits my elbow, the smell of seaweed, faint thunder rumblings, the colours on a birds tail feathers and the taste of sweat. They all make sense to my senses and that is all.
As I suck up all those itsy-bitsy sensations like a blubbery whale sucking up a big krill breakfast I cannot totally forget the very BIG picture as well but that is far too gigantic for me to make much sense of. Especially in this heat. But the big picture is there and we are all in the middle of it. So “Stay cool!” I say and just paddle on.