as 16 comes closer to slipping to 17, i think back to a piece of graffiti photographed by a friend. it stated that no man was an island and he wanted to be that man.
why have i recalled this at a time of reflection and contemplation of 2016 ? it’s been a year in which lots of small significant things have happened. these have collated to create what is being described as a depressing year. not my words but some of those around me.
personally i disagree with the term depressing being used to describe 2016. i disagree because 2016 has been far from depressing. if any word might be used i’d go with normal or struggle or challenging.
but then challenges are what make for an interesting time.
focussing on my practice and reviewing that for the year … the first 4 months of the year were very focussed on the forest school leader portfolio completion. my dyslexia more than possibly being behind why i took almost all of the available time to complete it. i so desperately wanted to have it all sorted by easter, as some of my training group did.
my affair with the photographic society ensured that i kept some sort of artistic practice going, albeit at a very low key level.
once the portfolio was completed my chance meeting in belper parks with the director of the silk mill project led me to apply and become part of the silk mill re-imagine project. my involvement with this project is helping me to get a sense of what my artistic practice could be.
during my fine art degree i responded to concerns connected to peak oil. these seemed large and relevant at the time yet somehow failed to give me an idea of what my practice was about. i didn’t really understand of myself what i was expressing. yes maybe i shouldn’t admit this in public for fear of compromising my practice in the future. to the critics who would levy this i would say in getting to where i want to be i need to explore difficult and personal matters that at the time needed to explored within this blog.
what do i learn from this year ? to make me feel happy, my practice has three components. this reflects my own needs as a human being. to help me make the challenges of 2017 easier to get through i need to continue to improve how i play within the societal system i find myself living in. i’m talking basics … survival … earning money to keep me warm, dry, rested and fed.
i have to be a bit critical of myself for a moment. the whole “talking basics” thing … i don;t think this is a particularly good stance to take. it drastically under values me and my potential.
those who suffer with imposter syndrome miss the point that they feel that way because they are high achievers and actually now and again we all have low moments full of doubt and over critical self talk.
through practicing mindfulness this year i have begun to manage more successfully my own self criticism.
the passing of my mum this year has had me reflecting upon my formative teenage years and how as an adult we have so much influence on young people.
i’ve been reflecting how the society around me both physically and virtually has an influence on me. i resist being dragged down by what i know of the world, choosing instead to be inquisitive about what happens. this morning i googled “does democracy fail because of human nature?” what came back was this article .
the title of this blog was an indication of where i was at the beginning of 2016. the title coming from an interview with cozy powell. the hi hat and snare moment being a time when possibility and building new connections become possible. i set off into 2016 wanting things to be better. i wanted 2016 to be my hi hat and snare moment.
this has happened.
i still have to work hard to build in the other elements around the hi hat and snare.
i plant seeds for 2017 …
andrew … 2016 has been successful for you. please come back and read this and remember how you felt the morning of tuesday 27th december 2016, grooving with the sounds provided by carl cox . please remember the thoughts and feelings you have about making, expressing and forest school.
please remember you have backers for your forest school for men, there is a lot of interest and you need to keep building the idea through talking and backing the idea.
please remember you are a maker.
please remember how you feel about your artistic practice. please accept that you can express yourself even though this goes against that feeling you have inside. no one now will sit there and read you the riot act for being yourself. remember to keep things simple. remember that there are many channels available to broadcast your ideas.
please remember to have fun. you do some of your best stuff when you re in the zone and being playful with ideas.
please remember that it’s ok that there are things in the world that you have absolutely no control over. please remember that it’s ok to respond to these in a playful way. please remember that not everyone will see your point of view.
remember it’s ok to keep things simple.
remember it’s ok to want to create time and space away from things outside.
remember it’s ok to be unheard. it doesn’t mean you need to stop expressing.
remember there will be days when it all feels rather futile.
put your coat on, go for a walk.
find a spot to sit and look.
what it is to be human involves times of futility. it’s ok.
and most importantly of all …
to practice feeling good overall.