This may well be a bit of a ramble… because until I get writing I am not quite sure where it is going.
If you read or listen to my blog often, you’re probably used to that, so here goes…
The interconnectedness of everything… the practice of everyday life as mentioned before. I have been talking to another artist about this again. The trouble is, I tend to forget, if not reminded.
I have a friend who says that my happiness should not be governed by other people. And I agree, up to a point. Our single/couple status should not be a factor in our happiness. Being half a stone lighter shouldn’t. Someone else’s state of mind shouldn’t. All sorts of things shouldn’t. But also, I find that this business of us rubbing off on each other should be a factor in our happiness.
I feel very emotional this week about many things.
The first is the way that so many people have responded to the refugee crisis, while our politicians try to score points. Fuck the points, physically, or metaphorically, grab someone’s hand, pull them out of the water, give them a meal, a blanket, a roof, and help them find their children. It’s a no-brainer, and yet some people seem to think they have to protect their second homes and tell everyone we have no room. Of course there is room for someone this terrified, this much in need. The least we can do, have done, is let those people in power know that it is not acceptable to do nothing. Let the world know that if our politicians do nothing they are not representing us. Since when did kindness become synonymous with weakness?
The second is Jeremy Corbyn. For the first time in so very very long, I see a politician with principles and a moral compass, who says what he means and means what he says. About bloody time. I don’t want any more waxy faced privately educated Oxbridge Tory bullies with only themselves in their heads and no idea of what is going on in the real world. Neither am I interested in Labour politicians pretending to be like them so they get a vote. That’s not how it works. I’ve been longing for socialism. Longing for someone to say no, to say that we need to look after the weakest. The strongest and richest can, and always have, been able to look after themselves. Our status as decent human beings rests on how we treat the homeless, the ill, the poor, and people who have fled their homes to save their children from dreadful atrocity.
We rub off on each other. I am the first generation daughter of immigrant parents. I am proud of how hard they worked to get me to where I am. I’m not rich. But I am so very very fortunate to have been born in the UK. I have a home, a family, an income, and I’m doing what I love. If you look at just the numbers, we are poor. But I don’t feel it. I feel rich.
I call to mind Hundertwasser’s five skins: skin, clothes, home, identity and earth. We wear these five skins, my skin affects your skin, and we all affect the world, and the world affects us.
(I’m not espousing all of his ideas, but some have a simplistic idealism, and I defend the rights of all of us to think, create and express how the world could be different)
Our home skin is shifting slightly… our elder son is getting married, we welcome a new family member into our lives. Our younger son is shifting rooms, university homes, and prepares for the fact that this time next year, with a bit of luck and lots of hard work, he will have a brand new shiny teaching job. In preparation and celebration, I cut fabric for bunting, I wash and iron bedlinen for a new double bed, I move furniture around the house to reconfigure the sleeping arrangements, while trying to make it as welcoming as possible for everyone, so they feel part of this skin we gather around us.
If we do this on a larger scale, we will gather around us another generation of refugees and immigrants who will enrich us as a nation. This small island is brilliant at welcoming others and shuffling about to accommodate, and rubbing up against so that our food and our clothing and the styles of our homes and the layers of our skin merge and combine.
I’m having trouble with my art work at the moment. It encapsulates many of these topics. My unhappiness about the big things affects the small things. While my internal and intrinsic self is happy, there are external stressors which disrupt and undermine it.
My art practice is the work of trying to make sense of it all, to attempt to come to terms with the things I cannot change, whilst rejoicing in those I can. Some days this seems an impossible, ridiculous and stupidly pointless task. Other days it seems like the most important thing anyone can be is an artist.