Graduated from art school in 2000 & have been keeping going creatively ever since - although sometimes by my bootstraps. I write fiction & poetry (& this). I draw & paint, & I cook, & I travel as often as I can. I know the world is not always friendly or conducive to the creative life or to the open heart, so I'm just working on keeping my inner fire alight, hoping that people like me can all help keep the bigger light burning too. May we all have the good fortune to enjoy health, happiness & creative fulfilment!
I hardly ever post anything on it any more. My evenings of late have mostly been spent either getting on with some creative writing, or messing about chatting to people on tumblr and posting my photogaphs there (& making dirty jokes about fanciable actors >ahem< sorry folks, I'm only human). And work is so hectic at present that in my lunch break I want to flee and sit outside in the fresh air, not sit blogging at my desk and hoping no-one makes an issue of the fact I've taken a break from working while I eat my lunch.
More of all of that anon.
I'll start by answering my own question, though. Although I'm fairly sure very few people read this blog (apart from robots in Russia trawling for Russian opera singers' names) I don't think I will wind it down after all. In very large part, because there seems to be too much winding down going on around me and to consciously decide to add to it myself depresses me in a vague unquantifiable way I can't explain. It feels too much like going with the flow, when this particular flow is one I want to fight. I do not want to wind down. I shall not go gentle into that good night.
I am aware of my body getting plumper and slower, and it being harder to fight that progression into middle-aged spread and torpitude. I am aware that the tipping point has been passed for some of the things I've always wanted to do; I doubt very much, now, that I shall ever direct a play, or see one I have written performed. I know I will never be a successful artist, or run that cafe I used to talk about, and I wonder if I will ever get to bum around Greece writing "The Modern Pausanias"... I am painfully aware that my brain isn't quite what it was, either; tiredness and tension don't help, of course, on that front. But if I went to live in another country nowadays, the way I blithely did fifteen years ago, I wonder if I'd pick the language up as easily as I picked up Spanish, back then in 1999?
But I remind myself, I am tired and tense; and have been badly depressed, this winter. As per usual; but still hard going for all it is a familiar pattern.
It's been a rough six months, and there's no sign of that easing up for the foreseeable future. I was thoroughly ill twice in the autumn, with a horrendous fluey cold followed by a bout of gastroenteritis that had me off work for a fortnight. All sorts of things since then have been tiring and stressful, too.
There's a massive staff restructure going on at work that will mean roles being lost, and that in turn may mean facing the propect of being out of work. I hope it doesn't mean that for me; my job makes money, so I'm possibly safer than some, but no-one is really safe when these things happen. I understand the operational thinking behind it, and it does make sense, sadly; but that doesn't make it any less alarming to contemplate.
At present we're in the throes of implementing a new ticketing and customer relations management database system; damned hard work, let me tell you. I had no idea how flipping complicated these big organisation-wide projects were to bring in. In my particular area we are just beginning to make some real headway and I can believe now that in time this will all work, and do what it's meant to do; and it will be tremendous when that happens. A good visible sign of this progress is that the long email I stayed late at the office tonight to write, detailing the latest list I've made of queries, issues and general peculiarities, was mostly detailing non-urgent things this time - the previous three or four have all been about things that were vital and that needed to be sorted out NOW! I have complete faith in the person who I know will be doing most of the sorting-out, who is one of the most capable people I've ever had the pleasure of working with. But I also know he has a lot on his shoulders at the moment. I'd prefer not to add to that if possible, so I'm even more glad that the queries on my list are now relatively minor ones. Man deserves a break.
Heck, Man deserves a ruddy medal. In my humble opinion. But that's another story.
Paul, my lovely boss, left us ten days ago to go to pastures new, working for a marketing company that has been running less than two years and is apparently going to all sorts of exciting places. He deserves every success and I hope he finds it; he's been a fantastic manager and I shall miss him. But I could also thump him, because he's left me at the busiest time of the year for my regular job, with all the extra workload from the new database implementation, and until his replacement is fully run-in I can't ask for too much support from him. Apart from anything else, he won't know the job or the people well enough to do much. But meanwhile I am terrified of getting behind and feel as though I'm juggling cats.
I come out of the office at the end of the day and walk home, and tell myself to put it behind me. I have a cup of tea and a proper meal (I am determined not to fall-back on cook-chill meals, so am making sure I buy real raw ingredients and cook them; I know I need the real nutrition just now). Then I write, or mess about, as mentioned above. I've been doing a lot of writing; my Western is progressing nicely and looks to be going to end up at well over 100,000 words. And every now and then I go out.
On Monday night I was out; at, guess what, the ballet. Seeing the Royal Ballet's "Sleeping Beauty" for the umpteenth time (well, fourth, or fifth possibly? - it's a gorgeous production, anyway, and I don't feel the slightest bit guilty). There were some problems in the pit at the beginning - someone needed to have a quick word with some of the brass section, who were all over the shop - but on stage it was sheer heaven. One of my favourite dancers, Hikaru Kobayashi, was dancing Aurora. I've seen her in the role before - I made a beeline for this performance precisely to see her in action again. She has beautiful feet and a lovely luxurious sense of space and scale. She's one of those dancers who can make it look as though she has all the time in the world, although she has exactly the same number of bars of music, and beats in a bar, as anyone else would. And she can act. It was simply lovely to see her dancing a leading role opposite her husband, too; no need to worry about onstage chemistry between this prince and his beloved...
There was more chemistry between Princess Florine and her Bluebird; Melissa Hamilton being wonderful (as usual) and Fernando Montano (ditto) ; flawless virtuosity from both and a sort of sparkling sexiness that made one really feel this was a fairytale indeed. And between the King and Queen (Gary Avis and Genesia Rosato) not only chemistry but also a series of object lessons in telling, simple, spot-on mime, using the set conventional gestures and the chances to add one's own elements of expression alike superbly. Not to mention demonstrating wonderfully how to manage a long trailing cloak with aplomb. Christina Arestis was a splendid, beautiful, evil Carabosse and I think every fairy was a standout (though the lilac fairy was rather more of an implaccable spirit of justice than the personyification of goodness that I'm used to seeing).
I wish sometimes at the theatre that it were possible to make notes as the evening went on; but of course it would be the most horrible bad manners. Only one finds oneself afterwards thinking "There were so many great moments last night, and now it's all one wonderful happy blur...".
But a wonderful happy blur is by no means a bad thing.
I shall have to stop writing; for now. But not forever. There is still too much to tell, too much to do, too much to say. Even if I'm more erratic, more chaotic, I cannot stop now.