Sunday, 6 August 2017

And here is a picture of the beautiful Ella who I met along with Andy when I made Bigod's Way 2

And in detail ..

I thought maybe it would be interesting to see the Jon Triptych together .. 

Today has been the final day of the Cley 17 exhibition. My line of sticks drawing out the path I  was forced to take after the man I loved left me for warmer lands and new loves will be up until tomorrow, tonight is it's last sunset and moonrise.  
I do not dare to hope that any viewer, even my close friends, would see or feel what I see and feel in the work, why would they, but for me it has been perhaps the most painful of the three parts of the triptych which I can only call "Jon". 
It describes for me all the time we spent together, good and bad, and all the time after, it is every memory, every interaction, every person, place, happening, it is those known and not known. It is the people we were with before. Those people who brought us to the point where we met. And it is the people we have spent time with since. Tomorrow I will be taking it down. And I will admit that this last week has been a bit of a tearful one because it is an end and it still hurts that I was not enough. But I have to accept that. 
The right to choose how, where and with whom we spend our life is an animal prerogative, I myself am not very well domesticated and Jon was the first man I ever gave my destiny to. But he wanted to be somewhere else, with someone else, someone other than me. That's life. You only get to choose your own path. That choice might bend towards another but still it is your choice to bend or not. 
No body is tied to another beyond pregnancy. After pregnancy I think most parents try to be in their offspring's life and to hold a course that allows them to grow into themselves and reach out into the world as joyfully as possible. 
I'm thinking about this parenting thing as my daughter is currently trekking across Europe with her two little ones, my grandchildren, Luca and Elidi. I'm a bit off social media, feeling unsociable and burned out, but still checking in with the photos she is posting of their journeying. All my children are grown and fledged now, watching them fly is wonderful. I wish that I was as brave and unbound as they are, I am glad that they are braver and better able than me to reach out for what they need to be happy. 
So I guess this is a closing "Love is a Long Road" blog. Love is a long road. It is a pick yourself up and dust yourself down when you stumble road. It is a whoop-whoop, happy-happy, things are going great road. It is a trudging through mud and mire for miles and miles with the sky dark and wet, and every cell in your body is begging for warmth and light, road. It is a sunshine and grasslands, meadows and butterflies, skylarks and gentle breezes road. It is a stop a while and tend the garden, make tea, make love road. It is really the way you choose to live your life. The who's, the how's, the where's, the dot-dot-dots, the compromises you make or don't make. After tomorrow sometime I will post photos of the sticks as they have weathered, assuming they are still there, just to document. Tomorrow, they too will be in my past, the mileage I racked up yesterday. And I will pass on to the next chapter, the next verse, or maybe on to a patch of oblivion, of not minding, not caring, just being, not trying.     

Saturday, 15 July 2017

A little bit of diddle-y doing with Pierrot, Columbine and Harlequin .. people who came to my open studios will know that this is a bit of an ongoing project .. a quietly simmering pot on the back burner that I'm hoping to give more attention to after summer is done .. at the moment I am trying to feel my way into their characters; what drives them, what breaks them down, how they move, talk, live ...  so you can see that my scribbles are just scribbles but by the same token I like them and they feel like important scribbles, scribbles that are marks along the right path.


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

And fixed up the dollhouse pram that I had when I was a child and that somewhere along the way lost a wheel and never got re-wheeled 

And then I made a tiny paintbrush out of some found cat hair and a twig and thread .. and it makes this mark 

Monday, 10 July 2017

And then yesterday my daughter and grandchildren came over to hang out and amongst other things we did my little grandaughter and I got creative and starting making some little people to inhabit the Polly Pocket clock - all the original inhabitants have moved on and who knows where they are living now. 
We made some heads for nails out some air-drying clay I had hanging about waiting to be useful and drew faces on them and Elidi made one dress but the head went missing. Anyways it was good play so I thought I'd blog the ones I finished this morning just because they made me smile. The best days are days spent with people you love. 

Now, having set up the Cley piece, I have a little respite from focused work and can drop back into my work play-space. This space is essential .. everything I do stems from having this freedom, without it I become locked down on every level. To an outsider it might look like nothing, like time-wasting, or dilly-dallying, in a goal orientated society that most values concrete achievement and speed, it would be marked F for fail. But it is in this delicate space that ideas spark in to life and start to find form .. and sometimes old ideas that have lain fallow surface and break through to become manifest, so it was a week or so back when I made a small thing that is the beginning of a larger body of work. It has an odd name, but the name is important. So too does the body of work but I shall have to see what else comes out of that body, I can feel things coming to the fore but nothing has made itself imperative yet. Anyways here is the little piece of work, it is photographed on my upstairs worktable and is not quite finished but almost .. 
The name is: Shirley Boyle, Strumpshaw Fen, Winter 2010.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Some pictures .. tomorrow is the day of the private view .. everyone is welcome .. and after that the exhibition runs for a month. I do not know if my standing sticks will last the whole duration .. so it is with love, so many chances for it to fail, luck is involved but also courage, determination, forgiveness, forbearance, kindness, respect and a willingness to be vulnerable, not an easy road but if you give yourself up to it it is the sweetest. 
Have I suggested that in the work I have put out ? I don't know .. I don't know if anyone but me will see that .. to many it will just be a line of sticks, it may even be an irritant to some .. but that's love for you .. you can't control the responses of others, it's a gamble ... love is a leap of faith, an act of hope, it is light breaking though darkness, joy taking the hand of grief and making good that which was bad. Love is a risk, but a risk that's a wonderful gift ... 


Sunday, 2 July 2017

Day 3 .. there is something poetic about taking three days though I had not intended to, and in all truth, if the weather had been more clement or if I'd been a car driver with a vehicle I'd have probably done it in two at the most. But there, that's not how it was, and so it took three days. 
This day did not start well, I'd gone to bed feeling unwell and woken three times from bad dreams, death and drowning and more death and chaotic travel, my glands were up and the inside of my face felt like it was full of infection, sinuses or lymphatic system maybe, it was not good. And the spot on my lip had reached teenage nightmare proportions. 
David came round and we loaded up the last of my bundles, there were twelve in all, 90 individual uprights made of sticks tied with strands from found beach rope and thick silk yarn. There is a fairy tale in there .. have I written it out already in a previous blog I will check before I tell it again. 
The weather was once again perfect. David came to look at what I'd put up already and made all the right noises, then he went off for a walk while I got on with finishing my line. 
As before the larks were singing, butterflies were fluttering, the same biggish brown ones and a few smallish coppery orange ones that I think might have been small skippers. I watched one of the skippers fly slalom through the length of my sticks which was a pretty lovely moment. 
After I'd done, I took more photos and then walked along the sea edge to meet David who, as it happened, was walking along the top of the beach towards me so we missed each other. But after a couple of texts we eventually met up, had a last look, popped in to the church where the main exhibition is mounted and then left Cley to get chips in Wells.
The chips in Wells felt quite celebratory and, although I was still feeling a bit rough and not at all with it, it had been another beautiful day. Sharing our chips with the seagulls and starlings was particularly special. 
Maybe I am boring on about setting up but it's all part of placing something, my physical presence and the physical presence of those I have spent time in a place with, are all very definite, concrete actualities even once they are passed time, passed moments, they belong like beads on a thread, this person, that person, that stream of thought that was going on then,  are layered over each other, my memories overlapping another's memories if a moment has been passed together and is also important, of worth, to them too. 
This stretch of coast is important to me ..  and all the more so since making this most recent piece of work .. I love it because it sets me free .. asks nothing of me but lets me be .. and I ask nothing of it except that it exists. This to me is a wonderful kind of love. 
Day 2 .. this day was a head out on the train and bus with a bundle of sticks day. I said to Amis before he left the day before that I would look quite mad, and he very sweetly said "no", I persisted and he said "well, if anyone can look quite mad and pull it off, it's you mum" words I have taken to treasure forever. I do love my children. 
Anyways, in the morning I set up with my bundle feeling a bit of a fool but thinking that really that's all part of loving oneself or another. The good, the bad, the foolish. And thinking about the fool in the Tarot pack which is a theme running through my mind at the moment and the fool's map that I am working on, and the map of my footsteps for Zannie's project and oh so many other things. and also thinking about the big ugly spot that had come up on my lip and was very painful and thinking about being a teenager or even now and expecting rejection whenever I got a spot or was less than attractive, or got something wrong. 
I think an important part of learning to love yourself is being able to accept your flaws, not in a blind to one's flaws way, but in an "oh, that is how it is but it is ok". And if we can give that to ourselves then we are more likely to be able to give others more wholehearted acceptance. 
And as it goes, as I was walking across town to the station people smiled at me for my sticks. It was ok to be different, to not conform. 
So, train journey, lots of note-taking, buddlieas flowering and evening primrose, brambles, rosebay willow herb, a few foxgloves, some privet. And the field were turning yellow though some had been hard beaten by the rain, and I wondered what farmers do when that happens, does the crop go to cattle feed maybe. 
Arriving in Sheringham there was a long wait for the bus and people were less amused by my sticks but that was ok I was on a mission. 
The journey to Cley is quick. And stepping off the bus and walking down the beach road it was odd and nice to think of having been there with Amis the day before. And all the other people I've visited with too who are all wrapped up in the work I've done, the time and space they have given me in being fellows on my road through life.
There is a point in the road where you look out and see Mike Dodd's sculpture on the beach .. it is pretty cool .. and it draws you towards it. He was setting up with a friend when I arrived and we had a quick chat before I headed along the beach wondering if my sticks from the day before had survived.
They had survived and they looked fine though the line I had planted was definitely not a straight line. There was a part of me thought to alter that curve but it felt like it was meant, was symbolic of how love cannot be controlled, planned and ordered in to place, or leastways not love as I know it. If the sun had shone the day before i probably would have made it straighter but it hadn't and so the line wobbles, a wobble is part and parcel of acceptance, part and parcel of "what the hey".
I set to digging the next batch of sticks into the ground. The larks were singing, and oyster catchers calling, every time I stepped back to look brown butterflies, I think maybe meadow brown's, fluttered up from the grass and the weather was purr-fect, warm but not hot, sunny then cloudy and little breeze, the sea was gently shushing just out of sight. This is the heaven that setting up on site is all about. Being in communion with nature. I don't have a god but if I did I think it might be this. Or maybe it is this I just don't care to call it god. 
Half way through Marion Johns the curator of the exhibition came to look with her bouncy black labrador who was loving the grasses and was a good dog test, I've left gaps in the line so that people and animals can get through easily. Marion seemed happy with the work which is important and that made two of us. There is always a nervous moment mounting a site specific thing for me as it's hard to know how it will look until it is up and then, of course, it's too late to turn back, it is what it is. 
Setting the sticks up didn't really take long. Afterwards i took quite a lot of photos and wandered along the beach, beach combing and being. Ate my packed lunch. And then headed back to the bus stop past Mike's now just about done piece. His friend offered me a lift home which I accepted and that was day 2. 
That was day 2, except when I got home I was beginning to feel quite ill.

For my records, Cley '17 Connectivity set up ..

Day 1 .. in my head this day was going to be it. The sun was going to shine. My wonderful son, Amis, who has just passed his driving test, had agreed to drive me out there with all that I needed and I figured that if I didn't get it all done, at leat I'd break the back of it and just have a few twigs to plant on the Thursday. 
Hmmm, life, like love, does not always go to plan. It began to rain the day before, heavy rain, but holding on to plan Amis turned up in the evening, and it was sweet to hang out and catch up as we hadn't seen each other for a little while. And the BBC forecast implied that wednesday would be not so bad, a light rain and dry in the afternoon. Ha. 
In the morning it was pouring. Thankfully I'd asked my friend David if I could borrow his waterproof trousers which he delivered to me before he went to work. He'd lent them to me before when we were out at Cley in the winter for an artist's meeting that didn't happen because the weather was too terrible and we just missed the message telling us it wasn't happening. That's an aside, but it's also all part of the journey of the piece of work and kind of met this set up day quite nicely. It's a creative link if you will.  
Anyways, car loaded with sticks, and masses of stuff I never used in the end, and leaving a little later than I had supposed we would in my head. And rain still raining, still raining hard. And Amis, said "right, I've not driven in the rain before, better work out how to turn on the wipers etc" .. we considered bailing, but he bravely went for it .. my son has the heart of a lion .. new driver, new roads, new weather conditions, and mum as passenger. I'm just going to take a moment to gush here, I hadn't really taken in to consideration how much of a thing it would be for him taking me, selfish emotional laziness on my part, but he did what he does, and got on with it, with his usual good humour and courage, that makes my heart swell with love and brings a little tear to my eye. 
Anyways, we drove, he drove, and as a mum it is/was reassuring to know that he is a good driver, to the beach. But. But, we were nearly stumped by an enormous puddle blocking our way. Still he did a quick 3point turn and parked up and I got booted and suited to walk out alone with just a couple of bundles of  my sticks while he parked up at the NWT building and waited for me to be done. 
I walked out in the rain, thinking how interesting it is the way life, love and weather, will do what they will and how we fare depends a lot on how well we are able to adapt to the vagaries that are thrown at us. 
I got to the beach, the waves were crashing, the wind was blowing, the rain was still pouring .. I had a moment of fear stepping on to the beach hoping that the waves were not going to pour over the shingle bank but decided to hope for the best and go for it. 
Once I was in my patch I set to work and put up the first fifteen uprights. It didn't take long and was actually quite exhilarating and fun once I'd bitten back my fear of the sea. It was nice to do it alone and in rough conditions, allowed me to feel very at one with the elements and sparkly inside. 
Once done I took a few photos through a rain spattered lens and quickly headed back to the carpark soaked through and very happy. And there was more joy because Amis had run down the little coast road to meet me because he is kind like that and had felt bad about making me walk all the way to him. 
And then we went back to my house and had a cup of tea before he headed back home to where he is living at the moment. It might not seem like the biggest adventure but I think we both felt like adventurers when we got in. 
So I dedicate day 1 set up to Amis, king of road, my son and friend. Thank you Amis.

Monday, 26 June 2017

So I thought for interests sake I would put up the proposal I made that initiated the process I've been going through over the past six months, the focused meditation on love. I woke this morning thinking that maybe love resides not just in my heart but also my backbone, it is not only my desire, my pulse, but also my will and intention, my stem. I'm preparing for set up like a warrior going in to battle. I know set ups are a make or break moment. I'm excited and longing for it to be done. Here is my proposal.

Love is a Long Road

My proposal for the Cley 2017 exhibition stems from a train of thought I have been mulling over for a while. I’ve been waiting for the right site, the right moment to give my thoughts a body. This exhibition would seem to be the perfect time and place if I am selected.

My proposal is to place a line of white painted uprights (wood or bamboo) bound around with red inked-paper to repeatedly spell out love in braille. The line to continue for some  metres length. 

My preferred site would be on the beach, some way above the shore line, preferably not too far from the entrance to the beach on the side that leads to Blakeney. 

My hope is that the viewer will see in the work that love is tested, that there are breaks and hardship within any love story, that love is not only romantic, but is a universal link, a connection that keeps going and going and going, no matter what. That it marks time like a heart beat, is as essential as breath, is shown in words or gestures, is one foot in front of another.  

The use of red is related to blood, the stream that flows through all our bodies and the bodies of all other animate creatures, links limb to limb, feeds and nourishes from inside to out. Also the red thread - a popular notion in Japan that binds two people, or spirits across time immemorial so that if they find themselves parted they can be sure that one day they will find each other again. Red is about the heart and the fire that burns within the heart when love is present.

The white is for grief and innocence and spirit. Grief is the emotion associated with the metal element in chinese medicine.  The metal element holds the breath, that which maintains life within us. There is no love without grief for love will end in parting. But is parting the end of love or does true love continue still pulsing, still beating it’s gentle rhythm for ever. And who, knowing that would ever dare to love but the innocent ? I want my piece to recall that innocence, the simpleness of a hand in a hand, the courage it takes to reach out from ourselves to meet something that is other than us. 

I have produced a couple of outdoor site specific pieces for exhibition before and the challenge and joy for me is making them stable and visually interesting  and sympathetic to the environment in which they are set. This asks for ability to adapt, to yield and to push through adversity which in many ways echoes the demands of love whatever the love subject may be. And although I may have a message I want to convey to a my viewer I want my work to be spacious enough for my viewer to put themselves into the work and become a part of it. 
December 2016   

Sunday, 25 June 2017

And then, just playing. I can't resist the washed up asbestos on the beach. I know it shouldn't be handled and obviously stuff I make with it is unsaleable but it's so beautiful, maybe all the more so for being unsafe.  

Friday, 23 June 2017

As a bit of an aside I've been lucky enough over the past few weeks to have been a participant in local puppet maker, Zannie Fraser's "walk a mile" sessions. On the first session she asked us to bring in a favourite piece of clothing, I chose my boots, boots that have been with me for over ten years, and walked all over the place, - 100's of miles, more likely 1000's if I tot up regular walking to and from here and there as well as more exotic roaming. Actually I have four pairs of the same boot which is a bit of a cheat, but in a sense each boot is all the other boots, in a way they are every boot, every footstep I have taken. More, maybe, on that another day.
We have now reached a stage where Zannie and her assistant are helping us to put together sketched out puppet shows, sort of puppet shows in progress which I think are to be shown in late July. We've been working together in small flexible groups which has been very nice as it takes the pressure off and means there is a richer pool of thoughts about how to illustrate the stories behind the articles of clothing. 
Anyways the last session got me thinking and so I made a small pair of boots last night just for fun. They may not be used but that doesn't really matter, for me creativity is a lot about exploring different pathways and thought streams tho many come to  dead end. 
And, as a bonus they got me thinking about Tom Thumb and his seven league boots so even if they prove un-useful for the puppet show they are a beginning point to connecting to that fairy tale. 
Here are the boots ...

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Are my ramblings making sense ? What do I know about anything ? Hitting hard up against my low self esteem today. This place is familiar, an expected part of the process of exhibiting.  I'm making a piece of work about love but what do I know of love ? Do I inspire love in others ? Do others experience me as a loving person ? Am I good enough to talk of love ? 
I am feeling fearful for the work I put up, fearful that my testament to my road through love will not show what I want it to show. I want it to be my vulnerability, my fear, my hope, my pain, my insignificance. I want it to be the effort it takes for me to meet the world with an open and loving heart when feeling not-good-enough is hard-wired into my being, when I anticipate rejection every step of the way. 
I battle with crippling shyness and I am unsure of my worth. I think this isn't really obvious to those I meet on a casual basis but it's a really huge block in me that I have to face-up to daily. There are people with whom I feel loved, my children, my grandchildren, and a handful of close friends, but I do not feel sure of being loved, or even liked, I do not know if I am lovable or likeable though I try to be acceptable. Does this disqualify me from talking about love ? This lack of knowing. Does my desire to love and be loved  make me a cripple amongst those more able, more steady, more secure, more obviously sound and matched in love ? Is my love worthless ? Am I a horrible, horrible person that doesn't deserve to be loved ? 
Forgive me for exposing the thoughts that go through my head. Making this work has been and still is a journey. I want love to be all fluffy bunnies and star shine, hell who doesn't, but it isn't my experience so I am working with what I know. My feeling is that love is a mix of grit and tenderness, that it isn't an easy path but if you get the mix right you may chance upon some times that are beautiful. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

And my sticks, ready, gathered into numbered bundles and waiting to planted on the beach at Cley. 

And braile crib boards .. one of these days I'll learn how to read braille with my fingers and be ever so happy 

And these are words

As an antidote to all the words and self-important musing a few pictures. It may be just as self important to post these. I have to remember "no-one really looks at my blog, or if they do they are generally nice people who wish me well and don't mind that I'm a bit odd and think too much". 

These are red thread works 
Today. Notes ? Or no notes ? I think more thinkings and maybe pictures or maybe not. Following on from my last blog, I've been thinking about love in defeat. Defeat is loss, love in defeat is loss, I have lost connection to someone or something I hold dear. A relationship has ended, be that a relationship with a person, a state of being, a state of nation, a notion I carried that has been broken or defiled.
Love is one of those things that cannot be commanded, it is or it isn't, like respect or trust it is born out of good will, good intention, good action. All those feelings may endure hardship but they are also bonds that can be broken, and if broken hard to mend. 
The work I am making Love is a Long Road has been a strange piece to put together, it's seed found root in my broken heart, and has been a way for me to process one rejection, that of course echoed other rejections and ultimately my rejection of my self. 
Why would I reject myself, surely everyone is flawed, surely those parts of me that I don't like, detest are the parts I need to pour most love into, or do I ? Is it love, or is it light I need ? Is it bringing those dark and shabby elements of me to light that I must honour. The parts of me that cause me discomfort are me as well as the the parts that bring me joy. There must be balance. 
If I refuse to see that which blights me can I be whole ? And if I am not whole what happens to the parts of me I refuse to give attention. In Jungian psychology they are referred to as the shadow and the shadow has a tendency to seep out if unattended to.
It could be said that this is a world issue, this looking away, this need to cover over that which is unpretty with a facade, a veneer, a made-up being. Those Chelsea residents whose view was spoiled by the sight of poor people in their district have now the burned out Tower as testament to the vanity and greed of their being. 
Perhaps it is unfair to judge just those residents so harshly,  that vanity and pride resides within us all. Our failure to call to account successive governments from Thatcher, through Blair, to Cameron and now May on a materialistic, enemy agenda has allowed the darker aspects of man's character to thrive. My blind eye, my deaf ear, my silence has allowed the wickedness of my country to grow. 
That is not to say that all my country is wicked, there is much good in Britain, or that I am all to blame, but failing to stand up, to say when things are wrong is a habitual flaw, it allows us to look away from our consciences. One's comfort should not be at an other's expense surely. And yet too often it is. 
And here is the break, the defeat, if I allow myself to come back to the work I am making (it is all I know how to do) how do I pick up that dropped thread. The line in me that says yes to love in the face of defeat, when love seems to be lost and hatred, love's twin, love's opposing force, seems to have taken hold, not just in my heart but also and very problematically in the hearts of many of those who hold power. 
My contribution to the world is small, I am a nobody, I may influence a few but not many, so how does my contribution make a difference ? As usual I am just putting my thoughts into more concrete form and have no answers. I am trying to reach a conclusion, and even that is selfish I want to sign off on a piece of work, to say "there it's done, love is a long road, I've thought,  I've mused and there's my answer" but it's not so cut and dry as that I think, love is a long road, it is a road of no end I think, it isn't "here I have arrived and all is good" but "here is where I am now".
It's so easy to talk about love, at the beginning of my thoughts about this piece, and in my proposal which I will copy and paste to my blog next week I think to remind myself, I have said how we know when we are in the presence of love. I wonder if maybe the road to love is following that presence which exists in all of us, following that knowing, knowing that there is a map within the heart that offers us clear passage, a free right of way, if only we allow ourselves to trust the best in ourselves and follow it with courage. 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

It's going to be hard not to write in anger today. My focus is in part on the work I am putting up for the exhibition at Cley in a couple of weeks, dyeing threads and tying them around sticks to spell out l.o.v.e in braille. 
But all the time I am thinking about the people who burned to death in the Grenfell fire, and those who saw and heard them burn to death, and those who are intimately connected, friends, family .. and so on out .. it's too shocking to take in, too horrible to admit. 
And it's hard to know what to say .. it's a serious wake up call. The suffering all across the world is disregarded by most governments it seems in their pursuit of wealth and status and power. Greed and pride and vanity are guests of honour. And those who are in government to serve the people of a country more often seem to serve those who fund them, the rich donors hold sway and if there is nothing left for the poor because the rich have had it all, so be it. Well, that is not ok, surely that is not ok. 
So how do I fit my work around a darkness that needs to be felt. When the sun shines, and babies are laughing, and flowers are in bloom, and so on, it is easy to love, such grace lends itself to love, but how can love keep going when the world is ugly. 
I was thinking before I wrote this blog that I would post images of notes I've made for the piece of work I'm making but it all feels so trite and irrelevant. Britain has a prime minister who is planning to begin Brexit negotiations tomorrow as if life just carries on and it does, but also it doesn't. Even writing a blog that most likely only one or two of my close friends will read feels somehow disrespectful. 
So that is love maybe .. sometimes there is no love .. it will come back, it does come back .. but sometimes there's a pause, a stop, when love draws in, holds children a little closer, calls for a quiet attention, a softening inside to cope with the hardness of that which is outside, maybe sometimes love needs meeting like a white flag on a bloody battlefield, needs surrender, truce and grace, and give and understanding. 
I will come back to my notes tomorrow or the next day or the day after, I had thought I would be more determined but I was wrong. I am glad I was wrong, I don't want to be tough in the face of suffering, it hurts to feel, but it's an unfeeling world that accepts and depends on the suffering of others for the pleasure of the self. 
There is a need for change, I think, and maybe opening up to feelings, our own and those of other people and beings, is a way that change might happen. Excuse me for thinking out loud.  

Monday, 12 June 2017

Tuesday .. and last weekend was the last in the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios event. I had a hundred and fifteen visitors during the course of the three weekends I was open. That number included some friends, and other artists, four children and two babies, and even repeat visitors from the time I opened three years ago.
It's an interesting experience, quite different,  for me, to exhibiting where my desire and expectation is that I produce a finished work that stands for itself. Open studios is another kind of vulnerability because it is me as an artist that I am giving up for show; my process, my habitat, my thought-stream.  And though I have learned to cover it I am quite shy and solitary by nature and meeting and greeting so many people leaves me pretty exhausted. I have to pull out from my back stores to get through so many meet and greets, and the financial gain is not worth mentioning, so why do it, well, the contact  with other artists (particularly through the local trail in which I participate) is invaluable, and visitor response offers directional pulls and affirmation that guide and support my creative path. 
I am only four years from graduating and I still feel very much that I am only just starting out. I am aware that I have covered ground but when I look up, and open studios is a chance to look up, I see how far I have to go and also how vast and wide my canvas is. That canvas can be daunting but open studios also gives me a chance to review my work, to check in and see with eyes that are not mine. 
It is not something I do every year. It is not something I want to do every year. But, it is a very useful exercise and discipline, and confirms in me the worth of what I am doing which is a good bedrock to stand upon and from which to venture forth.  

Friday, 9 June 2017

General election week and the heat from the fire has been crazy. For reference; Theresa May got most seats but lost all of her majority, and some, and Jeremy Corbyn won seats, more than he had before -but less than May, so he now has more power to his elbow to oppose, which is good, but cannot follow through on his manifesto as he is not the government. 
It would be a hung parliament .. and for a wonderful half hour or so I wondered if maybe it was the beginning of a new politics in Britain. 
But, May has formed a government with the DUP ( a somewhat backwards Irish party with ten MP's) which my gut says is unwise and might easily undo the fragile peace brokered in Northern Ireland in the Good Friday Agreement. Time will tell. 
As a nobody all I can do is wait and see, and hope. Corbyn feels like hope, like a light in the darkness, but he can do no more than he is able. 
In my heart I believe that good will out .. that good will win the day .. I daresay my version of good is different from others. I suppose I see good as the weed that breaks through the crack in the pavement, the bees drinking from my birdbath, the small family of wrens that fluttered up from the ground when I was in my garden the other day, the robin on a gate post with a beak full of worm-y things. And in the people I know who lighten my heart and load (this is a good that my beautiful daughter wrote about yesterday, thanks for the reminder Jessamy) 
One of my long term creative projects is finding a way to illustrate the Tarot deck, both the major and minor arcanas. For the past couple of weeks I have had two cards at the forefront of my thoughts. The Hanged Man, still work in progress but close to being. And, the ten of cups, finished yesterday at about 9 am, after a hung parliament was called, and before May gave notice of her intention to form a government with the DUP. 
The meaning of the ten of cups as given by Alfred Douglas in "The Tarot" is; in upright position: a peaceful and secure environment. The search for fulfilment is crowned with success. Perfect love and concord between people .. and in reverse: disruption of an ordered routine, antisocial actions, selfish exploitation of the goodwill of others. Manipulation of society for personal ends. 
The image I'm putting up is of the ten of cups in upright position because that is how it came to me. I feel that May's political manoeuvres are more towards the reverse but my belief is that "lux lucet in tenebris" 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

O.k so back to the more heavy duty stuff.. the thinking behind the making. I'm aware that my posts this month have been emotional and I've been really touched by friends who have made contact and asked if I'm ok. I am. 
For me, the difficult bit is when I am struggling, when I'm putting on a face to mask uncomfortable emotions whatever they might be, when I'm trying to persuade myself and other people that a situation which isn't ok is ok. Because it is hard to acknowledge a thing is wrong when you want passionately for it to be right, or other to how it is. 
And because it is hard to look truth in the eye I am loathe to belittle my negative experiences because they are not so bad as other peoples, or, because they happened a long time ago. I know I am lucky on many many levels, that my small misfortunes are counterbalanced by good fortune too. I also know that my times that have been hard have taught me much and I am thankful for those lessons learned tho' I would rather not repeat them. 
There is discomfort in exposing myself, exposing my weakness, my vulnerability, my loser-qualities. There's a voice in me saying "what a silly fuss about nothing" "stop making a fuss" "other people go through much worse and they aren't writing stupid blogs and going on about things that happened years ago and aren't important anymore" even "eeeeuw, how creepy, why are you going on about a man who dumped you years ago get over yourself he didn't want you, so what" or "why are you causing a shadow to fall on your family when the whole thing is ancient history, what a bad person you are". 
The self-criticism has some validity, but it disregards feelings in me that are not resolved. Writing out my feelings is a way to resolve feelings that were overwhelming when they were happening, too overwhelming to address or understand, by giving them light and air,  by uncovering them, I am able to find a way through, to make sense of things that, tho' long ago, are still troubling. I guess that writing them out is a form of unburdening. 
I have written about this person, that person, and so and so, who did me wrong, but how about if I turn the spotlight on myself ? Am I a saint ? Certainly not. Have I got things wrong ? Yes. So, can I bear my own flaws ? And is it fair or just or reasonable to ask of another a perfection that I am unable to offer in return ? Who can offer perfection ? What is perfection ? 
So maybe that's a starting point for a little think about unconditional love, and conditional love, and where they meet and where they part. There is an ideal in my head when I think about love, it feels like flight, unbound, expansive, free. When I have fallen in love this is how it feels, limitless. 
But  limits pretty soon begin to make themselves felt. At first they feel quite inconsequential, certainly bearable, for the brilliance, the wonder, of loving another is something too great to be thrown away casually for small misdemeanours or awkwardnesses. But after a while the conditions begin to set in for both parties. We begin to learn what is and isn't ok with the other, we begin to learn each other's needs and boundaries and if we like the other enough we bend around that other, we tailor our needs to meet that other, it's how socially co-operative people function, relationships thrive on it. We give, we take, and it all kind of balances out in the end. But what if the meeting points become too uneasy, begin to constrict, bind, tie, murder another's being. At what point is it ok to let go because the lover asks too much of the lovee.
The love I offer another can only ever be as great as the love I offer myself. When I feel dingy and drawn in, paralysed by my inadequacies, I beg my love to feed me, to give me succour because I am unable to succour myself and this tips the balance. And it works the other way too. Ideally the balance is mostly quite level, care is met by care according to circumstance and need. 
It is easier to love a place, an activity, an animal, a thing than it is to love a person, I think, because we place different expectations on them. I do not ask my favourite beach to love me back, when I take the walk from Burnham Overy Staithe along the sea wall to the point and along the beach to Holkham, and back again, I feel at one with the beach but am accepting of it as it is. I have seen it in sunshine, wind, rain and thunderstorms, even snow, I have seen it in winter, spring, summer and autumn, at every stage of my life, from baby to now, I have been there at dawn and dusk, morning and afternoon, tho' not at night.
My point is that in my person to person interactions I am more demanding, these demands are the conditions that I place on my love, and in setting those conditions I begin to cage my love. And it is likely my love is doing the same to me. What makes one relationship work, and another not ? I am not just talking about lovers, but all the variations of human contact, parent, child, sibling, friend, teacher, student, housemate. Is it the ability of the parties to meet each other, to accommodate and compromise, but how do we know when we have compromised ourselves too far, been a little too accommodating. 
I return to the point that love best thrives when there is equality. I love myself and I love you. Your behaviour does not limit or damage my wellbeing, and my behaviour does not limit or damage your wellbeing. 
But two people will not have exactly the same needs. So a mother of a newborn will mostly put her needs aside for her baby, and so it continues through childhood, if the newborn is not the first or only child another balancing act is required as the mother cares for both children's different needs, this puts strain on the all the relationships, suddenly that thread which ran from one to one, is being tugged by another whose call is just as imperative. And this is the nature of life. It is not only about one. Or one and one. 
Maintaining equilibrium between two people in a world in motion calls for attention, with adult to adult connections there's a hope that the thread between two people can be allowed to go slack and picked up without too much care. Often the test of longterm friendship is the re-meeting after months or sometimes years and the capacity to drop easily into each other's company. 
But coming back to the notion of unconditional love, what is it ? Do I love myself unconditionally ? And if not how unconditional is the love I offer and give ? Way back when I was a teenager I went to my local buddhist centre to learn meditation, heaven knows why I chose to do that, it wasn't trendy or cool, so I am guessing it was intuitive because I have used the two meditations I was taught thirty three years ago ever since. They are simple practices; one is a breathing meditation, counting, or becoming aware of, the breath as you breathe in and then as you breathe out, and then as you breathe in and out. and the other was the meta bhavana which, as I was taught then, is to first extend goodwill towards myself, then a good friend, then a not well known someone whose path crosses yours, then a person you are struggling with, and then to your close neighbours and out and out and out to all beings, all things, the meditation is limited only by the space you are able to give it. But, and here's the big but, It is surprising how hard it is to offer oneself goodwill. and the part that calls for good will towards someone who is a problem picks up on that. I would highly recommend both these meditations they really are life-savers.
Why is it so hard to love one's self, to extend goodwill towards one's self. Self love doesn't get a very good press, it is tagged to arrogance and narcissism and selfishness. But self love is also confidence, self respect and a person who values them self appropriately is generally more likely to give value and respect to others. Respect, for me, is really key to good relationships. Without respect how can I trust you. Respect is not about tight rules but about consideration, awareness, understanding my otherness, and me understanding your otherness. I guess this is a condition I put on my love. Respect protects both parties allows safe interaction. And feeling safe allows me to drop my guard, to be more free, more comfortable, happier, with another, more able to love, to give, to care. If I can be unguarded, vulnerable, with you it is likely that you mean a lot to me. 
So back to love, under conditions or not. The piece I'm making for Cley is called Love is Long Road. I've had all sorts of thoughts about what I am trying to put into the piece and only when it is standing on site will I know if I have done what I intended to do. Since having my proposal accepted last winter I have been in deep contemplation on the nature of love. What I think, is, that we all know when we are in the presence of love. We know when we meet people who love each other, there is a comfort in their company, they glow, I'm talking about lovers yes, but also families, friends, even workplaces and play-spaces. It's a feeling. I have not yet been able to articulate in words that feeling, even the word "love" is too solid to encapsulate the feeling I am sure is love in me. I love words but they are a difficult medium and I am still learning how to use them, sometimes when they fail me, or I fail them, creative play becomes a sanctuary, another way of telling stories. Sometimes those stories are for my own comfort and only a few close friends will see them. Sometimes for public display.
Public display of feelings is peculiar. It disarms both actor and witness. So thank you to all the people who have read my recent blogs, and to my closest friends and family who bear with me when I teeter on the edge of madness. Thank you for allowing me to be weird and vulnerable. Thank you for allowing me to be fragile and uneasy. Thank you for letting me make a fuss about nothing. Being seen makes a difference. Bearing witness makes a difference. Love is a long road. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

So I've just got through the first weekend of opening up my workspace to the public as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios event. It's an interesting experience. I'm a bundle of nerves before hand, full of self doubt but by and large most visitors are lovely, some just drop in and that's fine, but others really engage and that's a delight. And then also friends come, and mostly they don't see my work laid out and on display because mostly I am doing and showing and when we meet we talk about other things that aren't work. I had thirty five human visitors and a family of chaffinches came pretty much up to my door lintel just before I opened on Saturday morning and a little red dragon fly came in and went out, these visitors felt like auspicious omens. I was very tired on Sunday evening I'm reclusive and solitary by nature and meeting people burns me up a little. But it's very much worth the trouble, it's good to get feedback on work, and to see what people like and respond to and what gets ignored. Anyways for my records I thought I'd post pictures of how my workspace looks this year

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Wanting to blog but not sure what to say so going to post pictures today and maybe tomorrow as I rootle out the the bits and pieces that are marks on the creative journey I have taken to get to where I am now. This third part of the triptych, Love is a Long Road has proved as challenging as the previous two, has brought me hard up against memories and feelings good and bad. I've been in deep contemplation about unconditional love and I've barely even started to put words to the thoughts I have about that and I am still in the midst of putting thoughts to the feelings, so will blog about that when my stream of thought begins to run clearer. For now I am asking questions about conditional and unconditional love. More about that another day. 
For now, pictures. I won't explain I'll just drop them on to the page. Their being there makes sense to me and I am going to be arrogant and say that is good enough reason for me to post them in my blog notebook, explanation may or may not come later.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Following on from the last post, which on re-reading I realise I left a little bit in the air, I've been thinking about attachment. I'm not sure where to start as I have thoughts swarming through my head so I'll start out with something fairly simple. 
Why would I carry an attachment to a lousy ex who gave me no love for years, put me down and took me apart, who reduced me to nothing, a man whose moods I so feared that if the sun failed to shine and I was due to see him my heart would race because I knew he'd be in a filthy temper and would destroy me as soon as he could. He was never violent, didn't shout or rage, for that I am thankful, but he had a cruel tongue and his silences were dark and freezing cold, I do not imagine I was the first or last of his girlfriends to feel the knife of his ill humour administered with care where it would do most damage. So why hold on to that ? He set me free, he let me go. I should just be grateful. 
I am grateful, but also sad. Because it wasn't always so nasty, of course it wasn't. When we met, as I have written over and over again, it was beautiful, a dream come true, I thought "this handsome man wants me". In hindsight I can see warning signs, but who pays attention to those things when a lover is more often than not wearing their best clothes, bringing flowers, throwing out compliments, when days together are spent in hazy bliss, held hands and I-love-you's.
Those good times created a deep attachment. When a relationship comes to an end there's a certain amount of relief, even if it is also a crushing blow, because the chances are if it has ended that things were not really right and that one or both parties were not wholly there. With Jon, for instance, it was fantastic not to have to worry about the sun not shining any more (see above). I mean there was never anything I could have done about the sun not shining but I sure as hell knew it'd be me getting it because he was fed up about the weather. While we were together I'd learned how to jiggle around him, I'd taken to avoiding him when he would definitely be unkind, a week or so either side of him seeing his daughter he would be pure poison. It was nice not to have to work around that. 
But I was nostalgic for our good times, the miles and miles of walking we did together, in Yorkshire, Devon, Cornwall, Kent, Wales, Italy and Shropshire, as well as Norfolk and Suffolk our home territory. 
And I missed the ordinariness of our lives, eating tea on the sofa on a Saturday evening watching tv with him - rugby or Doctor Who or whatever was least awful, waking up together and making love. I missed the omelette and fried potatoes he'd cook me for breakfast if he was happy. I missed having sex with him. Forgive me, too much information. 
But those things are attachments. When he left he was familiar. I knew him. I knew how to move around him. It is true he could make things nasty but if you love someone enough you find a way round their foibles. We are all flawed. He wasn't perfect, I wasn't perfect, we weren't perfect, but for me, at that point, I still wanted to share my time with him. My desire to stay with him was vain and selfish I see in retrospect. I had an idea of who we might be together I think, and clearly he did not share the picture I had drawn in my head because he wanted out. 
This I think is where attachment and love get a bit tangled up; did I love him ? or did I love a him I wanted him to be ? Do other people do that too, decide how things should be and then when things turn out differently, struggle to adapt to a reality which can compare badly at first glance with disney-fantasy-land we had in our minds as the ideal. 
But by the same token reality is more sensual and less ethereal. It's the difference between going to Venice and looking at pictures of Venice. I've never been to Venice, it's one of my fantasies. One day I will, and it will be a fragment of time in my life when I flick through my past. For now it is an imagined fragment, more beautiful, or less beautiful, but not real. Will I go alone or with a companion, a lover or friend. I had told Jon of my longing to go there and he slightly broke the place for me because he went with someone else a year or so after we had split. I think if I go there his ghost may be present in the walls and walkways. But he will be one of many ghosts, and I too will leave my visiting spirit print. 
Ack, Jon again, why am I wittering on about him, I think there is an element of exorcism going on. But that aside, our identity, yes that old chestnut, is wrapped up in our attachments, so when someone, or something has been important to us for a long period of time, or is really just part of our being, it is very hard to let go of that attachment. Attachments can be deleterious but still held tight simply because we are used to them and have become set like rock around them.
It's one of those things, sometimes a person might play a role within a social group - a family maybe, or a friendship circle. Their being that person is part of what holds the group stable. If they seek to change the group may put up quite some resistance to that change because when one changes, it may be that all the other parts/parties may have to change. Some changes are predictable and desirable like kids growing up and leaving home, others less so. Sometimes changes can be quite subtle, a person who always said yes begins to say no. This can be surprising and challenging, and cause some upset to people who are used to assent. 
In my last post, I wrote about when my two oldest children were small, it was a stretch of time which has given me sharp edges. I woke early this morning thinking about it, thinking about why I am so anxious about the imminent uk general election. My anxiety levels are not appropriate to my current situation and so my feeling is that they are a response to the trauma of being abandoned by my family and being a young single parent with two small children, really hanging on the mercy of an unmerciful government and the kindness of strangers. Somehow we got through and it taught me a lot, is in many ways the bedrock of my being and possibly a big thing in my daughters life too tho' I cannot really speak for her. I suppose I could say I am attached to that experience. It is a part of me.
Perhaps attachment to experiences is another thing that creates our identity. In my heart I wish I was a traveller, I'm not, I have only ever lived in Norfolk, to date. I am, to be frank, a little stuck. I think I am ashamed of only having lived in one place. I want to test myself to see how I fare making a new a life, in another place. And yet. And yet I also love my home and am loathe to disturb the peace, my home is my sanctuary, when I go away I am always pleased to come home.  And Norwich is a wonderful place to live, there are great people here, brilliant yoga and dance teachers, a lively arts community, the coast is close and beautiful. I am working out how to make my dreams of travel possible and I am sure I will make it happen presently. But I want to do it gently. Maybe I am living in cloud cuckoo land, maybe travel isn't like that, maybe it is disruptive by nature, a pushing out into new territory. I don't know. I guess when we travel a part of our baggage is our selves. Any way I think that's a digression. But perhaps an important note to myself a setting down of intention.
All the links we make to people, places, things etc become embedded in our being, this place, that place, this book, those shoes, that song, those people ... they are a part of our story. Each one of us is a story. A story that here and there ties up with anther's story and then looses or doesn't. I would say I have had a lucky life really, here and there an upset but in my now I am surely fortunate. When we tell stories about ourselves or other people we are creating a fixed narrative. But shifts and deviation are inevitable, it's the joy of story, it is gorgeously mutable. It is gorgeously mutable but I suppose it's because I work in 3d and because I am fascinated by how time and wear change things I like to make sure I look at things from various angles, up close, and from a distance, and over time. I think history tends to be judge of our lives in the end. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Ok, so here goes again. I am wading through heavy water, neck deep it feels at times. A creative block that feels like nowhere, something like stage fright, petrification. In a week or so I am opening up my work space as part of the local open studios event and a part of me is wondering who the hell I think I am. I hope if people visit I do not disappoint too much. 
And then after that this piece for the NNEP exhibition at Cley that I am working on, which maybe I have been standing too close by to really see. It's an annual exhibition which I have long aspired to be part of perhaps that too is forcing me up against myself, a desperate need to impress , to come up to the mark. What mark ? A mark I have set for myself that feels too high, too hard a hurdle.   
So I thought maybe another splurge of words might help. I can't bear to read the previous posts which felt like a fever and sickness when I wrote them, better out than in, but not pretty or sweet at all, not lovely. So, if I repeat myself apologies.
Something I've been pondering lately are those age old questions; who am I ? what is life all about ? what is the meaning of life ? where am I heading ? and so on .. I am surely not alone in pondering these questions  and they are all questions that don't really have an answer I think. They stem maybe from a loneliness and desire for companionship, or maybe not, maybe the desire for companionship stems from the lack of resolution, the inability to solve the problem, maybe another mind would make all the difference, maybe they would know more, maybe I just don't have the answers and need some other input to make sense of life, that old adage two heads are better than one springs to mind. 
Maybe I'll make things simple for myself and begin with just one, who am I ? who are you ? hell-fire how hard is that question to answer ? I am a mother, a grandmother, a daughter but somehow because my relationship to my parents is not very close that feels less important, a sister (not important at all my sisters and I don't speak), I am a friend, I think and hope that I am a good friend to some. I am an artist, woah, what does that mean ? Artists can be quite funny about that title especially artists with traditional skills who can define themselves by their field, they are painters, printers, sculptors, potters and so on, the chances are they do other things too but their skill in one particular area/craft gives them a credibility I daren't call for myself. I make things, I fiddle about, I play, I think, I think a lot, I'm not sure that counts as art but it is very much a part of what I do. But there is not great call in todays world  for thinkers unless they can give their thoughts saleable form. 
The "who am I ?" question is about identity I guess, I've begun with my closest relationships, and gone on to what I would say I do if someone asked me that dread question "what do you do ?" 
But is what I do or who I relate to the sum of me. Am I that photograph I like that was taken when I was younger and prettier, am I that ? am I what other people see in me ? am I the clothes I wear ? the people I spend time with ? the things I do ? places I hang ? I think I am all those things. Is that why when my lover, from so many years ago, left me without a second thought it felt like I'd been ripped in two. Is that why for four years I felt like there were two me's, the one living my reality, and another, a ghost of me, tracing the footsteps that had seemed so sure, so perfectly possible ? It's as if the momentum of those steps just kept going, my spirit path following tracks that had in fact been blocked by his decision to leave. Do I regret that he left, how can I  ? The real me carried on, I remember his last email in response to my asking what was going on. That the story he'd spun me about his move being a new start for us was empty words. It was a new start for us but separate, I was in the discard pile, no longer welcome in his world. He said he really just wanted me to be "a friend to fuck" .. I loved him .. I couldn't be that person .. my nature isn't brutal enough to play that game. 
Being dumped is always horrible, being dumped, being fired, being shunned, these things are set deep within most of us as unhappy events. Social isolation is dangerous for the human as an animal, most of us are too weak to thrive, or even survive, alone. 
But alone we are, alone we are born and alone we die. Or do we ? I suppose the hope is that through pregnancy a child is supported and loved by it's mother and through it's mother the people who support and love her. I am aware that this is often not the case so I am offering that as an ideal rather than a given. And what if the situation isn't ideal, what then, what if the mother is unsupported, or the baby unwanted. 
I know from experience how painful it is to carry a child without support. When I was just a few months pregnant I found my sister in my partner's arms giggling coyly and demurring flirtatiously as he tried to persuade her to have sex with him. It wasn't a great moment. Even now I'm not sure who I felt most betrayed by, him, or her, or the rest of my family who quickly covered for her - she was then the family's rising star, a Cambridge graduate, going places - and labelled me a feckless slut for having illegitimate children with a man who didn't stay to care. Am I bitter ? I am. More for my daughter, than myself, she was abandoned by everyone too. I am still crushed and ashamed that no-one came through for her when I was a seriously struggling mother of a newborn and a two/three year old. How can a family be so unfeeling towards it's own children ? I am still shocked that no-one cared enough to check we were ok. We weren't ok.
Maybe that is not necessary to the posting, but it is a big part of me. A shock that I carry still. I did live in social isolation, it was during Thatcher's time in power and single parents were one of her pet scapegoats after the miners. It was time of fear for me, a time of poverty, hunger and cold. This time around, with the Conservatives in power, I have been lucky, so far, not to have been hit by the their cuts to the vulnerable but I feel them because they echo my time at the bottom twenty seven years ago. Trust me, not much trickles down at that level. And I hadn't planned to be in the position I was in, I was in my happy ever after until I wasn't, it can happen to anyone. 
So what am I getting at ? Who am I ? I am who I was, who I am, and who I will be maybe. On my bedside table I have a picture of Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole which my youngest gave me a couple of years ago. In the corner I have tucked a slip of paper with three questions; where are you from ? where are you now ? where do you hope to go ? When I am feeling doubtful these questions help. The first two ground me, give me a sense of my history and my current being, they offer me a spring board from which I can take off. 

I'm a bit allover the place here, can I come back to the work I am doing for Cley, it's really just a line of sticks but the sticks represent my journey from finishing my degree to now. Four years of my history. The time after Jon left me. The time I discovered myself, living alone, it's been a journey, I've had jobs and holidays, made new friends, done lots of art, been a little ill, got better, he even re-entered for a couple of years as an email contact but tho' I asked him to meet for coffee we never did and maybe that is for the best, our contact ended in anger just weeks ago and tho' I regret that he was not the man I hoped he'd be, why should he be that man. 
Which brings me to another thing about who I am and back to those relationships. Let me say that I think love comes in many forms and is definitely not just about person to person but can be a vocation, a place, a thing, a pet, a book, da da, da da, da da. Often love is related to attachment, often love is conditional,  these two elements within a relationship can muddy the way. 
I identify myself as a mother, this is my most important relationship in my life, I'll not mess around, there's my kids and grandkids and they are the people I hold closest to me, the people I would drop everyone else for. That saying, my children are all grown up and live separately from me, so my attachment, the love, if you will that I feel for them, is necessarily stretched to accommodate their need to fly the nest. And this is the remarkable thing about love, it crosses time, it crosses place, I have a feeling it also crosses over death that if love between two people is great enough the lands of the living and dead merge. It seems too strange to think it would just stop. Even with my pets I love them still. 
This blog post is again a lot about relationships. i am fascinated by movement, lines and connections, the weight and speed, the push and pull of interaction, the choreography between one and another. It seems to me that every step I take leads to the present, to now, by that token I can kiss goodbye to yesterday but because each one of us is our own constant I cannot entirely shed that yesterday. This hearkens back to a previous post I know about traces so I'll leave it there and see if anything interesting comes up over night.