Saturday, July 31, 2010

Billberry Colour Stripe

Billberry Colour Stripe, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

The day began grey and slightly damp, a bit like an elderly person (sorry, bad taste, but I couldn't resist :-) ).

I'll start again.

It was a dark and stormy night... (isn't that how all stories begin?)...

My brain is stuffed full of ideas now. I've been dreaming of land art again and waking up with designs lingering in mind. My drive seems to have returned at last and I feel revved up to take on bigger, more involved projects, push some boundaries and explore some new ideas.

I'd almost forgotten what it felt like but it is a relief to feel the urge to create again. At one point I thought it might not return at all.

Visiting the David Nash exhibition was the catalyst and its affect on me was profound. It stimulated something within me to the point where I feel I have a broader perspective of what art actually is and I now want to start a project that may take quite a few years (I've started to write more of my thoughts on my blog and I wrote about it here). I am making plans in my head right now and will begin soon. It should be an interesting journey. I am not sure how photogenic any of it will be so I am not sure how or if I will share it but I am looking forward to it nonetheless.

I went out to make this but it didn't really turn out how I wanted it to. I need to learn how to do what I really envisaged and it may take a while before I nail the techniques. It's about time I experimented with something new (even though it might not look new what I was trying to do should) so not getting it right the first time is surely a good thing.

I also sculpted the platform it is on and the slabs all around it into something that looked like it flows but it fell down before I could get a wider context shot so there is only half of what I made seen here. I think I'll save that for something else on another day.

I might just have to cut to the chase!

Bullet point alert! This is what happened!

- I found a handsome toad under a rock. He wasn't so pleased to see me!

- I decided to smear the stones in the stack with peat after I constructed it. This was stupid and very difficult and it fell over well before I finished. It's much easier doing it first then making the stack

- I wanted to make it black so it had strong contrast against the sky

- There was very interesting crow poo on the top slab, it was purple (I assume they've been eating bilberries) but it was full of beetle and woodlouse shells. See here for the full technicolour version.

- I've discovered you can listen to Test Match Special (that's for cricket my non-British friends) on 722mhz on MW (I know - you've been waiting your whole lives to hear that)

- I saw no-one at all where I was until I set off back to the car. That was 8 hours in a well known beauty spot

- I checked out the Rowan Berry Swoosh and slugs have been eating a few of the berries

One of the slabs I found was very attractive and I have wanted to make something with bilberry leaves for a few years. They disply many amazing colours this time of year and cover the hillsides, which along with the heather in bloom counts for an amazingly vibrant sight.

So I smeared more mud on it and put some bilberry leaves and stalks on it! Simples!


Billberry Colour Stripe, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

Peat Smeared Cross Stack

Peat Smeared Cross Stack, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Art, Ego and Flux

I've had a bit of an epiphany this week. I feel like my horizons have expanded and along with that a better understanding of where I have come from. But what I didn't expect was how having your horizons broadened decreases your sense of understanding.

I'll try and use the idea of play as an analogy. Let's say that that play has meaning on many levels, Perhaps that first level is simply about the story. Person X meets person Y, they fall in love and live happily ever after. Beneath that is another layer, a commentary on the human condition, our need for companionship, to share our lives with someone else, of longing and loneliness. And perhaps beneath that the playwright is commenting on the brevity of life, the passing of time and what is and isn't important.

Until this week I felt that my understanding of art was limited to that first level. But to me that was all the meaning that there was so it filled my whole world. I was not even aware that there were more levels and because there was nothing within me that wanted to look. And perhaps the most important part of this state is that I was sure in my heart that that was all there was.

But then something opened my eyes and I begun to see that there were deeper things within. At first this felt amazing as if I had landed in a new and exotic country full of rich sounds and smells, hustle and bustle. But as the initial excitement receded I looked back at my previous understanding and realised I was a fool. How could I have missed this before? How could I have been so sure that I understood?

This feeling of insignificance is such a positive thing though. Truth and belief are two completely separate things. The search for truth is a journey not a destination whereas belief means you have already arrived and given up on your search. It is surely not a good thing to close your mind and believe that you understand something because doing so might leave their greater truths hidden forever.

As your horizons are broadened you might expect that there is a whole new world that you now understand but instead you are standing on the edge of a foreign land with no map but an urge to step onto it. And that is very exciting.

As I travel this new world and seek truth and understanding I expect again that I will reach a point where I believe that I understand all that there is, I will reinforce my ego and again be sure that I have reached the deepest level. But I will try to remember that this is natural cycle of understanding, reinforcing the ego and belief that you have found the truth, until your understanding is broadened and new levels are revealed before beginning the cycle again.

I began my journey by discovering the work of Andy Goldsworthy. I was inspired by its aesthetic beauty, by the revelation of how the sculptures were created from materials gathered from nature and I wanted to create my own. I did not seek to understand anything deeper nor did I know there was anything deeper to understand. As I created my own I appreciated it only on this level and along with it my deep fascination for nature: its wonders and beauty and how all the forms of life have evolved to where they are now, grew and strengthened.

Then through this deepening relationship I wanted to express my own creative ideas and developed my own sculptural forms and techniques and continued to learn about the natural things that I found. And then as I did it for longer I started to notice how things change through the seasons and through subsequent years and I noticed the ever present flux of everything around us. I tried to introduce new elements to my work, the sun, the wind, how things change and grow and degrade whilst still trying to surprise and delight through revealing the vibrancy of nature.

But while doing this it was as though I was separate from the environment. I would step into it on Saturday morning and wander and look at the leaves, seeds and colours that I found before me and I would take them, create something with them, then bring them back to my computer and share them with you.

But now I am coming to realise that I am not separate from any of this. I am 100% part of nature too and I too am in constant flux. What began as a process of looking at nature has become a process of looking inside myself by communing with nature. After all this is all about what comes from inside, my life, my heart, my soul and isn't that true of all art? Visual, written, poetic or simply thought about. Creating land art sculptures has opened a window into myself and is now letting me understand a little more about what makes me tick. I could have taken up painting, poetry or many other things and they all would be a way of tapping into and learning about my life and experience right here, right now. It just so happens that land art was the thing that clicked with me and has set me on this path, probably because of how I spent my time during my childhood, forever wandering the woods and the fields exploring and free.

So this week I have looked with new eyes at art that I have looked at before. The expression of each artist's life is coming through to me now and I feel a fool for not seeing it before. Where I assumed their art was simply an expression of aesthetics before, I can now see their search for meaning too and with it I am starting to see my search for meaning too.

But this was all a necessary part of my journey. A foundation course in art if you will but with the discoveries coming from inside and not from the lips of a teacher or the text of an instructional book. Although I now look back at what I have done before and see some of it as superficial, I realise that I would never have got to where I am now without taking those steps in the first place.

As I stand on the edge of this new territory ready to set foot into this unknown land I am excited at what new discoveries I will make. And even more excited that when I reach the edge of the new horizon what new and exciting lands I will discover beyond.

I have a mind full of fresh ideas and projects to explore, some of which may take me away from striking photos and the style I have developed. But I do not care if what I do isn't popular as a journey to discover your true self is much more important than that.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What is an Artist?

I've decided to spend some time writing some essays as an attempt to express some ideas and to try and understand better what comes from inside. I am hoping that laying them out in writing might help me better along the path of understanding, whether it works will remain to be seen but here goes anyway!

Although I'll put them here on my blog it isn't really to make them public but more to record my thoughts and inner wrangles in a chronological order along with my sculptures. But then isn't that what a blog is for?!

So feel free to read them if you wish or ignore them altogether instead (although as I am still talking to you I guess I am assuming you are still reading this) but expect rambling, inconsistencies, gibberish, random musings, much whinging and confusion. I hope that they may be some humour too but that will depend on which way the wind is blowing! If you have ever read any of my notes that accompanies a sculpture then I guess you will be quite familiar with all those things so perhaps I should stop making excuses and get on with it!

It has dawned on me that until only recently I didn't really have a clue what being an artist even was and certainly had never considered I might become one. I dismissed the subjects of concepts or the meaning behind art as the arty-farty ramblings of the artists. I have stood in front of many artworks and experienced indifference, sorrow, joy, insight and plain wonder but I didn't really question how this happened. I understood the skill of the artist to be in sculpting or painting, of removing stone from a square block or painting strokes onto a canvas but the search for meaning that every artist is consumed with passed me by, how they put their life into each thing that they make was hidden from me. Each artwork – good or bad – has the experience of each artist up to that point in the life put into it.

That is what I am starting to understand now is what it means to be an artist.

So how did I work this out? I wasn't told it, I didn't read it anywhere, I didn't learn it at college or school but instead I started to feel it. The scoffing cynic inside of me rankles at this but still it is true. When I started on this path I was simply, overwhelmingly inspired by Andy Goldsworthy's artwork and I wanted to use that inspiration to create my own. I believed it was simply an exercise in aesthetics, making beautiful things and enjoying doing so but ever so gradually I am learning that it is so much more than that.

Art is so many things – known and unknown – and yet I only have the merest grasp on what those things are. Whenever I find the answer to one question I find ten more questions that need answers.

But surely that is the whole point of life? To learn, to discover, to search and experience. To question what you have been told and open your mind to new possibilities. Art is all of these things to me now and I expect that it is also a multitude of new things that are invisible currently and that I will perhaps discover some of those in the future.

Does this mean that I've gone all serious? Perhaps I am now taking myself too seriously? Am I taking the fun out of what I do and what I share? No, definitely not. I've also come to realise that someone's art is a reflection of their inner self. I look at my own art and it shows me a little of what I am like. It affords me a window inside myself. And I like to have fun, I like to laugh and play and see the wryness and quirkiness in things, I like to be and act like a child, I like to see through a child eyes. But kids also want to know why things are, how things work, they want to know everything about everything! So surely we all start out as artists, searching for meaning and revelling in the intricacies and beauty of our world and then somehow some of us lose it.

Well I've found mine again and I feel absolutely driven to express it, not to impress anyone, for acclaim or kudos but because the kid inside me wants to know WHY!

I feel blessed that I found the art of Goldsworthy and through following it discovered my inner artist and child. Just as I did in my childhood I want to be out in nature discovering all about her infinities. Whether this art comes through in what you see in my sculptures, I do not know, whether it appears purely as craft, creating without discovery, I can't say, as art can be in the eye of the beholder. But for me my personal experience is art as I feel driven to discover, to experience all I can out there. To hold up a lens to the natural world and reveal something new to myself and if I can do the same for an audience then all the better too.

Perhaps this has all been done by those who have come before me so it isn't important out there in the world. But it is important to me, I haven't lived those other artist's lives, lived their experiences or made their discoveries. I need to make my own whether or not they have been made before as it is your own experience that counts.

Good artists are able to add to your experience through their own and you feel that you have lived some of their life through them. If I ever reach such a lofty pinnacle then I shall have done those that have inspired me some justice. One day I hope that will come true.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

David Nash Exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

If you want to see the full selection of photos of this exhibition you'll need to click over to Flickr.

Jrt Pickle and I went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park today to see the David Nash exhibition. I didn't know a great deal about his work (and if you don't I urge you to search him out - and definitely go to the exhibition if you can), I knew that wood and trees is what he is about and that he discovered Andy Goldsworthy when he was still a student and helped him make a name for himself. I'd seen some pictures of the exhibition too but that was about it. What I saw in those pictures didn't particularly inspire me (my pictures do not represent how stunning these sculptures are either, they really need to be experienced in real life) but I was still keen to see his work in the flesh. And oh boy what a treat!

Photographs of much artwork do not do the actual work much justice, especially with sculpture, which is why I put so much effort into taking the best pictures I can of my own work. We visited a Picasso exhibition recently and the power of the very famous "weeping woman" painting, in the flesh, really astounded me. The grief and feeling of bereavement just poured out of the picture and into my soul. Most art must be seen in the flesh (apart from mine obviously!) ;-).

What you cannot experience in these pictures is the strong smell of the wood, the different textures, the grain, the imposing size or the intricacy of the sculpting, the presence each one has and how they fill the space, stimulate the mind and the senses and stir emotions from deep within. Many pieces are created from a single piece of wood and we could only marvel at the skill required. The deep knowledge of the different properties of different woods and how he follows the internal structure and grain of the wood had me enthralled. On top of that his long term projects, his interest in how things change and grow, decay and degrade, how trees exist in a different time span to us just spoke to me deep inside.

It made me question why land art speaks to me more deeply than other types of art, why investigation of the cycles of nature interests me so much and it made me think that my country upbringing, the endless days I used to spend exploring the countryside as a youngster really have formed my inner core and now I need to let it out.

I was so inspired that as we walked around the park all I could do was "yak-yak-yak!" As ideas poured out of me. Much of it gibberish I'll admit! But good art really has a way of tapping into your unconciousness and releasing something.

This exhibition was his largest to date and spanned the entirety of his 40 year career. I loved seeing his early work which was raw and unformed and spoke of his struggle to find his feet, an identity and a way to channel his passion (I know how that feels right now!). Until finally his essence emerged into his work.

The power and presence of his sculptures really did something to me. Art is life and Nash lives his through his relationship with wood. And stood before or stood amongst a fragrant and lovingly crafted sculpture really makes you feel that life he is living.

In 1978 he created a wooden boulder and he placed it in a river to see what would happen to it. We sat and watched a film where the boulder sat in the river, the level rose and fell, the winter snows covered it with ice and finally a year later the levels rose high enough and it moved. It was found downstream wedged under a bridge. After a few more years it made it to the coast and the tide took it out and brought it back in again and dumped it in a marsh before finally disappearing in 2003. Nash's words were "the boulder isn't lost, it is wherever it is."

I absolutely love that! That idea just has me so inspired. To leave it to the elements, to discover what nature has done with it over many years. Just so interesting. I've only ever watched my sculptures degrade in months, never years and now my mind is in overdrive.

I can't really properly express how much I enjoyed this exhibition, how it has inspired me or indeed what a wonderful place the Yorkshire Sculpture park is so I might just shut up instead. But I will just say go see this exhibition if you can. If you can't then go and search out what is near to you instead. There is so much stuff to see and some of it may open a window into your soul.

I will sign off with the other highlights of today. The giant Sophie Ryder sculptures (really fantastic - see below for some), the squirrel ducking the swallows that were trying to harrass it before it scarpered in a most comical fashion, and finally the sheep who was having a very, very satisfying scratch along the flanks of a Henry Moore masterpiece...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seashell Colour Squares

Seashell Colour Squares, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

And so the Zen master said to his pupil "ah Locust, now that your brother Grasshopper has left us it is time for you to now prove yourself."

"So that you can be put onto the path of righteousness I am going to set you a task. Now mark my words young Daddy-long-legs this task is no ordinary task. You will be tested well beyond your limits and should you fail, well, it might be the end. But do not fret Ladybird! If you give this your all you will become all that you are. Such potential there is within, you must release it Earwig! You must release it!"

"But Master I am not ready, how can I take on such a challenge?"

"Bedbug! Desist with your talk, what you need is to act! Do not hesisate in what you must do, it is your destiny!"

"You aren't my father!"

"Master, what is it that I must do? What is this task that you are setting me?"

"Pin back your lug holes, Woodlouse, I will tell you this only once."

"Your journey will begin inland and you will walk until you reach the shore. At this place you will find colours three - purple, pink and white. Now take these colours and create three squares."

"To be blunt Master that sounds like a piece of cake, where's the challenge in that? You're having a laugh! I've seen the Karate Kid and he had to catch flies with chopsticks, now that's what you call a challenge!"

"Bluebottle, desist with your idle talk! Let me tell you the name of this task!"

"It is called the 'move one piece of shell and five around it will move out of place, replace them until you go nuts!'"

And so it was. Like little jigsaws first I had to find the corner pieces but as I filled in the gaps the smallest touch on its neighbours would shift the mosaic out of place. It would need the most delicate touch and enough patience to redo each square over and over again.

I don't find the beach to be a very inspiring place to create anymore. I am obsessed with colours and organic growth and I have researched the colours on the local beaches many times now. And although there is much geological change there is little organic growth and change and the seasons do not have a great affect on what it is you find there. At the beginning of my land art journey I used to spend a lot of time on the beach but now I crave being inland and search out new plants and new colours. Today certainly showed me that I either need to try harder in these places, visit beaches in different places for refreshed inspiration or indeed leave the beach sculptures to JRTpickle as her effort was much finer than mine. Hers contains a much better form and organic feeling. Mine was simply an exercise in pernickertyness, attention to detail and patience. All good practice for the next session inland but lacking in learning anything new about nature and as such it is a craftwork rather than an artwork. And because of that I think it is lacking something.

Seashell Colour Squares, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rowan Berry Swoosh

Rowan Berry Swoosh, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

I decided to take the day off today and it turned out to be a really good decision. After I'd become jaded with the good weather we had been having, it then decided to rain non-stop for a week but today was filled with sunshine and summer breezes and they both felt all the more special when set against the grey drizzle that filled the previous seven days.

So off we went to a favourite spot of mine to secrete ourselves amongst the twisted oaks and slabs of stone. On the way the Stonechat family complete with three fledged youngsters flitted from perch to perch amongst the heather and we stopped awhile to collect rowan berries.

It's the third year I've collected rowan berries from this spot and I am intrigued by the fact that I know where each colour will be present at the beginning of the ripening process. At the start of the walk the best reds are to be found, though they have a little way to go before they are at their best, and yellow is only present on a couple of trees, the same ones as the previous two years. They do eventually go red but it seems some of them go brown/green to red and some go yellow and some orange before scarlet. The colours I find are not all the stages from a single tree but instead reflect a number of different trees. Perhaps it is a species variation thing? Or perhaps it depends on their size or age? Or maybe location, drainage or availability of water? There is still so much to discover about these berries over the coming years.

When I made my first rowan berry sculpture I laid them out on a slab and the surface was pitted and it was very difficult to get them to lay as I placed them. They rolled again and again and I discovered that they are not the same colour all around. They do not ripen uinformly so there are often two stages of colour on each berry. So trying to place them onto a pitted surface made it extremely difficult to control the colours.

Since then I've developed the black mud frame idea and so my life was going to be considerably easier this time around especially as this particular spot also has the best mud for this purpose. I could now bore you with similar details about different sorts of mud but I may leave that for another time! But I will say one of the joys of land art is a developing and deepening understanding of different materials and along with that you also start to understand a place a little better each time you make something there. The constraint of only being able to use what you find is a real joy. There's freedom in not making the world conform to what you want but instead just seeing it as it is, interacting with it, trying to understand it just as you see it. Land art is all about this.

Despite learning a little more each time there will never ever be a point where there are no surprises. In fact the more you find the more you realise there is still to find. And there were certainly a couple of surprises today!

As you begin to make something your senses begin to open. The absorption from simply smearing mud onto a rock can be quite fulfilling, you should try it! Colours intensify and changes in light and temperature become more apparent, however joyful that might sound that isn't always a good thing. As I was just starting to press in the first line of berries, tuned in 100%, the ground shook as a Euro-fighter flew directly overhead, at the most 500 ft above me. Holy crap those fudgers are loud! It is pretty clear why they are called Typhoons, I've seen them circling higher before and even at distance there are very loud indeed, but just overhead they are quite something to behold, by far the loudest jet I've ever encountered and a first when I've been absorbed making something. Just as well I was wearing brown trousers.

Shortly after this I heard a rustle through the trees behind me and the flapping of wings. I turned round to see a startled pigeon clamber up the bank to shelter under a tree. This wasn't a wild pigeon but a racing one with rings on its legs. Peregrine Falcons are often on the hill behind and I wondered whether it was with them this poor pigeon had had an encounter or whether the Typhoon had stunned it out of the sky. It didn't seem to be injured and not at all perturbed by me so I left him to sit where he was underneath the rock slabs beneath the tree.

I became a bit obsessed with glancing behind me and seeing what he was up to but he just stood there watching what I was doing. If indeed he was a racing pigeon perhaps he liked human company and felt safe in our presence. It was a good few hours that he sat there and looked on at me and my sculpture.

At one point I looked over my shoulder and I saw him look agitated and I looked where he was looking and a handsome stoat galloped across the boulders seemingly unaware I was there and fortunately hadn't noticed my feathered friend either. Soon he was gone and pidge relaxed.

Once I was done and the sculpture was photographed I crossed the stream to take a closer look at him. He was very handsome and we went for a little walk. Me following slowly behind with my hands outstretched and him waddling in front of me just out of reach. He didn't seem too worried and I could have grabbed him if I needed to but he seemed fine and uninjured and eventually flew up onto a low branch. Satisfied that he wasn't injured I thought it would be best to just leave him. He sat on a wall and again just watched us packing up. He may be a homing pigeon but he obviously didn't fancy going home yet.

Perhaps he was just waiting for me to leave so he could go an eat all my delicately arranged berries!

Rowan Berry Swoosh, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

Startled Pigeon, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

Rowan Berry Swoosh, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

5 Coloured Leaf Circles

5 Coloured Leaf Circles, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

In true Blue Peter style - here's one I made earlier.

But before I get down to business can anyone explain to me why my cat, after she has done a poo, sprints through the kitchen, curves round the lounge like a cheetah and lauches up the stairs at break neck speed?! The only time she does that is when she has done a poo! Maybe she feels lighter all of a sudden?! She's quite old but boy can she shift!

Anyway, back to business.

Does too much sun on your head make you lazy?

What do you do if your get and go got up and went?

Land art used to get me out of bed in the morning but we've had to go back to the old method using the electric cattle prod.

If you were never sure where your creative drive came from in the first place would you know where to find it when you lost it?

These are all things I've been pondering a lot recently.

Up to a couple of weeks ago we were having the best summer for a while. Sunshine and crisp blue skies and long, balmy summer evenings. But for some reason the lack of rain was starting to leave me bored. Call me ungrateful but the same thing each day starts to leave me jaded.

I was out in the garden in a thick coat trying to light damp barbecue coals when the first sunny day of April arrived but once several weeks of sunshine joined together I felt each day melt into the next and with it my urge to be creative subsided.

So did the sun on my head make me lazy?

I made this a few weeks ago when the sun was still shining but wanted to create something just for myself and not to show anyone. I discovered a way to make mini-circles with sycamore stems and this was the result.

But I have been out today and I have made something but I cannot show what it is, not even if you say pur-lease or send me a large cheque in the post (well I might show then but only after it has been cashed).

I'm midway through my first ever commission and now I am over the difficult part I can explain what a lark it has been.

I got an email several months ago enquiring whether I would make something for them and when I googled their name I nearly fell off my chair. He is a top level executive with a global business and I thought "he wants someone like me to make something for him?" - Pinch yourself moment number 1.

So I put together a proposal and he liked my ideas and instructed me to get on with it. I wasn't expecting that so I pinched myself again.

Next I went to a quarry and selected a large piece of stone and asked for it to be delivered to his house. And once again I pinched myself. This is not something I ever envisaged myself doing.

You see, perhaps when you look at my photostream it looks like to you that I am a professional artist or summink, and what I have written above is faux modesty. But no, it was only a few years ago I went out and made my first sculpture. And then I started to get a better at it and then I came up with some new and fresh ideas but had no idea where those ideas had come from and I believed that they would all dry up soon. But then they kept coming and coming and coming, once the tap was on it wouldn't turn off and I was as perplexed as anyone where it was all coming from. Then I started to get thousands more hits here on Flickr and elsewhere and more and more people told me they liked what I do. It was like getting to a fork in the road in my mudane life and taking a wrong turning and then finding yourself somewhere completely new and slightly bewildering. For 35 years of my life I was unaware of any need to create and when I found it I couldn't believe I had hidden it from myself, so completely for so long. I find it all most odd.

So the piece of stone I had selected was 7 foot by 3 foot and a few inches thick and I got to see it for 5 minutes at the quarry before we left.

"What on earth am I getting myself into" I panicked. "How am I going to shift this bit of stone, how heavy is it going to be, where will I put it?" "What if there is bedrock beneath the turf and I cannot erect it, what will I do with it then?" All these thoughts were lurking in the back of my mind as the weeks passed by before the delivery. An image I often awoke with was it being smacked in the centre with a sledge hammer and it shattering into a million pieces. Perhaps I worry too much but how do you know what you can do when you have never done something before?

We went along today to try and erect the stone ready for the final sculpture to be applied. My National Park Ranger friend replete with crowbar, pick axe and shovel accompanied me and within a few hours we had a hole dug, the stone erected and it set in solid with stones placed in around its base. No plan B was required and I was mightily relieved but very happy too.

So it seems the moral of this story and perhaps of life in general is to act confidently and pretend that you can take on new challenges even if the voices inside are telling you that you can't. But listen to some of those voices that tell you about the possible difficulties and put everything in place to overcome them. If you can balance on that line then you will achieve much but do them in a responsible and achievable manner.

The alternatives each side of that line are to act like a flake and tell everyone you can do anything, but never think things through and give up when you find that you can't overcome the obstacles. Or on the other side of that line you find yourself doing what I have been doing for the last couple of months, since the sun cooked my head and sapped my will, listening to the inner doubting voices and believing them and then ending up doing nothing. If you always listen to your voices, your own and others, that tell you that it's too difficult, too complicated, too scary, too much, too far, too dangerous, too childish then you will end up doing zilch. Life is too short to listen to the doubters even when it is yourself that doubts the most.

5 Coloured Leaf Circles, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

5 Coloured Leaf Circles, originally uploaded by escher...(back).

Saturday, July 10, 2010