So it's May, and in a few short weeks it will be winter. That's usually my cue to shut down, and say no to everything except soup. My birthday is on the first day of spring, and that's when I usually return to normal human functioning.
Last winter approached with an unusual, growing thrill. We'd made plans to leave this cold, wet, grumpy greyness for some Spanish spectacularity. Sarongs, sangria, and sun that doesn't burn. Oh and a wedding, oh and a new baby niece to meet, and a spot of German beer and bakery tastings. It was just a few weeks away but it was enough to eliminate the dread of the approaching winter, as is my usual autumn routine. Last year was certainly different, and we made vows to always plan something exciting each winter. Except we haven't.
Now I love the cosy nights with a cup of spiced tea and a blanky on the couch, slow cooked dinners, my hand-knitted yoga socks (like fingerless gloves, but for feet), and the ever-delicious hot porridge in the mornings cooked with my spice mix of the day, the hygge. But do you notice these things are all rather indoorish? Yes, I'm a hibernator through and through. I avoid going outside in winter. Me outside in winter involves wiry hair (ok there are beanies for that), streaming eyes and a drippy nose, so unless there are hot pies or waffles involved, I'm out (or should that be in). I'd rather spend my money on sandals and sundresses than big coats and thermals, and usually I do, therefore every winter I am dressed inappropriately every day and that is not a recipe for fun times let me assure you. It doesn't help that I am also married to a man who might be part frog. He feels the need to "rug up" ten months of the year and is suitably well equipped. Actually that is not what I sat down to write....
So the thing is, it is full and proper winter in a less than three weeks and I have no plan...no escape route. There is something else different this year too. I'm not beginning the slow slide into hibernation that I usually so enjoy. I've got a million projects percolating in my mind and in my journal, and I feel like I need to employ a few assistants just to help me sort through my brain contents. It's bulging with ideas and possibilities, some which are already started, and some that draw from previous work that now seems incomplete without this new bubbling fresh chapter. Others are entirely new areas that I haven't stepped into before but seem like the perfect space for me to play in. The last thing I need is to escape. (..however if you are about to invite me to a weekend away, perhaps a week in Noosa, I hear the Daintree is lovely this time of year...I'm there!)
I've been fairly studioless for the last 3 years and every visual artist will understand how paralysing, frustrating, and soul squashing that is (if you have a studioless artist in your family, take note) . Now I am not studioless, but blessed with an abundance of my own space and more time than ever before. It's a perfect storm for creativity, experimentation and growth. Yes, this winter is shaping up to be quite different. Exciting, stimulating, productive, heck maybe thrilling!
Now this is a very early call. Riding the peaks and troughs of working by yourself, for yourself can be mentally messy. I'm going to leave this post here, just so I can come back and read it again in about mid June, and again around the end of July and possibly mid August too. It may be getting dark outside, but I'm feeling all the brights right now and hence the bloggish snapshot.
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