Starting at the beginning, and in the middle, and at the end. Spiralling around and around, soothing the hurts and remembering the dreams of the me-that-was, looking ahead, asking advice of the me-who-will-be, who already knows how to do everything I want to. And, more than anything, being here, now.
As luck would have it, I’ve just got to the end of The Artist’s Way and (is this a normal reaction?) been sorely tempted to go straight back to the beginning and work through all the exercises I missed the first time round. I’m going to lay off that for the duration of this fortnight, though, and concentrate on August Moon.
I walked out just now to look at the moon rising over across the river, huge and low and buttery-yellow. I had thought I might not be able to; we have had so much rain today, and great dark clouds to race against. But the rain had stopped and the clouds cleared, and, although the river was high, it was no longer lapping at the grass, and the wind had fallen to a breeze. And the moon was worth looking at.
Here are the four and a half things I am working on at the moment:
– my novel (!) Speak Its Name is, after seven years, as finished as I can get it, and currently out knocking at agents’ doors. Admitting to its existence in so many words, in public, is a new adventure as of this very minute. This is the project I’ve been referring to for ages by oblique references to mermaids. I will probably continue to do this. My intention is to keep faith in this thing, in my work and in the world’s need for it; to refine and direct it so that it breaks the surface and gets out there. Relatedly, poetry. To keep writing and posting it.
– something rather unexpected that’s developed over the past couple of months is a renewed interest in beading and general jewellery making. I’ve signed up for a silversmithing course, beginning in late September, and am considering how I can get this hobby to become self-sustaining. I don’t want this to become a career or an obligation, but I am making more things than I can wear, and spending more money than I can afford (so say the monsters), and I am fairly sure there are people out there who would wear beads depicting clusters of galaxies in polymer clay. This is Operation Silver Ship Strelsau, and my intention is to come up with an actual plan for launching it, however many sails it turns out to have.
– piano lessons! I’ve been promising myself piano lessons since before we moved house. The piano has now been tuned, and I have the contact details for a piano teacher. I need to send an email. My intention here is to remember that I don’t have to be good at everything immediately – which I fear I’ll need to.
– Operation Parisienne en ligne. Long story. My father has a bus – well, three buses. The buses need a website. I have no mechanical skill, but I can write, and my partner is happy to help me get this online. Intention: get this put together and public.
– Operation Another New Opportunity – which is a half-thing, really, as I’ve no control over whether the opportunity opens or not, only whether I jump into it if it does. This is my day job, and the feeling that I have now done absolutely everything that is open to me at my current grade. My intention is to jump, if it opens.
My intention with regard to all of these is perhaps best summed up in the phrase ‘forward! in all directions!’ I do not expect to get everything done in two weeks, particularly since I’ll be on holiday for one of them. However, I do wish to get my head into the space where they seem like things that I will do. Wish me luck!