Monday, December 1, 2008

December begins.

(images from Google, - thanks Google,- except for the last one)
If you're reading this you are alive. Yes indeed. More fortunate than nearly 200 people in Mumbai. What a waste of life. A shocking, shocking waste. For no purpose, by brainwashed people who think it is a perfectly valid thing to do to fellow human beings. I hope I never understand that mentality. Clearly their parents, or other influential adults in their lives have severely failed them. I have been to Mumbai, seen and been inside some of the buildings involved, breathed the same air as those mowed down. Senseless, inexpicable stuff. I hope India recovers its spark, its such an incredible place.
It IS December, and its very strange to be home alone. Steff has gone to Melbourne to spend time with my sister and her cousins. Much planning involved. It is our chance for a rest from the High School Musical soundtrack, Hannah Montana, Pokemon and Saturday Disney, cat-obsession and narrow food-choices - and her chance to have a break from us too. She's had a tough year, its been a struggle. Its a good break for all of us. I hear she's having a great time, and has many plans for the week ahead.
My plans for the week involve a list of errands of boring stuff, which I am alternating with creative interesting things that I can do while free to gallivant. You all know what boring stuff looks like so I'll spare you that list...but the gallivanting! Oh the gallivanting!
I have started the painting. What painting? THE painting. We have been looking for a piece of art in a horizontal format to go between the sofa back and the overhead mounted bookshelves. A tricky space dimensionally. Pretty dumb planning on our part I suppose, but it was filled with framed kids art for years and has only recently been calling for an alternative. We have looked for over a year. It is very unusual to enter a gallery and head straight for a particular size, rather than a colour or subject. We then look at everything in that size. We looked. And looked. Without finding anything that we loved, or even liked enough to date (one of the galleries allows home visits, for getting to know you purposes). Exhibition after exhibition, empty-handed, stony-hearted, except with the sneaking suspicion that I/we could have a go at doing something ourselves.
Ages ago we bought a canvas, plus two smaller side canvases to completely fill the space, (to complete the artistic series, doncha know). Finally this weekend I tackled it. On Saturday evening as I was about to dish up dinner (literally) I was seized with the urge to prepare the canvas. While the chips were in the oven I set up at one end of the long outdoor table and primed it in a soft clay/camel brown. I then set up the other end with the tablecloth, cutlery and glassware. We ate outside, trying to ignore the large brown thing at the other end of the table.

On Sunday morning I wandered out and felt daunted by the size and pristine nature of it. Would I divide it up into segments - would I use wavy lines? I didn't want symmetry...what did I want? I grabbed three colours and a rag and literally dabbed and dragged new colour over it to break it up. I stood outside and pottered on it all morning (getting sunburnt I now discover), dragging out assemblage pieces, papers, pens, fabric, texture paste, magazines for collage, scrapbooking supplies. I have cut up pieces of Indian sari I bought in India, , I've penned on quotes I find inspiring and I'm not done yet!

I stopped for a while to go see a movie (In Bruges, a black comedy, with a large amount of foul language in it, but delivered with the most charming Irish accents, and really quite touching and sad. Great performances). When I came home I didn't go back to it. It sat there, I felt a bit self-concious about it to be honest. I still do. Who am I to try and 'do art'? You know, that kind of internal dialogue....but this morning I looked at it again and thought well, I may as well keep going, and if it turns out to be complete shite I have a big enough bin to dispose of it. I have embellished and attached door handles, and I am having fun with it. It needs more texture now, more detail, some framing of elements, more collaged onto it. I'm digging into the stash and tossing round ideas. Maybe a Wild Woman needs to enter a frame? Its been so long since I painted that I have lost confidence in my brush skills (she says, as if she ever had any, but I did do some folk art in the late 90's). But it is building up and coming together.

No pics yet, I hope I feel able to show you when I finish it. But with Steff away and only 3 more days not working til she comes back I feel I should push on. I did discover the value of painting over a crappy bit! Nothing is permanent, it can always be embellished over!

I have started back on the ward now. I had 3 shifts scheduled but went home sick after the second and called off the third due to still being crook. A bit of a dampener to start our weekend alone with me feeling like death...but I improved.

Ward work has been OK so far, but I have been lucky to have 4 antenatal women plus only one postnatal woman and her baby. I seem to remember what to do, and when to do it, and when they are mostly women who have had babies before there is not much to educate them on, except for the circumstances that led them to be admitted. Its a tough deal, to be admitted with very prematurely ruptured membranes for your fifth baby, with kids at home etc. Especially if you're from a rural area and used to being the boss of the show for a large brood. Control = zero. Its very hard for them to adjust, and not fret, while becoming a long-term patient. To be patient when waiting for factors out of their control to kick in, or to be put off as long as possible. Others come and go fairly quickly, 17 years old, 34 weeks pregnant, contracting a bit and having a small post-coital bleed - disappeared after breakfast never to be seen again! Taking control her own way! Or the older mother with a poor history coming in to make sure her diabetes is in control so she doesn't lose another baby at term. A woman having her fifth CS who still receives mountains of flowers! What's her secret? She is clearly valued as a mother, with new nighties and PJs, and visitors bearing freshly cooked food and hand feeding her.

Contrasted with a shy young woman, unattended, with barely a change of clothes, snuggling her baby in with her in bed, whispering responses to my (too many but necessary) questions as she takes in the miracle that she has produced. Trying hard to assimilate this busy big-city place where you have to come, because there are no VBAC births 'allowed' in your area because there are no doctors able to provide care in case you needed another CS. So you arrive with a plastic bag, knowing no-one and wait it out, postponing the shared family joy you crave.

Many stories. Sorry it takes so long to bash them out, but I have limited time with hubby and yesterday was the first day in AGES when I didn't even turn the computer on. It was a temptingly creative day! I should do more of it!


Frogdancer said...

It's amazing how much more productive we are when the kids are out from under foot. You should see the mountain of sewing I goit through while the kids were away.

Frogdancer said...

Read this. I think you'll like it.

Anonymous said...

That feeeling of freedom is sweet. Temoraryily sweet for me, but sweet nonetheless.

Victoria said...

The making of the canvas art sounds like so much fun. I will love seeing the finished project.

Natalie said...

You could write a book.
I would buy it.