A wonderfully sunny day. No shops to buy lollipops (remember the song?), nothing but icy country lanes, the distant barking of dogs, thin white clouds and now a glorious sun shining through the birch trees...I didn't realise that cut birch had such a beautiful aroma! Logs are piled along the narrow dirt road ready to be trucked away to the saw mill. Oh and the wind. The fir trees sing.
Its Tuesday 4th April and it's Eve's Day. I'm focusing on a chapter about creating Eve, the performance work that is being performed in July at Brisbane Powerhouse. Eve is an imaginative character inspired by the real Eve Langley, one of Australia's most underrated authors who was born ahead of her time. She had one glorious acknowledgement for her classic The Pea Pickers, but her editors found her other work too verbose to print, except for The White Topee.
The Eve that I have created is similar to the real Eve, though not the same. My Eve has similar challenges: the artist and the mother standing side by side, wondering how to do what needs to be done. The question: is it the mother's role to create a sense of belonging in her children? And if so, how?
Another question emerges for me as I walk the muddy lanes that criss-cross the countryside is the question:
Did Eve know how to create the circumstances that would move her towards belonging? Things like thickening relationships, an acceptance of place, a nurturing of space? Or was my Eve so caught up in her own writing-self that she gave no time to nurture herself, her family or her environment? Or did Eve create her own sense of belonging as she aged, surrounded by hundreds of dolls and making friends with the local wildlife? Is she inventing a way of belonging just not recognised by the status quo?
My sense right now was that my Eve was stuck in Past Time and Imaginary Space without Relationship. Her myth country was of the past and she continually returned there...her golden age. As artists we all have a myth country (said Doris Lessing) but it is important to remember that we also need to return to the present, in order to grow an environment of nurture and relationship. Only then can we survive the daily grind of art making, for sometimes that is what it feels like... "one step at a time" as my mother used to say...(if you have seen my show HOME you will remember the song my mother sang whenever I entered the room "One step at a time, sweet J, thats all I'm asking of you"
Right now though, there is little grind, it is all sunshine and rainbows. Back to it.