What is it? Where is it? How do I get there? How do I stay?
Questions from this morning. From this week. From the last few months even.
Where am I going and why?
Generally speaking I don’t fully understand why I am doing half the things I do. I am trying to travel. To move myself forward in some way but with what rationale?
When the pandemic hit I had quite a few ducks in a row that disappeared like little dust ducks. My way of working was unravelled over night. To say I got a fright would be an understatement.
It was as though I had been running a race, madly trying to cross the finish line only for someone to burl me about revealing no runners, no race, no finish line. Just a whole lot of flailing about. Just what exactly was I trying to achieve?
Over the summer I felt myself stripped of the carefully constructed creative ways of being I had been using to get by. No more studio, No more ensemble. No more production. No more residencies. No more workshops. No more performances. No more people to play with. No more, no more.
And so, despite being trapped in my home, I felt creatively homeless. My prescription for all of this has been to dig into the territory of solo practice like my life depended on it (I think possibly it does actually, certainly I do not feel well when I am not engaged creatively somewhere, somehow). Has it been the cure I hoped it would be?
By which I mean many things.
Yes – because I am developing ways to sustain my practise that are requirement free. For years I have put myself in such a vulnerable position by handing over my creative practice into the hands of people who were careless with it. Solo practice means I do not have to take that risk. I also don’t need anyone to give me space or even funding. My core practice is independent of all of those structures (people, places, pockets full of cash). There is great relief in this. I can be creatively committed to myself in ways that I have never managed to find out there.
No – because the above has settled me somewhat but not entirely. I still feel relentlessly restless. A kind of endless hunger for more. More of what I am not sure but I never feel fully satisfied. I don’t even understand what it is I am looking for but whatever it is I have yet to find it. Also no because I miss being in the room with other people and I feel a kind of desolate sadness that, despite my best efforts, I can’t find the kind of creative partnership I am so desperately seeking.
The closest I can come to describing all of this is a sense of not quite being creatively at home. I am looking to land somewhere I can stay. Somewhere I can settle even. Dig down, invest, grow.
This year I have made a couple of small creative commitments to myself. Perhaps this will help, time will tell. In the meantime the strange search for something or other continues.