Monday, 1 December 2008

Mixed Emotions (2)

I've mentioned, I do believe, just how fulfilling and downright necessary (and many other adjectives besides) the art group is for me at work, for many reasons.

This week and last week in particular, it's offered something else which also feels crucial to me at present: containment. Today's group was hectic, demanding, intense, as it usually is when we've a certain amount of attendees: so many people requiring input and guidance right now - usually 3 or more at any given moment in time. Like a nest full of baby sparrows (why sparrows? I dunno) all straining their beaks aloft for the promise of food.

That could make it sound like I'm getting a little grandiose about my own position in this regard - and I was sorely tempted to replace the word food in that last sentence with some kind of preposterous phrase like the worm of artistic guidance, but I couldn't stand the tension in thinking that anybody reading this might think I'm being serious.

Well the serious point has already been made: it's hectic, very hectic. A couple of hours of relentless activity, usually trying to do at least three things at once whilst contemplating a fourth and vaguely weighing up a fifth. So I'm left exhausted, and - especially at the moment - all the better for it.

The weekend, I went to see my mother and grandmother, the former having just come out of hospital. It doesn't feel right to go into any detail here, though I'll go as far as to say that she has some injuries to recover from, which will take some weeks at least: and given that she has other health conditions which don't exactly make life straightforward...well at the very least it's fortunate that things are no worse than they are.

I was glad to be over to see her, and not make a fuss of her. We don't really do fuss: I think she would be embarrassed if not annoyed if I was constantly asking if she was ok and if there was anything I could do for her. Nonetheless I asked her to tell me whenever something needed to be done, and she did so.

Clearly she was in far less discomfort than in the first few days after this situation came to pass, and that was a relief. She will continue to improve over the next few weeks.

What is currently exercising my mind though, is that - whatever the short term prospects - it signifies the potential for change in the longer term. It wouldn't be true to say that things won't be the same because really, things haven't entirely been the same for some time. Little differences very gradually, almost imperceptibly chipping away at whatever I'm referring to as being the same. This latest is very much on that continuum, but shockingly tangible in its immediacy, its rawness. What kind of a shadow it serves to cast beyond that, remains to be seen.

So it felt less easy to see my grandmother also, since I was carrying such thoughts.

(Perhaps I'm being morose - but I think this is also about starting - and only starting - to come to terms with what may be a period of adjustment.)

She (my grandmother) makes herself tiny these days, I don't know how: she crumples herself into the chair, hugging the cushion and keeping warm in front of the fire. In response seemingly to nothing in particular, her sturdiest moment was when she fixed me with a stare and informed me that she doesn't feel like dying just yet - and then she smiled.

These are precious moments, all of them. I'll make reference to another which I don't feel able to fully share here. It was as I was leaving: letting myself out, rather than her getting up to walk me to her front door, which is more of an effort now. She shouted something after me, which stopped me in my tracks, so poignant was it.

So. The art group today did a heck of a lot for me in terms of containment of my thoughts and feelings and I've come home feeling tired but energised, if there's any sense in such an apparent contradiction. I feel ok right now, regardless.

Well.....ok apart from one thing, about which I feel very annoyed. Annoyed? No, absolutely fucking furious. I need a rant, but I don't want to do it here, so I'll be ringing a good friend. Sorry to be so cryptic, but I feel it will be better done verbally than written down.


nmj said...

Trews, I don't know how to react to any of this except to hug you. x

trousers said...

Sometimes that's the only appropriate reaction: thanks nmj, hugs to you too x

Merkin said...

My sister had an inspection from her work and was worried about it.

A lot of it is to do with language.

Your article seems to be in two parts.

In the first part, you are allowing yourself to be constrained/contained by outside forces.

In the second part you show how you really are.

In both parts you are the same person.

What is the difference?

When we oft opine 'don't let the bastards get you down' it also refers to wide areas where one is forced into 'their' thinking - and their use of jargon or language.

As soon as you let them 'give' you the language to describe what you feel, you give them the power to allow your feelings, or not.

The second part of your article was far more 'honest' for having been spoken the way you speak.

My sister had the same problem in accessing her own opinion with a set of jargon that was not hers.

Give 'em hell Pikey still has its moments.

zola a social thing said...

How best, if you are a manager, to contain the rage and the frustration that is built into capitalism itself and for the majority of folk?

Rage rage against the containing of the light.

trousers said...

merk, the containment I was referring to in the first part, is something which feels very welcome. The containment of raw thoughts and feelings which need to be felt and experienced and listened to - and ignored at my peril - but which I also need respite from: a bit of space in which to focus on something else and not be otherwise subsumed.

So I would offer that both parts are equally how I really am. One isn't more real than the other, not to me.

I feel alive when I'm doing the art stuff, and at times like this I need that vitality, both for it's own sake and for what it serves to do as already discussed.

There is the issue of jargon, but I enjoy playing with words, both here and in conversation. It's a level playing field after all ;-)

Thank goodness zola, that I'm no longer a manager.

Teeth whitening said...

I am love this great site. Many thanks guy.

Ms Melancholy said...

Well, cryptic you may be at the moment Trousers but it is clear that something is amiss in the trews department. Hugs from all of us......

PS I expect you are mightily relieved that Mr Teeth Whitening is love your blog.

trousers said...

Hugs gratefully accepted - and reciprocated - ms m. Thank you. x

And yes I am indeed mightily relieved...

teeth whitening - glad you are love this site: please to return and read many more!

Either that or stop spamming. Many thanks.

david mcmahon said...

Sometimes when things get you down, it's good to know that a person who reads your blog on the other side of the world can offer support.

Greetings from Australia - hope things sort themselves out soon.

trousers said...

Oh definitely, mr mcmahon - and at times like this, blogging is a real source of comfort. Thanks for dropping by and saying those kind words.

Leigh said...

Boy, you're speaking my language today.
Am also entering long phase of readjustment.
Very hard, and very strange, and oddly life-affirming.
Sympathy? Empathy? Hugs? You got them all.

trousers said...

Nice to see you here again leigh, but sorry to hear that you're having what sounds like a challenging time. Hope the life-affirming aspect of it wins through.

Sympathy, empathy and hugs gratefully received - and reciprocated. x