In my previous home I painted a saying at the top of the wall in the kitchen. It stretched all the way around. It was a pure white on a slightly off white wall colour so you really had to notice it to read it. It read, “Some days I do as many as twelve impossible things before breakfast.”
There was something crazy in the air this last week. It’s had me all twisted up like a pretzel trying to do fifty things at once. I’m telephone tagging people, replying to emails, running to the grocery store several times/day for something I completely forgot about but desperately need, hopelessly trying to organise the Vancouver house, put away the 17 boxes of Christmas dekies into the garage loft, take stock of my life, patch the little sliver of this 100yr old hardwood floor which I found on the dining room sideboard. (No one knows how it broke off or who put it on the sideboard) And putting up with this fuzzy, headachy, jet-lagginess, which is really starting to bug me.
This morning I was standing in the middle of my living room and trying to psych myself up for writing this post as an answer for Folk Magazine’s third journal entry, (reflecting on successes and failures), repainting the livingroom walls, redecorating the mantle, tiling the fireplace with hand painted and fired one-of-a-kind craftsman tiles (which I would paint and fire myself) based on these exquisite remnants of Victorian tiles I dug up while designing an Oxford garden for a client.
And then I remembered that I’ve never painted or fired tiles and I started to feel very weighed down.
Weighed right down.
As if a large, lazy flock of pelicans just landed on my shoulders and were shrieking in my ears arguing over prime shoulder perching spots.
This is Nick Bantock’s “Fool’s Mate”. It represents the heaviness of responsibility. It’s named after the swiftest defeat in a game of chess. Some days I feel like this king in Nick’s painting. Some days I feel like my tiny lead Alice. Tiny and heavy but full of Wonderland and impossible possibilities. And some days the dice falls the right way up.
I looked back over the past year and remembered that, on a whim, I photographed and created a 24 hour 24 page Zine in July. I’d never done that before.
Eighteen months ago I bought this hundred year old Craftsman house, am managing the mortgage, building a garden and am renovating it as needed. Never done that by myself before.
Never helped restore a 50 yr old mini before I did it, never completed Communication and magazine publishing degrees before I did that, never knew I could create this lovely website, which gives me so much pleasure, so many beautiful friends and is such a wonderful creative outlet, before I did that either.
Then I start to shrug those pesky pelicans off my shoulders.
I’m just one girl but I can do so much.
For me, it’s best not to think about whether I can do something or not before I begin.
My catch phrase # 9, “how hard can it be?” is really the best philosophy for me rather than thinking about successes or failures. Jump in and think about it on the way down…or possibly not think about it at all.
So upward and onward with those pelicans. The days are getting longer and I have tiles to draw out.
I’m always smarter than I think I am. And, like Alice, I’m always smaller than I think I am.
These are good things.