Google+ Followers

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

John and Ruth. It's Official - We're Going to Split.


We hope to arrive there on 26th. August and leave just over a week later for the Croatian island of Korcula, where Marco Polo is supposed to be from. Then we go to Dubrovnik before visiting Mostar and Sarajevo in Bosnia and then heading up to Hungary (we have heard there are food shortages) where we hope to stop at Lake Balaton before arriving in Budapest about 15th. September. We then go to Romania (jokes about going to remain here might follow!) and Bulgaria (and perhaps Moldova, but that has to be mulled over). We should get to Turkey in early October where we plan a swing through the south and west of the country, passing through Cappadocia (land of the Hittites, I think) before reaching Istanbul in the last week of October. So jokes about having Turkey for Christmas are a bit over term.

In November we shall cross northern Greece with stopovers at Travolta and Newton-John. If we get reports that it's safe(ish), we shall cross the Adriatic via Albania, if not, we'll go direct to Italy. It gets a bit vague then. We haven't decided where to go in Italy but "most of it" is favourite at the moment. That should take November.

We then intend to skip (or should it be "prance") across southern France to overwinter in southern Spain. (Let's hope it keeps dry, your tolerance for bad puns might be wearing thin.) Then it's a loop through Portugal and Santiago de Compostela before once more reaching France in Feb./March.

So that's the plan. Anybody fancy meeting us anywhere along the route? Or any ideas where we should go, within reason and decency?
--

MEETING PEOPLE AND MAKING FRIENDS 2




This is a caption competition. What do the bubbles over my head say? Remember this is a respectable blog!

We have met people in Slovenia at Danica Camp so last "friends" blog out of date. What is more they are from Wollaston near home! So we had a good meal out!

Also met Caroline who gave us each a wonderful Shiatsu massage. Highly recommended if you are travelling and meet two Aussies from Perth in a blue van ask Caroline to give you a Shiatsu massage.

Connection - R, my half-brother, lives in Perth, Australia but used to live in Wollaston.
--

BLED CASTLE AND BLED ISLAND








We went to Bled on the train.
Bled is beautiful. We walked from the station up to the castle on a very steep crumbly path and found ourselves on the precipice under the castle wall. Then we found the right path and visited the interesting castle. We continued round the lake and took the very expensive boat to the island. Hope photos tell the story!

ANT ATTACK


Those ants were tiny - very tiny! Smaller than those I have drawn but the red welts and allergic reaction is about right. It itched for days!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

SLOVENIAN SLUG


Giant red slug - how easy would it be to slay this one R?

STORM OVER SLOVENIA





It rained hard last night - we had over two inches of rain at a guesstimate and the Sava and the Bistrica are torrents today. Yesterday we paddled across the Bistrica and I swam inthe Sava.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

EPICBLOGUE - A DISCLAIMER

For the sake of clarity and our own necks, we wish to make it clear that not everything written, drawn or otherwise depicted in this “blog” is necessarily 100% true or intended to be taken as being so. Any references to persons, sole or corporate, living, dead or indeterminate, trade names, governments or any organs thereof are made in good faith or with humorous or satirical intent (unless we’re bigger than you are).

Is that OK Mr. Al-Fayed?
--

THE PENNY (1,20 Eurocents, down from a high of 1,50 Eurocents) DROPS

Do you remember years ago whenever you were short of money, the cheapest (drinkable) wines you you could buy were Yugoslav Rieslings, the slightly better qualities of which came from Lutomer - wherever that was? Now I've tumbled to why there seem to be some gratifyingly cheap wines on the local supermarket shelves. Those "Yugoslav" wines all came from Slovenia! Obviously we need to fill our boots, while we are still here. Dammit!

(It could have been worse. We might have been in Exeter, drinking Rougement Castle, a British Wine blended from industrial alcohol, agricultural slurry and artificial flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives.)

MORE WILD ANIMALS

We are getting to fill in more boxes in the I-Spy Book of European Fauna. (Does anybody remember Big Chief I-Spy? I certainly don't.) Anyway, after Bears, Beavers, Bison, Eagles, Lynx and Pine Martens (maybe) we yesterday came across our fiercest adversaries yet.

It happened like this. Ruth and I set out on a walk through an Alpine valley which would lead us eventually by a 12 - 13 km route to Lake Bohinj. The 2nd. couple of km are up a fairly steep and winding gorge. At the top Ruth said she needed to sit down somewhere for a short rest. A very short rest it was as, when she shortly afterwards jumped up (and she said she was tired!), she had hundreds of ants diligently and intimately exploring her clothing. And biting, both diligently and intimately. What was Ruth to do but rip off much of her clothing, leap around a bit and remonstrate with the pesky formicidi? Talk about Wild Animals! I've never seen anything like it! And neither had the passing motorists.

(Why do we say Bison and not Bisons, Fish and not Fishes, Lynx and not Lynxes?)

About a mile (1,6km) after the ants' nest and, with only 2 or 3 ants still on her, Ruth decided to examine within 2 inches (50,8mm) one of the hay racks they use in the Alps for drying err.. hay. That's when she found the wasps' nest.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

NO MUSIC (2)

.....and then 5 bands come along at once. Two nights ago we went to a Kresna Noc, midsummer festival. 5 traditional bands, singers and dancers. But it's all Tyrolian oom-papa and Ya Hoo Hoo! The first couple of tunes were OK, as were the next. But after a beer and a pancake, we were pleased to be back at the van and FreeCell. Please look at this with your head on one side. I keep forgetting that the video only works vertically!
video

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

MEETING PEOPLE AND MAKING FRIENDS


We have met only one couple – a Dane, Paul, and his wife Johanna, originally from Greenland, while we were staying at Hindsgavl (Middelfart). They invited us into their tent for a bottle of wine and a chat. We have had conversations with many other campers but we have made no friends. Campers usually smile and greet you though less often on big sites. Campers come with friends or family or both and they are definitely transient.
Curiously we are not transient though we are always moving. We are however transients.
We are at home wherever we are on the road.
People have said they envy us and would like to - or will do the same as us one day but considering these frequent expressed desires we have not met anyone like us yet. Some people our age drift around this way a few months each year but again they want to get away – not make new acquaintances.
So far it has been a friendless time.
(Perhaps this is not surprising given the image we currently present to the world.
John and I each have wide-brimmed felt hats – an African safari in John’s case – an Aussie stockman’s in mine. They shrunk in the rain and John and I are wearing them to stretch them. We are each working at our computers in the Wheely cabin as it is raining outside. I guess if you are on holiday you might avoid two British pensioners with funny hats they wear indoors while they bash away at their keyboards!)

It has been a time without friends for the two of us though we have not feel friendless because of all of you out there. It means that your e-mails and phone calls are appreciated and the blog is getting decidedly overloaded by us. Oddly enough we feel quite happy and quite self-sufficient at the present though perhaps unsurprisingly, we have had some good rows to liven things up.
We did realise that perhaps our particular form of transience was unlikely to bring us into touch with either local nationals or visitors of other nationalities. It is disappointing however.

BEARS AND FLOWERS IN THE JULIAN ALPS



BEARS AGAIN
The Triglav National Park has lynx, bears, chamois, and eagles.
John has seen a Golden Eagle on one of his cycle rides and two small deer on one of his runs. We now have a bird book but need a European flower book and a European wild mammal book.

I have today 18.08.08 identified the gentian - it is the Willow Gentian Gentiana Asclepiadea.


FLOWERS AND CHANGING SEASONS
We travelled through many late winters and early springs since we left a cold and very wet English spring in April. We went up mountains to bare trees and dark forests and the next day come down to new green leaf and spring flowers. Full spring did not happen till we arrived in Krakow and then we journeyed for some months between spring and early summer. In Poland and Lithuania we experienced the constant cold summer rain of England but in the Baltics found drought and sunshine.
When we reached Lapland we chased the sun until it never left the sky but at the cost of returning to winter snow, bare stunted trees and lichen and moss.
Everywhere flowers have delighted me but names and species escape my memory and often we travelled not too fast but too quickly to stop and look properly.
In Lichtenfels we saw wood anemones and periwinkles, in Poland the forest floor was covered with lily of the valley and everywhere we stopped people were selling and buying small bunches of them. Lilac began to bloom in Poland, Finland had spectacular lupins, in Lapland there were small yarrow under the trees. As we travelled through Sweden summer flowers appeared in great abundance and rich variety.
Here in Slovenia there are many alpine and other flowers - Mauve cyclamen under the trees, verbascum, a lovely gentian coloured flower on a leafed stem like Solomon’s seal. We missed orchids but see the seed heads on the roadside. Riverbanks have wild thyme. Wish I wasn’t so ignorant of plants but when I leave a garden my botanical knowledge such as it is, remains dug in with the shrubs – I think I have to have my ‘hands-on’ to learn.
It is a bit like this quote quoted by Bruce Chatwin in ‘Songlines’

When I rest my feet, my mind also ceases to function.
J G Hamman

KING TRAMP



John and I make up stories about other campers.
(John – No, I don’t. For example, the German owner of a mobile home parked next to us in Slovenia had a label in the manner of a licence plate stuck to the window of the driver’s door. Ruth said this indicated that his name was “Dieter”. I said it merely showed that he was trying to lose weight.)
Our stories are of course always gratuitous and libellous fictions and we have to keep changing the plot because they aren’t true. For example the English couple at Lisebergbyn had not really made a suicide pact and locked themselves in their campervan – they had actually taken a short cruise on the Skaggerak.
Anyhow - here is another concoction from us (but not from me).

At first all we saw was an Aboriginal ‘humpy’ constructed from a tarpaulin. Later we glimpsed the ‘humpy’ constructor who aroused our scholarly curiosity. On each of our return visits from the ‘conveniences’, (another fabrication though not ours) we collate our observations as to the nature of this person.
As yet we have reached no firm conclusions.
I, of course, am a realist. I suggested that he was recently discharged from hospital – even possibly an escapee! John who is an unusually fine fantasist – thinks he is a King waiting to be reinstated on one of the many Balkan thrones.

These are the facts we have assembled.
• He has a paid-for tag from the camping office.
• He has a smart pull along suitcase just right for jet-travel.
• He is of our years with thick white and yellow hair down to his collar but not untidy – so a man of standing and experience.
• He has lost his spectacles and has to hold the newspapers he is constantly reading close to his nose.
• He never uses less than two basins for his ablutions after his shower. (This John tells me – I do not know this!)
• His clothes – jeans, shirt and pullover and flower-pot man type-hat seem new –ish! His watch of good design perhaps, has a leather strap.
• His leather lace-up shoes when he arrived were ‘tramped’ down at the heels but have since been replaced with similar though not ‘tramped’ down. No slobbish trainers please note! Is this the real meaning of ‘down-at-heels’?

The first week there was a shopping trolley by his tent. Now he has a folding office chair held together with a plastic bag. Piece by piece it seems he has gradually acquired a blow-up mattress, a small camping gaz and a saucepan so he no longer eats from cans.
His ‘humpy’ building skills however, seem limited to say the least.
His first edifice was an awning of a blue plastic bit of sacking and two scavenged sticks to hold it overhead. Quite ineffective it proved to be. He now has a good tarpaulin but has apparently given up the idea of suspending it over his small tent.
He uses plastic packing material to sit on outside his tent. The office chair is kept for drying his laundry which he does daily.
He speaks to no one and sits with his back to the passing world.

So far we have seen no signs of officers come to take him away and none of his loyal subjects and supporters.

King Tramp the Everyman is constructing his life
– or reconstructing it.

He is a fine contrast with the rest of us in our Wheely Cabins, Gazebos and baldaquins or palanquins. Even those who play at the primitive for a week or two in summer are kitted out with every need of womankind, childkind, and mankind. We all drag objects around with us because we believe life is insupportable without acquisitions and possessions.

What is a human without a mortgage?

Perhaps King Everyman the Tramp or Everyman, the Tramp King, would prefer a mortgage – and a roof that stayed over his head.

SLAVING AWAY IN SLOVENIA





John and I are settled and working again. What a treat to be bashing our keyboards separately again.
John playing Freecell on his computer inside the Wheely Cabin and I playing Spider on mine outside. It is great to be connected again (or occasionally) to the internet and to be working at our own stuff. John spends some time cycling or running, I take a dip in the icy waters of the Bistrica where it joins the Savica. I literally mean a dip though I do get wet all over.
Fishing is catch and release and only fly rods. I only fish when there is a chance of eating fish.

The camp is packed. Every night there is a bunch of new campers fighting for a space. Showers are out of the question until midday and laundry, which is expensive, must be done at midnight or is very hot but thunderstorms are common and a great relief when they occur. Insects aren’t at all bad – hope they stay that way. They have got worse almost as I wrote this!
Smells from cow dung – come and go on the summer breezes.
It could be worse . . . dawn. Queues are common for the loos. We have worked our way to a spot near the river bank and hope that no one puts a tent up in front of us. We have a little privacy and are only a walk from the inconveniences provided it is not urgent – then it is a run –

This is high summer and we are resting here in the hope that we can survive without spending too much money in reasonably attractive surroundings.
It is a very beautiful area on the edge of a huge National Alpinr Park which is why there are so many campers.
We are near shops here. The other site on the Lake is even lovelier, therefore more crowded, no level parking and 4 kms from shops.

NO MUSIC

It is intensely tragic and I do mean it! We have heard almost no traditional or local music on our travels. Campsites occasionally play supermarket American pop trash in the conveniences. Crap music for those crap times? Local radio stations seem pretty westernised – largely boring young people squeaking noisily and bullying each other just like home. Ugh! There are folk and world concerts but they are occasional and expensive. You do get traditional and folk music in museums and at traditional events like jousting at and spitting tourists. We didn’t hear music anywhere as a naturally occurring spontaneous expression of a real culture. (Apart from the Accordionist in Liechenstein.) We have watched aand listened to Slovenian music while we have been here but there has been no musical evenings to beat The Carps singing led by D and S or the Bedford Folk Club or the North Crawley carol singing - thanks J and M! So here are Slovenian school kids performing for us.
video

BOOTED AGAIN


In England I bought Omega 3 supplements because John and I on our travels have not been able to eat much fish.
I distrust Boots because they are practically a monopoly but you tell me what you think of this?
Cod Liver Oil for Joints.
Fish Oil for the Brain.
Practically identical ingredients if you read the label. Each provides the RDA – the recommended daily allowance of Omega 3. What are the real differences and really different effects?
You are however, warned not to overdo Omega 3 supplements though sold them together without reference to each other. Will I die from Omega 3 poisoning or Boots marketing strategies? Have I been duped or booted again.
Bloody hate Boots!

A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME


From our camp-side Crespo one-touch loungers we have been watching how birds are adapting to people.
(After 3 months we can at last erect the Crespos with two touches, no swearing and no sympathetic Germans watching us leave them flat on the grass again.) (John – I knew Ruth was quite a tough character but I never expected her to floor so many nice Germans)

We were scavenged by skolly birds (seagulls) at Rastila where we were asked not to feed the pigeons. Here in Slovenia we are scavenged by chaffinches. They fly circuits around the site and call to each other. Whenever a group of campers finish lunch and leave to wash up, they descend in flocks. This morning a blue tit made a landing on the hot gas grill plate to check out the breakfast sausages!
The oddest bird behaviour we saw was an l.b.j. or possibly a sparrow – not a fledging but maybe an immature. It behaved like a nestling to get humans to feed it. Though it could fly perfectly well, it fluffed up its body, sunk its head back so that its beak and gullet were as wide as possible, fluttered helplessly, and squawked like a baby.
Perhaps it had been hand-reared? Perhaps it is a trend?
Dreadful thought but soon all wild creatures will be hand-reared and people will say ‘aaaaahhhh sweet!’ instead of ‘yuck’ and realising what a travesty taming wildlife is.
Then roll on bird ’flu.
Revenge of the Avians.

Doctoral Observations


I seem to have been working on a PhD since early childhood but suppose I shall finish or give up eventually. In the meantime here are a few observations which have occurred to me:-

Patient: Doctor, Doctor, my hair keeps falling out.
Doctor: Tell it not to be so quarrelsome.

Patient: Doctor, Doctor, I’ve got a grumbling appendix.
Doctor: Hmm, it sounds more like a stomach complaint to me.

Patient: Doctor, Doctor, I’m feeling down in the mouth.
Doctor: Try plucking the chicken before you cook it.

Patient: Doctor, Doctor, I seem to have this continual pain in the backside.
Doctor: The divorce lawyer is next door.

Patient: Doctor, Doctor, I keep repeating myself.
Doctor: I see. Next time you come to see me, just try saying, “Doctor”.

And I couldn’t resist an old favourite:-
Receptionist: Doctor, the Invisible Man still is in the Waiting Room.
Doctor: Tell him I can’t see him.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

WILD CREATURE IN THE VOSGES MOUNTAINS OF FRANCE


As we drove through the Vosges Mountains on our way to Slovenia we almost hit this creature. I gasped because it was so close to the front left wheel and it looked so strange. I did my best to record what I saw and we have looked on the internet but haven't found any convincing or likely animal that it might be.

Any ideas anyone?

The road was deeply shadowed and I can't be sure of the colour or the length of its legs.
Might it be a Pine Marten?
I am sure the colour was grey not brown but the dark muzzle was definite. It had something rather monkeyish about it. It wasn't moving fast and turned its head to look at us in a not cat-like way.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

A Postcard-Modernist View of History

I return today to a theme that engaged my attention (if not my readers’) on a previous occasion (see Post “Adrift on Land”, 18th. June). In that Post I related some thoughts that I and Ruth had had following our travels through North-Eastern Europe concerning the mutability of frontiers, cultures and moralities. We are now at the marches of the Balkans (the word Balkan is originally Turkish and means “mountains”, seemingly) and, in preparation, I have been reading, fairly arbitrarily, The Break-up of the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe (Ghita Ionescu), The Penguin Atlas of World History, Vol. 1, The Penguin Atlas of Medieval History (Colin McEvedy), The Penguin Atlas of Diasporas (Chaliand and Rageau), Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Rebecca West) and Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan. I had been hoping that some of these would fill in some of the many gaps in my knowledge of Balkan history and even, with luck, explain why things turn out as they do.

If in our learning about North-Eastern European history we had difficulty in separating heroes from villains, what I have read about the Balkans almost makes me doubt whether there is any reliable morality at all. The VIth. Century Greek philosopher Stephen of Byzantium wrote that,”Mythology is what never was, but always is”. If you had as much difficulty in the recent former Yugoslav wars in deciding whose side you were on as I had, it looks as though we were in good company. In the latest round of wars in the Balkans, well-meaning Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims have set about each other with a ferocious intensity, embraced their enemies and killed their friends. Then they all change places and start again. Kaplan wrote that the Balkans is a place full of small nations which used to be great, remember that greatness and want all of it back. All of it, right?

To me it seems that Europe is like a Coach Station waiting room. Various peoples are sitting around waiting for their time to come – or come again. A group of Poles and Lithuanians come in, occupy the best seats near the fire and then dash out. Ottomans rush in at the door, push the Serbs and Macedonians out of their way and take their seats. The Ottomans leave and there is pushing and shoving between the Greeks and Albanians about taking their places. Chaos reigns for a time as a crowd of Communist school children fill the room arguing about who was in charge of the ideology. Meanwhile a departing traveller has left a small bundle of religious bigotry over by the drinks dispenser. Ah! It’s been picked up by some Romanian Saxons on their way to Frankfurt. From time to time an old Hungarian cleaner comes in and sweeps up some of the leftover culture. Near panic breaks out as a horde of Tartars rush in. No problem, though, they were only looking for the toilets. What's that hanging out of the Ruthenian's rucksack? Although there are some quieter moments in the night when there are few coaches running, the waiting room is never entirely at rest. There is always someone on the move. As you might think, the restless is history.

(I’m not sure that any of this is actually a post-modernist view, but I understand very little of post-modernist theory and like it not a bit.)



Ruth has added a Post-Modern Hat Dance that John performed in on Friday night.

video

Friday, 1 August 2008

BUNDU BASHING BLOG ABOUT ART




This Blog is to float ideas for my next exhibition which will depend heavily on this year’s journey. It is primarily for KH, but also T, R, K and B so they can input critically for me but anyone else who is interested may contribute. ‘Bundu Bashing’ is what you do when you set off to explore the bush without a defined destination in mind.

MAKING TRACKS AND MAKING ART

I never know how to start making art.
Finding the form to express ideas is always the same struggle. Words may spark ideas but they are not enough on their own. I play a bit with paper and coloured inks and make childish smudges but I find that I can’t draw the things I want to draw.
The journey, this journey is the resource for this art that I am trying to make. What aspect or part of the journey do I want to depict? Can it be done? How? Why? John’s and my journey appears to go direct from one point to another down a prescribed route. Any creative journey especially mine, wanders about and becomes mired down, sets off on tangential paths, follows ‘will-o’-the-wisps’ and then goes backwards for a time exactly as this piece of writing will do.

We all talk about the ‘Journey of Life’ dah dah! Sort of Shakespeare, sort of Zen, sort of Christ stuff, but for John and I in our ‘moving’ Mobilhome, the concept and the reality have merged. It is exciting, challenging, egotistical and humbling.
We aren’t the only people to do this kind of thing – for some it is an ethnic life style though fewer of those people are able to continue being nomads. For some no doubt it is a permanent and private choice to live differently. Nomads and the nomadic life that is another ‘way’ I must follow up.

John and I had not articulated any very clear purpose before we left our village to become nomads. We are just beginning to try and do so now. We are both rather chastened by what we so carefully planned and so thoughtlessly undertook in April. Not that is dangerous or arduous physically, but it is dangerous in that it has changed us. We are now living with different people and have become different ourselves so we regard each other nervously and wonder what we will turn into next. Probably family won’t see the changes we think we see in ourselves and in each other. Essentially I guess that we are still the same, no better than we ever were.

The creative process however, is about change and changing and sometimes even the creative object or product is not fixed but changing too.
Making art is dangerous if it creates changes and changing.

Anyhow as you can see from the rambling nature of this writing it is hard to keep on ‘track’ with creative ideas. Finding the focus takes me down many ‘tracks’ that seem to go nowhere. This confusion is the creative process.
‘Out of confusion comes art.’

ANOTHER TRACK

Immediately the word ‘track’ echoes the idea of the journey.
What is a ‘track’ exactly?
Am I now way ‘off the ‘track’’ of discovering for myself what kind of art I want to make.
To get back to ‘track’. To get back ‘on track’, ‘track’ is a good word. It reminds me of tracking game through the bush, of the tracks I walked down as a child – those winding single file dusty red-brown paths that wandered across the vlei near my home. Those tracks were walked first by wild creatures, then by hunters, then by the settled people from the villages and their cattle. The wild creatures’ logic in finding the easiest, though not the quickest or straightest path, meant that no matter how lightly they passed over the grass, humans could follow. In the wild humans are wisest to follow these faint ‘tracks’ of wise animals. Eventually there is a path, beaten by bare feet that is kinder to use than the straight path macheted from the bush. So ‘tracks’ are at least two things, the path, and the actual marks of feet or paws, or claws that make them.
I do draw from personal experience to make art so these memories are relevant.

A DIRT TRACK

What does the dictionary say about ‘tracks’? Pretty much what I have suggested above with the interesting addition for me as an artist of ‘tracking in dirt’ on one’s feet into inappropriate places like one’s home!
Art is dirt ritualised.
Creative paths follow wild paths and paths made by other artists: they are new when we walk them for the first time ourselves.


BEATING ABOUT THE BUSH

I thought to try another track and ‘stop beating about the bush’ but then John and I digressed onto the meanings of ‘beating about the bush’
John says it is either ‘beating a bush’ to see if a bird or an idea fly up, or it means ‘come to the point and stop ‘beating about’ or wasting time’. I see it as ‘beating about in the bundu’ (bush) when you are lost and trying to find a track to follow home. Perhaps also the birds that fly out of the scrub will be unique and lovely.

ANOTHER TRACK

I need to find the elements that I can use to make my art.

This means returning to the elements that I have previously used.
So I search my ‘track’ record. This might be a tendentious and tedious pun but I start to wander about the daily metaphors that we use that have connections with journeys. However I don’t want to explore that path now though I will mark it for later perhaps.

ELEMENTS

What are the elements that I use in my art?
• Colour and mixed media used as a process.
• Some element of women’s domestic arts like embroidery or weaving.
• Drawing - both abstract and storytelling.
• Installation and conceptual ideas coming out of feminism and politics.
• My personal experiences in life.

So process is important and a journey is a process.
So also is connecting – ideas – concepts – processes and media.
Is a journey about connecting?
Is a journey about joining the end to the beginning?

CONNECTING THE END TO THE BEGINNING.

Is this how we hope to make sense of our individual lives?


ANOTHER TRACK

I need to return down the paths I have followed extracting the significances, the connections, the elements that attract. I am playing but not just playing with words to be clever. I have to keep throwing the ‘bones’, the elements up into the air like a witchdoctor, nganga, until they, bones or elements, start to make patterns and therefore sense of a kind.

CONNECTING THE END TO THE BEGINNING.

Is this what art tries to do?

MAKING SENSE OF ENDS AND BEGINNINGS BY MEANS VARIOUS.

‘Art is not a plaything, but a necessity, and its essence, form, is not a decorative adjustment, but a cup into which life can be poured and lifted to the lips and be tasted. If one’s own experience has no form, if events do not come handily to mind and disclose their significance, we felt about ourselves as if we were reading a bad book.’
Rebecca West ‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’

West’s thesis is the opposite of that made by Kurt Vonnegut who gave us the title of our Blog. He said that we all think our lives are stories until we reach sixty years and find out that we are only the epilogue. As I incline to Vonnegut‘s ironic pessimism, I make a different connection between the two sentences/halves of West’s idea.
We may need to believe that our lives are meaningful stories. I personally would love it if my individual life made sense and had value but I rather think that history disproves it. However I think that art is more significant in the face of an apparently meaningless world. Our search for patterns is not ‘a decorative adjustment’ but a human necessity. It is as much an ingrained human need as sex, food and babies, according to my loose translation of some of Camille Paglia’s writing.