Yesterday I was 'in residence' at The Courtyard Cafe, Chagford, where my exhibition's hanging throughout September.
At first my husband very supportively came with me, but as the cafe was busy, that meant us all squashed along a high bench with Pickle squeezing her juice carton and sending jets of sticky every which way. No way was I getting my canvasses out. I decided there was no point me being there. Thomas wisely decided I was trying to avoid it and should stay and see if there was a point. Sometimes he's so annoyingly right. (When he's not annoyingly wrong, of course.)
So off they went and I slowly got out my little canvas and we stared blankly at one another for a while. I was briefly spared this public block because the corner table cleared long enough for me to hang a new piece:
Under a Rosy Sky
Then some words happened. Now, this is when being 'in residence' becomes tricky. I'm supposed to be arting, but now I've fallen into a words space and I can't help that. So I wrote for a while. The small proportion of words not crossed out at the end were these:
In the comforting dark,
By the glinting flame,
Under the beaming moon,
With the warming dawn,
It came from my desire to be alone right then, but also reflects the antisocial side of me which could merrily live under a rock, speaking to no-one. It's taken me so long to learn that much of the comfort of being alone is really an avoidance of the anxieties I have in company. In fact, it may be premature to be putting that in the past tense. And that last line speaks the slightly desperate delight I feel when real connection is made. For all my barriers I am hungry for that. Who is not?
The words had broken the freeze spell and I did some good work creating a background to support this poem. (Uncomfortable with that word - it's what proper poets write.) Meanwhile I got some good feedback on how I could clarify my pricing and some nice comments. I was more distracted than at home, but the distractions were brief; no-one demanded milk from me!
Exhibition including Under a Rosy Sky
This is what the exhibition looks like now. And the great news is that, as well as a very slow trickle of prints and postcards, I have sold an original: Tree in Sunny Field.
On that happy note, I shall wish you all adieu and attend to my whistling kettle.