From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.
Was halfheartedly painting today. All I have to show for it is this pink version of my bicycle, which is red in reality (a Ruby Belle retro bicycle by ProGear, Melbourne.) This is just a small detail from the larger painting Moulin D’or, which is coming along very slowly.
I’m at that point where I don’t know what it’s about, or why I’m doing it, or whether each new thing that I add to the painting is right. Unsure about everything. Unhappy with everything. Ready to turn back. I know from the last painting that I have to push ahead, regardless of how I feel; I cannot expect to be happy with everything I do to this piece of canvas…especially not at the beginning. I never am. I need to get to that place Kafka refers to…the point where everything pulls together, and I’m not working blind anymore.
The Golden Mill…grinding dirt into gold…spinning a dream. Was thinking about this visit I’m making to Malaysia, and how I’ve decided to take my bike along, and cycle from KL to Butterworth: 367 kms. I’ve never done more than 25 kilometers at one time…and here I want to do 367 in the equatorial heat of an unfamiliar Southeast Asian country? What started as a crazy idea has turned into intense longing. I really want to do this. It’s taking on the proportion of a dream. Not a massive, life-altering dream, but a compact, concrete and doable one. A dream with a definite goal, a finish line. It’s good to have a mix of small and big dreams…pepper your long journey through deserts of heroic effort with little oases dreams…like a rest and a snack before setting off again.
I haven’t had many dreams in my life…at least not that I was ever aware of. I’m not a very ambitious nor competitive person. I’m actually really happy with who I am and what my everyday life is like—which can be a good thing—but it makes me pretty complacent. My parents seemed a bit scared to dream, and I think I’ve inherited that meekness. Nothing wrong with being happy with what I’ve got and where I am, but I think I should still be incubating a few little dreams…even if it’s just to find out what my limitations are when I hit a wall chasing the dream. After all, there’s just this one life (that I’m sure about, anyway)…this may be my only chance.
The words scrawled to the right of the bicycle is Kris’s personal motto. “Dream. Without dreams you are as good as dead.” Kris has a zillion dreams. And he’s one of the few people I know who actually works methodically through the list. So I know that it’s not impossible and I don’t want to be the sort of person who talks, for the rest of her life, about the one big thing she did when she was in her 20s!
Other bits from the day: I’ve put a patchwork journal together…
and found this is old silkscreened print that I did a few years ago. The stencils (3 colors) were cut by hand, the design is Shucho’s “Girl with A Mouse”. I’ve posted this photograph because the print was lying around, and when I picked it up to put it away, I got some funny ideas involving ukiyo-e. I need to work on the ideas before I shoot my mouth off here. So this is just a teaser. 🙂