For me every departure and every return involves a complete re-adjustment of focus, of purpose, of intention, as if the internal and external machinery which sets me in motion has ground to a halt. Like when you put new batteries in a digital camera and the screen message scolds: Date and time not set and then you have to re-enter the whole shebang - year, month, day, hour, minutes - because the stupid camera has forgotten everything.
I am that stupid camera. It's me who needs re-setting every time but every time is not quite the same and with every departure and every return over the years, tiny changes take place, a kind of evolution and who knows what the end result will be or if there ever is an end result but I have a feeling it's all to the good. Going away is good, probably essential for an artist. And returning is good, certainly essential, but difficult.
There's a poem by Blaise Cendrars which begins (my translation) like this:
Quand tu aimes il faut partir When you love you must go
Quitte ta femme quitte ton enfant Leave your wife leave your child
Quitte ton ami quitte ton amie Leave your boyfriend leave your girlfriend
Quitte ton amante quitte ton amant Leave your mistress leave your lover
Quand tu aime il faut partir. When you love you must go.
(read the whole poem in French here)
The title is: Tu est plus belle que le ciel et la mer and, in my view, it's Cendrars' hymn to love, passionate but not sentimental, leaving love behind only to stretch it out like a fishing net to collect all of life and then offer it back to loved ones, transformed. It reminds me of Van Gogh in his outsider solitude, caressing with brush and pen everything he saw.
What I like about going away is leaving the familiar. Even if, especially if, the familiar is good and is comfortable. Being somewhere else, where the walls are not your walls, the objects not your objects, the faces not the faces you know and the hours not the hours you waste or use at home - all this shakes up your body and your psyche, reminding you that you can always start again, no matter how late it is.
So I'm a bit overwhelmed by the familiar at the moment, dealing with some boring stuff that needs to be dealt with and trying to retain the impetus towards painting that was rekindled in Tavira. Hence my bloggish silence.
Don't go away, if you're here, and come back if you've given up on me. I am most definitely still here and will be visible again very shortly. �
PS: My website is currently being transferred to a new host and as it includes the main Blaugustine blog, I can't add new posts there until the transfer is complete. This should be within the next day or three.