Stories

When your boat is sinking, fix the hole and stop bailing

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5 Colour Weave Wheel
This sculpture is very significant to me in quite a number of different ways.

I suppose it represents the perpetual turning of the wheel but this time it has clicked into a new gear. New materials, new techniques, new horizons. Something less ephemeral, that has taken longer to create and yet still made only from materials gathered from hedgerows nearby. All natural colours, no dyeing or anything else required.

Land art has opened me up and turned me inside out and revealed my soul. It has shown me there may be a different way to exist, provided clarity through the fog and given me a whole new purpose. A purpose that now seems deep set within me and crucially it is now coupled with the drive and self confidence to make something happen. This was always missing from my life before.

I am amazed and also saddened by the amount of people I talk to who feel they are trapped in the hamster wheel of working life. Each one of them dreaming of a statistically very unlikely lottery win or a key that will unlock the padlock that chains them to their desk and a life of boredom and drudgery.

I used to spend my life like many others do trying to portray to the world something I was not. I bought gadgets and expensive things to create an aura around myself of success and wealth and yet I was neither successful nor wealthy, monetarily or within my soul.

I know now that all I was trying to do was fill the hole inside of me but instead all I did was draw a curtain across it. And I now see this going on all around me.

Some people I know in particular are very much stuck running around this wheel. A wheel that gradually screws itself into the ground as their ostentatiousness that is needed to cover their path has to grow and grow and grow. New car? Check. New big house? Check. Personalised number plates? Check. The constant need to tell everyone how successful and happy you are? Check. The never ending urge to be better than everyone around you? Check. Real contentment and happiness inside? That check bounces.

If you feel the need to constantly tell people that you are very successful and happy then you are really missing the point. If there is a hole in the bottom of your boat that is letting in water then spending your cash on a bigger and bigger ladle to bail out the water until it is solid gold and diamond encrusted means you haven't noticed that your boat is still sinking. If you spend long enough telling all your friends that you are better, happier and more successful than them then eventually you won't have any friends to tell any more. One day you'll need to realise that you need to fix the boat and stop bailing. A brand new GPS boat navigation system isn't going to do that even if your boating neighbours are still using a compass and a sextant.

The last few years due to unforeseen circumstances I've had to live a more frugal life. What at first seemed like something to endure turned into a blessing in disguise. During this time I learned to make land art sculptures. I tried to get the best out of my camera when before, in order to improve the quality of results I would have spent excessive money on bigger and more expensive equipment whilst never getting to grips with what I already had. And as I emerge from this period and once again I could spend money on pointless gadgets I find I am not tempted. In fact I want to down size and have less, want to want less and strive to have less.

Land art is free. Free of constraints of the modern world and nature provides her materials for free. Walking, wondering and exploring are free and freeing. There isn't much else that I need.

I had a lucid dream last night. It was my first spontaneous one. A few years ago I trained myself to have them and after a lot of effort I had a few, so it was very interesting to have another one without any volition.

When I realised I was dreaming in my dream the intensity of everything increased ten fold. I tried to make the sun rise and it did and then I had another go at flying. Normally when I have tried this before I kind of float four foot above the ground Superman style, but can only manage a walking pace glide. I will myself to go faster and climb into the sky but it doesn't happen, it's like I am only powered by wound up elastic band and not a Rolls Royce engine.

The after affects of a lucid dream are a feeling of elation carried into the waking day. To go with this the sky was blue and bright and the golden autumn sunshine made my soul soar up into the clouds that I couldn't quite reach in my dream.

Whether my feeling of optimism for the future is due to the weather and the intensity of the dream doesn't matter to me. As I sit here typing these words I feel the clock has turned one more notch into a new phase of my life. A future with many more days feeling free amongst nature, the sun shining and the sky blue.

And then perhaps one day I can release myself from that low level hover and at last fly up into the sky.

Oh and hello to the art teacher I met out at Birk Bank this evening. It was nice to chat and I hope one day I do as well as your electrician mate!