Saturday, August 28, 2010

No Happy Ending

This week, I drove south from Brisbane to Sydney in my father's borrowed truck, a distance of almost a thousand kilometres.
When I left Sydney to be by my father's bedside, a couple of months ago, when it became apparent that his cancer was spreading, I hadn't intended to be away very long. But having decided to live near to him for a while, there were a number of things to resolve.
I had to give up the lease on my studio in the centre of the city. I reclaimed my dog, a small terrier/poodle cross that had been left in the care of friends of friends. I re-organised and down-sized my storage facility and picked up from it a lot of much-needed art materials, including several hundred dollars worth of paints, brushes and paper stock. I delivered art to impatient collectors.
When I wasn't been humping stuff down flights of steps from the studio, I rummaged through scores of cardboard boxes, looking for art materials, personal effects and other items packed hurriedly by my mother and an assistant when they had to empty my house, an hour's drive north of Sydney, shortly after I was admitted to a psychiatric clinic at the beginning of the year. Nothing was labelled – there was little time then – and they had no idea of what was most useful or important to me. Old clothes, back issues of art magazines and valuable working drawings were packed together, as were books, stationery, tax files and a collection of sex toys. It took two full days to find half of what I was looking for.
I can't pretend that unravelling my ties with Sydney has been easy for me. I think of it as my home and if were not for my sick father, Brisbane would be the last place on earth I'd choose to live and work, even temporarily. My work-load is still very heavy and if anything, I find it even harder to get through when I'm there. I have become more rigorously disciplined, more focussed, but it has been at a cost: lonelier and more isolated than I've ever been, I risk losing sight of what I really want from my life.

10 comments:

kEith kimmel said...

The war is over.
self loses

Karen Martin Sampson said...

The old saying, "this too shall pass" is so true. I have been in a similar situation when my parents got old and ill and needed me - everything was in turmoil for me. It is a special blessing, believe it or not, to be able to be with your father right now and all this upset and disarray will sort itself out. You are strong.

Hazel Dooney said...

Wishful thinking on your part, 'Keith'. Whoever you're talking about, it's not me. Every life and has its trials and I'm facing mine - but I'm still here. The war's not over – hell, the battle has hardly begun – and I sure as hell haven't lost.

rino said...

If in doubt, get a massage.

Leith said...

Hang in there Hazel.
Weather this period through and hold fast to your lifeline, art.
It will be what helps make sense of it all.. your move, your upheaval, your emotions . The dark and the light.
There is good art on your horizon and land in sight.

With hope,
Leith.

ani said...

given that in this moment you know what from life you will be ok... sometimes just take a break and be with yourself.. really be. and in the silence of not doing when you listen and learn then anything in life can be your guide!

~ hugs ~

bruna said...

hazel,
you won´t regret doing the right thing. i wish you PEACE - power and strenght you definitely already have enough (just don´t forget this fact).
hugs.
bruna

email @ ►cynaga@sbcglobal.net said...

*hugs*

The Happy Peasant said...

Sometimes we are given epiphanies of beauty in amongst the hell. You won't see these epiphanies until this nightmare passes. But, you will think back on it and draw strength from it. You are being thought of and prayed for (:

shana said...

while struggling with discipline, focus and isolation myself it brings me great consolation to read your post. displacement is an unwanted persistent companion. maybe allowing the feeling of losing sight opens the doorway in. keep making art.