Relax. 3 Luibs Cottages, Kilmartin, Scotland.

“Recently I’ve had huge waves of realization as to why I am still up here, in Argyll. It’s as if here, in the cottage with my boyfriend, I’m beginning to be able to trust and really relax into myself. Enjoy the possibilities within me, visualize creative futures and see that they are all possible from here. Often I feel tense and nervous still, but then realize I do not have to!

There is no ettiquette to abid to, no questions of dependance, no gratefulness to show, no pressure to ‘display’, ‘behave’ or ‘be ‘normal”….I do not even have to employ the kind of defense system necessary while on the road or in the city.

Through this I am learning a humility, allowing myself to become smaller, softer. It feels good, a balance being born. The only danger is completely forgetting how to protect myslef, or recognizing what shit that is in the first place and keeping myself in the ‘outback’, in ease and a relaxed mental space, with no challenge, until I die!

Its amasing how things work out. His landlady has contacted him suggesting that he rent out her room. I cannot imagine a more nourishing place than this to be and he has suggested that I move in with him. I’d be paying rent and have my own space. We both need/feel good for a bit of genuine company and support. It is almost too good to be true!

I can cycle about here and get fit. I can complete the jobs at the farm by arranging days to come over and work therefore not appearing ungrateful.

I’d like to get a camera to take some natural shots…the light on a tree, the mists in the early morning. I’d also like to begin collecting natural materials to sell at a market stall in the city. I can easily get a van down south and bring it up here to do up….for further adventures.

Although I miss India and my friends down south I am essentially happy here and believe it is too good an opurtunity to miss. I hope that folk will come up and visit sometimes. In reality also there is nothing stopping me making the effort, on this tiny island!, of going down to visit them also.

This is the most stable, non-pressured, open space that has ‘happened’ for me….provided that he and I continue to get on!

If feelings of loosing touch become too strong, I only have to go…..Relax.”

Thursday 5th December 1996. Braevallich Cottage, Scotland.

(2017– an unusually detailed, day to day, mundane entry. Editing the 5 pages of writing to give just the flavour! I think I was experimenting with writing styles and needing to air some personal frustrations!)

“Bitter sweet, winter days….foggy, misty glens and saffron, snow burdeoned, clouds. The low winter sun casts a pale yellow aura on the barks and bracken. Air that feels like ice. Frost lies in the shadows.
Slept badly, tossing and turning, awoke to the dream sound of my mother crying. I felt very frightened….took a long time to get to sleep again.”

Followed by a long description of a very frustrating day, trying to get my bike into a car, discovering that the car would not start, the saga of trying to find jump leads on my Dad’s farm ending with this telling sentence…

“…and when I went to hug him and to apologize for using his time, he stiffened and curtly pointed out how I always seemed to have to spread my problems widley and involve everyone in my shit…. I saw red. He said I should realise how lucky I am to even have a car. I do not ‘have’ a car. I get to use the precious farm car, that would normally be sitting virtually unused. I pay my own fuel, I maintain and keep an eye on it….o.k. it is depreciating, but it is an old , well-used car. of course I am grateful for being able to use it and I express that, or try to! I do not need to be told to be and therefore subtley accused of being irresponsible and disrespectful!!! Aaargh.
I’d spent 3 hours trying to get his car started, to take it to his mechanic to remedy some serious faults that would have got worse if no action was taken. I felt gulity that I had bothered everyone and stupid that I was not able to do it all myself…..judge from the above what is true. I began the drive into Lochgilphead in angry floods of tears…”

(after leaving vehicle at the garage, cycled the 6 miles back to my boyfreind’s house)

“Such a beautiful cycle ride back. Really cleared my head….The bridge over the canal was spectacular. The pink, slate reflective water, the heron flying through the clinging mists….”

Remembering freedom and feeling like a sinner. Bamburgh, Wednesday 4th December. 1996.

(2017– short sections, copied from a longer piece, regarding a family journey to my great aunt’s funeral in Bamburgh, Northumberland)

“Eight hours in the back of the family wagon today….to remember my dear great aunt…who died last week, naturally and not before her time.

We are a bizarre bunch. I feel so disconnected somehow.

Greeted in Bamburgh by the searing, bitter wind and big skies of Northumberland.

…awkard in high heels and billowing skirt, ‘going to seed’ body and hair, make-up less, due to my natural beliefs, and my nose ring removed as a concession to the occasion. Suddenly dirty nails and peeling nail varnish….

….our family, en masse, has an embarressing habit of taking over, entire, public spaces. We seem to roar our appreciation, or distaste, at immeidiate surroundings, explore them, arrange ourselves over a vast area and relax as if they are our front room. The old guy, trying to have a quiet pint, in the corner, will definately have something to say when he gets home!….

..I swallowed my giant yorkshire pudding, peas and chips, along with any misconceptions, I’d ever had, that I’d ever fit in, comfortably, in their eccentric world. In some ways I compliment it beautifully….but the secure fantasy of it all unsettles me.

Back into the bitter air. Better.

The church stood, solid and square between blackened bent trees…

She had chosen three, intriquing and obscure hymns that no-one sung very well. I did cry, but more for the fragility of human lives and the lack of any true, spiritual meaning, than out of greif.

She had represented freedom to me…a blunt directness in speech….a filthy sense of humour….a terrific courage….and revelry in spinsterdom.

The skies outside the church windows turned moody and wild, threatening snow. This was the Northumberland she loved. I longed to go. To escape to the dunes, perhaps with a miniture malt and some tabacco, and remember her there instead. Although she had been a devout Christian and her faith was a big part of her strength, my great aunt was most herself on those desolate beaches.

I took communion and felt like a sinner. I suffered and felt guilty under the eyes of the Lord and left the church, back into the suffocating back of the car and on to the grave, grave yard.

Wondering about people. How far beyond our grasp the understanding really is of these worlds within worlds, the living and dying. How pathetic our attempts to rationalize it all….

…collected the dog who smelt of biscuits and someone elses house, then back to ‘home’, Braevallich, with all of it’s histories.

I dreamt of a new life with D. while that little voice , in the back of my brain, kept repeating, “Nah, fuck it all.” to romance.”

Medicine Cards reading. Braevallich Cottage, Scotland. 1996.

(2017 – I owned a pack of Medicine Cards for years and used them regularly before they were shed, mysteriously, in travelling.

I have often considered creating/producing my own version, using the Celtic traditions and Scotland’s wildlife, more recently.

It has been quite a powerful experience transcribing this diary entry from 1996 as it could not describe more perfectly where I feel I am NOW!  Seven year cycles perhaps!!

It has been a long, hard, slog of serious self-transformation this last decade for me. From depression through to, what I can only describe as, some form of contentment/enlightenment! I look back on this reading wishing I had, really, understood the truth/power in these words back then….so many mistakes could have been avoided.

There is one notable sychronicity here too…in that my current work is very involved in all things ‘antelope’/’deer’, ( I was actually challenged by a real roe deer in the woods recently, sustaining a reasonable scar!) which I had forgotten represents ‘knowing oneself’. Encouraging. Another strong realization was that none of my ‘healing’ and ‘coming to self’, my growing confidence as an artist, would have been possible without the internet. I was ready back then. It just hadn’t been invented.

The footnote made me smile. The seeing of cycles, but still being, youthfully, obsessed with appearance! )

Spiritual nature and abilities.

HUMMINGBIRD/JOY

The dance of the medicine that solves the riddle of duality. Love charms. Joining people and instinctive ability to seek beauty. Helping others to ‘taste’ life. Dies quickly if caged or imprisoned. The magik of living.

New growth. New beginnings in relation to environment. True feelings.

SKUNK/RESPECT

Respect. ‘Walk your talk’ ‘Respect yourself’. Attraction. Learning to handle energy flows. Body language. Walk tall. Be proud.

Dream within the dream. Purpose in life. Life mission.

MOOSE/SELF ESTEEM

‘Tell the world’ with joy and pride. Enjoyment of sharing. Balance between getting things done and doing it yourself. Teacher of children, including warnings. Feel good about your journey. You should. Encouragment.

Inner wisdom. Use this to locate it – possibly inthe subconscious. Breaking of self deception.

BUTTERFLY/TRANSFORMATION

Astute observation of self-transformation. Listen to the life around and heed your inner self.

Power sheild of the self. The Knowing of oneself.

ANTELOPE/ACTION

To do. Doing. Sacrifice. Love of Life. Honour the gifts of nature. Strength of mind and heart. Ability for quick decisive action. ‘The time is now. The power is you.’
(scribbled at the bottom of the page)
mmmm….I am getting fatter again. How can it be? The cyclic motion of matter over the years!?

Unique stability. Braevallich Cottage, Scotland. 1996.

My big fear is that through this, gnostic, self-isolation I will loose the freinds I love so much.

As my attitude changes.

Fear that they will find me boring, ‘unattractive’ when I see them next….or that they will simply forget me.

Fear of becoming my mother…..in that she stands alone telling the rest of the world they are mad.

Fear of loosing the strength to keep moving on….in order to maintain my unique learned stability.

Alone.

Extracts from dreams. Braevallich Cottage, Scotland. 1996.

23/3/96

‘….cliff-hanging village, like Eredine? Wooden, roofless houses. A strange hotel. Rows of wooden, cell-style rooms. Rickety van, full of children. Horrific time on forestry track juction, forestry trucks at high speed. No brakes. Rolling backwards downhill. Survived just. ‘Pakistan’ mixed with Scotland.

24/3/96

‘….wake up in art college. Choosing to stay outside normal accomodation. Buildings were mad. Beautiful benders made out of junk. Old freind was there, joining me on the ‘outside’. He had a beautiful carpet and an incredible crystal sculpture in his bag. Anxiety over him. More extraordinary rooms…’

25/3/96

‘…two enormously fat women battling in a swimming pool…..’

26/3/96

‘…..blood red gallery. Pictures of models stabbed and wounded. Huge prints. Very , very high roof. A spooky artist, elderly, in a suit, sitting on the floor in knee length socks while he introduced the work….’

27/3/96

‘…wedding seen through windows. Rugby shirts and no.1 haircuts. Greek style line dancing. Bride and groom at a huge wooden table. Some strange ritual (rather like a Japanese business presentation!) but the exchange of, partaking of, cornflakes!!! Couteous sort of meeting. “Come and see the balcony!” Bizarre make-up is normal.Older people all…..’