The Cursed Flu

I'm sure there are many artists out there who feel as I do when it comes to the business of catching a cold.....HELL NO!! I don't have time, when is there room in my life to get sick, are you out of your mind!!??

Not just because of the time that it takes to actually be ill and lie dying under a blanket while (hopefully) someone feeds you chicken soup, but the time it takes to get back in focus once you're back on your feet again.

I caught the flu recently.....the first illness I've had in 3 years, and I was so shocked and stunned at the concept of being sick, that at first I completely refused to accept it as a reality - me, sick? Never, couldn't be, it just doesn't happen. Until the day I couldn't physically open my eyes and stand upright and do that thing where you actually get out of bed and move around doing stuff....I'm told it's called living.

Anyhoo, I think that an enforced 24 hours in bed finally got the message through to me, so with the aid of some mild painkillers and a couple of pots of tea, I attempted to soldier on....Often as not resulting in me falling asleep upright at the drawing board. Which would have been kind of funny if I thought to video it...My answer to Warhol's 'Sleep'. heh.
Thing was, it didn't stop after the big sleep. It seemed to take forever to get back into the groove, I mean it was hundreds and hundreds of years, quite possibly light years at that....well, maybe one or two days. Not the point though...

Art is like study. You can't put it down and pick it up again. You can't stop in the middle of something, remember exactly what point of thought and emotion you're experiencing in that moment in time, and expect to come back a few days later with everything right where you left it. Oh no. It's not like the crossword you were doing the other day, or that piece of crochet you were working on last week.
Instead, you have to sit with the unfinished work, coax and cajole from it the tale of the journey you were on at the time, find the rhythm of the pencil, pen or brush again.....and somehow find the focus again, while the distractions of the minutia and the mundane surround you and tease you to look away when you're supposed to be doing that genius thing. Grr.
And naturally the harder you try, the more frustrated you get with yourself, and the better that piece of cheesecake in the fridge looks....along with that book you were reading and that fluffy warm blanket that you might just curl up under for a minute....no, art, doing the art thing, being passionate and visionary and thinking about why they haven't made another movie about a super dog and isn't that a good thing...Bah!
Many artists talk about the fact that their dedication and sense of the creative forces them to work, that they can't live without it, that it nags at them if they stay away too long - and it's true, it does feel like that. But I have yet to meet an artist that doesn't have to work to get their focus back after a prolonged time away from their art. We want it, it compels us to take ourselves to task when we feel like we're goofing off - but it's one of the biggest reasons to never stay away for too long.
Because then we do things like writing really long blogs when there is work to be done.....
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