A few days ago I drove a 200km round trip to attend a JobSearch meeting, reciting to myself the whole way 'I am grateful to be invited to this compulsory meeting. I am full of gratitude for my unemployment benefits as it has allowed me to be a bear for a full fortnight at my favourite place, the inlet.'
Yes, my hibernation was for a full two weeks. At times I wondered about my mental health but really, I think I just needed a break. It's been pretty stressy recently, so sleeping, eating, reading, drinking, has been an absolutely marvellous break time in a place where I feel safe and at home.
Anyway, I motored to my appointment, schooled myself on gratitude, had a lovely encounter with JobSearch lady, and then walked into a local art gallery to get my art fix. About six women were sitting around a fire, plastic chairs on the concrete floor. The gallery was shut, they explained, 'but you are welcome to join us' for a meeting about the use of text in art.
I looked around thinking, so this is the beginning of that joke, right ... 'A writer walks into a bar and -' but what followed was a few hours of like-minded creators talking about their art and their creative processes. Never before have I been so keenly aware of how starving I am for this conversation. I love my friends and neighbours; the pig hunters, shack dwellers, bar tenders, fire spotters and wood workers, but I miss terribly the focussed discussions of esoteric yet disciplined researchers. Friday, I met with landscape architects, graphic artists, painters, musicians and poets, and we talked about how we do the things we do. Friday around that fire was absolutely bloody brilliant.