• The Story Pilgrim

September - Moving On

Remembering 2020 - masked

Upon reflection the house never liked me.  I sensed it from the first day I moved in.  Now that may seem a very strange thing to say.   Isn't it - the other way around in that it is a person who does not like a house.  Before I had moved in to this house I would have thought that myself, now I am firmly of the belief a house may not actually like the resident. 

    I haven't a clue as to why the house did not like me.  Indeed it may not be personal.   As much as I tried I just could not turn the house into a home.   Despite an open fire and central heating the house always had a chill hovering around.   I suppose I convinced myself that the coldness was due to low temperature and nothing else .

    Now the house has been assigned to my past but it will probably take a bit of time before I am emotionally removed from the house.  There has been a whole legacy of misfortune with the house, three of which are six weeks laid up with a broken foot, a problem bill and water leakage which effected three bathrooms over the duration of my tenancy.   Yes I complained but there was always some insurmountable barrier that I faced regarding who was responsible for fixing it.  

    I like to leave a place tidy and I had scheduled a week to thoroughly clean the house and you may not believe this but on the evening before ny plan to get the place into shape, my face swelled up resulting in me being unable to open my left eye.  I looked as though I had done ten rounds with Mike Tyson.   It was my allergy and for ten days I suffered a bad sinus infection. I had to go on strong medication.   So inevitably I struggled with the cleaning of the house and slumped into bed early evening.  My withdrawal resulting in missing Zoom sessions so I became silent. I did link in to the magical Glens Storytelling Festival.  I lay back and allowed the stories and songs to wash over my wearisome spirit and body and when I viewed the majestic landscape it was a true feast for my eyes.  I am grateful for this Festival, it warmed the bones of a weary woman of story and hopefully I will manage to visit next year.   In any case I managed to leave the house in pristine condition and I finally did mail the keys up to Dublin.   

    One of my friends suggested I look into the house's history but I have decided not to do that. Oh yes I am curious and I am familiar with the local stories but  the house has taken enough of me.  It is time to get back to creating stories and comic art. .  

    The one positive thing that did occur was my first solo exhibition in Lisheen's Art Gallery.   I was totally gobsmacked when it was suggested to me that I ought to exhibit my comic characters.   Without realising I had embraced a cloud of negativity with my art.   Due to the fact that my art is in the form of comic  many people have instilled into me that it isn't real art.   Indeed when I enquired about joining an art group some time ago I was dissuaded from joining on the grounds that they did 'high art.'     I often wonder about people who are stuck in hierarchy and want to do nothing but suck someone's joy from them. What is it about them that wants to thrust someone down to less than.   I am happy creating characters and stories so why not let me be happy in that endeavour.    

I always will be indebted to Jennifer my art tutor in Lisheen House because she welcomed me into her art group and encouraged me to pursue comic art.    I also have to add that I was also encouraged by  Det Schlich when he requested to interview me on Manga and Transhumanism.  I had a memorable time chatting to him and I wish him well with his future podcasts. Encouraging friends are invaluable. 

    No one knows what kind of journey a person has travelled and to me I consider the most important gift one can have is kindness.  However, sometimes  a word that cuts sharp like a shard of glass that may be of more benefit.  This may seem a rather terrible thing to say and I am definitely not suggesting being cruel to people . Let me explain.   I recall when I had my first article published..   I was practically dancing with delight.  It was wonderful to see my article printed in the centre pages with images.   Here is the rub, I wasn't dancing because I had got published and I was boasting because I had done so but  after two dark years of unemployment, moving into re-training by studying a masters that I struggled with and ill health due to an allergy that remains undiagnosed I felt that some light had eventually illuminated into my life.  So it was natural that I wanted to celebrate.  A small circle of people who I  have now moved away from did not want to celebrate with me, in fact they refused to acknowledge my breakthrough achievement and one person sneered at me and said no-one was really interested.  Now that comment ripped my heart, it certainly was not kind but I can honestly say that the comment was the catalyst that  moved me on.  At the end of the day no one in the group was interested, cold and stark it may have been but it awoke me to the fact that for several years I had deceived myself in thinking I was party to the group.  .  

I can honestly say that I am no longer saddened by those words because if that incident had not occured I would not be in the contented place where I am at the moment.   I would still be hanging on to them wasting all my time and effort trying to be accepted by a group of people who do not understand mutual friendship.  I certainly would not have found the nourishing arms of the Lisheen Art Group where I was totally embraced by every participant of the group and I would have missed out on my solo art exhibition.    I suppose what I am saying that sometimes when something negative happens it can actually be a motivator which propels one forward to something better. 

    So September, I suppose you were bitter sweet and if I am honest I have to say I am muddling through but who isn't in a landscape of Covid19..  My current place has many benefits for level 3 restriction life so it is a good place to be.    It is temporary hopefully until Spring.  This should give me an opportunity to consolidate and make some decisions as to where I want to settle.  A positive aspect of lockdown has been Zoom which has opened a doorway to new people and opportunities.   Thus my frame of reference has widened and I have enjoyed participating in webinars and storytelling sessions so despite an unfriendly house there has been fruit.   

I truly hope that anyone reading this knows that I wish you all the very best and if you are struggling it will surely pass. Please hold on.  Life does produce potholes on the path but it also has green fertile pastures. .  Unfortunately the place of growth is usually messy and difficult.  It is what I as a storyteller call the dark forest.  If one trails through the dark forest you may feel that your eyes are hazy at first but then your eyes settle and you gain clarity to see beauty..   

    I had been strolling on a path which offered little nourishment.   The two years uemployment were wretched and I was in a circle of people who could not understand the pain of being in this kind of situation.   Their frame of reference was totally different from that of mine and their lives I suppose rather more sheltered therefore they had little insight into the realities of a woman on her own and the frustration of unemployment.  If the incident with the sharp cutting words and my article had not happened as I said earlier I would still be there stuck in a comfort zone which was ultimately choking the smile off my face. I would not be as content as I am today secure in the knowledge that comics are art.     I have met a new circle, people who are supportive and who all understand the creative arts.   I have been challenged to move from my comfort zone and try new things and that is surely positive.   So until next time - my best wishes.    

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