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  • Writer's picturesoph

It's a new day.

This post is dedicated to Victoria, a family member, four legged, but no less beloved, who with an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer passed away yesterday in the arms of her people. She will always be remembered for the pretty princess and benevolent ruler she was. Vale.

Bird sketches from source photos by Jorj Lowrey/
Sketching on the sofa: Australian Native flora and fauna (watercolour pencil in sketchbook by soph&son)

In preparation for the next Where Art and Grief Meet Pod episode, I've just listened to the raw audio from a Zoom with Seattle-based artist, Liz Gamberg, which took place a month ago. I always find myself bursting to begin editing once I've had that first listen. Each new creative brings something unique to the table, and also what emerges is something different from me. The result of these vastly different conversations is that there is no cookie cutter approach to the edit or to the episode. I like that and am smiling at the presenting challenge. So that's good.

Old challenges however are always in play. I have had to stay away from the computer and the paints for quite a few days now. My body has not appreciated the time I spent working on the computer mocking up the dummy of the Pluto book and then at the easel painting two acrylics. Despite being mentally and thematically on a roll with both projects I've had to stop completely in the middle because my hands, arms and my back are revolting. This is not something I can ignore.

Hence the sketches from the couch. My soul sister, Jorj, is motor-homing her way around Australia and as a mad keen birder and environmentalist, she is sharing some extraordinarily beautiful photos of the lands she is exploring and the critters and plants she is finding there. She's been posting from birding paradise, Lake Cargelligo, in the central western region of NSW.

Photo by Jorj Lowrey 2022. Foggy morning, Lake Cargelligo - Australasian Darter

Words can't really do this place justice. It's truly a joy to have these images popping up on my FB feed, and they certainly remove the need for me to search for sketching inspiration while my body recovers on the sofa.

According to my schedule, I was supposed to be underway with the podcast edit as of yesterday - it takes around three - four full days - but I had to give myself an extra day's grace. Today, however, I am jumping in and hoping for the best. Not just for me, but for everyone.

PS: I've been listening to an audiobook, a memoir, called Found, Wanting by Natasha Sholl. It's an extremely raw account of her relationship with herself after her partner died. It's brutal, but then again, this reflects her response to the grief she experienced. I'm not finished with it yet, so we'll see where it ends up, but given she was able to write a memoir, I'm hopeful she came out the other side transformed in a workable way (around chapter 12 things are pretty grim).

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