Updated: Jan 5
It's been a long while between podcast episodes not to mention blog posts. The time for explanations will come in the fullness of time, but I want to let you know that the Where Art & Grief Meet journey has veered off in a most unexpected direction.
We have been living, since Feb 2010, in a spacious multigenerational soup, in a big suburban home in Melbourne's leafy east. Time and circumstance have now determined that it's time for us all, that is, my boy and I as well as Pluto and BabyNyx, the two pups, and Nut, the guinea pig, to undertake a great adventure.
This all kicked off at around the time when I first contracted Covid (the only one so far - touch wood - in my household) and found myself in bed for 10 days and now still, variously hit with bouts of fatigue that could make a girl cry for the jelliness of body and fogginess of brain that are its physical manifestation.
Frustratingly I can't actually articulate what the specific shape of the adventure is, because I just don't know, although the endless possibilities have been whittled down to a few broad stroke ideas that are being fleshed out as we speak. The only thing each of these possibilities has in common is the first step. That is, moving out of our home of almost 12 years. My boy was 4 when we moved in. He is now 16. This place pretty much represents for him every memory and security. For a person with PDA autism, this is an even more unsettling happenstance than it is for the rest of us, despite the fact we're all prone to high anxiety.
Since the 14th December we have spent every day, except Christmas (which we took off for sanity) trying to sift, sort and simplify our lives into packingf boxes. At this moment there isn't one room that isn't in upheaval. The cupboards, a double garage, wall cavities and the attic space were stuffed with the not only our own possessions and mementos but also the remnants of lives of those we have loved and lost: my Dad, my brother and even Auntie Mad, Dad's sister (and to a lesser extent her husband, the fascist Greek General, Christos).
My father has a room full of music - musical instruments, cds, dvds, vinyl records, pictures an impressive sound system he began to put together in 1968 when I was born - one which I discovered, just yesterday, I am unable to shift due to the physical weight of each individual item. I saw as I packed yesterday the dedication he had shown to documenting the musical legacy of my brother, for posterity but particularly for his daughters who were only 7 and 9 when he died and who live on the other side of the world. The vast physical task is one thing - a struggle - but it was the emotional weight of it all that demolished me yesterday.
Everything is everywhere and until the people come in a few days and take away most of the boxes and furniture in order for the house to be staged and put on the market, we continue in this mayhem.
As well as that, my computer is only just limping along with a much diminished capacity.
The biggest bummer is it doesn't allow me to mix any more podcast episodes nor am I able to effectively digitise any new art for the website. I expect once the house is settled I'll have the resources to purchase an upgrade and resume operations, something I am extremely keen to do, given I have four conversations recorded and waiting for mixing and release as well as some new art, including a commission of which I am extraordinarily proud, to share.
You can go to my instagram to see what I've been doing. I've made it a priority to spend the hours as the sun comes up, sketching to clear my head and summon some shape for this unknowable future (my nighttime dreams are full of mazes and paralysis and the classic manifestations of a life in upheaval).
I hope you will stick with me for the ride. Despite my not having a crystal ball I'm pretty confident that it's going to be quite a trip.
Happy new year, friends.