Friday, 1 February 2013

Endless cycles, invisible illness and books

It's been a long time since I wrote anything in this blog, the past 15 months have been a very insular time. Looking after things close to home, working on projects that sum up long periods of work, histories and collaborations. A time of consolidation, recovery, and exhaustion.

Exhaustion to explain the kind of tiredness when you were done before you even started the race? Where each added stress draws out more non-existant energy. Where there s a feeling of being sucked down beyond what is possible to bear. I've been resting a lot, I feel like I spend half my life resting. Im not sure how to catch up energywise or if that is even possible.

I ask myself if I am being lazy. When it's not really such a bad day and I still let my partner carry my bag, or help me up stairs - in my mind I'm asking - 'Am I lazy or tired? Am I being cautious, conserving energy? or am I making things worse by not trying harder?'

Recently I replied to an RSVP invite to which only I was invited, asking if I could bring some one with me to help me get there, and to be of assistance while there. I feel like a faker, but then I know how much more energy is eaten up trying to attend events alone.

Then there are the bursts of energy, when I decide I can't possibly rest any longer, or when there are just things that need to be done. Resting is boring, I've also spent half my life avoiding it!
The YEARS of pushing beyond exhaustion, forcing my body to work, being in extreme situations, doing extraordinary things has had a cost.

I mention this issue not to complain, chronic illness just 'is' a feature of my life, but because I'm aware that others also live with this situation. Looking well, often managing to achieve a great deal... but having this physical struggle and the internal debate of, on the one had not wanting to admit defeat. And on the other, how to tell others? how to ask for help? how to break through this invisibility? when to most eyes we look completely FINE.

In this 'interior' year often the people who I had expected to be there weren't.

I ended two very long running work/life collaborations: goodbye to Wotever - it had been rocky for a long time.  Goodbye to miss dotty. Much sadness, anger, frustration, many tears...but again after a long period of trying, it was time to let go.

With both situations much as I would have LIKED for them to be different, they weren't and the best thing to do was to acknowledge that reality and move on.

But what Im grateful for is that in the midst of what felt like the longest of hauls there were bright moments: love, whores, power-breakfasts, new friendships, renewed contact in old ones, the really solid people sticking by. Being able to find moments to laugh and have fun. Simple things. There was joy in living even when things were hard.

I made a film
I wrote a book

Both document the 'Queer Beograd Border Fuckers Cabaret'

I wish the film were more 'perfect', it is what it is. It tells the story, carries the emotion of those times and if I say so myself it seems highly politically relevant! 

The book. When I first started working on the book as a project I wanted to produce something that felt integrated, where the design really melded with the subject matter of the text, and the book felt like a beautiful thing to have. The designer has done a bloody good job! I've taken to carrying the draft copy around the house, flicking through it and just feeling its weight. (a true book pervert). Weird thing is I don't READ any of it ....I just look at the pictures...I hope this is not going to be the case with other people who get it. But it IS beautiful!

The task of the next few weeks is to slowly begin to move my work and self out into the world again,
to update my terribly neglected website, to begin to create some visibility for the book and the film.
To some how afford to print the book - now that is another long story! (oh my days!)

My current internal debate is over wether to buy a walking stick or join the gym! It's possible I may do both - and perhaps that in itself is most clearly illustrative of this 'invisible' situation. Some days are better than others.

New times, new adventures, new playgrounds, and I have itchy feet for travel.

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