Art, NDIS, Creative Writing.

I went to Specsavers at Bateau Bay Village and had them make me a pair of multi-focal glasses. It is the first time I have ever had them and they are very nice to use. One thing which has been a perpetual problem has been seeing things on shelves. I have long distance glasses and very close glasses but I could not work out book covers in the library or text on packaging in the supermarket. Now I can see those things as well as being able to see along the shelves and deeper into the store. I tried them at Life Drawing today and they are harder to use than the others for that.

The staff was professional and helpful. Bay Village shopping center is a good experience and lately I have been looking forward to my visits there even if I don’t socialize much.

People seem to be changing their styles away from the square plastic frames to the rounder and larger ones. The change in styles suits my face. They were a cheap pair even with the multi-focus. There were three variations on the multi-focus depending on the one you wanted to pay for and the cheaper one seemed perfect for me. I don’t want my eye wear to always be a big luxury item. It makes the transfer to new lenses when the focus of my eyes change into something I have to be careful of. This was good and simple.

The community support worker was on hold all last week and didn’t get much work this week either. She may have felt like she was being stood down. They had been unable to supply me with a worker who could assist me with Friday evening art classes. This was expected.

NDIS was enthusiastic about helping me to fight my way back into main stream art projects but failed to recognize how it has two faces as far as the time it intrudes into. The preparation and creation of artworks often happens at night and during working hours. For me it is impossible to schedule because I can spend days fighting illness and pain and then have a night of comfort where the creative juices will run and some art will get made.

The other face is the face of selling or showing art and also being a part of community art projects or lessons or joining live drawing classes. These things happen outside the work day. They happen on weekends and afternoons so the people can get away from their jobs or get a partner who is off work to look after the children.

Life Drawing. 2 minute pose. Life drawing outcomes always look like a waste of paper when you start back into them after such a long illness

It becomes a problem for me because these hours are the ones care workers do not usually volunteer to fill. It is especially true on an irregular basis for someone with my care package. We may work it out. This is further along than I have been with all my previous carers. I am as healthy as I have felt in years and despite obvious moments of confusion and short-term memory problems the mind has the most clarity for the longest unbroken period for over a decade. My health is declining in leaps and bounds and I feel awful but the carer is easy to work with so together we may break some new ground and people may yet view the work. Confused? It is actually like that right now!

We went to a life drawing class Friday before this was published and while I enjoyed myself the community worker struggled to be there all that time and stay focused. I am gently pressuring her to draw as it assists to develop the act of seeing what is there. She has started to make some good headway despite it not really interesting her for a whole two hours. We will not do a lot more classes. I need them as my mind is still struggling with visual comprehension but it is a genre I cannot commit to when I want to build an exhibit before I drop dead

The creative writing course is moving on quickly. Initially the community worker and I were doing shopping runs on the same day as the writing course. The writing course was in the evening. I would arrive home from shopping absolutely exhausted and beaten by pain. The groceries would go into whatever minimal place they needed to go to stop things melting and I would fall into bed fully dressed and sleep desperately until five PM. At that hour I put on a collared shirt and battled exhaustion and strong pain killers until the course lecturer came on the computer screen.

People are very supportive and keep finding the positives in the work but I know these early quick poses are bad drawings. It is the thrill of the challenge at this stage

The course is great. I love the flow of creativity Anne Brewer seems to be trying for in this group. It lasts me all week. It is unusual for me to keep a focus any time. Normally ideas escape out of my ears and are found months later with little or nothing done.

For the very brief period of this part of the course the worker’s visits are on hold. We have to reschedule some other days but for the moment the worker plus the course may be more than I can find the energy to face. We will get something working but I have to be disciplined how much I drain my strength when we do it. My heart is very weak.

The problem with this section of the course is it has become a matter of face to face criticism of each other’s verbally read works. I am still finding my ability to comprehend conversations in real time is very limited. I avoid it like the plague in real life if I can and always avoid groups because the interplay of conversations can confuse me. I am stretched as much as I can be very quickly in the course and I lose comprehension of a total reading. When my turn to provide feedback comes I have no idea of the body of what I heard and give criticism on the few words my memory can hold.

I am fine with reading stories. Comprehension there is good. In this one place where the work is verbally given and processed immediately I am drowning. I may get through although the lecturer thinks I am being lazy or unfriendly to one of the other guys. I have given him totally bogus feedback twice and he suffers from a need for support. (As do we all) He writes interesting stuff. They all do. I simply cannot hold the story line for any time in that situation. I hope I can get through. At the moment there is some pressure on the supplier of the course to organize a local drop box kind of deal so we can access and  read things. That would lift my game.

At the time of publishing the course suppliers have already met the challenge of sharing our work online which is excellent. They did that quickly!

I have several short stories and the basis for a novel as well as the autobiographical I decided to name “The Big Sulk” which ends up being a running history of abuse and racism and mental injury. I have to think seriously about that and get a few readers to give me feedback. I doubt I will get that done. I have to publish it all myself and my strength still means I get a normal days work done after about 2 weeks of trying. The course is just beginning to give me better control here in the journals although it will not appear so from this long rambling post!

More of the paintings and drawings are close to being finished. At least one which took a year should have taken a few weeks but the stress of watching me go through that has eased a lot,

My knees have failed. They keep failing and I hold myself up by muscle alone when that happens. It is agonizing and I have had some bad falls. There was one where I pirouetted across the room holding a wooden stool and managed to get the stool under my shoulders as I fell. It saved me falling on my face but jarred my spine which is already in a precarious state in several places. I cannot take enough pain relief to make myself comfortable. The choice between suffering increasing pain and being too blasted to function using more pain relief is not so hard to make.

I have committed my person to stories and drawing and paintings as well as being an online campaigner for sense and compassion. The pain can kill me before I stop trying. I still laugh at my stories and find solace in the art works.

There was a Bleating Tree Frog singing outside the other night. A big moth flew around the room and I saw a beautiful female huntsman spider. The lizard numbers have increased and they have come out from wherever they go in the cold and demanded food already. The journal went on with some important notes and with it being so long became a second entry here

Hiding in the darkened kitchen but caught by the low light equipment Eastern Water Skinks want a little more than food today. Spring beckons!

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