In April this year a much loved friend, and partner to my future step-son, died suddenly aged 33. He went to sleep on his boat, and never woke up again. I won’t go into the emotions, but I will tell you about the thought processes.
Alastair was creative; a talented artist and musician who bounced his way through art and music, but somewhere along the line his confidence got knocked – it happens when you are sensitive.
I made a terrible mistake in thinking that Alastair’s talent was just for art and music. Terrible. His talent was far greater and wide-reaching. You see he had a way of getting everyone to step outside of themselves and say, “f*** it”. Literally. He worked down at our local, and would frequently grab your hand and force you to stand and dance with him. F*** it, it doesn’t matter what you look like. Feel the music. Dance with me.
Being somewhat self conscious I would resist his urging, and after nearly 8 years of his trying, I stood on the chair on New Year’s Eve and I danced. I didn’t care. The music was loud, I was with my loved ones, and Alastair kept us spinning.
Al tutored me when I was struggling with the OCA course. He took me so far outside of my comfort zone on one session that I asked him to leave the studio for 10 minutes while I bawled, and scribbled and scrunched black paint to get the pain out of my system. Visceral stuff. He took me there. He held my hand. He nurtured me. I loved him for it.
Then he died.
Within a few short days I made a promise, to myself as much as him, that I would create every day for a year and just see where it would take me. Sometimes that’s turning up in the studio, spinning in a cafe with a friend, knitting in my armchair, or weaving on a makeshift loom in a tent while the rain hammers down on the canvas! Something creative.
I took part in this years Tour de Fleece and spun every day while the race was on. I’ve woven blankets. I’ve bought an 8 shaft table loom. I’ve had my head turned by people wanting to buy my creations.
Isn’t the whole point of creating to be able to sell stuff?
Why did I turn down a perfectly viable route to a small business?
Because I heard him whisper, “Rachael, you are but 2 months in. What could you be creating when the year is up? What will have developed in you that is just a bud now?”.
And here I am nearly 3 months in and I’m still creating, and still getting bright ideas. The Textile Tutor has kind of taken a back seat, but I’m beginning to see it as a part of my creativity by being of service.
So, dear reader, I’m climbing back into the saddle to at least share what I’m doing, and to invite you to join me on this journey which will take us to May 2018 and beyond. Destination is definitely unknown!