Not to Be a Downer, But...

Well, that last post was something of a barn-burner, in that I am left feeling that I have nothing more to write about. I considered re-posting the first post I ever wrote, The Blazing World, as a bookend and calling it done. Just looking at the date of that first post, May 17, 2006, makes me realize I passed my ten-year blog-o-versary without even noticing. I have spent the last month pondering what has changed since I started writing this blog and what future use it might have.

Right off, I have to consider the possibility that I am mired in depression. I take my meds, but it is SO hard to get out of bed in the morning, and engaging with anybody other than my dogs leaves me cranky and exhausted. Maybe I am over serotinized? I asked my doctor and she was non-committal. "Just stay on this dose and we'll check again in a few months."

It could be the weather. It has been an unusually cold, wet, late spring in this part of the world, and I haven't been able to get into the garden, which always makes me feel better. I also haven't made another serious piece of work since December, although I have been busy with various small pieces and other projects. I have a new idea in the works, something different, that I am eager to get going on but it needs further gestation.

I have also been thinking about posting earlier work, looking at stuff from the 90's that has been languishing away on slides, and seeing how it connects to my current work. Using the blog more as a place of reflection and documentation rather than showcasing the latest new thing. (The taste for "new" is so wearying.)

But it is hard to take the possible value of my own work seriously when the world is in flames. We are closer to nuclear midnight than we ever have been since the clock started. Climate change is real, accelerating and the evidence is all around us. There is a vain, arrogant, madman in the White House. How is is possible to carry on as if things are normal? As an artist, I have always felt a responsibility to engage with the world around me, but now I find myself questioning whether anything I can make or do will change anything, even in myself. And is spending hundreds of hours patiently handstitching something that could get blown up next week the best use of my time? Is it an act of resistance or blind stupidity?

I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. Banding together with other bleak souls doesn't seem like the answer. Beauty is all around me but I mourn for its fleetingness and vulnerability. I long for peace, both for the world and in my heart.
Heron at dusk on Thetis Island last weekend. He turned and flew away seconds later.


  1. "And is spending hundreds of hours patiently handstitching something that could get blown up next week the best use of my time?" YES IT IS. I know you're engaged, when you *are* engaged, with/in the world, and this is your time well spent, meaningful, from inside you. I empathize, as i have the same thoughts, but know that there has to be some things we put our hands to that *are* WORTH the time. Not all revolutions mean standing at the front line, not all revolutions are won by us quieter handed people, but someday/s, we will win some wars, even if they are only the ones within ourselves.

  2. Please take care of yourself Heather. I and many others share your dilemma. The good will return.

  3. So with you on this, heather...wondering the same and feeling the pain. We are with you.

  4. Look at that incredibly gorgeous photo and try to ignore the crap over which you have no control. Just deal with the things that are right in front of you. Your maker mojo will return when it's good and ready, promise! Meanwhile take good care, Heather. Hugs!

  5. Ah, Heather, I'm sorry to hear that the gloom is upon you. I'm pretty sure it has a lot to do with this winter that won't end. A friend who recently returned to Vancouver after 5 months in SE Asia stated that everyone she meets seems to be suffering a form of PTSD.

    As for your work, it brings beauty and insights to our world...that surely is worth your time and effort.

    Take good care of yourself, eat chocolate, walk with your dogs, and come for tea some time.

    Big HUG, m

  6. your photograph makes a space for peace in our beautiful broken world

  7. Anonymous6:16 AM

    The state of the world, political and environmental, does leave one hopeless sometimes. The problems, delivered to us again and again on an endless loop by the sensation seeking mass media, appear to be insurmountable. However, I do believe that we have been there before and we will muddle our way out again. I give you evidence in the following song by The Mighty Sparrow, released during the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 16 - 28, 1962.


    At the time I, along with my brother, were close to birth in our mother's womb in Jamaica. I can only imagine the distress she must have felt, thousands of miles away from her native Quebec, very, very pregnant and living just about 100 miles south of Cuba. Before she passed away I asked her about that time and about how she felt. She said, "Yes. We were all terrified. We didn't know what would happen. However, there was this funny song on the radio about the missile crisis and it made me laugh." That song, although she had forgotten the name, was the Mighty Sparrow's. There you go Heather. Art and creativity can pull us away from the brink, even when it looks like the world is going to explode. Thank goodness for the Mighty Sparrow. Through his art he put a smile on my Mom's face during that dark time and on November 9th, just after the crisis ended, she gave birth to my brother and I. I hope you the warmer weather arrives soon and you start feeling better.


    ps. I like your blog and it would be interesting to see some of your older pieces too.You don't have to post new things all the time.

  8. just the Honesty matters. Here i am in
    New Mexico, reading your words....thinking...
    just the Honesty matters

  9. I'm always glad for your blog posts, and you. Sometimes you've just got to wait it out. Remember, 'the end is near' has always been true for humans, we are the only ones who often simply think too much. Meanwhile, I refer you to a wise and occasional guest writer on your blog, Gracie.

    It was good to speak with you today. With love, gg

  10. PS, that photograph is soooooo lovely! As are your contemplations. Keep breathing.

  11. I just read this, it's good:

  12. I understand this feeling. My blog stretches back to 2005. All that time, all those words. Now, it's hard to find words that matter given the state of things. I wonder about people who post so blithely about their travels, classes, latest equipment, petty squabble and complaints. I think if anyone were to use the phrase "pet peeve" to my face I'd be moved to violence.

    I haven't been doing a lot of stitching lately. When I do, it feels vapid and self-indulgent. The novel I've been working on for three years now seems like just what it is -silly entertainment. I long to do something that matters and have had moments of fleeting understanding for those who arm themselves prepared to die for a cause as opposed to being someone who might die because of an old, rich white man's greed and stupidity. Good, caring people talk about self-care. Me? I keep writing.


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