Tia : Drawing : Comics?

Last night I was high on the euphoria of creation..first time I’d really sat down with the intention of drawing something more than doodles or angst venting in too long! Don’t get me wrong – art is a wonderful outlet for emotion. But it was nice to do something a bit more coherant, relaxed, and creative in a sense that makes me feel there is a comic concept developing here.

Tia is an old character of mine I keep coming back to. Over new years I had another surge of a new comic/story idea that’s pulled in some even older characters.

Anyway I’m not sure where the little demony thing on the left came from, but he’s kinda cute and I can see him becoming a new character.

There is a caption that goes with the picture. Prize for anyone who can guess it! 😉

Tsunami and global communities

Everywhere I go at the moment, I see posters, fundraising, donation boxes, “dress down” days in co-ops, TV adverts – all for raising money for the tsunami-hit countries. I know you can say that it’s all media influence, the dramatic horror-film footage, maybe just appealing to the childhood fear of being swept into the ocean… but despite this I still find it both heartening and slightly bemusing as to why there is so much going on for this rather than the other disasters round the world.

And then I spoke to one of Pam’s daughters, who is a learning support assistant at a local school. One of the other assistants was out there with her recent husband and children, I think her brother had given them tickets as a late wedding present:- the whole family was killed. The school children and local community were all affected by this… and I realised that there are probably many many similar incidences across the UK. A distant disaster brought far closer to home, not just through the TV but directly through people’s lives.

In many ways, this is about time. An area I’ve been pondering on lately, or perhaps more a “being hit by the blindingly obvious” moment is that truly, we are are global community now, beyond the boundaries of individual countries and cultures, and no I don’t just mean the internet I mean trade, economies, travel, migration, media. And yet – I’m not sure that we mere humans have really got the a conceptual framework to get our heads round this. Many of our religions are still very much of the “in-group/out-group” mentality, and if nothing else I wonder that, when faced by the fact we are a speck on a tiny planet with infinity stretching out around us, let alone one person in a huge diverse and mixed up complex world…a gut reaction is to retreat into a nice cozy ingroup or fundamentalism or inward-looking community or whatever…and I can see this happening in a terrifying way in some of the most influential countries in the world at the moment. For example, the twisting of religious life into US politics, or the existance of political parties like the BNP. Surely we need to get a grip on how our individual countries mesh with the wider world?

It’s all very well to tell people they should be more tolerant of others and accepting of diversity, but really how do you go about that when we’ve got so used to thinking of so many seperate, isolated groups, often believing some more special than others?

Occasional disasters like this one can stir us up for a moment but it’s so easy to slip back into our inward looking lives and country politics. But the issues facing humanity now are on a world-wide scale – no matter what New Zealand might be doing to reduce sheep-farting-pollution, the US is still burning up disproportionate amounts of petrol. Or in terms of world poverty – the UK politicians can gush as much as they like about the aid or debt-relief we are doing, but probably on balance our economy runs on exploiting others and keeping places poor for the cheap workforce. I admitt to not being very clued-in on this area – I’ve long been a self-absorbed scholar who is finally starting to look up from her books and computer screen at the world around 🙂

I’m not really expressing this very eloquently. very out of practice with words lately. Overall though I feel happy to see the response to the tsunami appeal in my area, with all the small scale personal appeals and effort, and yet I just wonder what could be done if we all did this more often, or if the compassion was a little more effectively channeled. It doesn’t take many people to pull together to get something done.

Have you had heart palpitations?

Odd, and rather scary thing happened today -or maybe not- but I was wondering if anyone out there could help elucidate this..

I was dozing a bit this afternoon (making the most of it before the 9-5 job starts..). and was just trying to meditate a bit or something..thinking about getting up. Now, let’s just assume it was real for a sec because this is how it felt :

did I just dream all this?

Life update – into 2005

Top of the Hill

I spent a lot of wonderful time with friends over the christmas period, in particular almost a week living at Rachel’s house in Banbury, where we had a huge get together of all the friends from Exeter University. What made it particularly special was having Mark-in-Japan there with Hikari – first time we’ve all been back together since sometime 2003.

We climbed a big hill on a very windy day, and played with kites and the gusts. Felt refreshed and rejuvinated.

I also have some news

  • I have a job in Exeter. It has the worst name in the world “Wet Stock Analyst” (I keep thinking wet sock) but it looks to be relatively decent, graduate-ish, friendly company where you can wear jeans. While I’m seeing it as a short-term ish thing, a couple of years at the most before (potentially) starting training as osteopath or similar, the company is actually doing rather well and there are oppurtunities to move around etcetc. But don’t worry, I’m not selling out just yet.
  • I have a room in a house with a 35 year old psychology student called Sue. She used to be very computer sciencey, has set up a broadband wireless net connection for the house and all sorts. Sue has the most gorgeous dog, a border-collie/spaniel cross who is well trained and not smelly, loves hugs and is very very cute…Sue is actually a dog trainer who wants to get into photography. Also in the house is a spanish lady from barcelona who makes her own clothes. I’m hoping to learn from both of these people. A HOUSE WITH A DOG IN IT! The plan is to stay here short term till I find a house with Rachel and John.
  • So I’m moving out of this place to Exeter on the 20th January. It’s a chance to get my own life back, and test some of my hypothesis, like “live somewhere you feel happy”, “live with friends”, “live with a dog” and so on. Exeter as a city has a wonderful feel about it, and I’m intending to reconnect with old contacts in theology, buddhism, and live action role play…
  • Seem to have made some major progress with relating to my mother. She feels I’ve “opened up” to her again and suddenly she is being really lovely towards me. My father is also happy now I’ve got myself a reasonable enough job

In the more existential side of things, I’ve had nights full of dreams of ravens and psychological growing pains as I face up to aspects of life I’d been happily ignoring till lately. Mostly to do with mortality, serious commitment in a relationship, loneliness, wondering if I’ll be able to have kids, facing the first real independence of my life..etcetc Zak may well join the military (Royal Logisitics Corps) which made me cry at first but actually I believe it could be very good thing for him. I still love him, but what to do with it? Questions of serious life-long commitment seem too big for me still, though I am now honestly sick of the half-baked relationships I’ve tried elsewhere.

In reading material, I’ve been devouring the works of Joseph Capmbell like a half-starved thing, and once more I start to see how biology, myth, psychology and life all come together. I’ve also finally found out what the “Collective Unconscious” is all about. Things are coming together.

This year, I hope to become a more solid, focused person who stops using pathetic past traumas as excuses for current behaviour. I want to spend more time with other women and work on friendships rather than boyfriends. I want to work on my art and learn to drum and play music with others. I’m going to get myself back in shape in many ways. And you know what? It’s going to be fun. Even with the fears, and the darkness, and the tears. Some guy from radiohead said in an interview that joy can be found in any music, even the dark and depressing stuff.. I begin to see how this works; Life is not all joy and roses, it is terrible and daunting and sad as well. I aim to walk the line between that lets me live it all without fear.

Playing with Bubbles

Lately I’ve realised that magic isn’t always invisible and the mix of the man-made technology and the rest of nature produces a beauty and magic of its own. Life exists in so many ways

Christmas day was bitterly cold, after obligatory familiy meal I went out on a walk round the park, and was really happy to see all the parents and kids out playing with their new toys. One family had a huge bubble-maker, and I loved seeing how a small crowd gathered round to watch these beautiful translucent bubbles float around.
The photo on the left is linked to 3 more so you can see what I mean – I particularly like the bottom one with all the kids rushing around chasing the bubbles while the adults stand on the pavement looking on..and also the expressions on some of the adults as they create bubbles themselves.

If I wasn’t illegally taking photos of other peoples kids at the time I would have joined in 🙂

Tori Amos : “Faith and Music”

“Faith and Music
12:20am – 1:05am Mon (ie tonight)
ITV1 London
VIDEO Plus+: 7526958
Subtitled, Widescreen

Tori Amos, a minister’s daughter, who now sells millions of records, talks about the strong influence of her Cherokee grandparents and the healing power of music.”

I’m going to try and remember to record it. Did anyone else catch who wrote the bible? on over Christmas? It was rather interesting…