Hi guys. A lot of people out here start blogs for those back home, but truth to say dA is my community, at least when it comes to artsy stuff. And damn am I missing it now.
This isn't a depressing entry, honest. It would have been a month or two ago when I was still trying to survive without beads but I think I've successfully gotten over that hump. By which I mean, I've embraced the fact that I can't continue emotionally stable without playing with beads at least in my head and I've started planning again. I have a journal that I keep sketches and project ideas in; I've come up with a couple new techniques that have really expanded the possibilities of what I can do. I am excited to begin work again, but it will be some time yet.
You know, it's funny (it's not funny, it's a little sad) how much we take our hobbies for granted. Access to our hobbies, I guess I mean. We breathe art and we don't even know it. Music, dance, artisan crafts, everything else is available to us. It may be surprising to learn that there's really very little in terms of artwork out here. Bear in mind, my experiences are limited to Zambia and Malawi, but seriously. The music is all the same, either gospel or pop songs that are nothing but beat and are relentlessly happy. The dancing looks impressive at first, but then you realize that it's all the same hip movements over and over again. There are no crafts, really, outside of the daily farming necessities. I've seen some artwork in the capital of Zambia and in the touristy parts of Malawi that was stunning, but out here in the bush there's nothing.
Anyways. What I mean is, all this was getting me down for a while. Nothing new or exciting and I was convinced I'd have to give it up myself, that I'd just go crazy designing works I'd never do. So it's been a huge relief to realize that this isn't the case and that even if I make a backlog of projects I'll never have the time to do, the act of creation is satisfying in and of itself. That keeps me sane. I'm way happier than I was a couple months ago. I will also say this: out here, among the other volunteers, I have become way more willing to classify myself as an artist. I've realized how integral it is to my conception of myself and my own happiness. I like knowing that.
There's no moral to the story except I wanted to talk about art and that means I'm talking to you guys. Don't tell my country director about this post; technically I'm not supposed to write anything bad about Zambia (I am not, after all, in the US anymore. The same assumptions about speech and the freedom thereof do not apply).
My love to you and yours. Be well. Be artistic.