I'm immersed in a swirl of images, notebooks and A4 paper, preparing Words on Water for a Humanities Conference in Phoenix next month. ('Next month' makes it sound like ages away, when in reality - eek - it's next week! I'll be leaving Dunedin for Christchurch on Wednesday, boarding a plane to LA at the crack of dawn on Thursday. This time next week, we'll be in the air.). I'll say more about the conference (whose 'umbrella theme' is Invoking a New Renaissance - Let Peace Prevail Through Harmony, Beauty and Art) at a later stage. It's a vast subject and one dear to my heart. Some months ago, during the tail end of my Waters I Have Known project, Marylinn Kelly gave me permission to include her wise words in a painting, 'It is all one water - a finger in a tide pool brings our shores together'. This phrase has become one of the key themes of my presentation. Thank you, Marylinn. . .
As happens, I've been rummaging through heavens knows how many iPhoto libraries, hunting out images pertinent to my paper - some of these go back as far as the early 1980s. Needless to say, it's been a bit of a journey; along the way, I came across a library of photographs of my children's early paintings and was immediately transported back to the land of 'Once upon a time. . . ' Since one of the threads of my paper is to do with personal and collective myth, perhaps coming upon these memory 'beads' was timely? From where I stand today, these seven images uplifted from past to present seem to me to hold the ingredients of our common humanity; I find myself relieved and delighted by this archive - Life's notes? It's all here, really - from the earnest and awkward to the fluid and free; how appropriate to find a solo dancer in the garden of a castle; friends at play and in conversation; I recognize wistfulness, frustration, a healthy expression of fury; contact and separation; uncertainty, mirth, a hint of darkness and flashes of light; I see love and reality, fantasy and tenderness. But perhaps that's just me. I wonder . . . what do you see?