I’m doing a lot of forward planning at the moment and it is great! I’m pretty much occupied with Drawing Songs at least until the end of January 2022 officially, but of course just because the funding period of the project is at an end it doesn’t mean the thinking and working is… there will be more!
Among all the planning and looking forward sit the memories of another life. What seems like another life.
Facebook has the habit of showing you what you were doing in Junes gone by. My Junes were always really busy in my former life when I was employed. June is the month of Arts Weeks. I would plan, timetable and book other artists in in the preceding months, then the week itself would be incredibly busy and absolutely wonderful… For me, and most of the children and some of the staff I worked with. (Some years I would plan -but not deliver- Arts weeks for other educational settings. Nightmare!)
I would make activity kits for other staff, deliver at least one activity myself to each year group throughout the week, coordinate volunteers, and make sure everyone had enough coffee and cake to keep them going. I coordinated the budget and ordering for all the visiting artists (usually six to ten of them) It was bloody hard work, but I loved it. I loved watching the children bloom and grow in the space of that week. For some (mostly adults) it was not a good time and they made sure I knew it, however hard I tried to support them. Such is life.
June and July for many years were always the months of the Shed. I would dismantle the floral fabric covered shed in my garden, transport it to an arts venue, where the sun (hopefully) would shine on it and its musical occupants. Another time of stress and logistical headaches. But again I loved it and it in many respects got me where I am now.
Facebook then, shows me this love, but it also shows me the frustrations I used to feel working with others who were not so enthusiastic, or not so completely engaged in it all… or even those downright hostile to the whole event! I think those Junes are a big part of what did for me really. I am no longer employable. In many respects I do not play nicely any more. I want to be in control, and I want things done my way. I no longer want to do things for the community. I want to do things for myself. I have paid my dues and now believe that I owe time to myself. I used to feel guilty about this, but now I don’t. Fuck that!