Last October when I committed to painting a seascape exhibition I was in two minds as to whether it was a terrible idea adding so much potential stress on top of the grief of losing dad to cancer in June.
Anyone who met my dad knows he was a force of nature much like the sea itself. Irrepressible and indestructible, or so we thought. Ex para and special forces, Dad called himself Chamanooka, the Rain Maker, a name he was given in Zimbabwe. My dad was highly intuitive and psychic, though he would never willingly reveal that side of himself being a product of his age. I cheekily called him Radio Francis, because you could turn him onto any subject.
One of the last things I remember dad saying to me was ‘Don’t forget you are fire proof!’ Military training for his daughter!
So, I decided that a focus of seascapes was not only a good idea because it was a great excuse to go the beach often over the long cold winter months, but also a positive focus and direction was better than being unfocused during the darkness of a Scottish winter, alone in Middle Earth, as my friends call rural South Lanarkshire.
So I have painted about 70 paintings and written many blogs and I am sitting in the garden feeling somewhat unwell this sunny spring afternoon thinking that perhaps this virus thing that feels like it is trying to get a hold of me is in fact grief pushing its way out of my system. Another layer letting go. Two weeks to the exhibition, the journey of healing from the sea still underway.
I committed to a process wholeheartedly and I have tried to be honest and truthful with the journey, and if truth be told I would love my dad to be proud of me what ever dimension he is now on.
And why did I call this blog finding my ‘fuck it’. Because ‘fuck it’ there is nothing you can do when people die apart from find your way forward the best you can.
I have used painting as my vehicle for the journey of loss and grief and although very tired from the craziness of painting in an unheated studio in minus conditions all winter I do feel that the tide is shifting somewhere deep inside.
Although I am writing this in tears thinking about dad I am hoping the sea will wash me up on a different shore as I let go into the vulnerability of hanging an exhibition.
And hopefully the virus thing will clear out of my system too!
Tears like rain, healing and life giving!
Strangely feeling better already just writing these words.