Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Wayfarer's Year


This photograph seems to encapsulate how I feel right now. It was taken (by the wondrous Sylvia Linsteadt who came to visit! but more of that another time) in the early autumn sun as I strode across September-coloured Dartmoor with my baby boy on my back. This has been the most treasured and difficult of all the years of my life so far. I have had to learn to be a mother whilst we totally reconfigure our life. Building our Hedgespoken home and travelling theatre has taken all the energy we could muster and then it has kept on taking. And I continue to be stretched in more than three dimensions by the challenges and alchemys and incandescent joys of motherhood. Nevertheless I seem to keep on striding, and my back continues to hold strong enough for the weight it carries.
My creative life burns clear, though its outlets are small and fleeting. I draw when my boy sleeps and gradually have managed to work enough into the (many) dark hours with a biro and my head torch to create a perpetual calendar - The Wayfarer's Year - a kind of wall frieze showing the passing seasons as a traveller's road (the year) winds through them. It is printed on recycled card and folds out to a 12-month art piece. You can buy them for £12.50 in the Hedgespoken shop here, or on etsy here. They'll be good for any year or any time of year, of course!


I have also contributed manually to our truck build - tiling the kitchen with babe on back! This home of ours is being built with great care and craft, and has come on further since this picture was taken. If you'd like to see a little video update (with us looking very tired!) and hear more truck news, do go over to the Hedgespoken blog and look.

  
This little painting is titled Incantation Under a Winter Sun - another small creative achievement in the baby-sleeping moments. It is a prize in our Hedgespoken Winter Raffle, for which tickets are available here - you could own this original painting for just £1!


The sun seems far off now, our days are mud-drenched and rain-splattered and fog-hidden. Each trip to collect water is slippery and my bones ache with tiredness. We are still not in the truck, though another year turns, and expectations and plans must be readjusted. How do you stay positive whilst the challenges of uncoupling from a former life and building a new one mount? The dream must continue to be kindled, which is hard in these damp, dark days. I can't quite believe that my baby is 10 months old (and crawling!), and that Christmas is just days away! From within the fog and the slog of this year, a bright fire still burns, and I carry its embers over the threshold into 2016, a stronger and utterly changed woman from the one I was last year-cusp, and holding in my heart and arms the most golden of all things in my life: my son.

22 comments:

jude said...

I remember all this although I do not remember moving through it so gracefully. love to you all.

Paula said...

Thank you for sharing your journey. I am old now, my child has grown, but I remember those early days. Your son's world is opening up for him a little more each day, making it a most magical time. So much change and challenge is never easy -- but it will make your fire burn brighter and brighter. The wheel is turning this week, which renews my spirit. Hope your new year brings lots of happy moments!

Jess said...

Looking at that top pic of you I can't help thinking I must have had a premonition when I painted 'The Journey' and posted it on your FB page many months ago hehe! ;)
You're doing amazingly to continue with all this hard work, don't burn yourself out though and remember having a baby takes a very physical toll. The tiling and the kitchen area looks so beautiful, a treat for the eyes for many years to come.
Have a wonderful festive time Rima and don't forget to rest! Love Jess xx

Heather said...

It is better to take longer than anticipated over creating your new home, but I hope the task will not tire you too much. You seem to be taking everything in your stride but I know how demanding young children can be - energy is a precious commodity! Wishing you, your partner and darling son a merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous and Creative New Year.

Velma Bolyard said...

there is a wondrous resilience that happens when working on a dream or several at once. i remember doing many things with an infant and then his sister in my world, but not remaking my world. much love and hopefully some rest to you all.

Sky Bray said...

Love this! This is just how I felt when my son was born. The gold and the changed forever. The early years were the hardest and best years of my life. Then, one day you look up and he is six :) It goes fast.

Teresa Kasner said...

Hello Rima.. checking in from Oregon, USA. I admire you for raising a babe in a camping home.. soon you will be comfortably ensconced in your rolling home. I had three children and raised them and although it's a lot of work, those will be your golden years. Enjoy them!
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*M*E*R*R*Y* * *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
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((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Eleanor Alice said...

Dreamt of you last night- that I was journeying and came to a local fair/market where you would be arriving to perform. So- it will happen.

I have been working on a rather large art project for the last three decades or more- almost finished it only to see it knocked down and taken away- and I started right up again. When one has the will and vision that you do one does not have to worry about where the energy or materials or time will come from- the progress is ceaseless, incremental, inexorable like dripping water wearing mountains down into gorges. It will all come together, and often, on reflection back from many years in the future one realizes that during the agonizingly slow parts one was actually making tremendous progress- just not in the most obvious direction to you at the time.

A tree sends out roots I'm all directions, not just one.

Admire you, and look forward to arriving in that village in the future just as you roll into town on your Pegasus.

Eleanor Alice said...

Dreamt of you last night- that I was journeying and came to a local fair/market where you would be arriving to perform. So- it will happen.

I have been working on a rather large art project for the last three decades or more- almost finished it only to see it knocked down and taken away- and I started right up again. When one has the will and vision that you do one does not have to worry about where the energy or materials or time will come from- the progress is ceaseless, incremental, inexorable like dripping water wearing mountains down into gorges. It will all come together, and often, on reflection back from many years in the future one realizes that during the agonizingly slow parts one was actually making tremendous progress- just not in the most obvious direction to you at the time.

A tree sends out roots I'm all directions, not just one.

Admire you, and look forward to arriving in that village in the future just as you roll into town on your Pegasus.

nofixedstars said...

i feel sure that you will be in your new home in 2016, and i fervently hope that it will be by the time your beautiful little one turns one year old. i wish i could be by your side to help in some tangible way---carry your son for you, hammer in some nails, set up and break down an art sale. but all i can do is send you love and good wishes for continued strength, for joy, for tranquility. i believe in the life you are trying to create, in the beauty and rightness of what you and tom do. wishing you a happy holiday, and all good fortune in the new year. be thou blessed!

Ms. said...

Hello lovely one, I'm sending you best wishes, continued strength and even more heart wisdom than you already possess. Like the ancients, you are carving out your space in the world, and with SO MUCH LOVE it astounds me.

Love is the universal sport
The night is dark and life is short
The heart is open, always willing,
The touch of skin is so fulfilling.
Darling, when I look at you
Touch is push and push is shove
I'm in love.

(from Garrison Keillor)

Nao Sims said...

There is such tremendous beauty in the wholeness that you have expressed here Dear Rima, in and of and through it all. Oh the multi-layeredness of the human experience, when we give ourselves to all that we love with all that we are. Solstice Blessings to you and Tom and your little one.

Andrew Grundon said...

Solstice is almost upon us. I hope that for all of us the psychological punctuation point will turn our faces towards the warm days to come.
The big dreams require a lot of effort, and that is what makes them rare and worthy. It will happen, for you and your family, and for all of us .
Thank you for allowing us to share your journey, Rima.
Sincerest felicitations from Bodmin Moor to Dartmoor.

Anonymous said...

Just before dawn, the darkness is always deepest... this I focus on, in these dark days, when everything seems so stand still, soaking, misty, holding it's breath, waiting for some new light....but it's almost MidWinter. TIme for a new awakening, for dreams to get out the dark womb. It's like the glowing skull Vasalisa got from the wild Baba Jaga, carrying it in front of her, when she trotted through the dark forest.

Dear Rima, I got the calender and the Wild-God-book a few days ago... both are little treasures to me, like some good food for my soul. Thanks. ♥

from a misty, wet and dark Frisia,
Greetje

mel said...

I found the rebuilding into motherhood a hard enough journey with the relative ease of running water and electricity -- so you have my utter awe and admiration for what you're undertaking. But these children, they are the best of all magicks, are they not? They open up entirely new universes of wonder and delight -- but I'm sure you know that by now. ;)

Warmest wishes to you and your wee family -- and all of my hopes that you'll be in your new home sooner, rather than later. It will all be worth it in the end. xo

Mokihana Calizar said...

All the very best dear mother Rima. We love seeing the path of progress and new territory. Your Hedgespoken home and theatre so reminds us the time and effort it took to make our vardo. Much aloha and best wishes from our wet woods in the Salish Sea to you and your family. Mokihana

Sylvia Linsteadt said...

So lovely to see that beautiful image of you and the boy and the ecstatically beautiful autumn moor up here-- and the memory of it re-stirred. What a precious and special time. And having seen it first hand, I am in true awe & honoring of the immensity of what you are undertaking in the world, as mother to such a robust and beautiful babe, and mother to this truck, and all the magic it's weaving. Wishing you days of deep rest and regeneration amidst the push. And sending you support and love from across the world. You are carrying so much, with such authenticity, and though it surely feels heavy at times (I cannot imagine), in the world it shines out as a very great and very important light. xxxx

Cloche Ette said...


Hello,

I am always amazed by your courage and tenacity face the elements . I passionately soot your adventures since 2012 , behind my computer screen somewhere in the French Alps. Congratulations to you , your project is great , you made ​​me dream . I hope my English is understandable without being good , I 've never been very good at languages.

francisco oneto said...

May the long time sun shine upon you and guide your way on
Thank you for being there
Joyfull blessings for you and your family

laoi gaul~williams said...

i have been away from blogging for much of this year but been following your journey via other outlets but to finally return and see what you have been doing and creating has been glorious. thank you so much for sharing

Helen said...

Dear Rima, my, you are having a tough time and doing so much despite the tiredness. But you know it will get better, just keep thinking of your wonderful life in the finished truck, it will all be worth it. This difficult time will not last.

I wish you and your family a very happy new year, and I hope that 2016 will bring you great joy and fulfilment and a finished truck. :)

Lunar Hine said...

Strong woman indeed (don't forget that) and still getting more painting done than many. There are a hundred hearts helping you carry all this. Love to you both, to the boy, and thrown by the handful into your futures x.