Goodbye 2017. You were…interesting.
Hello and a very Happy New Year to you.
I’m not really a resolutions person. But yesterday I achieved a goal I set myself back in July. The year felt rather like a game of two halves for me, so once chemo was over and although I could barely climb the stairs, I set my sights on climbing up the big hills behind my village on New Year’s Eve; up to the tippy-top, loop round and come down picking wild thyme for our pizza. My friends, I did it! As we stood on the summit inhaling cold, crisp mountain air, Milla and I shouted at the tops of our lungs and it felt awesome.
Instead of resolutions I rather like intentions and the idea of having a word to guide you for the year. This time last year I chose Flow; my intention had been to let creativity, ideas and inspiration to flow Niagara-like. January I was fired up but then February came round. Well, well.
As it turned out, the true meaning of flow stayed with me through the most difficult year of me life so far. The river became both my sanctuary and my muse. A source of creativity, I was resolute with the routine of going there. I visited almost daily and I sketched, painted, photographed and filmed it. As treatment polluted and weakened my body I turned to things to help them move through me – plants, good food, things that gave me joy. I felt all the feels as they frequently flooded through me. I let my friendships and connections flow, some have deepened immensely. All the while I remained open and refused to stagnate. Going with the flow was in the end the only way to survive the bouts of surgeries, tests, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, physiotherapy and for my continuing antibody treatment.
My word for 2018 is pretty obvious. HEALING. An inward, quiet and gentle word that will to guide me through the coming year.
Do you read Meet me at Mikes? I love a list, and Pip’s monthly Taking Stock posts are great, so I thought I do a similar year-long version. So this is a quick round-up how I spent my past year and the the things I’m looking forward to :
Making : More Prussian blue paintings
Cooking : Porridge topped with flaxseeds, peaches and grated lime zest, cinnamon and cacao
Drinking : fresh homemade juice
Reading: A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
Wanting: An oboe, I would love to make music again
Playing: Trivia 360 quiz occupied Team Chaney throughout incessant hospital visits, but now we’re back on Just Dance, especially this one. Classic.
Deciding: I’m going to be just fine, ok?
Intending: Turning my Prussian blue paintings into a body of work
Wishing: No sentient creatures would ever be exploited, abused and killed
Enjoying: Watching the sunset in November over the river Duoro in Porto (blog post coming!)
Planning: the trip of a lifetime in 2019
Waiting: constantly last year, a lot less this year hopefully
Liking: being at home
Loving: Rufus Wainwright in concert last month
Ending: Facebook. Brilliant move
Starting: Life drawing classes
Failing: To shoot photographs. My darkroom is now a spider sanctuary
Renewing: Some lovely, affectionate relationships with old friends
Pondering: Friendship, social media, kindness, jealousy and judgement
Considering: An artist’s residency along with a friend later this year
Buying: This dress (wore it at Christmas, folks)
Hoping: For a summer holiday – involving riding on a rollercoaster and some snorkelling, but not at the same time
Marvelling: at western medicine and French healthcare
Cringing: that animals died for me and my cancer treatments
Needing: Therefore to rescue another dog and guinea pigs to reset the karmic balance
Questioning: Do I need more guinea pigs? (Answer : Yes)
Smelling: this was the year of frankincense essential oil. In the diffuser, a body massage, on my scalp and nails. It’s beautiful and uplifting.
Wearing: Jeans mostly
Following: my instincts
Noticing: the sunlight sparkling on the river
Knowing: I have astonishing resilience and steadfastness
Thinking: I want to be more fearless
Admiring: Laika magazine
Sorting: the house in preparation for …
Getting: … a new roof in the spring! Yay!
Bookmarking: this site
Coveting: this *sigh
Opening: Throughout 2017 many touching gifts, cards and well wishes from friends near and far. Some of whom I’ve never even met in real life. One day I hope we do…
Giggling: Stranger Things Bad lip reading
Hearing: Going To A Town
What would be on your list? Let me know, I do love poking my nose into your things.
Wishing you a beautiful 2018 ❤️