There is something very satisfying about getting new shoes especially when they are red shoes and can help take you out into the beautiful Derbyshire countryside.
I used to run a lot, then hurt myself, stopped, started, lost motivation, started again. Stopped. Depression returned and with it a blanket of low self esteem and irritability. Outside of my home, you wouldn’t know this as I continue to work and smile on a daily basis but often returning home to sleep for 10 hours or not sleep more than 3 – 4 hours, waking with swirling thoughts. When my dog died at Easter, I found myself wondering why I was carrying on like this and decided to get medical help. Three months later and I have new red shoes, been wild swimming, have a wild camping trip planned and the most cheerful four-legged running partner ever.
I have to admit I’ve been inspired by a friend whose openness about her depression and recovery through social media has encouraged me to do the same.
I’ve also started reading a wonderful eco therapy book with a basis in Buddhism, it’s really challenging my thoughts on being self centred and seeing the world as something I use, not just enjoying its existence. I concentrated today, in my red shoes, on enjoying the existence of the physical world around me and trying to enjoy the mindfulness of my time with Florence and the moor.
I’ve wanted to swim in the river for so long, but been too anxious to go off by myself and do it, so when I spotted a post on social media, I jumped at the opportunity. It’s one of the highlights of my summer and I’ll be returning to the spot whenever I can.
In a week of such uncertainty, I realised I may have no influence in what is happening externally, other than putting a cross where my conscience tells me, i have tried to embrace the lack of control eco dyeing encourages me to embrace.
I am happy with chaos and surprise in my artwork but when it happens in life my brain shuts down into a spiral of depression, can I learn to transfer the excitement of unwrapping a bundle to the external world?
I may have cheated… I bought some roses that were reduced from the supermarket! This goes against all the ideas of the Sorrel and Silk project, which was to use foliage and flowers from Derbyshire. However, in my defence, yesterday it was an immense effort to get out of the house. I decided to have a go at just using petals and steaming the bundles to extract the colours from the petals. I’m really happy with the results. I have had my eye on some flowers in my garden, but as my daughter planted them, they are untouchable. These pieces will probably be used as backgrounds for collaged textile pieces later on this year.