Its 3 am in the morning and thoughts of how to manage my working life and my creative life are jousting for position in a busy crowded brain. ( I say jousting not jostling deliberately). I consider myself fortunate. I have a working life that is in arts administration. I work with artists every day . I also work with structures that are far from creative constrained by budgets, rules and procedures.
Thats ok .
I care about the arts, I care about cultural development, I care about creative expression knowing the incredible power for change that can be. I care about community. So as a creative I get to work in a structured way and still apply creative thinking to contemporary problem solving.
But I am an artist. Being in creative flow is akin to being with God. Raymond Curtis told me that one day when we were driving down to a RADF meeting. That was long before I had a real job. That was when I was trying to find my way as a single mother with three kids, running a fledgling live music venue trying to make ends meet and painting every moment I could.
Raymond is an elder in every sense of the word. There are places on this mountain where I live named after his family. He has the stories of Tamborine Mountain ingrained in his soul like the rings you find when you cut into a tree. Raymond is a composer, a poet and an environmentalist. He is also a vegetarian and a pacifist. Now in his 90s Raymond is from a gentler age. On those drives to Beaudesert back in the 1990s Raymond would tell me stories of his work for the National Parks, of living on Tamborine Mountain of the people who lived there like Judith Wright and her philosopher partner Jack McKinney. He could name all the trees, point to the homes of spiders and small creatures and could identify birds by their calls. He would recite poetry as we wound our way down the Mountain or he would burst into song or whistle a bird call. Equally he might burst into tears as he recounted this memory or that.
He talked of a time when you could hear the sound of the surf down on the coast from on top of the mountain. He spoke of walking barefoot to school, as we drove up Curtis Road he recalled a time when every summer the track as it was then would be lit with fireflies.
One time he told me the story of a time back in 1939 just before the war when the Light Horse Brigade were doing a training run between Numinbah Valley across the Mountain to Beaudesert.
He told of running to the school fence and seeing 750 men on horseback with the feathers in their hats and swords at there waist. He told that story so I could see them, I could feel the excitement of the boy, sense the spirit of the ride.
We talked of how an artist can convey something that can otherwise not be put into words and that was how he created music and poetry and that was how we got to the comment about creativity and being with God. ( whatever you take a God notion to be)
So its now 3.45 am. In my studio. Surrounded by artwork, papers, ideas. Today is Friday and soon I will be able to switch off work thoughts and put charcoal to paper. Feel the immediacy of the line.