Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Three days to go! Full speed ahead...a hundred things to do - like tieing everything up, leaving your life, everything tries to be finished, done, in place..no time much less energy to digest the magnitude of immense life change, culture change, environmental change, emotional change - numb. Moments of sheer exuberance and excitement, wonderment, coagulating with strickened terror of plunging deeply into the unknown:

I land in Harare, Zimbabwe Monday morning...a hugely proud country once deemed the 'bread basket of Africa', now a place, of fuel, food and water shortages, 90% unemployment, rampant HIV positive and AIDS...a place the US have advised tourists not to vist, and yet, a place peopled by the most gentle, hugely expressive, beautiful spirits in all of Africa...I am told.

Oh, I hopeI have something to offer. People ask: what propels me to embark on such a journey: why would I choose to leave this life in Canada - a world of love, family, friends, comfort - the known. It's everthing, drawn at first to offering energy, light, artistic enthusiasm where creativity might help, just a little...imagining workshops as I do at my Art Retreat...spirit cards...gradated colouring, quirky upside down drawings... the Artist Way (by Julia Cameron),or Drawing on the Right side of the Brain..lots of possibilites?
Realizing the impossiblity of this: no materials as we know it, no art stores, no Rotblotts down the street, no Currys, no Gwartzman, no paint, no paper,no oil pastel, no pens, even paper... what to do? what to possibly use? Found objects. Powdered tempora mixed with ashes from cooking fire, mixed with plant, minerals, sand, dirt. Metal? Wood? Wire. Can't use coffee stain..can't use anything you could eat..drink...juice stain. No. Then what?

I HAVE NO IDEA...none..I will run around today and pack a bag of Sharpies, oil and soft pastels, a bit of paper, spiral notebooks in such abundance here is in dire demand there. Sponge brushes. Landing in Amsterdam Saturday morning..a day with Merit and Dominique...to buy more art supplies from Holland...but what to take?

The ICA (ZIM Institute of Cultural Affairs) give workshops to 'clubs' of people applying for micro loans: in leadership, business,HIV/AIDS education and care...I will learn, watch, witness..hoping to plug into what they are doing..hoping to add a visual element - But what effect any of us can have? How to participate? How to add to? All I do know, is that the more I know, the more I DON'T KNOW...I really don't...I can't possibly plan..I have no idea what to expect, I can only pray that what I have to bring will be of some use -

Son John is fully armed this morning with both babies, gurgling, hickcupping, gooing....Shauna upstairs exhausted after a night of feedings...the meanderings of a Wednesday morning in Toronto....got to run!

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