It makes me think of immigrants to New Zealand. It is one thing to get to know them at work, to chat on the street, but quite another to welcome them in to your home. I am guilty of limited contact on a personal level, and I am ashamed of this. How many times could I have invited a family to my home, but simply didn't think to do so? How many refugees in New Zealand are forced to cling to their own cultures because they are not given the opportunities to assimilate? You are welcome to live in New Zealand, but not to come too close, not to rock our world?
At Christmas I had more invitations to dinner than I could accept. For this I am always grateful. It is in the aftermath of Christmas that I need to be self-propelled again. Or perhaps simply accept a push from others, to get me started again? When chatting with a sympathetic young friend yesterday he wrote:
poi tu sei un artista, gli artisti hanno una percezione molto amplificata del mondo reale. Comunque, in compenso gli artisti, lasciano una testimonianza indelebile nella storia degli esseri umani
tu attraverso i tuoi dipinti
lo faiWhether or not there is any truth in the perception that artists feel things more deeply, or perhaps have an unreal relationship with the world, I will accept his unintended challenge, to paint the history or our times. (In fact, as I wrote this, I remembered my electrician friend yesterday looking at the snakeskin on my mantlepiece, one I had found in the garden and brought inside to enjoy. He looked around my interesting and unconventional home, banged his head against mine, and told me, in broadly smiling dialect, that I REALLY was unwell...)
Why am I writing this more-personal-than-usual post? A Kiwi friend wanted to "Google Earth" my home. In fact, my address doesn't take Google to the right place. I was looking back through this blog for a photo to send to her, but instead I found this post. It reminded me of my journey, and so instead of feeling alone and sorry for myself I have decided to write my way out of it. It's good therapy.
Among my gifts at Christmas is a hand made card that reads :
"Carissima Kay noi ti vogliamo bene dal primo giorno che ti abbiamo conoscuta e ti pensiamo sempreI don't need to look very far at all to find the blessings in my life. The family who wrote these lovely words is away skiing at the moment. They have a campervan, and in it is a bed for me. I just need to accept the invitation.
perchè se ti senti sola noi ci siamo sempre".
There is another invitation I would like to accept one day soon. That is the invitation to dance, to dance with life. In fact, I think I'll stop writing and go and put the music on...
Today I am grateful for very special friends.