Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Search

My previous post wasn't  an advert for Counselling and Psychotherapy.  I wrote it to say something about myself, while hopefully making some people aware that they can get help to deal with those often unspoken feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, pointlessness, as well as feelings of overwhelming confusion, anger, grief.........

These are the less acceptable aspects of being human.  Less acceptable to others and often unacceptable to ourselves.

The social media is awash with images of people laughing, smiling, partying.  The Hello Magazine lifestyle that people aspire to, or make out that they've already attained.

I wouldn't mind betting that some who have even attained it have found it to be a hollow experience at times.  Not at all what it's cracked up to be.

And 'cracked up' might be an appropriate phrase here.

To keep up that 'happy' image takes energy and sometimes drugs.

The human mind is the most incredible piece of intricate bio-technology on the planet.

Nothing compares.  The I Phone is pathetic by comparison.

Yet, what we do to our minds we wouldn't do to our I Phones.

We pour alcohol, which is a strong mind and mood altering substance, into the system via the blood stream, we put drugs of all sorts in the mix too, and expect that our minds will continue to work at full capacity.

Even a few drops of water into an I phone would stop it working completely, let alone gallons of booze and a hand full of pills, dope, crack, etc.

What's prompted me to write this?

When I was 49 I went to University in Bristol.  Too old really, but something I felt strongly that I needed to do.
I've been a surfer since I was 19.  Mostly surfing from my local beach in Cornwall.  And I've loved it.
Some people in Bristol assumed that because I was a surfer, I would also smoke pot or take drugs.  This infuriated me.  If anything, I'd originally chosen a surfing identity over that of being a mod because of the ever increasing use of drugs amongst Mods.  Surfiers seemed to me to be living a fresh, wholesome and a healthy lifestyle.  But apparently, I was naiive.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that quite a few 'top surfers', and some not so 'top' take to using excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol.

To ride a wave is an incredibly exhilarating experience.  It calls for fitness, nerve, and balance, strength and flexibility.  When you take off on a wave with any size to it, it's a great feeling.  And when you ride it well, it's a real thrill.  But the ride ends.  The intensity of the thrill fades.  Normality is restored to the body. A satisfying relaxation occurs.  And a feeling of being at one with life and the planet often ensues.

But for some, it seems, this isn't enough.

In the search for more, they settle for less.  Drugs and alcohol eventually limit their choices.  The 'sharpener' eventually dulls the mind.

Not just for those surfers who take that route, but for all the kids in search of something more than their life has to offer.  Kids from all backgrounds, not just poor kids, but rich kids too.

Surely it's time to look at the reasons behind this behaviour.  Why is there an apparent need in so many human beings to get off their faces.  Why is it that life is not enough as it is lived by many of us.

There must be a fundamental flaw somewhere when even 'top surfers' with access to money and thrills that the average person could only dream of, need more.  To the point where they are prepared to ruin their health, future, and mind, in searching for it.

Rip Curl, the surf wear manufacturer, has the motto,' The Search'.  Perhaps they mean the search for the perfect wave, the ultimate thrill, or the Endless Summer.

Some are searching for answers that might help rid quite a large proportion of this planet's population of the NEED for drugs.

That's the problem as I see it.

Back to the easel.

                                         jb  circa 1971                        Photographed by M. Haines

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

When I'm not painting, (surfing or playing my guitar),  I work as a counsellor.

I feel privileged to be able to help people who, for one reason or another, are having difficulties with life.  There are many things in life that can cause a person to feel lost.  Bereavement, divorce, redundancy, debt.......just a few.

Our society isn't really geared up to help people to feel good about themselves though we are more aware today of the causes of depression.

Life is a wonderful phenomenon and most of the time most of us can cope with what life throws at us, good and bad.  Sometimes though, things can overwhelm us and cause us to be anxious and depressed to the point that we're unable to access the joy of life.

I learnt this following two serious bereavements of my own.  My mother and my sister, five years apart.

Grief was a stranger to me, I had never experienced it before and I needed help to deal with it.

This was how I discovered Psychological Therapy.

Without it I doubt that I would have been able to continue living a full life.  One filled with joy and sadness, love and laughter, as well as grief and tears.

Life is a package deal.  Most of us will experience happiness and sadness, pain and pleasure, and most of us won't ever need counselling or psychotherapy.

I certainly didn't think that I would but I am so grateful that it was available to me when I did need it.

It's more available now than it ever was, so don't suffer in silence, talk to helps.

Monday, 3 October 2016

All done !

This was the last painting for my recent show at Gallery 65 in Bournemouth.

And it was the biggest!  It was completed in time for the private view on the 18th. September, and it was hung on the wall literally minutes before the opening.

Rebecca and Andrew have an eye for paintings, as you'd expect, and how to show them.

When I arrived at the gallery, I was overwhelmed by how my work looked.  This might sound big-headed but I rarely get to see so much of my work, finished and framed, and hanging in a fabulous sunny gallery.  I could hardly believe that I was the artist.

The private view went well, and two of the larger and more dramatic paintings were sold that afternoon to people who I know will appreciate and cherish them.

Artists, of course, usually have to sell their work in order to continue to paint, and to pay the bills,  but what any artist wants most of all is to have his or her work appreciated.  This is what makes it all worth while.

My thanks to Rebecca and Andrew for taking the ride with me, it's a roller coaster of emotions, and for all the friendly and enthusiastic people who came to the private view, and those who have visited the gallery since.

Now it's time to recover, and plan my next show, which will be in the summer of 2017, in West Penwith, Cornwall.