Signs of Freedom

That’s the name of a book I want to write.

I have no idea what it’s about, or even what kind of book it is, but that’s the title. For now it will have to settle for being the title of a blog post. 🙂

In fact, as I think about it, it feels like a good title for my life, now.

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, Dorset

I spent the past three years or so in a very interior place; I became a full on recluse, a necessary response to what was happening inside me, and for a long time didn’t even leave the house much.

Going out felt like a continuous onslaught that required extensive recovery time, and for months I didn’t have the energy for that with so much going on inside. Even basic interactions were a struggle.

Durdle Door 2

Durdle Door, Dorset

One thing that stopped completely, and that I missed all the time, was travel.

Travelling always felt essential to me, like part of my soul. So it was weird and uncomfortable to not feel able to, and I worried that I might never do so again.

Durdle Door 3

Durdle Door, Dorset

And then lo! Here I am, writing this in a cosy bed and breakfast in Mevagissey on Cornwall’s south coast, many miles from home.

I actually dipped my toe back into venturing away from home last year, with a week in Majorca and then a week on solitary retreat in a cottage in the Sussex countryside. Both were experiences of opening, of testing the waters, and of discovering myself in new, or perhaps updated, ways.

Durdle Door1

Durdle Door, Dorset

And then 2016 began, and with it some unexpected and wonderful, if mostly invisible-on-the-outside, changes.

One visible change was in my art, and with that came the realisation that I was trying to paint what freedom feels like.

Once I saw that, it was like a jigsaw I didn’t know I’d been putting together suddenly began to look like a complete picture.

It was everywhere, all across my life, from the way I arrange and use my home to my ongoing obsession with birds in flight.

Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis, Dorset

Another change was that I suddenly felt ready to go out into the world again. Joy!

I have a long held dream to visit the east coast of the US, and found myself – after literally years of thinking and talking about it – diving into actually planning for it.

That’ll come later, but in the meantime I had an idea to do a practice run; a solo road trip down to the westernmost tip of the UK and back.

I’ve visited Cornwall three times {if you include the Scilly Isles}, and loved it differently each time. I think something in my soul recognises it.

So what better than to rent a car and drive down and have a little adventure, while getting to know how I like to travel now?

The beach at Charmouth, Dorset

The beach at Charmouth, Dorset

I want to share a little of this adventure with you, since it’s so significant not just to me personally, but also to my work and where it’s going.

I find I am constantly being reminded of and surprised by the underlying theme of freedom in my life. It’s present in everything, and growing stronger and clearer each day.

Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis

Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis :: it’s like a lunar landscape with hundreds of ammonite fossils embedded in the rock underfoot

The pictures in this post are from the first few days of my road trip.

So far I haven’t done much art {one drawing!}, but I plan to do more as I go deeper into Cornwall. It’s a county full of artists and wild landscapes from which to draw {literally and figuratively!}.

Making art on Ridge Cliff, Seatown

Making art on Ridge Cliff, Seatown

I hope that there will be some interest for you in these posts. I would love the blog to become a rich combination of my loves – art, the sea, travel, creativity, {freedom!} – since they all feed each other.

I’m not planning to change the basic format – there will still be all the usual kinds of posts – but I have to share this part of who I am too, because it’s changing how I live in the world.

Free Spirit boat

A boat after my own heart 🙂

So for the next week or so, there will be more posts than usual as I make my pilgrimage westwards and share some of that experience with you.

Then I’ll come home and everything will be back to normal, whatever that means. 🙂

Next post here.