& -the lessons I have learnt this month.

Colour, Connections, Making, Steel
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‘Ampersand’ 2019. Sam Shendi

My husband was laughing that everyone would know I was poorly the other week because I posted about it on Instagram. Well now even more people will know because I am writing about it on WordPress. However, I have only a few followers so it is not as though thousands of people will know. What is interesting though is that my post had a few more likes and I am aware that the more you divulge about yourself or share yourself, the more likely you are to increase your followers. This is where I struggle because although I would like more readership and followers on some level. I am so introverted that the idea of posting images of myself of  doing stories where I am in them feels totally against my natural inclination.

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The reason I posted about being poorly was that it timely coincided with the sculptors evening photoshoot. Sods Law. I was literally bedridden with a fever and sore throat whilst the boys bounced around in the attic space, which we converted last year. They sounded like a herd of elephants. So I spent time being still and overcoming frustration on several levels. However, the positive is that we have more images to use for social media and galleries now.

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I look back and wonder if I almost brought about my own illness by worrying whether I would still be able to run next month. It is often so difficult to be content with what is happening to us in the present moment but it is the most important time to lean into the situation and learn. So my stillness sparked off doing some meditation which I have done off and on before but never with a regularity, which I was able to do being in bed. I realise now that as much as it is good to move and energise yourself, it is also as important to balance that with stillness. Stillness in a productive way.

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The more I read and learn, ‘Fear is being in a state, ‘not of right mind’. I have no reason to fear the future. Whether I will run or not, whether x,z,z will happen or not.  Fearing the future and worrying only prevents us from focusing on the present and actually makes us suffer twice or once unnecessarily. When you start to understand your own mind, you understand the world. The world is simply what you believe it to be.

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On a completely different subject my husband taught me a knew word when he introduced me to ‘ampersand’. It is quite amusing that he told me it, my husband’s English has improved over the years but I sometimes have to give him spellings or slightly adjust his pronunciation of words. Sometimes I wait a while because I quite like the funny turns of phrase he comes out with like, ‘learning curve” used to be ‘learning curb’. Anyway, I learnt that the alphabet used to have an additional letter, did you know? x,y,x,&. When reciting the alphabet they would say ‘and per se’ so eventually this ran together to become ‘ampersand’.

The argument about never beginning a sentence with ‘and’ is because, to introduce a sentence with ‘and;’ expresses an incomplete thought but it is a stylistic preference rather than a grammatical rule. So you can use it for dramatic or forceful effect.

And so that is why I have punctuated each paragraph with the ampersand sign. So also not quite starting each sentence with and.

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so finally this piece is finished. Usually the sculptor is fairly fast with the process from inspiration to creation, to carving to painting but this big boy has had a longer journey. It was initially created last year and has taken some work moving it and then smoothing it and finally painting it and then having the final photoshoot.

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to give it some scale:

to give scle to &

Ego, I go, grammar goes…

Publications, Steel

I don’t know if  ‘Ego, I go, grammar goes’ makes any sense, but as a title it sounded good to me. Spelling and grammar have never been my strong point. Perhaps I just keep telling myself that in order to remain lazy and nonchalant about it. Methodological thinking is not how my brain seems to work. I need to start making a conscious attempt to self correct and proof read a little more. It  annoys me when I see, ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ and ‘their’ and ‘there’ misused. So it’s quite worrying that I myself am doing it. There is obviously, therefore a handful of readers browsing my posts and pulling the grimace on their faces that I sometimes do. I guess it is a lesson in placing judgment. We should never judge others or criticise others of  behaviours or actions when we ourselves are not perfect. “When we think we’re perfect, we expect perfection from others. When we start to recognize our own weaknesses, we begin to be more forgiving of the weaknesses in others”. Yasmin Mogahed. So I apologies for my grammatical mistakes and that the grammar goes.. out of the window sometimes in my writing.

So in keeping with bad grammar…’I go’ everywhere yesterday looking for a magazine. Supermarkets, newsagent, shops and none of them have it. I then had an idea of going into a coffee shop and seeing if they have a copy. They have a stack and kindly give me three. As I walk back to the car flicking through it, I can’t find what I am looking for. I look back at the front cover. June 2014. It is June but perhaps I am needing the July issue. I give up and return home. All of this because that morning I bumped into a friend who tells me what really good coverage and images of my husband’s work.  I am not sure what she is talking about and then she explains he is in a local magazine. At home, I  casually tell my husband over brunch forgetting the ‘artist ego’ and so then he phones a friend to find out where we can get a copy, texts the photographer who writes back “it’s really good, I’ll drop a copy to you this week”. “This week” the sculptor can’t wait a moment longer. So I offer, I must make clear and I go on a hunt even though for me I only half understand the urgency. The artist ego has fully kicked in. “Ego might seem self centred but artists and writers need buoyant egos to go on working” Elizabeth Baines. 

I wrote the above this morning whilst my husband stood outside our business and two ladies boldly walked past with a ream of magazines distributing them to local business. I then had to wait until this evening to see it and read it.  Entitled “Body Art, a West Yorkshire sculptor is making a name for himself with head-turning works”.It’s an amazing three page spread with great images and lots of details and promotion. Even with a strip line on the front cover “Man of Steel” talk about massaging the ego and reinforcing the boys opinion of Baba! A few facts not quite right but ultimately a great piece. It even gives this site a little promotion, “Sam is married to a writer, who he says is “wholly supportive of my work” Her lively blog ‘The Sculptor’s Wife’ shares news about his work, as well as family life with Sam and their two sons”. In reading that it definitely buoyed up my ego though seeing the words ‘married to a writer” in black and white print feels a bit fraudulent. At what point do you become a writer? Can a writer own up to having have bad grammar? So, perhaps the ‘Ego’ is not a bad thing. Bad grammar, maybe.

 

Yorkshire Living, complimentary magazine (July 2014 edition) :

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