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I wanted to write about meditation and focus because they sort of achieve the same thing. When I made the iron man for the unicorn I wanted to be focused and calm when the rehearsals started because I was going to be in charge of lots of people for a few weeks and I wanted to be consistent and calm and be able to find the right words to give people answers. I was aware these things didn’t happen when I worked on the light princess. When someone shouted at me in a meeting I just felt embarrassed and left the room and cried in the toilet, even though in my calm thoughts later I knew what to say and could have said. The director just watched it and I needed an actual adult to stand up for me and not just observe. The woman in charge of making costumes liked me and could see it was all really pointlessly difficult for no reason. She invited me up to her room when it was Kane’s costume fitting because he’d take his shirt off and it would cheer me up she said. I just crumbled when I didn’t know how to say in words what I wanted to say in the meetings - like, why the horse is blue - and when I worked on my project at the science museum it was better but I still felt a lot of pressure that probably is also called stress. So I meditated every day for the year leading up to the iron man and it was good and I never got upset and I found words to explain what I wanted to everyone, even difficult things like getting negative people gently encouraged to be removed from the room, and purni said the room was calm. I’ve stopped meditating because it’s hard without a routine. I didn’t like using the app that everyone uses because the man chuckles too much, and it encourages you to meditate like you’re collecting stamps at cafe nero. We all find it hard sometimes to . . . . [chuckle] . . . relax. I’m stalking the idea of meditation again, and writing this series of posts (which I think is for a year, at least to look back and see if I feel happier) might give me a reason to commit better. Focus is hard too - being an independent self-initiated artist means you spend all day by yourself and no-one is telling you to do stuff except you and the other voices in your head telling you instead to do other even more fun things than art. Even if you have a deadline it’s still hard. I usually listen to podcasts. But they stop after about an hour and so you stop. And then put on another and start again or do something else. This week I have been making stuff for Tim and I was in his studio and I had a lot to do to get it done in time and I put on Einstein on the beach one morning and played it all the way through and I worked hard the whole time and experienced focus and I felt satisfied. I had a deadline because josh was coming over for dinner so I had to leave by 5 to get it ready. At ten. To. 5 I thought I would quickly try out the industrial eyelet machine that Tim needed me to use. I opened the box and it was not assembled. I had to assemble it. I got panicky because it looked too difficult, like an adult should do it. I got upset and panicky. I put it together wrong because the manual was too specific and too hard to read (it was all illustrated and only six steps). 180 degree twist to the left until you feel this, then tighten this. I have a relationship with the chimp that lives alongside me and I will write about him another time. His name is Michael fernery. He takes over a lot of the time. He was getting upset about the machine and us being late for Josh. Then I said: let’s just read this, step by step, try it, if it works great, if not we can do it tomorrow. I read the instructions slowly. It all got pieced together. I tried to make an eyelet. It worked FIRST TIME. I felt satisfied from doing good focused work. I felt elevated. Focus = meditation, I had an hour bike ride home and I thought about slimewell and I felt an amount of softening. I thought about poets. They give us sentences to carry around. I thought about miller Williams - have compassion for everyone you meet even if they don’t want it - you do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone. I went home and josh and me cooked dinner together. It was all satisfying and we had a nice time and I felt happy.

One more thing about happiness. Joel showed me some of the contact sheets from the photos he made of me in glasgow. I felt like I had a cloud over me, that I couldn’t give him what I wanted or what I thought he wanted when he was doing the photos but I look just simply absolutely happy in them. It made me feel that after all it is my nature to be happy, I’m innately sunny even if I’m not right now. And it made me notice it’s actually less cloudy than I thought. hooray!

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