As I began the last page in this journal volume, I was walking down the Lisburn Road in Belfast. I passed a glass & steel 1980s BT telephone box near the City Hospital and like being sucked through a vacuum tube, surged abruptly into surreality. Images, visions, dreams of the past swirled together with the present on this misty Belfast street. I took out my phone and dialled it's number 028 9023 2471, holding my breath waiting for the green amber screen to illuminate and for it to ring
Today I went to church, and instead of there being a sermon, there were readings by two of the children, contemporary worship songs, and the wrapping of gift hampers for one of the organisations that we support, a womens' shelter in Rathmines. While everyone sang, I sat, sometimes joining in, all the while drawing outlines and swirls, grateful for the space to ask a question I'm not sure of the answer to: Why did creation emerge from the great swirl, why was it formed, if not for love?
Moving further into the question of how we remember the dead, this week's journal has begun to expand on and explore the concept of monuments to our lost loved ones. When a friend, who was a graffiti artist and a tagger passed away, a whole world of people memorialised him on walls. His name is a secret, and although these walls are there for all to see, only those who knew him can truly see the stories they tell and the parts of him they celebrate.
It's been more than two years since 'Drowning in Enough', a vision of the overwhelming sufficiency of grace in the midst of surrender, but it wasn't until after I wove 'Dark Hedges', when I went with some friends to go 'bouldering' in the sea, just a few miles north of that broken tunnel of yew in north County Antrim, that I tasted foamy saltwater, got caught in a current, pulled under, and couldn't catch my breath, that I realised what it really meant to drown.
You're getting married, Congratulations! Now obviously I want you to buy a thousand scarves & bow-ties, but the purpose of my journal is to share my journey, not sell my work, and having recently crossed the threshold myself, I've learnt lots of things that may be good to know. In Ireland, people love to give gifts. Cash is great, and much needed as you pay for the wedding and settle into married life, but there's something about giving a gift, about finding something really special, going to a store or studio, seeing it all packed up in tissue, ribbon, box and bag, but people also want to give you the things you'd love yourselves, and somewhere between these two options lies a third that strikes the perfect balance between the two, - the wedding list.
British designer Alexander McQueen's work explored, mastered and subverted history, culture, craft & fashion. Famous for deeply relatable imagery and for being unafraid of bringing an audience on a dichromatic journey of dark and light, McQueen provoked imaginations, assertively juxtaposing the familiar with the alien.
““You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.””
— Alexander McQueen