Breaking silence

Silence is the language of the gods. All else is just translation.

Breaking a silence is a difficult thing, once you are used to it.

I wanted to break silence on the first of December, but it took a few more days and returning to Ireland to sleep, to work up the energy to write.

In my last post, I wrote as if the worst was over. As if things were returned to normal. It still makes me chuckle. As if I was not still sitting in a burning building, waving through the window.

November came and went without a show. I wanted to write about No-Show November, but there simply wasn’t time. No time in between the doctor’s appointments, counselling, representing myself at a tribunal, moving out, rest, renovation and care. I took a hiatus from phones, from posting, from trying to promote myself. Promoting my work felt futile. Apathy set in.

I left my violin in to be fixed in the place I got it. Thank you, everybody, for your kindness and support with my violin. It means so much. I’m humbled by all of it.

December looks as though it will also be a no-show. I thought my violin would be ready by now, and it is now looking like end of January. I don’t know when I will be able to return to Ireland to retrieve it. It could be months. I feel burnt out. I looked into short term rentals in Ireland. To find something that fits my needs will be tricky, and more expensive than I can really afford at this stage.

This is a difficult piece to write, and a hard decision to make. I wanted to keep going no matter what, but I have had to accept that sometimes circumstances are a no go. At this stage, I want to restore my energy, and a show a month for six months on the trot has been a lot for me.

I am not stopping 12:12:12. I still want to do 12 shows, but they may not be every single month, and they may not be finished in a single year. I want to do them well. I want to make sure that any artist who works with me on these is recognised and well looked after.

Time is my most limited resource. For every show, there has been a tradeoff of organization, planning, research, promotion and marketing, rehearsal, songwriting, my attempts at production, rest and recovery. I could do a few of these each time, but not everything. Towards the last show, Scorpio, I was burnt down to a cinder. I was running a deficit on rest, even before the disaster that was the last few months hit, and then I walked into a whirlwind. I turned obsessive and exhausted myself. I called the last show the burning times, because I felt like I was burning alive.

This is how it looked in the Hashtag Gallery (photo and candles by the amazing Petra Nikolaou, custom corset by the amazing Kate Mior of Bone and Busk Couture). Wings? Claws? The phoenix is the creature I always identified with the most, and a crow can be a phoenix like any other bird.

I can’t say I know what the next few months will be. I went from planning months in advance to taking things one day at a time. I realised that among other things, I don’t really know how to be happy, and I would like to try to be.

I knew that taking this showcase on would be a way for me to generate data and learn fast, and I was fully prepared for it to fail, but I was not prepared for it to hammer me into the ground. This is the first project I have taken on for myself, bearing complete responsibility. For that reason, it was crushing to feel it falter and fail, at least for the time being. I want to finish what I have started.

I have been cautioned against posting about this and my mental health, but I think it’s more important to be somewhat transparent, given so much of my work is about mental health and recovery. There have been amazing highs, but I can’t deny that right now I am at a low ebb. Now is the only thing that’s real, and I have to work with what I have.

I miss practicing and I miss performing, and I want to be back to it soon, but for now, it’s more rest and recovery. I want the next show to be amazing, and I will work towards that.

For now, I’ll mostly try to listen.


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