Tuesday 14 June 2011

Regrets and moving on...

First show in Rome, Italy, 1996

Last show in Rome in 1998 with the gallerista, me, gf of art teacher, Natasha, my favourite model

4-person art show at the apartment in Rome, 1996. I think the wall was holding me up -- I'd had quite a bit of wine by this point.

Last show, 1998. Monsieur Poisson, my art teacher, Natasha, me, Sigfrido Oliva, painter

I wrote this post originally in response to something Rae Crothers wrote to me today on her blog Travels With Miranda. I've added a bit more to it here.

My 40s is when I finally got going on my dreams of travel. Travel-travel, not the zigzagging back and forth and up and down Canada I'd done for 25 years since leaving high school in 1970.

I started McGill (living in Montreal was always one of my life dreams) in January 1993 and got my BA in 2.5 years at 43, took a 2-week ESL course, went to Italy in September of '95 for 2 weeks, found two jobs and stayed 3 years. Dontcha just love a black market economy. I was illegal and but managed to get a codice fiscale and paid taxes the entire time I was there. The EU sucks 'cuz you can't get away with things like that anymore... at least I don't think you can. Hmm...

Unfortunately, my dad died in April 1998 which really threw me for a loop and I ended up coming back to Canada for "a year". B-I-I-I-I-I-G mistake. Yes, I do know that people die. Duh. And I have read all about the stages of grieving, but until you go through it, you can't begin to understand how profoundly the death of a parent, one of the two primary relationships in your life, will affect you. It's a major shakeup of one's interior landscape in ways you can't even begin to imagine, and loopy is the operative word until the figurative dust settles, and time passes.

When I wrecked my knee, scraping the former tenant's paint crud off a hardwood floor of all things, I was trapped here. When it finally got better after four years (idiot, idiot GP sending me to the wrong specialists) (did I say idiot?) (IDIOT), surgery (the surgeon was great) and endless physio that permanently wrecked my knee (more IDIOTS), I got front-ended by a moron who professed to not know that she had to have her brakes regularly serviced. She lost them coming down a hill, had to be doing 90 through a green light and ploughed into me while I was waiting for the guy in front of me to make a left turn. Her truck destroyed my precious Beretta, drove the engine into the dash which drove into my knees and spun my car around, so now I had whiplash on top of not being able to walk for another two years. Plus she almost killed her three kids and herself.

Long story short, I can walk without pain now, but not quickly, nor can I run or dance or bend my knees or kneel down (I'm missing half my kneecap, it's eggshell thin now) -- or fall down. I can't stand in one place for more than 10 minutes at a time. And I canNOT do stairs. So no subways and most living accommodation is out. And it exacerbated the old back damage incurred when a hit-and-run driver in a stolen car hit me on my bike and I went flying through the air, landing on my tailbone. I live most days feeling like I have shards of glass in my lower spine. Robax Platinum is my friend.

Travel is the best thing in the world as far as I'm concerned, and I am so frickin' sorry I didn't do more of it. Moral of the story is do what you want to do NOW. Don't wait for later, because later may never arrive. "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans" may be trite, but it's also very, very true. I still dream of going back to Italy, of going to Nepal, Tibet, South America, Siberia... Mountains and wilderness being the common denominator. Ha, ha and ha.

Eh, well... I have transcriptions to proof now, then it's off to the lab in Paris for my quarterly blood tests, then a meeting in Woodstock with Rene of Let's Eat Cake this afternoon to discuss our cake jewellery collaboration -- we have a bridal show scheduled for September 8th, with a photographer, caterer, Rene, me, and maybe we can find other bridal type suppliers as well. I have to drop off my art gallery gift shop application which is only a month and a half overdue and take stuff to the consignment store -- Rae has really inspired me, with getting rid of all my crap (even as I make more stuff!) being the first step.

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