Still Living: Soul Song in a new Form and more books

my daughter enjoying herself during the bottle dropoff in Nottingham

It has been a while since I last posted here. – Sorry about that! Life has been even more demanding than usual, with the kids being in hospital for a test for which they needed to be sedated, followed by now two weeks of the kids taking turn in being sick at home with high fevers. (I blame the stay in hospital, but that is probably just my imagination.)
And then there is the car we want to buy: The one we are currently driving has the steering wheel on the right side, which is the left side. But it seems the people in our chosen home country insist on driving on the wrong side. So therefore I now want a car which has the steering wheel on the wrong side, which is the right side but doesn’t feel right. I imagine it will make life easier. For example when driving through a gate with an interphone it is much more convenient when you are sitting on side of the car where the speakers are.

it was our son who wanted to throw the bottle in

Also I am beginning to feel the effects of recently moving to a foreign country. I have been waiting for some sort of culture shock to hit me, and so far I have been doing very well, much better than I thought I would. When I spent a couple of months in the US, I was longing for “real bread” towards the end and was annoyed by small things in everyday interactions, lost the interest in trying new stuff and longed for more of the known.
Nothing of the kind has plagued me since arriving here. I still love trying new foods, my love for lemon curd has not ceased, and I feel no need to buy food in specialty stores. And I still am in love with the English people. I find it very hard to describe, but just the sound of how English is spoken here makes me happy. I love how they say “oh, hello!” making their voices briefly climbing altitudes that it seems to topple over the “he” and falls down into the “lo”; hearing that makes me happy for a ridicilous long while after I heard it. It will probably take a while, tough, until I am getting used to be called “my love” by the cashier in our local supermarket.
But despite being very happy to live here now, I am beginning to feel a little alone. A mini culture shock of sorts, I guess: Working from home, working a lot, and having small children to look after doesn’t help meeting people. And in my everyday small talk conversations on the street I am feeling more a stranger than when I arrived here. (Maybe because, although I am training, I just can’t give my voice the right pitch in saying “hello”.)

secretive me on my way to a special bottle placement

But, and I hope this comes as a bit of surprise after all the lament, I had a good portion of productive time in my studio since my last post, so that I had quite a satisfying time since then.

As you might have guessed from the pictures above, I have been making some bottles for my message in a bottle project, and dispatched two of them. Details can be found on the dedicated blog as usual.

In a blog post here a while ago, I mentioned I was working on a custom order. That book is finally finished, and I am very happy with the outcome:

More photos of the binding can be found on my bookbinding album on ipernity where you will also find a picture of a teeny tiny book I made last weekend.

As usual I am working on several projects at once. Soul Song and Ruled World are not forgotten, but two (or three if you count a “yes, I want to”, given as an answer to a proposed cooperation, as an a project even if there are no ideas or concepts present). Having several projects at once can be inhibiting: so much to do, no place to start. But sometimes it can come in really handy. Today I thought I would be working on my book “abscences”, and I worked on it for half a day, slowly, and without real gusto. Then my eyes fell on what is the current status of soul song, and I got a good bit further:

soul song work in progress by H. Kurzke
trials for soul song
soul song work in progress by H. Kurzke
some dismissed ideas/trials
soul song work in progress by H. Kurzke
I think I am getting somewhere
soul song work in progress by H. Kurzke
second trial, same idea

I read somewhere: If you get stuck with your creative work, throw out what was central to the first attempts. I figured that was the idea with the stick mats. My first thought was to try ceramics, nice, white porcellain, maybe with some gold rim or such.
But then I decieded to experiment with some parchment cut-offs that I still had lying about. And so far I like the outcome.

I guess I have to face that this is agaon not that book about my grandparents. This idea that this time I will make a book about my relation to my grandparents has led to a variety of outcome. In retrospective I think it has been a driving motive for me to explore my relation to myself, and my story in general. Soul song will be no different than the books before: not that things that seems to linger just there, at the edge of my perception. From time to time I think I finally know how to do it. But at least not this time. I wonder whether I will be able to make that book one day.

Well, whether the pictures above really are the first steps towards the final shape of soul song, I don’t know yet. But I feel I am getting somewhere.

2 replies on “Still Living: Soul Song in a new Form and more books”

  1. This is such an interesting and inspiring post Hilke. Thank-you for sharing this personal journey and process of exploration. I think this is the way really special artworks come around – starting off with an idea and materials and following along, wandering up dead-ends and untrodden paths until you find the place you’re seeking. It can be testing at times and immensely pleasurable at others, but still we must do it.

    I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling a bit isolated. I guess that’s also part of the process of moving. Do the children go to any playgroups or anything where you might meet other mothers? I’m not a mother so I don’t know but I know my friends socialize a lot with mothers of their kids’ friends/playmates.

    Good luck and in the mean time you have your online friends. 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda,

      I hope you are right, and something interesting will come out of all this search for the right form.

      You are right about play- and toddler groups: Having kids makes it much easier to meet people. If I didn’t have those, I would probably not speak to people other than my husband and post office staff for days in a row 🙂

      And of course you are right about online friends. You and they have been valued friends for several years. I don’t know how things were going for me without the internet and many people so kind to share their knowledge and thoughts and provide support!
      Thank you, and thank you for reminding me!

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