Reading Man with a Blue Scarf in the evening light
Last night I got back from a packed weekend in London (a very generous early birthday present). This time it only took me a few hours to adapt to big city life, and while I am exhausted from the trip, I feel energised at the same time, and the tiredness is of the good kind that makes you feel nice and heavy in the morning when you wake up. In a recent article about anxiety the do-more approach was suggested as an antidote, which made me think I might be doing the right thing - I am certainly experiencing the benefits of doing a lot at the moment.
The trip was perfect timing because we got to see the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition (and didn't have to queue at all; while I try my best to make the most of queueing -mindfulness, reframing it, etc.-, it still triggers panic attacks sometimes). It was mind-blowing. I got Man with a Blue Scarf - On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud a few weeks ago and wanted to read it in preparation, but now I am glad I didn't get around to it - instead I can read it now with the memory of the exhibition. I was familiar with Freud's work, but had never read anything more substantial than the occasional newspaper article about him. Obviously with artists I know quite a lot about all that information is at the back of my mind when I see their work live and affects how I perceive it, but there is something refreshing about the directness and impact of seeing an artist's work in those cases where I don't have a lot of background knowledge.
As always, being away has given me a new perspective on things, and it helped so much with compartmentalising (something I struggle with) - I mostly managed to leave my worries, awareness of deadlines and the sense of structured weeks behind. I hope some of that carries over into the next few weeks.