a life creative
I’ve yet to finish the Meet the Maker series, but it had to go on hold for a few weeks. I’m in the middle of commissions, setting up independence for myself here in Italy, drivers licence cramming, job interview, new telephone contracts, and moving apartment.
The apartment I’m moving into is where I stayed (one of the 7 places I moved to in 7 months) when I first came to Italy. Before that it had been closed up more or less for 30 years and hasn’t been occupied since I was there in 2012. It’s basically been used as storage for Kinder Surprise trinkets, garbage bags of VHS B-grades, novelty mugs and daggy mostly peach-coloured jackets from the 80s. The furniture and puzzle wall hangings had been painted around so the Olympic pool blue and queasy yellow theme had to be toned back somewhat. I love whitewash here…it does everything at once, no prepping, no filling, the stuff has the consistency of mascarpone.
My decision stems from something my friends and mentors, Annie and Robin from the Printmaking Sisters, said back in May: You can’t enter a room while still hanging onto the door handle.
Since being separated a year, and apart from the 3 months abroad, I’ve been living in the same apartment with The Etruscan – which works very well for our catbaby, and for my ex as well, as I’m a pretty mean cook. But it wasn’t really working for me on a deeper level. Why was I still there? Because it was safe. We’d even considered briefly to reconcile, but it would all be for the wrong reasons, and with very likely zero change – I could already see those patterns forming. I’d rather not ruin our friendship and work relationship to chase unmet expectations and a false sense of security.
So when yet another tenant in the apartment fell through last minute and I was outside in the sun repainting the terrazza, I realised how at ease I felt while I was there. It’s tiny and old and there is a shuttered window in every room. The geckos enter and leave as they please,
…the kitchen and living room look over a little courtyard at ground level at the back, and I’ve furnished the terrazza, which opens off my bedroom, with ubiquitous geraniums, miniature roses, basil and parsley. I’ve yet to get used to new noises and surrounds, but it already feels home in a way that is all mine. Best of all, it’s only 100 metres down the road from the big house, so the cat and I still have one another.
And as if to ram home the door handle prophecy, I was walking from the bedroom to the lounge room, glass of wine in hand, admiring my fresh paintwork. The actual physical door handle hooked my sleeve and jerked me back, leaving the wine to continue on into the room without me. Now we can’t have that, can we?