Monday, 22 January 2007

B******s to January

This is what Beauty Offensive is all about. If I could afford to I would place images like the one above (taken in August last year) on advertising hoardings in the ugliest locations across the land. Not out of arrogance, but a sheer wilfullness to jolt us out of our environment. Also, it being January, I felt a reminder of summer may provide a boost to anyone who needs it.
Why am I doing this? What's it all about? I'm actually quite sure of the motives but only just starting to articulate them. It's been brewing for about a year. Going out (or even staying in) and seeking beauty is particularly necessary if you don't get much pleasure from your surroundings, or if you feel stuck indoors. I cannot travel far, and often not at all. But when I do manage to get out and about I like to take photos. I also paint, but not very well.
I became ill two years ago and have only just started to accept the limitations I am under. In the eyes of the benefits system, my local travel operator and a few assorted health professionals I am longterm disabled. But I want to enable my mind to challenge what my body is telling me every day. And a big natural antidote to feeling down about it all has been to wake up to what is beautiful out there. Even if I can't go out on a sunny day, the sun is still shining. Having emerged from a very serious depression I find that putting beauty in the way of ugliness, whether it be thoughts, surroundings or situations can really help. Also, as I get better at this, I want to challenge our perceptions of beauty.
Blogging all seems very strange and new, which is ironic considering I read such a lot of blogs. It's a bit like watching professional skaters and then having a go yourself and falling flat on your arse. Not that I have yet, but it all feels a bit wobbly not least because I have yet to harness the full potential of the technology at my fingertips. Perhaps settling into a new computer, hooking up a photo printer and starting a blog all in three days has been a bit much for my tiny, faltering mind.
And yet suddenly I am achieving a longed-for goal.
My concentration is shot to bits, by fatigue, medication, difficult circumstances. But I wanted to start a blog. I wanted a photo printer so I can stick my favourite pictures around the walls in the corner where my computer sits. And so I can produce watercolours of long-gone summer flowers.
And I really want to get my head around this and be able to post meaningful contributions to the great beyond. Why? Because I have 'restricted mobility' and need to communicate with people. Because I admire many other blogs out there, particularly Diary of a Goldfish and her many esteemed friends. Lady Bracknell, Marmite Boy, Unreliable Witness, all have links from her site. I haven't worked out how to set up a links list yet. I wish Goldfish could be beside me now, guiding me through the great step into the blogosphere. But never mind. I can do this, and it will start to make sense.