Art & Design Magazine

Happy Being Happy

By Ianbertram @IanBertram

It's been quite a while since I felt that lightness of spirit that I associate with being happy. I haven't been unhappy, at least not consistently and certainly not in any sense of being clinically depressed. Nevertheless, that spark has been, more often than not, missing. Over the past few days I have however felt a real lifting of my mood - almost springlike!
Obviously being out of hospital helps, as does being clear of infection and of the foot ulcer that led to the infection in the first place. I've also just had a very productive appointment with my new orthotist when, apart from a much more rigorous assessment than I've had in a long time, we looked at some of the ways in which he will address the problems I'm faced with, involving some geeky discussions about the different materials available that always fascinates me.
On top of that, I've been listening to some great new (to me anyway) music. Martha Wainwright singing Piaf (in French) and a hugely cheerful album from Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton channelling King Oliver and morphing in to some great Chicago style blues guitar.
On top of that, I've just finished Kim Stanley Robinson's Climate Change trilogy . Now that could have been a real downer given its starting premise but it wasn't, largely I think because of its positive portrayal of good people doing great things under extreme pressure and an enchanting account of the changing relationship between one of the main characters and his toddler son.
It would be even better if I could also feel I was making some artistic progress, but alas four weeks in hospital since May plus six weeks more or less confined to the house on antibiotic IV and an even longer period of pain an discomfort seems to have slagged any inspiration. So despite the weather, and assuming my present physical improvement continues I need to get out - sketching, drawing, photography, just something to recharge the artistic batteries.
Coming up soon, watch for a long post in praise of the NHS (Without The State) some thoughts on inspiration and how to make it happen (here), a review of Robinson's Trilogy (Without The State) and possibly a post on the music of the  South African Townships (here). So, perhaps the inspiration is creeping back?

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