I am not sure if painting almost nonstop for twelve hours yesterday can be considered "easing" back. But Friday was a slow slip into the creative flow, and then Saturday was seriously digging my toes in so I cannot be swept away by whatever will come along in the approaching week.
I felt a thread of relief when the painting flowed. For a while I was worried it would not come back, or that the rest I took was not enough, or that the anxieties are too strong.
Already I can feel a rise in the energy -- both within myself and those who have seen the new work. Already there is fresh interest in buying my art, and my hope perks its still-wearied head.
All through the last couple of days thought, with news of Brexit (and the consequences it will trigger) and the dwindling of days towards the next bill due dates, I felt cornered into bracing myself for taking that dayjob if it is offered. I could, and would, persist in finding a less full-time arrangement, but I also know it would be more likely that I would have to sacrifice months before having enough evidence to support a plea for special arrangements. And even then it is a risk because it is also likely there will be no evidence because the job will demand every full hour it requires and possibly more, under the label "emergency" and "exception".
But the patrons are too few and the shop sales too far-between. I am not yet able to raise sufficient funds to allow me to buy the creative time for myself. I do not know how I can buy one more month to make another big push. I will work another month of twelve-hour days to stay in the studio, but I am out of new short-term ideas for the moment.
Anyway, I did finish six pieces yesterday. All the originals will be made available in the originals shop, and the prints available for paper and products through Society6.
The week-long break was a significant help but it has not yet restored me in "full power". I have begun to feel the pressure of being alone in the battlefield, with the dawn still many hours away, and my allies still too distant and possibly having to go through skirmishes of their own before they could come to my aid.
Last night I had a dream that I was a queen in disguise traveling through many lands, some of them hostile. In one kingdom I was caught and imprisoned for being simply foreign. I was made to fight, armed only with a wooden staff, in an unfair battle against a quartet of barbarians. But just as I was to be ushered into the open arena, I heard a voice in my head, narrating what was to come, and as the voice spoke, what it spoke happened. The guard who had brought me to the arena gates pulled out a weapon and took out one of the quartet. The guard who was ushering the quarter took out another barbarian. From somewhere else in the arena, arrows and knives showered upon my supposed enemies, and their loud gloating was silenced. Because when the barbarians saw me they laughed and did not take me seriously and started to boast how they would kill me. The barbarians were three men and one woman, clad in hard black spiked armour. I was clad in an encumbering gown and a soft cloak. But I felt an invisible crown upon my head. When the barbarians fell, my guard, who turned out to be a woman, clapped me on the shoulder and gave me an encouraging nod. The king and queen who were presiding over the event looked pleased, and nodded approvingly at those who had fought the battle for me. I held out my staff, and from it rolled out a parchment like a flag, and the flag was hand-painted, and I realised I painted it, and it looked like a work of art, but at that moment it was more than that, it was the symbol of a kingdom, and it was my kingdom, and my disguise was gone, and people knew me for what I was, and that place was the first place to acknowledge me. And then I woke up.