A simple life
“In my fantasies I live a simple life. I have no other activities than going to the gym, walking the dog, running some errands, having a relaxed lunch with my husband Felipe and write.
There is nothing to distract me from writing, no travelling, no meetings, no exhibition openings, no interviews, no jury deliberations, no presentations, and no practical problems to resolve, just the occasional visit from friends.”
I wrote these lines in March 2012. I used to have a pretty stable writing routine, but as my art activities grew over the years my writing dwindled to the occasional text for catalogues that accompanied our artists’ exhibitions.
For years I felt pulled in two directions: by my work to support artists world-wide and by my longing for solitude to write. Of course, I could cut back projects which would curtail my travelling. But working with international emerging artists, initiating exhibitions in different countries, making presentations about my work, participating in panel discussions, having lunches and dinners and impromptu encounters with artists, curators, journalists, writers: it was all far too rewarding to give up for a solitary existence.
So rather than decrease my activities I gradually expanded them to include more collaborations with art institutions around the world.
Exactly eight years later, the choice I was not willing to make for myself was made for me, as it was for so many around the world. A strict lockdown was imposed in Spain. There were no options; I was confined to our home for three months.
The trigger to actually start writing again came from the editor of artterritory, an online art magazine who asked me to write a letter from Barcelona during the confinement. I haven’t stopped writing since.
It’s ironic that COVID, which has caused such terrible hardship for so many people and is a potential threat to my own health, has made my fantasy come true.
Even though there is no lockdown anymore, I still live in a semi-confinement of my own choosing. Just as I described in that text eight years ago, I only go out to visit the gym, walk our dog, and do some grocery shopping. And I write. Every morning at eight I’m at my desk, come rain or shine.
I find fulfilment in giving form to my thoughts and enjoy practicing the craftsmanship of writing, the pruning and polishing, the grooming of the sentences, the attention to rhythm and flow.
The relaxed pace of these daily activities induces a state of calm that helps clear my mind.
Memories, associations and reflections surface, and I can incorporate them in my writing.
And perhaps one day another fantasy will appear, one that’s in many ways the opposite of the life I’m leading now.
But for the present, I feel no need to escape; I want my simple life to go on until I have nothing more to write about. And that may take a while.