Saturday, July 21, 2007

Adventure......the antidote for Depression?

Depression ... the illness where 'inability to see any future', can be symptomatic. With 'lack of enjoyment from those activities that normally would bring enjoyment' and feelings of 'helplessness and hopelessness' result......a reduced quality of living.

More information at the following site

When these symptoms become ones 'way of living, ' there is a real danger of life slipping past without being truly lived.

So what to do about it?

For me it is important to fill the parts of my life that are empty. Hence the adventure activities.

Nothing can bring me more into the moment than climbing up the icy slopes of Taranaki , aware of my life dependant placement of crampons and ice axe. Or touring on motorcycle or bicycle where simplicity of life prevails. To meet local people and share some unhurried time together.

Nothing is so grounding and calming as being alone in nature, aware of all surroundings, facing challenges or simply soaking it in.

When immersed in these activities the loneliness and depression that can haunt ones world evaporates into exciting yet peaceful contentment.

Kira Salak , in her book "The Cruellest Journey" the story of her solo kayak down the Niger river from Segou to Timbuktu amidst very real dangers describes her need for adventure

'...But I've found myself unsettled by predictability, routine, comfort: I'm lulled by these things, and bored by them, and my mind turns in on itself and obsesses about utter minutiae. I need doses of the new before me, the strange, the completely unfamiliar, in order to feel truly alive.'

She continues...

...'As a child, I never felt an intinsic sense of belonging anywhere;I've always been fascinated by those who feel rooted to a place, for whom wanderlust becomes a pathology of the soul. All I know is that my trips allow me to unearth parts of myself that I've long since buried as dead, showing me who I can be. They are, in many respects, processes of rebirth.'

Sound familiar?

And of course the planning and dreaming of the adventures in the future- as an antidote to depression the ability to seeing an exciting, challenging and unpredictable future.

Works for me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mountain Adventure #1

Finally the sun shone bright on the glistening slopes of Mt Taranaki after rain, high wind and even tornadoes swept the area. With only 2 days left of my holidays I was lucky enough to be able to take advantage of the sun and calm weather and head up the slopes.

Up the Razorback ridge I was delighted to encounter ice. Droplets of ice encasing grass stems and leaves. Reflecting the brilliant blue of the sky and white of the mountian, a photographers paradise. The breeze causing the ice to chime and sing like crystal glass. A very slow journey up the Razorback due to camera being hauled out and repacked on numerous occasions.
Once up above Tahurangi Lodge I continued up the slope amazed with the ice formations covering the slope. Breaking under the crampons and bouncing down the slope causing a delightful song of tinkling in the otherwise soundless air.

Up Razorback yet again and a little disappointed to find that due to the increase in temperature the ice sculptures missing from the vegetation at lower altitudes. However, a chance meeting with Kevin a fellow novice mountianeer, and we were on a mission up the slopes above the Lodge and traverse around toward Warwick Castle. With a little hesitation and discusssion concerning the level of avalance risk, we made our way across slopes and eventually down and back to the lodge for lunch. A fantastic day out. And just the beginning of the mountain adventures for 2007.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Petone Winter Carnival

Over the daylight hours of Sunday 8 July, the frost covered carpark on Petone foreshore has been transformed into a work of art. An early start for Robin and I preparing the surface and sketching out the lines for the taniwha. Then along came the kids...and their mums.....and dads ......and grandparents and friends, the carpark exploded in colour, shapes and designs.

So this art adventure colourfully displayed on the foreshore, until the next rain. Actually interesting to see how long it lasts, the outlines are with pure pigment. End of this little project but the spark of many more ideas and inspirations. What can be done with a line. Just how long can a chalk drawing be.........

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

"Chalk It" - Postponed to Sunday 8th July 2007

Artist friend Robin and I have been out preparing for this, with a contribution from some young helpers
Chalk it up on Petone Foreshore - Press Release

The dust will be rising along the Petone Foreshore on Saturday 7 July, but it won't be from the regular tide of walkers and cyclists.

Instead, Hutt City Council is encouraging local budding artists young and old to gather and turn the walkway into a pedestrian art museum.

Chalk It is an opportunity members of the public to transform the Foreshore with colour, inspiration and creativity as part of the Petone Winter Carnival.

Carnival organisers expect thousands of visitors to watch, join in and cheer on artists as they spend most of the day completing the murals.

Local artists Sue McKee and Robin Va’auli will create works based around the Maori legend of Ngake and Whātaitai - the two great taniwha of Wellington Harbour. Members of the public are encouraged to join in and help create the masterpieces in chalk.

Ngake and Whātaitai lived in the lake at the head of the great fish of Maui. They wanted to free themselves of the restrictions of the lake. Ngake, was lively and restless and coiled himself up like a great spring and sped down the lake.

When Ngake let the spring in his tail loose he used so much force that he created a great gash in the earth and the Hutt River was formed. Ngake then forced his way through the land at Seatoun and was free at last.

Whātaitai tried to follow, but got stuck in shallow water. He stayed there until a great earthquake lifted him above the water. Over the years Whātaitai’s body turned to stone, earth and rock and known to this day as Haitaitai. The lake became what is known as Wellington harbour.

Chalk It! has been created in partnership with Hutt Valley Community Arts and will take place along the Petone Foreshore (between Heretaunga Boat Club and Regatta Restaurant) between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 7 July. All materials are supplied and it is free to participate.

If wet, on Saturday 7 July the Petone Winter Carnival will be postponed to Sunday 8 July.

Monday, July 2, 2007

First steps.....

After some valuable advise from Audrey, Spiral, I am tempted to step into the bloggers world. Being quite naive of this world I am sure to stumble at times. However having an adventurous nature I can not help but be enticed to this media of communications.

Where to start seems to be most difficult, just as any adventure, once the first step taken the others follow. So will start with some of the adventures that have lead to being here.

The first being a journey through a time of mental illness, depression. When at times, there seemed to be no future only eternal darkness. When life seemed to halt in its tracks. Unfortunately Depression is a far too often, occuring illness in our society. More about this another time.

Having always had a talent and desire for Art I started painting the Depression inside me. Finding this cathartic the painting continued until there were enough for a solo exhibition.

The process of producing the works organising and living the exhibition was an enpowering life adventure. A year on from the exhibition and 3 years since the first diagnosis, Depression no longer controls my life. Some major life changes were made to better provide the balance needed to remain healthy. Again more another time.

If interested check out the article at The Learning Connexion site, scroll down to find the article. Transend to Freedom. July 2006.

The reaction of visitor to the gallery during the show, was often very emotional as they connected through personal experiences with the works. I was surprised how many of the works sold. Still some available.

This adventure part of the past and now embarking on various other life and Art adventures.