I have a thick head today. Last night I wandered and wondered around the festival of light at the Durham Lumiere. Buildings were reinvented, creatures of the imagination let fly and boxes of testimony opened. The night found me contemplating new science fiction sculptures, and paintings layered with the filters of time.
Of course such an event sends the mind racing - waking my critical faculties and my sense of awe. My surpressed competition rises as I grab hold of the tail of an idea and try to wrestle it into something I can subdue - obscure scribbles appear in my sketchbook, notes for the future I hope.
Yet on the same night the violence in Paris happened.
I never feel the right to comment on such things: I feel sorrow and shock; I feel anger and frustration - even fear; and I know that the immediate response is never informed, never complex enough. The perpetrators were exactly that - the perpetrators; not a race, not a culture, not a religion - they were those who chose to do it, and it is no less awful because of it.
Senseless violence is appalling - and numbing; and when it happens so near it seems so much more to us. But all it takes is a quick scan of the papers, or of social media, and the regularity of such brutality around the world becomes clear. It was horrific, but it was not unique.
As I said I have a thick head. I find it hard to process how I fit into the world. So I draw. I draw to look, to know - to try and understand. To try and understand a world of imagination and horror, of the immediate and the distant and a world of light and such darkness. I cannot know all this - my only hope (and some might say my cowardice) is to try and know myself a little more.