Don’t Stop, Keep Going (2016-) work in progress, side 1, Joy C Martindale
I can’t think straight – I’m losing it – My head is going to fall off – I can’t do this – I must do this – I’m a lousy mother – I’m tired – I feel dizzy – I need to be quiet – I can’t keep talking, talking, talking – I, I, I. Too many I’s – Not enough I. I have to stop – Just for a bit – Get it together – Let everything stop moving – whirling inside me.
How do I help myself get through this?
Whilst making “Don’t Stop, Keep Going”, I have been reflecting on a serious and hard to admit to issue: the tightrope one can feel one is walking as a mother of young children; when exhaustion, sleep deprivation and the need for a break – however short – becomes overwhelming and abnormal notions begin to infiltrate – self doubts and idiotic thoughts that you wouldn’t be having if you could just get a bit more sleep and have a little time alone.
When my children first started school the exhaustion persisted and everything continued to feel like a crazy juggling act. I noticed that when I was very tired I could still work but that my approach was different – it was very much a case of head down and working obsessively on small singular tasks. At first I thought this might be a problem but then, with this piece, I decided to work with it and channel those sensations of the mind and body short-circuiting, which were countered by the self-will to persevere, into the work.