Experiments with enough – Day 34 and 35 (a double episode)

Ghaqda Pawlini - Diary of a freelancer

The project proposal I need to hand in by Tuesday has been taking all of my unclaimed headspace. Over the last few days I could really feel myself getting stressed over the fact that it still had not gelled together properly, that there was so much still to be figured out etc etc etc. Yesterday evening, for the first time in days, I felt like it was all coming together. There’s still so much to be figured out however some great chats with my two housemates later, I figured out what I had originally set out to do and where my interest and curiosity overlapped with the project aims.

When working with other people, I find that it’s very easy for me to lose track of my own creative drive, to discount my own ideas in favour of those brought forward by others. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to listen, to co-create, to bring in ideas, tacks, meanders. But when, somewhere down the line you find that you’ve completely sidelined the very reason you wanted to create this, then you clearly have a problem.

Statue carrying training at Ghaqda Pawlini - Diary of a freelancer
How to train for statue carrying. Venice Biennale Malta team tries out the Pawlini’s training kit.

So having connected with my project purpose once again, things flowed much easier. It felt like a huge weight had come off the top of my head. My Friday evening was spent at the Ghaqda Pawlini’s workshop in Valletta. I went there with the Malta team for Venice Biennale to learn how to hang a ‘pavaljun’, one of the big street decorations they use in the festa. Time completely stopped while I listed to the Pawlini wax lyrical about festa decorations and statue carrying. In times like these, I find myself chronicling events automatically, writing quotes, taking photos, trying my best to somehow capture the magic I am experiencing in a way that I can then manage to share. I can always take up a career as a diarist if I get bored of, well, doing many things.

This morning I did a spot of responsible consumerism as my mum generously offered some birthday garments. At the moment I’m really on a drive towards ending up with fewer, good quality, responsibly-sourced items. It’s part a longer term approach towards not having to replace things before they have served a long, fruitful lifetime, partly wanting to put money in good places and also having a good look around to see what works and what needs some curating. It’s a fun process.

DIY at home - diary of a freelancer
Evidence of my wild Saturday night and my actual involvement in table-building.

I did some walking round Valletta and eventually went back home to worry some more about project planning. When I eventually managed to sit myself down to start writing again, the sheer desire to close my laptop and hide under the bed was massive. As I continued to write, word after word, things became easier and after about an hour of creakiness things started to finally flow. There is much left to do and there’s still a lot of uncertainty in there but little by little it feels like it’s getting somewhere. As much as I love the creative energy involved, I also find project-planning terrifying before I actually get properly into it. Will all this become second nature soon? Will it always involve so much fear and uncertainty?

The new table - diary of a freelancer
And a table is born. Note the choice of attire.

In keeping with my wild, rocking weekend, I spent tonight assisting Letta and Jo with a spot of house DIY. I mostly took photos and ate Twistees but I did screw in a few things and hold some others in place for the sake of teamwork and general usefulness. I am happy to report the table does indeed look like (rather pretty) table. It’s the small wins.