I'm having to take a break from bookbinding for a couple of weeks, in order to look after my mum who is due to start some gruelling radiotherapy treatment for cancer. It's going to be a tough few weeks, and I will miss my binding for the creative satisfaction and emotional calm it provides me with in difficult times.
Somewhat appropriately, the last book I produced was covered in a beautiful royal blue velvet effect paper, with the word 'Believe...' highlighted under a glass cabochon on the front cover. That I should produce something with such a positive message at a time in my life where I feel my beilefs are being tested to the absolute limit is entirely coincidental. But somehow, it seems kind of fitting. Subconsciously or not, the idea behind this journal was linked to the importance I personally place on the having a journal or notebook as somewhere to offload the troubles of the day, to dream, write out fantasies, but ultimately as somewhere to connect with our inner selves, in a way that tapping into a computer just doesn't quite manage. Writing down thoughts and feelings has, for me, always been tremendously therapeutic, and creating a beautiful and inspiring receptacle for these thoughts and feelings is a constant challenge.
The word 'Believe...' appealed for its simplicity, its ability to apply to any number of circumstances, and for its connotations of hope, optimism and achievement, whether its getting through a gruelling course of radiotherapy, or writing a novel. We live in uncertain times, and it's often difficult to remain positive about what the future holds, but just one tiny grain of hope is better than none at all, and in many ways that's what this journal represents - that things can, and will, get better, if we work at it, and most importantly, if we...(you've guessed it) ...believe...
What gets you through the tough times? Do let me know!