Art school was an emotional journey of stress, creativity and manic moods. There was Euphoria, that lovely lady who appears when the moment of illumination is almost too sweet to bear. Never far away is her consort, Desolation. I don’t mean a vague feeling of disquiet. I mean a landscape devoid of all vibrancy and companionship, naked and forsaken. It sounds as if it were a negative experience but it wasn’t. Imagine. There you are in a video game. You are pushing yourself to the edge and beyond, taking chances, taking risks, winning and losing and all the while striving for the breakthrough that will take you to the next level. That was exactly how I learned to see and to create. It was terrible and wonderful and ultimately exhausting.
The decision to live on a lighthouse was made in this state of self-induced, glorious madness.
And so, it was in this spirit that I set about making a home on a piece of ancient rock protruding from moody seas. I was in love with the ocean, the tides, the moon and the child that was beginning to move inside me. On Valentine’s Day, I began my life on this little outpost.
Life became my canvas. An oil lamp kept company with a sugar jar and an empty milk bottle in a window overlooking the waves. The sun would cast light that reflected through the glass of one object into the other and it became the lighthouse for my spirit. Sea spray often turned the window into prisms.
The importance of time shifted from alarm clocks to tides and moon phases. Not that alarms were unnecessary: they were essential. Weather reports had to be radioed in every four hours, day and night. But clocks were no longer the main measure of time. Tides dictated where and when you could leave the island. The moon dictated to the tides. And so the world became at once a much larger and much simpler place. It would take some time to find my way.
As for art school and the creative contortions it demanded, it seemed all I had done was change the venue but this wasn’t entirely true. This was neither my classroom nor a substitute for it. This was my life and I was the work in progress. There was no turning off the lights and leaving it for another day metaphorically speaking or otherwise. The light was the all.
This was the beginning of a completely different way of life. Romantic? Oh, yes. Terrible? Often. Lonely? Cripplingly so. Maddening? Definitely. Beautiful? Beyond comprehension.
There was so much more to come on this tiny outpost in the Pacific.
All text and images © 2010 Alexandra Lucas. All rights reserved