I haven’t posted anything in forever.
I have been busy.
I have “gone back to school” thanks to Coursera.org -currently starting course 4/5 in a Photography Specialisation with the Michigan State University (for the 5th time because… see second half of the post), I have also finished a course in “Indigenous Canada” with the University of Alberta. Ways to learn a lot and keep the mind in shape!
I have been taking photos (as suggested in above the paragraph). A lot. I took part in the 24HourProject and loved it (should upload some photos here…).
I have been crazy getting everything ready for the Tongan delegation to the Pūtahi Pacific artist gathering in Tahiti, then attending the art workshop, meeting amazing people from across the Pacific, developing a better understanding of the diverse cultures of this beautiful “liquid continent” (to quote my linguistics Prof L-J. Calvet, when referring to the Mediterranean Sea), learning of the culture, society and local variety of French language spoken in Tahiti (nothing will top “servitude privée” ever. It translates to “private servitude” but it means “private back street”!). Then organising all the details for my friend’s exhibition in Auckland (want to know more?)
I have been busy organising this year’s Nuku’alofa Film Festival activities, including a screening of last year’s entries in Vava’u in August (didn’t attend because… -see next paragraph), kickstarting a FilmFreeWay page for submissions and a website to complement our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Then I have been crazy busy reviewing the submissions and finally announcing the international selection, only waiting for the local ones to come in before this year’s event on 19 and 20 October… I’ve also successfully submitted a paper to talk about it at the Pacific Arts Association conference in November, so I should be in Samoa for my birthday… And of course raising funds for all of this to happen is keeping me -and not just me- busy and crazy.
I have been busy with my semi-freelance job, and I have got a very unexpected new job, that I was supposed to start the day after I came back from Tahiti: teaching French in Tonga High School for one year, because [long story]. Fun fact: the job includes taking over (a diminished version of) the Alliance française and its classes. The very cultural centre I came to open 4.5 years ago, and left when my volunteer assignment ran out 2.5 years ago. But eh, this is Tonga so I still haven’t started 2.5 months later -fingers crossed, things seem to be moving this week though. [update: I am starting on Monday!]
But more than that, I have also been (way too) busy fighting depression. Trying to move on. Old crap I’m trying to work on, only to discover all the many ways it has affected me although I never thought certain annoying aspects of me had any specific cause. Fool me. The Tahiti adventure helped a bit, with the amazing human beings I met and worked with in a creative environment, but it’s still not easy to get out of bed and do anything at all some days. I’ve managed to put the darkest thoughts at bay, and I am handling the PTSD tidbits better, so that’s a big step. Also, I have a great team of friends around me, who don’t always realise they may double as analysts…
In case you were wondering: no, living on a small Polynesian island does not mean living in absolute happiness and being lazily nursing a cocktail on the beach. There is happiness and there is leisure time, but more than anything, there is life and where there is life, there is being busy and dealing with stuff and people. For the best, and for all the rest of the spectrum.
I like being busy though, especially with good and positive acts and thoughts. That’s why I’ve been rekindling with reading more, and books that make me happy (ASOIAF series, Discworld series and Daniel Pennac in particular). I’m already thinking of the steak tartare I’ll eat once in Paris for Christmas. And of the new babies I am to meet in France -it seems that while I am busy doing stuff here, quite a few of the people I love across the world are busy becoming mothers. Babies are cute, and cute is good for the soul! Or so I want to believe.