Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Promises Kept

I have moved to Scotland. I am not just visiting this time. I have moved. I am not sure when that will truly sink in or if it even needs to.

This is my third time to fly into Edinburgh. I spent four months here in 2012 and six in 2013. Each time I arrive it seems momentous on a very personal level. In 2012 it was my first time out of the country with my new passport and my first solo trip by plane. I was leaving my home town after the version of the arts organization I had been part for three years dissolved. A good time to leave.

In 2013 I had a plan to discover my Scottish roots, see the Highlands and make art that explored the real and imagined stories of my ancestors. I wanted to immerse myself in Edinburgh as if I truly lived there during that six month visit. My plan worked, it became my home in my heart. A couple of days before I left, I made a promise on top of the warm slate tiles of the Campbell Castle in Dollar, Scotland. I kissed my hand, touched the tile, closed my eyes and silently in the afternoon sunshine, promised I would be back. I didn’t know how or when but I promised.

In 2014, after what I can only consider my year of loneliness and poverty in my hometown, I am back in Scotland! I arrived one year and two weeks after I made that castle promise. This time I happily arrived as Stewart Bremner’s wife with my new visa that is good for two and a half years. This time, I cleared out my entire family home of everything but a small padlocked storage room of select possessions and arrived with just two suitcases and a carry on. This time, I arrived debt free for the first time in four years - selling eighty percent of ones possessions, a car and paintings has it’s perks! This time I am free to work and really start again. This time I arrived as an immigrant. This Campbell has come home.

At forty-two years old I may know what I am truly capable of for the first time in my life. I am grateful for the past four years for giving me that gift. I thank the moments of poverty, loneliness, tears, long distance, loss and self doubt. I thank the moments of self reliance, independence, perseverance, dreams and dedication. I celebrate the thrill of being alive to feel these ups and downs. I celebrate the strength and courage this love for myself and for Stewart can inspire. I celebrate my friends and family who rose to the occasion to support me with encouragement, care, breaks on the rent, meals and drinks out on them and gifts that helped when I felt the lack. I celebrate my dear friends that helped me in the last months when I was completely overwhelmed and helped to make sure it all got done in the end. When I see something beautiful, I will see it for you. When I rise to the occasion when I am scared, I will rise for you. When I make art, I will make it for you…

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