All everyone really wants is to be loved and to be peaceful.
Carol 67, an Artist from Trinidad& Tobago. Widowed Mum of four and Grandma.
How are you?
All is fine, life is good.
What do you feel about the weather?
The sun always shines some place. I do love the seasons here in England. The changes are interesting. The winter makes you curl up warm and secure. The spring is exciting and blooming. Everything is fresh and ready to start again. The summer sheds a few things and is enjoyed for what it is and in the autumn, well, it’s my favourite; the colours are just fabulous.
What do you think about marriage?
I’ve been there and done that. It would have to be an extraordinary special man to make that commitment again. It brings it home to me when other people have to compromise. I am fortunate, I can do as I please. I went from pleasing my parents to pleasing my husband. You can forget that you’re ‘Carol the creative’. You become all roles; teacher, wife, parent. The ‘Carol’ that needs other things to sustain her is forgotten about.
How do you feel about kids?
Kids are a blessing. They reflect back at you. My son teaches me even more compassion. I am happy with my lot.
What’s your most memorable experience?
Two memories spring to mind. The first was very embarrassing. I was playing a netball match at secondary school: my sanitary towel fell out onto the pitch!
My second memory is a feeling hard to describe. One day I found myself at the National gallery in London. For some reason the gallery was empty. I remember sitting looking at the pictures. It felt really special to be there all by myself - in that wonderful space. I later walked out into Trafalgar Square thinking - all is good with the world.’
How do other people see you?
I am a one parent family but I don’t see myself in those terms. I don’t know how people perceive me - an oddity in a way. A good friend people can count on.
What brings you down?
What brings me down doesn't keep me down. Though it would be nice not to worry about money.
What are your dreams?
To continue this phase of my life - it’s the best stage of my life. I have a project back home in Trinidad. I am creating a place for artists. My dream is to have an open house, a sanctuary or retreat for friends, artists and like minded people.
How do you see yourself?
Strong and spiritual.
Do you have any rituals?
I spend quiet time saying thank you. My art work is my ritual. I clear my space and meditate before I start my work. It gives me a sense of clarity.
How do you best express yourself?
Through my art. I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist - it’s what I came here to do.
Who or what inspires you?
My Mum. Oprah Winfrey and The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden by Tommaso Masaccio
What are your views on faith?
Religion can be a wonderful thing but so often it’s not. It can be a source of peace and joy for some but for others, the worse thing possible. In the name of religion such atrocities take place and the perpetrators think it’s ok. Religious dogma doesn't serve humanity at all.
My feeling is everyone is spiritual but not everyone is aware that they are.
What do you think about life?
Life is a journey. Rigidity equals a closed mind. Stepping out of your comfort zone opens your mind. Life is about teaching and learning. When things are too easy, boredom sets in and people become dissatisfied. Life is a shared experience, it’s wonderful. Fear stops you enjoying things. Life is about the attitude you bring to it. It gets better the older you get.
What do you think about death?
I’ve had my fair share of death. My husband was the first, he was only 43. Then my uncle, nephew, brother, cousin, dad, aunt and then my father-in-law. When my husband died I was encompassed with such grace that I was able to comfort other people .
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
I’d like to leave everybody knowing that they're never alone. There is unseen help that can be called upon. I’d like to leave a knowing that we’re all connected. All everyone really wants is to be loved and to be peaceful.
Are you free?
I am free. I am freedom in the making. I have put limits on myself in the passed but now I’m liberating myself.
What have you taken from doing this today?
I’ve really quite enjoyed myself. Talking and telling is an interesting journey. It’s like I’m really hearing myself.