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The Epilogue: Darren’s Wales and Cornwall Musings

I’m Home! This trip has turned out to be nothing like I thought it would be. That’s not hard because I didn’t really know what I was going to do anyway. Throughout these 11 days I have seen a lot of country for the first time. Seen things that I suppose most Welsh, English and Cornish just know because it is their heritage. I have been privileged to explore what these people have put forward as the best of their best.

I do recognise too, that I am privileged just to be doing this. I know many people do not have the luxury of time or resources, so I am very lucky.

I’ve done a lot of remembering of my Mom and Dad. I have been rather emotional several times everyday for the entire trip when I see things I know they would have loved, when I remember the trips that they took me on as we explored America, when I remember how much they instilled in me the curiosity for places and history, the respect for other cultures and mostly their love of people.

It has also been a bit of a celebration of sorts. It has taken me a long three years to get to a place with my mental health that I can even do anything like this. Three years ago to the day I could not even get out of bed for a week. Two years ago I barely could work one day a week. Eleven months ago I finally got off medication with side effects that did not outweigh the benefits. Six months ago I found a name for my illness. Tomorrow, finally, I am starting work with someone who I hope will help me get to the root of things and get me off of this plateau.

But I suppose the most profound things that I have encountered on this odyssey is the essence of what art is and what it means to me to be an artist, confirmation in a sense that this is what I am supposed to do, reassurance and encouragement that I am capable in my vocation and most of all the desire to get back to work.

Several difficulties that have plagued me over the years and been instrumental in my depression was doubt in my abilities, doubt in the necessity of art in society and feeling personally unfocused. I felt like I need to pare down so to speak what it is that I do. I think I am content to leave that last question alone. I create. It may be a painting for your wall, sculpture for your table, a play for you to watch, a poem for you to read, a design for a set, a puppet to be seen or a class for you to learn. I cannot simply cut one out because it is too difficult. This is me.


New favourites

- Dead Man’s Fingers Rum

- St Ives Gin

Most interesting meals

- Ham, Apple & Brie toastie

- Curried parsnip, lentil & apple soup

Most disappointing meal

- Dressed Crab

Best meal

- Macaroni & Cheese with pulled pork

Most “I’m ashamed I’m here on holiday meal”

- Pizza Express

Favourite Museum

- St Fagans

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