Writing 24.12.2021 Living in Ladismith

artist Farm life Ladismith

After my last post about my incredible artist-friend Michaelango, I was hospitalized again for Electroshock therapy - a 2 week stay at the Akeso psychiatric treatment facility in Pretoria. And a day after being discharged, my husband and I drove across the country to Ladismith, in the Karoo. This is where we have been since the end of May this year- and let me tell you, what an incredible journey we have been these past few months.

Yvette Hess

Not only did we move twice and now live on a farm, but over the past few months, I also experienced severe seizures, my youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, we got a puppy, later involved in a traumatic accident which he is still recovering from. Our kids started new schools twice this year, once in Pretoria (we moved to Pretoria from Mosselbay in November 2020) and then for the second time in the Ladismith. My eldest is in hostel and we see him once a week, though we struggled with transport initially, which meant we only saw him every two weeks. I injured my toe quite seriously- not break it but the injury kept me from wearing closed shoes for over three months. We met amazing people here, people who took what they had, a vision and land and built incredible abundant garden and living spaces in van wyksdorp near to where we live. At Silvermoon Biodynamics They teach others about living sustainably, in communion with nature.

We have experience such kindness but from locals we knew once as strangers but we are proud and humbled to call them friends.

We have also learned to ride horses! Yes, myself and my three sons all learned to ride the horses on the first farm we lived on for 2 months. We ride every week and our horse trainer, Immanuel Becker from IB horsemanship also teaches me Natural Horsemanship. This, has been so much more than just riding as it has been helping me so much with major difficulties with sensitivity and dissociation. Note* Natural Horsemanship is a philosophy of working with horses based on the horse’s natural instincts and methods of communication, with the understanding that horses do not learn through fear or pain, but rather from pressure and the release of pressure.

We have seen snow-capped mountains in June, surrealistic evening skies and almost blew away with the wind living right on the foot of the mountain.

From being gifted flowers, vegetables and fruit from self-made gardeners, to eating some of the best croissants in the country and becoming regulars at a great coffee spot, what felt like someone pressing brakes on our life (and sanity) seems seems to be more of a major reset. 

While I packed away a few loose ends yesterday, I looked back at all the art I made throughout this past while. I am grateful and proud that I created during some very difficult times. Sometimes I think it is the art that keeps me alive, moving forward, you know? Other times it feels more like it is compulsive, not as if I could stop myself. As if I would be making more if I was as doing okay, just clear in my head, not under so much pressure (I put on myself). 

It gets confusing. But my art has moved forward, still making many different pieces, and perhaps loose ends- but I feel that with all of the creating, compulsive or not, I am nearing a point of moving forward with all my mediums and marks  (including the ones against my name).

I guess I am playing catch-up in this post which is impossible. But I have shared much more on Facebook. as personal reflections. I'll move some of them to here, but I look forward to sharing with you, this new direction in my life and my work. 

I have overcome so much this year- definitely with the help of others, but also conquering many, many fears and hurts that no one could help with, let alone hear or see. 

I feel like a winner today. Not sure how long the feeling will last, but not too worried. I can survive anywhere, but I am going to try to open myself up to being happy here, where I am. 

I hope that you watch from afar and perhaps come visit. There is a lot to do, a lot to see, and space to do absolutely nothing and be completely satisfied with the beauty already all around you.

I'll be here, working on ways to keep enjoying this and make sure it never gets old. 

Look after yourself!

Much love from far, and remember there is always the other side of rock bottom. 



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