Dec 30, 2015

The inspiring cage


Isn’t joy the shadow of sorrow? Isn’t sorrow the shadow of joy? In an experiment conducted in a zoo sometime in the late fifties an ape was taught how to draw and was given some markers to do so, the first thing he drew were the bars of his cage. 
We primates are obsessed with our cages, although the bars which confine us may vary; for some the cage may be money, for others success, love, hate, sex, illness, religion, values and believes, depression, racism or sexism, war, politics, even the pursuit of freedom can become a cage. Despite their origin, despite what shape or size our cages take they inspire us to create; the very stifling limit of our existence is what truly makes us sing, paint, write eternal stories and compose unforgettable music.




























Dec 29, 2015

Beauty and pity



In a recorded lecture I found on Youtube given by the genius writer Vladimir Nabokov I heard him say:

“Where there is beauty, there is pity, because beauty must die, beauty always dies. The manner dies with the matter and the world dies with the individual”


I was struck by this profound statement, our world seizes to exists when we seize to exist, this has made all the difference for me, and yet it felt so obvious, so basic that we humans create our own universe and out own fate and yet so few of us see this.
When Nabokov said that beauty entails pity, I'm not sure why I thought of the spilled bottle of milk I see soiling my neighbor’s front door step every morning, I thought of the blind baby robin I found on the ground, swollen blue eyes bulging, featherless pink, its gaping yellow beak screaming, the tragedy of the long fall and the desperate fragility that required no more than a swift clumsy footstep. I thought of the white swan’s superior grace, gliding dreamlike in endless rippled lakes and her majestic long neck always a question mark.   









Dec 28, 2015

Death too



Young tulip stems shoot shyly yet firmly from the cold stubborn earth, little innocent pink flowers plant themselves audaciously on dry bare twigs; life, no matter how delicate or fragile cannot be denied. One crucial moment, we were not paying attention, the seagulls abandoned their seashores and came to tell us something, and all the while something was receding like an ocean wave, like a carpet gently pulled from under our feet. Death too will not be denied.
























Dec 27, 2015

Tomorrow





Tomorrow there will be hours to fill, errands to run, faces to see, conversations to have and queries to answer. I will need to go to several different places, meet with several different people and the numerous anonymous strangers I will pass in between my destinations. In this spinning top of a life, I am always running towards something, always wanting, always trying and most exhausting of all; always waiting. Waiting for some nameless thing to happen or change and hope and pray. But I always knew - even when no one had ever taught me - in my heart of hearts I always somehow knew, that it took a hand, a decided powerful hand to keep the world spinning, for all the colours to muddle and merge and that on the inside, in the very core of everything there is nothing.

















Dec 26, 2015

The night



Distant police sirens shrieking and wailing. The haunting howling of a fierce angry wind. Discarded empty cans cartwheeled and scurried and made their pathetic tin clamor on the street. The night is a deep well, the night is the time for shadows to rise, for walls to hear. Every soul a vessel that spills its brimming tip in the dark, night is when aching hearts entangle. I can feel your far away thoughts in my head, my lips part and I almost utter a word that is more yours than mine.

















Dec 21, 2015

My someone



Two years ago you came to see me very late in the evening, you were tired and distraught, your grandfather had past and you took care of all the arrangements because your father depended on you more than your two older brothers. You hadn’t slept, your hair was disheveled and you were gorgeous. I don’t remember seeing you more beautiful than I had that night, you threw yourself on my sofa in exhaustion and I stretched my body on top of yours my head on your chest listening to your heartbeat, my hair cascading down your arm as you held me tight, I wore a sheer summer dress with a deep neck line, I knew it wasn’t right to make love when you had just buried your grandfather, so we just lay there, holding each other against everything, life, death, fait and consequence, breathing in unison and I remember I was happy, simply happy. I asked you if you were hungry and you said yes,  I got up and went to the kitchen, I broke four eggs into a bowl peppered and salted them and began to whisk while the frying pan heated on the stove, you came up behind me wrapped your strong masculine arms around my waist making me feel small and feminine and buried your face in the nape of my neck, kissing me and mumbling something that sounded like I love you, making me weak, losing control of everything, trying but failing to pour the eggs into the pan, when you let go of me I almost lost balance and fell, still weak in the knees. You helped with the drinks and the plates and we sat and ate together, while we were clearing up I turned around and found you had your back to me, turned on by your perfect gorgeous ass, I quickly let go of the dish I was washing, tiptoed behind you, bent down and bit it hard, you winced and shrieked in pain and shock, then we laughed and laughed, mischievous, careless and enjoying the immense freedom our love offered. I didn’t know it then, but you were my someone. I was lucky, not for long, but I was lucky when I found you.












Dec 20, 2015

On her 10th birthday





I thought I had willed her into being, I foolishly and arrogantly imagine I had created her from myself, from my dreams, my thoughts, my aspirations, I imagined I can see myself again, only better, myself with more; more opportunities, more space to feel, more room to grow, but most importantly myself loved. I believe I had a glimpse of that, but as she celebrated her tenth birthday with her friends yesterday I saw that I was naive, she wasn’t me, she wasn’t myself living a much better life than I had, she was separate from me, a full, complete and intact person, with her own ideas, with her own intentions and desires. The bond I imagined unbreakable never really existed except in my mind and I felt almost selfish for only seeing her through my own eyes, never seeing her through hers. The baby that came to me wide eyed and adoring “mummy, can I have this?”, “mummy, can I do that?” was now loud, vulgar and almost unkind “No Mom! we don’t need anything, we’re fine” I almost heard “just leave us alone” implied but  not quite said out loud. I saw her exaggerating her excitement, her laughter at every nonsense she and her friends said or did, her carelessness and indifference towards me, the garish music they played and how they closed the door when they danced not wanting me to watch. Even her body language seemed to initiate a distance and a foreignness I could not bridge. This was her world, her private self, the stranger she managed to create far from my imposing and heavy motherly attention and I couldn’t be a part of it, in that world I did not exist, as if no space was capable of holding both me and that cool independent pre-teen version of her at the same time. I retreated to my room and read a book only checking every once in while to see if they needed anything. Once her friends were gone and I managed to clean up some of the mess they made she came to me again, small, timid and loving “thank you mummy, today was great” my eyes teary, understanding now how hard it was for both of us, playing these roles, needing each other to understand without words, how multicoloured love can be, how many endless hues it had warm and cold, how much it can hurt, how much it can take.  


















Dec 18, 2015

Love is a unicorn



Love is a unicorn, I wish it exists because it’s beautiful and magical but I also know that it doesn’t, and everywhere I turn there are people telling me they have seen unicorns, they tell me they know someone who has a unicorn, they say “look over there, there’s a unicorn”! I look but all I see is a horse, I tell them “that’s not a unicorn, it’s a horse, horses are beautiful animals I love them but they are not unicorns”. They shake their heads with impatience and say “what’s the difference between this unicorn and the unicorn you’ve got in your head?”, “It’s simple this one doesn’t have a spiraling horn on its head”, they shake their heads at me again almost angered by my exaggerated and fussy exactness “and why is that horn so important? What purpose does it serve?”, “it’s what makes a unicorn a unicorn, you may be proud of your horses but they’re not unicorns, that’s all”.















Dec 17, 2015

Red Umbrella


It's two in the afternoon I’m standing at the corner of the road, the rain is pouring I am protected by my massive red umbrella, I wait for traffic to stop or at least slow down so I can cross the street, I look up at the bright red dome above my head and think six people can stand under this umbrella and keep completely dry, I feel lucky I’ve got my awesome red umbrella. The busy road shows no sign of stopping, I look to the right, a man drenched through and through walks slowly with careful steps, struggling to hold on to his many full and heavy looking shopping bags and trying his best to scratch a lottery ticket at the same time with what appears to be his house keys, he looks old, tired and haggard, water dripping heavily from the tips of his thin hair onto his bent face and on to his lottery ticket. I’ve got my big red umbrella, I think to myself, and he might have a million pounds winning ticket, this thought makes me smile. Luck! It’s all luck; money is luck, love is luck, fame is luck and success is luck, it’s all luck. The man continues to vigorously scratch and rub at his wet ticket, the movement of his hand becomes faster and more urgent now, almost furious, I keep my eyes on him, I’m just as excited as he is now, he manages to rub off the remaining silver coating off his socked ticket, he stops, looks up, his eyes meet mine for a fraction of a second, his expression is grave, stern with a hint of disappointment in it, the traffic stops, I look away and cross the road, I’ve got my red umbrella and it’s all luck.
















Dec 16, 2015

Spider




A spider's web spun skillfully between two bars of the high wrought iron gate, drops of fresh rain glisten and sparkle on the delicately woven strings, in the soft glow of the weak winter sun it looks like a shimmering Swarovski diamond necklace. The predator is not home, but dinner awaits; a small fly had flown right into the fragile death trap, caught in the sticky and deadly net, the struggling, the maneuvering always coming to a final release, a gentle end.



















Dec 15, 2015

Sex, Tubs and Mugs


I like charity shops, I like the idea of owning something pre-loved especially books, it fascinates me to see what other people like to read, and it fascinates me more when I buy a second hand book of poems and find some pages folded at the very top right corner in a little triangle indicating that this poem was a special one, one they’d want to come back to, one they’d like to recite or read to a loved one on some joyful or sad occasion. 
I once donated an erotic book, I bought it on amazon but felt cheated by it, the description of the book said it had 365 sex positions for each day of the year! I was shocked of course that there were so many sex positions when I probably only knew three! But I was also intrigued, so I bought the book and found that many of the positions were repeated with a slight camera trick making the couple seem like they were in a new position! *sigh* is nothing sacred anymore? Anyway I donated the book and always wondered if anyone had bought it or how slutty the charity shop I donated it to thought I was, mind you I wouldn’t need actual photographs of people posing in different sexual positions to show me how it’s done if I was truly slutty.


Back to charity shops! I was passing one today and found a huge clear plastic tub outside the door with what seemed like hundreds of mugs inside, some old and worn out, some seem very new and shiny! I stood for a moment just staring at the tub full of unwanted tea and coffee mugs; I had seen tubs full of books and stuffed toys outside charity shops before but never a tub brimming with mugs. It was different and somehow sad! All those mugs had once been filled with tea, coffee, or warm milk, hot, aromatic and soothing, shared by family and close friends; first meetings, reunions, the hurried morning coffee before work, the relaxing cup of tea before bed, intimate unforgettable conversations while brooding over a warm mug held lovingly with both hands, so much warmth, so much tenderness, so many memories piled up in a clear plastic tub.












Dec 14, 2015

Today




The sky was near, hard and the colour of slate,
I felt I could swing a sledge hammer to crack it open
and find a calm ethereal blue sky underneath  

A mighty cypress still fully swathed in deep dark green
stood defying the raw winter cold amongst bare, crooked
and haggard trees

Pink and purple cyclamens bright and flamboyant
blooming and flowering  ferociously in a season of
wilting, dullness and death

Water came pouring down from the slate grey sky,
a bewildering miracle failing to enthrall anyone at all.












Dec 9, 2015

Everywhere we tread



We wake every morning not realizing that when we do, we carry everything with us. When we leave the threshold of our home, we are holding up so much more than a torso over two legs, so much more than a head on top of a neck, we are carrying the past, hope for the future, unfulfilled dreams, memories, disappointments, our sadness, our joy and our suffering. We are carrying an ocean, an existence, a meaning, a life. Everywhere we tread, our universe treads along with us.

















Dec 8, 2015

Undoing the tether


With no more than three days before my first solo art exhibition I feel a storm of contradicting emotions stir within me; fear, excitement, panic, faith, self-doubt, anticipation and dread. It’s hard to look and behave normal under the rush of all these extreme feelings, but I learned a lot about myself during the past three months while I was painting what I think is my best work yet. I discovered I can paint anything if I put my mind to it. In the past I feared the brush, I believed in my limitation, I knew I can do beautiful floral scenes and still life but never dared to venture further than that, today I’ve attempted a raging ocean and I am actually very happy with the results, water is very challenging to master, it’s aliveness, it’s constant movement, its bewildering beauty makes it hard to capture I believe. I grew when I finally undone all tethers, broke all shackles and discovered the genius of my hands.

My art exhibition is on Saturday 12/12/2015, 4.00 – 7.00 pm, at The Herons Café, Coombe Abbey, Coventry, CV3 2AB














Sometimes a promise




Some faces, memories, scents, certain incidents, words or the manner by which words are uttered, have the power to transport us to another lifetime, a lifetime in which we could have only existed through our old selves, an old self we casted off like an old garment. To be taken back, to be forced to wear that ill-fitted hide once more makes us feel wretched and rough, like strangers in our own lives, strangers in our own bodies, under our own skin.
Worst of all, such a detested journey back in time, in the ghastly pages of the most vile chapter of our life, our demons almost convince us that an improvement was never truly made, that we have foolishly been deceiving ourselves, all that nonsense about our miraculous transformation has been but a lie, another lie in the many deep folds of lies life has shamelessly watched us spiral into..  However, morning sometimes comes with renewed perspectives and less hazy views.. and sometimes a promise.     












Dec 6, 2015

Ten years




In two week my baby turns ten! Ten!
Ten years my eyes not resting until her eyes are a sleep. Ten years my heart jumping at a cry or a murmur of “Mummy!”. Ten years deciphering her facial expressions, trying to understood what she did not say, wondering if there is something more I can do, some way I can be more her and less me. Ten years of constant unconditional flaming love, and still to this day I look for her face, between the dozens of children running out of the school gate I look for her face and a certain throbbing, the same old throbbing, like that very first day they handed her to me ten years ago, the first time I saw her face.

She doesn’t realise that there are parts of her that are only mine, moments, days, months, years that live in my memory alone, before she decided to be, she was my thoughts, my dreams, my imaginations, she was a prayer. 














Dec 3, 2015

Trapped



A bee trapped inside my living room, continued to bash itself against the slightly open glass door leading to the garden. The garden is so near - it seemed to ponder – I can see the green grass, the last blooming roses before the grave winter chills shook all the branches bare, why can’t reach it?!
I remember how that felt, stuck in a rut, seeing the way out but not fully grasping how, I was two people back then, the first had full faith I could overcome my pain,  my sadness and my depression, the other had full faith that there was no way out of my fathomless despair. Now looking at the struggling bee it seemed so far away. I reached for a clean and empty tub of yoghurt from my re-cycling box and scooped the confused insect and helped it fly out in the open air. A part of me understood.

















Dec 2, 2015

Roy the hypnotist




A few days ago I bumped into my neighbor Roy at the grocery store. I’ve been Roy’s neighbor for quite some time and for all I knew Roy was an average height, average weight, average bald, pensioner. There wasn’t anything interesting or distinctive about Roy. When I saw him - and I seldom did - I said hello or good morning and he replied, we probably exchanged a few remarks on the weather, but that was as far as our conversations ever went. But when I saw him in the shop I told him that I’m exhibiting my paintings and invited him to my event, he was pleased and we talked about art, which somehow led us to the human mind, which somehow led us to discuss consciousness and subconsciousness, and I learned that Roy was a therapy hypnotist and has helped many people including himself overcome addictions, phobia’s and helped them get rid of destructive and undesirable behavior, I was fascinated and as we talked more I also found out that he was a wrestler and had lived a very intriguing life and had amazing stories to tell. We talked for a very long time and I left feeling uplifted and in awe of my very average looking retired neighbor. Looks are deceiving, I always thought that old people only liked to complain about the weather and say how dreadful it was, which Roy did when I first bumped into him, we said hello and because it was a windy rainy day, he made a negative remark about the weather as most people do, to which I chose, let me repeat that “I CHOSE” not to confirm, I smiled and said “No, it’s not terrible, it just makes my day a bit slower”, I saw his face light up and he said that that was a good way of putting it, then our conversation diverged to much more interesting things like art and the human brain. If I had just agreed and said yes, the weather is terrible as most people do, we would have walked away still not knowing anything interesting about each other. Socially we are programmed to say what everybody else is saying, if everyone is complaining about politics, prices and the weather then we feel a social obligation to do so too, we like to keep it safe, mundane and boring.

I thought about all the amazing lives lived, incredible experiences, adventures, and stories locked up tightly into average unassuming faces that we just pass by without noticing or worse; we notice them, exchange miserable comments about the weather with them and walk away.








Dec 1, 2015

An open field




Today I walked.
With every step I felt hands of love, hope and kindness surround me
I came upon an open field, the grass luscious green and wet, the
trees bare and wise, swaying to the sacred song of winter winds
the Seagulls cried, the Magpies chattered and bickered loudly, all the while
they watched me, and knew me..
Something in me grew enormous, the gratitude for all my blessings
thank you for loving me,
thank you for giving me all I ever wanted
thank you for my talents, my health, my strength, my beauty, my fierce intellect
thank you for seeing me through everything
I spoke to the wind, to the earth and to the sky;
I release the past with love, and I am open,

open to all the goodness, all the opportunities and the abundance that lay ahead.