Sunday, 29 April 2012

Why they fly

Some years ago, I was attending a wonderful workshop on appreciating
poetry, run by my friend Wendy, and she mentioned a poem by Thomas
Hardy, called The Darkling Thrush. We didn't get to read the poem, but
what I understood of the poem was that it was about a thrush singing in
a desolate landscape, and the poet wondering why.

Later, when I sat down to dinner, dissecting my spaghetti bolognaise
and a somewhat irksome poem by Yeats, this suddenly came to me:

They have no knowledge
of all we doubt, or question.
So they sing, and fly.

I thought perhaps I should read Mr. Hardy's poem before presumptuously
posting my own response to it, so I googled it and found an interesting
review, as well as the poem itself. I hope you will read the link I've
provided. It's incredibly beautiful, savour each word, each line. I can
hardly believe that these words are written by the same man who wrote
those stern novels with tedious descriptions of architecture for literature
students to agonise over. Oh, such beautiful wise use of words .. I'm so
jealous, so inspired, so moved. And a bit sad when I realise that I'm
far more cynical than Mr. Hardy ever was.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Healing through art.

Drawing and writing are two of the most important things in
my life (refer first and third words of blog title). Well, they're
supposed to be. Writing is hard:  not the words or grammar or
even the typing - no, it's hard because it's painful and scary
to let my words out for anyone to see. Because what they see
is what's inside me.

Writing is perhaps the scariest thing I do. Drawing, on the other
hand, is easy. Just sit down and scribble. Perhaps people see
what's inside of me through my doodles and sketches, I don't
know .. but also, I don't care. I can hide things in pictures, that
in words just leap out. Sometimes I think it's easier because
the person I'm hiding them from is me.

These two most important things .. how is it that I put them
at the bottom of my list? There is ALWAYS something else
that seems to matter more. I suppose my problem is that the things
that matter to me never seem to be as important as the things
that matter to everyone else.

So naturally, here I am with stress-induced uveitic relapses
(sounds impressive but what it really means is an eye infection
that keeps coming back because I don't take care of myself), and
it's only when my niece points out that drawing might be
therapeutic and stress-relieving do I give it further thought.

Tonight I decided, no more delays, no more excuses, and I took out
a sketch pad and a bunch of pencils. I didn't know what I was
going to draw, but I kept telling myself that whatever it was,
it would be healing. The TV was on in the background - Criminal
Minds, an episode about a child molester. I'm not a person who
allows myself to feel the rage and outrage of my childhood very
often, and as I drew, the lines got darker, the marks got deeper,
and it struck me that art IS healing. But maybe only because
I can't bring myself to use my pencils in any other way.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Good-for-nothing Galileo

I actually know very little about the man, apart from strands
of memory that must be from my schooldays. But recently,
I was thinking about him and wondering what it must have
felt like - to discover a wonderful, mind-boggling, life-altering
truth - and then be forced to deny it. So I scribbled down this
jolly little ditty as a way of leaving him not quite without
optimism, at least in my imagination. And then tonight I was
in a mood to doodle and colour and play with stencils,
 and this is the result.
Just in case the words aren't clear, or you can't see the doodle:

Good-for-nothing Galileo
gazed up at the sun.
Had a theory or two -
no wait! he had just one.
The world does not revolve
(he said) round us,
those little sparkles in the sky ..
those are the real big guys.
The earth revolves around the sun!

Blasphemer! How un-Christian!
They made him take back what he said.
But late at night
"Dear Lord," he said,
"I know what's true and so do You,"
and then he went to bed.