Friday 25 December 2009

On Christmas Day...

Morning snow
Crystal dew
Glass upon the street
The scent of emptiness
The blessing of stillness
all around.

A lazy bird
in slow descent
brushes willow leaves
the snow soughs down
to touch my feet.

I scoop the sun
the light, the ice
And taste the sight
of Freedom.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!
Illustrator: Richard Macneil

Thursday 17 December 2009

Sleigh Bells Ring (are you listening?)

I am home... and it is snowing!!!
The windows are inches thick with flakes, arriving in a hurricane, passionate kisses against the panes. Not the silence of snow, but the singing and howling and winging of snow...
Hospital was a breeze this time ;) I think I may have swaggered home tonight. Human Immuno Globulin is the only medical treatment which is sublimely kind to me. And I, in turn, adore it. The needles were placed in the crooks of my elbows gently by Clarence, and I made two new friends across the IV drips; a girl from Denmark with an astonishingly complicated love life, and a girl from the borders of Afghanistan, merrily chatting about the dastardly Taliban nearly ruining her cousin's wedding...
Next week, when the registrar rings with the blood test results, we will have a better idea about how depleted my B cells are and when/if I need to be admitted again.
But until then, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Illustration: another one of Maia Chavez Larkin's pieces, entitled Candace and the Clocks

Saturday 12 December 2009

The Silence of Snow

The Art of War requires armour
and light
The Enemy is more difficult
to find
in shadow
and Stealth is not the style
of the True Hero.

Rather meet
on the white playing field
where red blood shall melt
in the Silence of Snow

And who shall take the lead?
Only the True Hero.

This beautiful illustration was recently sent to
me as a surprise gift by Maia Chavez Larkin, who writes a blog called Une
Envie de Sel
. She simply asked me for my address, et voila! Thankyou Maia!! I do love this piece
of work and I have (typically) stylistically adapted it to myself. I am the
girl with the red ribbon tied around the wolf. In the vain hope that Lupus is no
longer leading me, I am taking the lead.
But notice the ribbon tied intricately around my
own right ankle, and the jaunty lift to the wolf's right leg? I return to hospital on Monday for a week long course of Intravenous Immunoglobulins. So who really wins? Who really leads?
No one knows, in
the silence of snow, who takes the lead and who must follow.

Saturday 5 December 2009

Mrs Warren's Profession

George Bernard Shaw, 1894

In the Preface to the first published edition of Mrs Warren's Profession, 1888, Shaw declared, "Prostitution is caused, not by female depravity and male licentiousness, but simply by underpaying, undervaluing and overworking women so shamefully that the poorest of them are forced to resort to prostitution to keep body and soul together."

Into this rather somber initiation of censorship, and the first imprisonments for Suffragette martyrs in 1913, we find the characters of Shaw's superb play enacting the rather tragic meeting and parting of a mother and daughter who can never be at ease with the other's 'profession'. Vivie, young, bright, lithe, having successfully navigated her Cambridge Mathematical Tripos, a Lady no less, must come to terms with having been funded and cossetted as a direct result of her mother Kitty's stakes in the oldest profession in the world.

And then the stage lights dim, and our breath catches on the imposing sets, the heath beyond, the vivacious bloodred brocade of Felicity Kendal making her entrance regally, minxily (she manages both), and I have a desire to leap on stage and clap like a maniac. You know I don't get out much, and I was in the front row. FRONT ROW!! 'Twas all I could do not to participate...

I bided my time. Hours later, many weary chapped hands later, Mum, Victoria and I hung about slavishly, for autographs. We were stationed rather neatly between front reception and stage door. I snagged Mark Tandy and David Yelland outside the stage door, with a winning smile and a shared eyebrow snooted to the dripping rainsky. Scurried back inside only to find the deliciously tiny Felicity Kendal nipping for the door (and freedom) with her little dog. Unh ah. You don't get away from the Tayabalis and the Kingsley-Pallants that easily. Oh she was so very gracious, and signed and signed, and I told her about being in hospital all year and how seeing her perform so magnificently had been such a treat, and she hoped I was better now... And on my return home I created her a card with calligraphic chinese paintings and poems woven into it. Do you think she'll like them? I left it with the stage manager today. I hope my words find their way to her; I hope they make her smile.