Wednesday, 3 October 2012


The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees, 
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, 

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, 
And up in the garret, the artist, pulled at her hair, and tore...

Well, that last line is perhaps not quite in Alfred Noyes' taste... but truly it is a sight to see my mother wrestle with her latest oil portrait into the moonlit hours. The little studio in which she creates her magic can only be reached by a terrifying ladder, which, incidentally, featured in a nightmare the other night... my nightmare, that is. Mum seems to leap up those steps like a dervish. (In fact, I have never actually witnessed the climb... she seems always to be already there, at her easel...). Living with two artists has taught me much about the realities of creating art, but it has never diminished or disillusioned my relationship to art. It is, as it has always been, pure magic. I had a post surgery check-up today; the last two procedures haven't quite 'worked'. In pursuit of magic, I wandered the corridors of hospital, losing myself in the Quentin Blake panoramas we are so fortunate to possess...
Music and magic, poetry, civil rights and scholars... what more could I possibly need to salvage my battered soul, when The Blue Eyed Surgeon pronounced me "Trouble!" (moi? as if!) while concocting a new engineering plan for my eye. He even whipped up a drawing of the tube in my eye... (yes! another artist)... but I forgot to swipe it from him when the appointment drew to a close. I will tell you about it another day... for tonight, I am a torrent of darkness, tossed upon cloudy seas and I have decided the only solution is to make my hair the colour of a ribbon of moonlit purple moor. If I have purple hair, I am convinced I will be invincible! Do you not think? And the pain that awaits the next surgery will quake in the wake of my SuperHero-ness...


Oya's Daughter said...

Yes! Go purple - I would totally help you dye your hair if I was there; I can't tolerate the chemicals anymore, but dyeing hair is like being reshaped, reborn. By all means, do it! And I wish you strength.

Shaista said...

Sounds amazing!! If only you were near... I shall report post purple proceedings with either a bucket of tears or success :) xxxx

Sherry Blue Sky said...

And a photo, too, please, of your purple locks. As always, Shaista, your radiant spirit lights the world, whatever darkness may be going on. Strength, kiddo....and watch for a parcel that is making its way to you.

Brigid said...

Oh Shai. What do you mean not quite worked..? I hope it is not too awful.Put an imaginary purple shield around you instead. I love your shiny, black hair just as it is. But this from someone who has never had the guts to dye her hair, so what do I know? I'm really sorry you have to face another challenge. What about writing all this in longer form, these posts are so great, but maybe a book would be a good distracting project to get stuck into. Love and lotuses to you xx

Yin said...

Yeah yeah yeah! I am so tempted to join you in purple hair ... would you like a superhero sidekick, Poetessa Warrior? ;)

Shaista said...

Brigid - the book you mention is a dream and a goal which I think I have been working towards all my life since the diagnosis. Sometimes it feels as though I have taken too long to write it, and other times I think it will emerge complete, at exactly the right time. But it is always and always in my mind.
Thank you for 'seeing' that.

My hair is done, and it is looks as shiny and black as ever!! With only streaks of suggestive purply pink :) Very subtle - you would approve :)

Yin said...

I think I speak for many of us (your adoring audience, don't forget), when I say: peeeeeeeeeectuuuuure!!! (Please?)

Jeanne-ming Brantingham said...

I believe the book will emerge complete, unexpected, and better than expected. Many of us on your side lines see things about you that you can't.

And as your Mum will confirm, purple is the color of shadows.

All my love and support

Anonymous said...

The beauty of your spirit shines through the page.

Cait O'Connor said...

That was me Cait sorry I had a dot in the wrong place for some reason

Ruth said...

With each more difficult progression, you only grow more beautiful and shiny. But I wish, so deeply wish, it were not so (the first part).

Your lovely artistic parents. Sigh. And this illustrator, who utterly creates what I would create if I could.

Hugs and hugs and hugs and kisses, my friend.

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