Never Dusted Nor Done

How many ways can we colour love,

How many songs to be sung,

How many words to express what we mean,

How many before dusted and done.

Colours of rainbows, permutated for life,

Notes neverending, play on,

Speak what we feel and write it all down,

Never dusted, never done, for the one.

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Your gift to the world

It is an honour and joy for me to guest blog at Scottishmomus. Anne-Marie is very dear to me, and to think that we have not even met up in person (yet). But we have met numerous times over the net, via emails and between each blog post. Our friendship blossomed through our mutual love for words, and passion for humanity. Technology has enabled us to find each other. With it, I have also found a beautiful soul sister in Anne-Marie. For this and more, I am truly grateful.

Technology can truly be used for the greater good when we make it so. I’ve witnessed how this wonderful blogging community has evolved over time, making it possible for writers and friends from all around the world to connect. I get to marvel at each unique talent at work (and play) in the process.

The blogging and writing arena is no different than the real world. It is not always smooth sailing, but there is always sparks of brilliance.

Bleeding Pen

 

There are times when the pen bleeds, but nothing comes forth. No words would adorn the page. No verses could spell out the emotions that lay buried.

But there are times when our hearts open up, and then the pen drips boundlessly as if by magic, from one page to the next – eager to fill up the emptiness, staining that white papery sheet with love, pain, happiness, sadness, hopes, fears, dreams and whatever else that lies beyond.

If you can write, write.

If you can draw, please draw.

If you can sing, please drown the noise with your melodious voice. 

Whatever it is that you are good at doing, or enjoy doing – just please do it.

Don’t let your fears hold you back.

As Steven Pressfield wrote in “The War of Art” ~ “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

So, channel all your emotions and creativity into form.

Bring them to life, and share with the world.

We are all better because of it.

Your talent is a gift.

It adds value to our perspectives, and enriches our humanity.

So, please don’t stop. And if you have yet to start, please choose your “medium” and begin.

As we await for Anne-Marie to complete her novel, may each of us continue to colour the world with our own magical “wand”.

 

THANK YOU WITH FOLDED HANDS,

Shirley Maya Tan at The Art of Fearless Living

 

 

We Write…

We write of summer meadows and of dewdrops,

Of circles caught in circles in our mind,

Of senses’ fantasies that beg releasing, in

Images that seep on page to find

Recognition in the land of journey

Of imagination played before our fluttered eyes,

Of colours bright or muted, freed from prism,

Of right or wrong, of truth, of evil lies.

 

We write of winter howling in bare treetops,

Of geometric tangents linked with space,

Of god and gifts and sad laments of knowing

Revealed inside the gifs behind our face,

Of politics and grace and favour owing,

Of how, by nature, owls seek out and track their prey

While, through the night, their silent wings stir currents,

Nocturnal voice, soft breathing held at bay.

 

We write at dawn and in night’s tiptoed torment

Of tales and thoughts, common to us all,

Of worlds within the world we all are sharing,

We write, in honesty, must be the greatest call

Of those drawn to the world of language,

In letter’d form, placed hesitantly, upon page,

Hit ‘publish’ while our hearts on white are crafted,

Daring reciprocity or rage.

 

Of ballerinas twirling in their jewel box,

When opened to reveal our trinkets there,

We write and dare our eyes to endless wonder,

We write, we risk our souls to honest bare.

We write because not doing is no option,

Words bedevil, haunt with no regret,

Spectral forms hover oe’r us, in cloud lexicon,

Begging exorcism on the net.

 

We write in music, pictures and prose poetry,

In art, in forms all risen from the pyre

Of ashen phoenix, from a long tradition

Of pigments mixed in charcoal from the fire.

In black and white, in colours that suffuse us,

Permeate the gases of our form,

Our nebula of knowing that what moves us,

Communication, as the human norm.

 

We write when tears are forming on our eyelids,

Smudging ink that proves our hearts still feel,

In anger, too, spilled blood from ancient consciousness,

We write to justify our thoughts are real.

We write because we see all souls are hurting,

As mine does too, from time to time, no less,

We write as union with the great unknowing,

One cell from shared communion that we bless

 

In knowing that no trouble that we carry

Need be borne alone no matter where we are,

Our words are missiles, more powerful than nuclear,

They are the love that nurtures near or far.

The word is flesh, the word is souls abiding

In light, its form, its earthless, weightless mass,

In silence and in photonic dark room,

One word may mean more than all the rest.

 

We write of dreams succumbed to when we’re sleeping,

Of daydreams caught in shower’s gentle sting,

Of justice, truth, of pain, of deep depression,

Of cloud release ascended on the wing.

Of tender-hearted moments that we’ve nourished,

Of visions seen in skies, on mountain peaks,

We write of all that’s conjured in our musings,

We write because some words are hard to speak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beaming!

I nipped home from school at lunch time today to pick up a ‘princess’ dress. There and back inside 45 minutes. And so worth the rush.

You see, one of the schools I teach in was having a dress rehearsal for the Christmas school panto – an adaptation of Cinderella. A member of staff mentioned earlier in the morning that one girl was without a costume. She had been off school and was not aware that she had to bring a dress in with her today. And she had nothing suitable. Just like the real Cinderella.

I had no idea who the dress was for but, judging from the teacher’s description of the girl, I felt sure I would have one at home that fitted. Well, not me personally, you understand. I don’t dress up as a princess. Much. One of my daughter’s dresses.

On returning to the school and rushing to the class in question I discovered that the dress was for a nine-year old I see once a week for a few hours. This girl, K., is profoundly deaf in one ear and is painfully quiet in class, barely speaking unless directly spoken to. And, even then, in a whisper

When I realised the dress was for her I was worried. This child was going to be one of the Cinderellas! I reassured myself that maybe she had a non-speaking part.

Shortly after one o’clock I sat, along with all the other children and staff in the school, and watched as three classes of children aged 9-11 did their thing. They were great.

K. came on in her princess dress. I was practically holding my breath.

She joined in a song with the others on stage and seemed to be doing well. I relaxed a little despite the fact that she was being overshadowed by two other more confident girls practically standing right in front of her. I wanted to shout, ‘Hey, let Cinderella in!’

The song finished and the next scene was between K. as Cinderella and Buttons. I was blown away.

My gawd, she was brilliant. This bashful child enacted her part with clarity and volume and facial expressions and movements worthy of either of the two ‘real’ pantos I’ve been at in the last few weeks.

Sometimes, people think that Drama, Dance, Music, Art and P.E. are secondary in importance to the principal subjects of literacy and numeracy. Of course, the latter two are important. And I love teaching them . But, I’ve argued for years that the aesthetic and physical subjects develop areas of personality and boost confidence that helps with all areas of school life.

Today, K. showed me and everyone there that there is nothing secondary or inferior in worth in the aesthetics.

She was not the only one. Every child on that stage and in the choir took on roles, some of them humorous – a difficult thing to pull off- all acting and singing their hearts out.

I have seen this over the years with the Expressive Arts and P.E.. The opportunity for teachers to see the children in different learning environments, using different attributes and developing their skills is an eye-opener.

K., for me, was the one who really mattered most today because the difference in the before and after was so pronounced.

I remembered then a conversation from the staff room of a few weeks ago where one of the teachers had commented on a quiet child who blossomed on stage. This was K.!

When her parents see her tomorrow and Friday in the real show they will beam with pride. I did.

Pierrot

All honesty has died I fear,

Words jest and play with all held dear.

I bow to court and so depart,

Clowns laugh and joke and play their part.

Royalty decreed it so,

Some observe while others throw

Clubs that juggle in the air,

Miss and hit, such talent rare.

To aim and wound and laugh at all,

Cruellest gift, no gift at all.

 

Rather act as Pierrot,

Wailing love’s departure,

Than betray all thought and feelings so

In silent mimicked rapture.

The Politics Of Snobbery

Here on my mountain

With magnificent view,

I can look far below with disdain

At all of the plebs beneath me;

All those who, for me, have no name.

 

 

Smiling with sweet condescension,

A patronising nod to their need.

I sit in the lap of the gods;

On ambrosia and nectar we feed.

 

 

Such rich repast would merely confuse

The illiterate palate below.

Throw them a little education,

But obscure it so they really won’t know.

 

 

Blind them with science

And ambiguity,

Ensure inaccessible form.

Return to elite education.

Keep lack of knowledge the norm.

 

 

Buy them a pint and a promise,

Pretend you’re impressed with their ways,

Retire to your fort in the forest above

And damn them with faintest of praise.

 

 

This human nature,

With aim so select,

Denies the purpose of word,

Ponders and bewails the glorious arcane;

Guards enlightenment with sword.

 

 

Only for some;

And then, just a few.

Greek and Latin observe.

Shakespeare is king

And there’s only one way

For educated man to serve.

 

 

We serve the word

And the word serves us.

Creativity has many faces.

Elitist snobs with distorted views

Divide all people and races.

 

 

Your mountain view, though elevated,

Sees only distant truth.

Partial disclosure is really a lie.

Effete snobbery, uncouth.

The Sweetest Revenge

 

The Sweetest Revenge

Pensive?

Persuasive?

Thoughtful?

And true?

One man

Loved a woman

This woman was you.

He wooed you

And won you

And called you his own.

He lay down beside you;

Your body, his throne.

Your fortress, his treasure.

Your lips,

His reward.

One facet elusive

One wonderful

Word.

His lines

He had spoken

His words were not true

Your heart he had broken

This woman was you.

The psyche that is sorrowed

When words are two-faced

Mourns tears of regret

And weeps for disgrace.

A mire of destruction

Wades woefully near.

Risking new fate

Fills the wound with true fear.

A soul in the night

Reaches out for new love

The cry of the anguished

Is heard on above.

A new spirit travels

On destiny bound

Seeks out his true lover

In you, he is found.

Healing ensues

With ecstasy won.

The sweetest revenge

Is a happiness song.

Three Funerals and an Afternoon Tea

That’s probably not going to make a great title for a film. There wouldn’t be too many laughs in it either.

This week past I attended the funeral Mass of a young man. Fifty-five is young when you’re fifty-two.

In the last year, this is the third death of someone young that I’ve known.

I wasn’t close to any of them but they had each come into my life at different points. They were each local, they were each about the same age. They each died alone. Completely alone.

They had loving family. Families who cared about them and wanted to help them. They were each beyond reach of help.

Two died alone at home. One ensured he would be found. They died, directly or indirectly, by their own hand. Their choices and circumstances led them to an early death.

Their families grieve the loss of one they could not help, despite love reaching out to do so.

Such a waste.

One I will remember by a piece of his art that hangs on my living-room wall.

Another, I will remember each day I pass her house.

The last I will remember from a dance as a teen.

I knew them all in better days, in a carefree past.

Whatever troubles life brought to them, they were too much.

And the afternoon tea?

Well, today, my husband and I went for a champagne afternoon tea that had been purchased last year for our silver wedding anniversary as one of the gifts from our seven gorgeous kids. The other gifts were enjoyed almost immediately. This voucher has lain for nearly a year, almost on the point of expiry. Finding the time to use it always just out of reach.

We made time today to use it. For a few hours we had time for just the two of us. We reminisced, we laughed. We talked about our children – that’s inevitable. We made a few plans. Some may happen. Some may not.

Our weeks unfold, one upon the other. There are glad days and gladder days. There are sad days and sadder ones still.

We live, we work, we love. We reach out to each other, as a couple, as a family.

Sometimes, that is enough.

And, sometimes, it is not.