THE PRESSURE OF LIGHT
Talking to Scott N Loveall ~ Author, Poet and Photographer, Suncoast, Florida. http://i.nnersongs.com/
(SEE BELOW FOR HIS LATEST RELEASE: INTRUDING ON A SILENCE).
When I meet Scott’s poetry “…dance of suncoast voice/greedy cries of seagulls…” , the deep velvet of Dark Pastels and this morning Deeds of Common Sense, I am thinking, “Step carefully into his Poetry Vault! Don’t say a word, just listen.”
These are not the breathy scratch of chalks,
but the smear of oils,
of rain washed neon,
the shadows of wildflowers at 8 AM,
of bricks through hearth-fire.
Not sunday school lemon and candy floss
but the ambers of age, of wisdom,
of autumn and harvest.
Scott N Loveall is raw and meticulous. Unbridled yet quiet in his passion for both mystery and serious laughter. If you love poetry, here is a heady mix of colour and light on a verbal palette to watch! Curiousity got us talking…
ID: Fascinated! I’m staring at your words.
Scott: Thank you. I trust that staring at words is a good thing. If I could only paint with words as you do with light!
ID: (hey I did?) There’s more to this than visibility.
Scott: Light exists between moments, silences. We blink it away. It makes our loved ones shine and reveals that which we didn’t know is there. (See: Unleashed…in the pressure of morning) Have you ever sat in the moments just before first light and felt the change from darkness on your skin? If you listen with your body it is palpable.
ID: (I had, but he was framing it for posterity and how!) The Change from Darkness to Light – define Expression for us?
Scott: It is Communication: unique to each and requiring internal congruity – when the mirror of what you create delights you and speaks back with agreement. It is what spills out of your fingertips if you paint or write, even if it comes from darkness. A singer or musician can elicit emotion from us, but that must also meet their inner criteria, reflecting their intent. All expression has the ability to move another in some fashion even if it is distaste. Opera, Pop Art, and Chaucer match someones taste for expression. Others find they need a cultural structure to their music, phrasing, or art.
ID: The best and the worst thing that can happen to an artist?
Scott: Other than losing their passion for wanting to create and share, I am no authority to speak for other artists. Any ‘successful’ artist, in any medium, should first create to please themselves. It is all so different for each of us. For me the worst thing that can happen is to take myself too seriously, to lose touch with the spontaneity of creativity. I have written all of my poetry, prose, and books in another space. I just have to go into that space, access what is written there and channel it here. I think a painter does that in some fashion as well. Matter can never be destroyed it just changes states.
The Dark Sides of Pastels was a product of curiosity and need. Colors are most often associated with foods, spices…an Artist’s palette which has labels like Vermillion or Azure. Also metals(ores), minerals, and gems. Things of nature. Things that touch a chord in us. Darker, somber colors have ‘shadows’ to them. They are also colors of time. They are ‘in contrast’, suggested, covered, passive. We use the term muted as if we, or they, have quieted their voice. My curiosity led to the challenge of how to convey them. I can say: Lemon, Cinnamon, or Jade, but to name their reflections one usually needs simile or metaphor like Patrolman Blue or pink healthy as gums.
ID: So the thread running through this is ‘spontaneity’?
Scott: Hmmm. More…not trying to censor yourself? A glass of wine maybe? Try and loosen the critical mind, let the harness off as it were. A zone when painting, outside of yourself. Watching it unfold.
ID: (It was getting late – not for my wildly shining Indian sky, but his) Great talking to you, Scott. Your sun must’ve set, mine has woken up and it’s the same blinkn’ sun!
Scott: Yes the same blinkn’ sun! 12:30 A.M. here and you are just ripping into your mid-morning.
Me? I am thinking…lights…transit…life…wow!
if it would brighten your heart.
No one should lose blood.I’d hide the wind from Mariah
if she threatened your ship.
No one should lose their home.I’d lay my harvest down
should you face the fist of the King.
No one should fail by greed or tyranny.I’d loose a deadly arrow
into their pious delusions.
No one should suffer to the bonds of ignorance.
Innerdialect: “My greatest Loss would be if I never lived with Joy or Passion. Or never Shared!” Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Thank you, Scott, for getting me to look at my own ‘lights’.
09 May 2011
It sat bang in the middle of Commercial Street – food vendors, pedestrians, milled around. Higginbothams Books stood next door like it had for the past 60 odd years. To the right, The Daily Herald. Three floors of grey stone housed coffee-lovers, doodlers, insomniacs and others.
There was a ‘kicked up newness’ about The Coffee Shop this year. Fresh painted off white wall, front door burnt brown, black handle, terrace garden first floor, stairs spiralling off a tiny reception, pine freshener, new varnished tables, wrought iron window grill, peeling wood bench out front that local Traffic police ignored during road widening procedures when metro railways re-structuring first began.The Coffee Shop’s name plate stood thick with pigeon droppings and feathertuft wedged in rust.
Yes, there was a newness here…in the way of old garden cities and new fly-overs.
After chairs went down that morning, a few regulars walked in glassy eyed, to smoke, stare, have their cup of freshly ground coffee in white cup and round bottomed saucer. Nice people in states of non thought apparently contagious.
Ginger and the four cats, including New Lady, hung back in the terrace. Mij wasn’t in yet so no leftovers! No one ate. Coffee and cigarette butts. Shrivelly match and ash. Eeeeyeow. Things hadn’t changed much at The Coffee Shop.
He sank in his fur and shut his head. New Lady looked away unimpressed. She was, but wouldn’t show it. Ginger knew. Which was why he shut his head. The ways of the female species weren’t new to him. They were all quite human if you looked close. Indiscretions to the fore and immensely ignorant of the fact that the covers to their psyche were sheer glass. Oh, you could read a human like you could read New Lady here.
Why people did not ‘read each other’ confused Ginger. It could simplify everything. Like peripheral vision. Did they use it? Nah! Other species yes, but humans? Maybe some women did. And some sleuths. Specifically trained. Or stock brokers. And some journalists.
Four that evening, Mij finally came in. Ginger and others settled into more mobile peace. Life began. Mij looked strangely content today; hadn’t fussed with her hair as usual – somehow that helped. It hung flat either side of her wide face, softening it. Fifty nine and in bright purple T shirt, white heels, skinny jeans, workday – even if you hardly got off your high chair with laptop and pictures of ancestry?! Mij was originally from “Persia”. Parsi!
Oh. Ah. Ginger purred inside – all over. See, she asked no rent; coffee bags behind the kitchen brought in rats, mice. Why complain?
5pm. Time moved in one slow amber stretch. Amber because of the late Indian summer sun slanting in thru Mij’s windows overlooking the City’s park across. High red walls and Asoka trees that landmarked The Coffee Shop. Girl with plait hadn’t arrived yet (French plait meticulously braided from the top, sometimes even with white and pinky pearl or satin twine. Salon? What, every day?).
Table 6 was busy again. Tall man with leather briefcase. What was he? Real Estate? Mattered? Nah! Just that people walked in with their lives. Little untuned edges sometimes rankling like a raspy guitar. Black silk dress tie tonight, ok. Okay-ee! Third coffee, loosened silk tie, he was slipping down till one socked foot stuck out under table. Doped-sleepy.
New Lady had one green eye, the other was blue. Striking in her white fur, Ginger thought. She was long jawed long boned, hind feet ambling like a big cat’s, hmmmm, ATTITUDE!! Lineage. New babe was thinking privileged class, uh.
He stretched loudly across so she had to hop over Table 6′s long socked foot. What can you say. These were the ways of a street cat. Don’t try dress him up, gold trimmed deep streaked fur, tail like a christmas tree, and all. Mee Maw!!! Velvet brown eyes unsafe to look into, not till you were ready. But then he had a wildness that slipped out without warning. Almost like people. She retreated to the Monsterra pots outside to do her nails.
7pm. Just walking space left. Even over by the maroon benches along the left wall with the Mario black and white murial. Mij’s paintings kept her away from the madness. The shop was a gift from Ma who had dreamed of an Art Studio, back when young ladies had no business thinking that way. Grandpa thought different…
Well, the dream died. After ma moved on, Mij, single and somehow better at 50 than 40, made her decision. Yeah, there was a time she used to think “Soul Mate” would walk in, sweep her off her feet, tall, dark, ruggedly handsome, unlike Slick there. Sure he had a girlfriend in tow, but she wouldn’t recommend him for any one she knew, he was just too smooth was all.
She must’ve smiled at the young couple across, Slick and the girl; they smiled back good-naturedly and Mij felt a pang of bad. Sometimes she was really so bad. Wicked streak from her dad for sure. He was a rash one. Mij tried to remedy familial curse (there was also cancer, arthritis, colic, ulcers and spinal curvature running rabid in the family, so you wanted to wash that out, specially here where you needed ‘nice’, and work, for pity’s sakes, without generational mess). That explained her Feng Shui crystals, mirror and single laughing Buddha at the entrance with petals in round earthen water tray. And river stones.
Oh, too many accessories for a Coffee Shop? So? She had snacks. Samosas, khari biscuits (flaky light wheat biscuits, reminiscent of her years in Gujarat), some lassi & yoghurt recently, tangy-chillied Lime pickle bottles for sale in tall shelf, but coffee was coffee. Fresh ground from Coorg in the hills, best hill station south of India, Mij knew no other. The aroma of it rose to the rafters, spilling out to where Chaat sellers swirled puffed rice concoctions in tender mango shreds, tamarind preserve and coriander spiked potato crunch. You bought your Chaat for Rs 30/-, walked in for coffee. Mij didn’t care. She leaned on her elbows like she were looking in at the window sills of the world.
Girl with plait was dazzling in blue tonight, black long earrings, sparkle in the loop. Very nice. The nails were painted bronze, subtle. 22? Maybe, 23. Med school, or architecture. Yeah they had that look, PGs.
Ginger wished they would change the music. It had a whine, which was alright some nights, but not with moon and Moghul outside, at it. Moghul was a dignified dog, polite to felines, so they all looked out for him, except that his whine put sad sitars and shennais to shame.
Plait girl was smiling. Oh. Ah! purred Ginger. Humans could express so much but mostly did that to themselves. Like personal truths were for individualised governance of the Galaxy. He prefered cats. What you saw was what you got. Male cats. Humans were big on emo. Superficially, see? Like New Lady. A species dedicated to self.
Table 6 was sorting out his shoes. Short man in the corner and woman with bags from Garuda Mall were actually eating. Girl in plait hadn’t stopped talking into her phone. Whoever she was waiting for better arrive soon; there were three waiting for that one chair.
Next to the Billing counter tables in front of the mirror filled with delegates from a seminar. Glossy badges, happy plastic smiles. Ten of them squashed into room for six.
What did Coffee do? Kick the nerve centres? Soak up happy spots? Made humans feel better looking? Couple at table for two, snuck glances at long mirror. It was great being a non human, you could stare at anyone anytime, for free. The woman so very, very pretty, but needed confirmation all the time? Pouty slow smiles into the mirror when he wasn’t looking. Funny thing was he did the same. Like they were in love with their own face, or some other people…
Ginger was wide awake. The family with teenagers were here. Six of them, each a silent stone. Had their coffee in silence. Why would they want coffee like that, once a week? A pact, counselling tip, payoff for Dad? Did they talk at home? Did they get the bus here? They did not look like BUS people.
8pm. Sara Pai arrived, hunched in her own designer brand of clothing, white salwar kameez, red shawl. Relished her coffee like it were the last thing before paradise, to the last drop before paying up, no tip and a swipe at the Cumin seed sweetened bowl, one tissue for the road and she was gone like she had arrived, leaving behind a trail of Eau de cologne, old cotton and napthalene. Yeah she was used to nice things. And some rough.
Mij straightened her shoulders, deciding not to charge Sara Pai anymore. As a tribute to…life. There was a niceness about changing the old routine. Tomorrow she would clean up the name plate outside. Not that anyone noticed. It was a relic. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and started. She was beginning to look…nice. Then she studied herself with heels, without heels. Ginger knew she wouldn’t touch the relic. It was her good luck charm. The last time she tried cleaning it Janam, the cook, fell ill. Humans were odd when they thought no one was looking. It was great being non-human. Night vision for one thing. Oh-ah! The things you saw around The Coffee Shop when the shutters were down.
New Lady spat. Na-Da. Mij would do the name plate tomorrow. Today she had found a worthy human trait. Dignity. And beauty. Even a legitimate degree of pride. Maybe it was about Sara Pai and tributes. To life. Mee-Maw!
Her blue/green eyes were striking she noticed, preening in the mirror, utterly pleased to finally say it out loud. “We have something more than basic vision, anyway, sir! Feminine instinct…” New Lady watched Ginger through the tip of her tail and padded into the kitchen.
Photograph: ‘Smile’ © Jamie Koziura
03 April 2011
Li & I on the rollercoaster
It clicked into place and slowly ambled up the slope;
Noe, my husband, was in the front seat and very happy to be there. Happy to be near anything that had speed in it. After living with years of me, I couldn’t blame him.
I’m not telling you much about early child hood experiences of near falling off a train, or crazy boats in wild Indian Rivers and seas, but there are people who do not like speed, aren’t there?
It was a perfect Mumbai noon. Li, my sister, and I were here to make a difference in the way we lived our lives up till then.
“I can take this,” she said, glaring at me for having doubted her.
She, the State Champion for Badminton, Table Tennis, Sprint Queen, our neighbourhoodcricketer par excellence, enduring Medical School Student through all those years with formalin-corpses…
Only we knew Li and I were terrified of speed and heights. So, that noon, we stood still to listen as the brakes loosened and the Steel monster purred, before lunging onto it’s tracks with a grin – we somehow knew it was grinning.
When speed began to tighten all the muscles down our right shank and elbows, hamstring and brain, and the wind was a thin shriek pulling earrings off earlobes, Li began to whisper the name of her God through the sides of her head.
The monster plunged its neck in as it bungied into meters below; our glasses collectively folding into tiny heaps in our lap. We could not wail.We could weep. That suspended fall stole every last syllable we may have shrieked.
“Done?” She wept.
“No,” I whispered hoarsely. The brakes unclasped some secret higher gear.
“Oh NO!” She said.
“Yes Li, there’s more!” I said, as the winds slid flat down our cheeks, flattening our edges into its roar.
What can I say? After it was over and we side saddled off onto the cement walk, Li my sister said, “What rubbish, Ray, did we have to go pay? Do they care that we could die? Know what? Now I’ve lost all fear, I must learn to drive, I’m sure I can drive…”
The female side of our family may be inclined to be afraid of crossing streets – I cannot say too much here, you wouldn’t want the neighbours to know – but there was no stopping Liafter that!
20 April 2011
You won’t believe this but now I’m committed I’ve got to say.
Last night, half awake half asleep – moonlight bright silver all over my floor – I had this dream.
Maya, my friend at the hospital…Maya, beautiful and dying, was getting better. ESR diving .. everything everything everything they said was never going to happen began to happen. Right there in front of my eyes, with fast-forward madness; her hair was growing back and fit like a wooly skull cap. She looked stunning. Stunning!
I know I’m being repetitive but it’s hard to be coherent here. Maya was supposed to meet with a few of us…discuss…details…
Jed, for instance. The Kids. The sister in Tibet. The house with the bougainvillea spilling over that low bamboo gate no one remembered to fix. The cemetery. There I said it.
I hate that word. Not a word anyone loves, I am sure, but having Maya talk about ‘plots’ as if she were at the tailors and worrying about the location of darts maddened me to the extent I had wanted to slap her.
Then last night this dream. Something about Aloe Vera treatments; there were three nurses; a doc smiling so much over charts; Maya getting into old jeans sizes too large, barely held up her characteristic red leather belt…
She was staring right at me, her indigo-black eyes not filling with a single tear.
Not yet. Every word she was not saying stood tall in the thickening silence between us. I tried to inch away but my spirit leaned in. Needing to see what she was going to say.
“Run!” I screamed inside but my voice spiralled in, echoing within the silence I had welled in deep over the years.
Maya looked beautiful in the blue striped wide necked tube smattered hospital gown. Four years, and she was not ready to go. “Not like that. Not like that!” She said. On the phone, text messages, email, whatever she could lay hands on, or get a nurse to punch out for her.
13 April 2011
Sometimes, in the dark, you dance with Angels
There was this drum stick tree in the back yard and my sisters tying hammocks in the casurina in front of our home…such white sand, Gopalpur on sea, stark white like you’d washed it. With sunlight.
Dad came home that noon with diesel oil in his strong brown fingers. To this day he reminds me of Denzel Washington. Hmm I love Denzel W for his own self but this was years ago when DW himself was maybe in school, and so was I.
My yellow pug nosed bus that coughed like an old bull and kicked like a donkey. They wouldnt let women in first. Bad luck, like owls and black cats all under one ladder was a woman that stepped into a bus before a man could. It was Orissa, the 70s, interior.
They let me in though – I was a Chokri (little girl – child)! A neither human, like an elf. Or a Leaf I so remember myself. Browned to the burn. Squinting up at Dharma the bus conductor.
If you saw him with anything but my eyes, you’d worry. Massive lower jaw and crinkled in eyes / close blue black curls rich with mustard oil ; they sprang upwards over oblong temples,. His arms hung like giant hooks on either side of a torso that defies description to this day. No, you didnt want to mess with Dharma.
I adored him. He reserved the seat next to his, for me. I was seven years old and it was an hours ride to Berhampur ( east coast of India/ famed for her Konarak Sun Temple and outrageously beautiful sunrises )
We ‘d reach at 7.20 am before the School bell yelled. Dharma would lunge me over and out, as the school gates whanged shut. To this day am scared of road crossings, cuz Dharma was a jet plane over lesser things like rickshaws and buses.
I thought of that this morning as our teenager crashed out the door to summer music school ,and that son of ours said, “Ma, I’m going to learn how to ride a bike too so I can go to school myself from June…” No cares that he cannot see.
“Whats the problem here?” He’s asking through a Silence that steadily fills the space between his ears and my mouth. I have no answer to many questions, not just my sons’.
Sometimes when the Power fails and the sky is that intense midnight black you see in nights here aroun d the equator, strange dimensions meet the eye.
If you ve been there you’ll know. A friend of ours who later became a Music Moghul in the Industry once said , “ How do we know there aren’t other Things looking at us, right here right now? Both good and not so good?”
We were in the middle of some nice eastern food, one cool night. I remember thinking it was a good time to talk that way because Tim Mathews here was out on a leg with the last of his savings and a prayer.
We went on to talk about Angels and Demons and strangers appearing out of nowhere to be nice to you, vanishing like they had never been there, but you knew you had just experienced help of an unusual sort.
I had just had an offer to be Technical writer from an Industrial Company in Worli, Mumbai , but wanted more than a desk job.
There were things that happened. Illness and healing. Sometimes a little smile in an unusual place. A warm hand in the Scan room where chill can rinse your bone !
I used to think angels had long white starched cotton dresses with fur trimmed wings.
Uh uh. Sometimes they’re the smile of a quiet child with a “handicap” a special ability to make me peer right into the dark.
Who knows what you might see…there, there. And yes, even…there! Hey when you ‘re staring into the dark, you could be startled .
Resolution for today – Dont forget to use my seven year old eyes. (Love you Dharma my bus conductor – thank you for helping me cross that street…and maybe a few other Minefields!)
This picture here is Johann, with his dog and Oil Painting – Blue Vase, RN
© Rayla Noel
by Rayla Noel
Through a few careful conversations over the past weeks, Seth Joash (alias) and I got talking about gardens, yards and spaces around us. He lives way over the equator and can grow tulips if you please; apple blossom and daffodils, which got me talking about the view from my windows. Our new apartment overlooks 400 acres of land owned by the Army and left to grow as wall foliage, I imagine. After years of Travel and life in a developing county where bridges, flyovers, new construction replace forestry, this home is what we call a miracle. Shades of green, masses of sky, wide sunsets, sunrise mist…
“So. You have a big Garden?” he asked slowly.“I have three balconies. We have these…pots.”I replied. “Right. What do you grow?”
I did not know their botanical names, or house names. “They heal me…” I offered, hearing him grin through the server.
“Describe them to me.”
“Oh, in the forest out here, there’s Gulmohar, there’s a lavender tree…”
“No, your balcony.”
I swallowed and began. What did I have to lose?
Sometimes there isn’t paint enough,
to etch the sins of man’s waste fields,
the invisible and visible graveyards, my brother,
sung and unsung villians and heroes.
Sometimes, and more often like today,
my words smear with images of the crime we share, you and I,
and I am startled with Life.
Look at us, so different, and yet we bleed the same things,
the lust for power, greed for the last word,
the laughter and the grime.
There are no different colours to blood;
not enough rooms for the misunderstood,
Or the way we really all live inside.
Am struggling for the right words – but,
this comes through, like red burnished leaves on growing wood,
sometimes we sing, or paint, or just be still,
with or without the ways of ink,
Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry,
geography and borders understood; we are still human,
within the chaos of irresponsibility. I cannot war your words,
cannot erase our sins of neglience,
Too much silence, often is,
the vilest crime.
~ Art and Poetry by Rayla Noel
Shan’t go into details but this painting and two others (a series of three), created for a ‘friend’, were my first real water-colour offerings to the world of ‘commissions’…
“Mindfields” went to their new owner, wrapped in butter paper and much love; they taught me to value the work of my hands. Never, never take for granted what happens with these finger tips.
So….here I am, taking inventory. There’s this growing grin inside. Wordless, nameless, images form; streams in the valley, a way in the wilderness…gaining through losing, clichés, every one of them…piecing together what no loss can defy.
The very thing you lost could heave in returns? Awareness; Faith; Restoration; the knowledge of an unsinkable power within to create…?
© Rayla Noel
16 July 2011
In the winds, I find my wings,
When it is sky, don’t need my feet,
Come against me, this gets better,
Lighter, is somehow swifter,
Distance, makes things clearer,
Going in circles can mean supper,
Rising, on soft feather,
beyond blue prints,
structure, yes unfamiliar e’en,
every eagle has a story to tell,
each time she spreads her wings…
“…is it true I’m an eagle ?”
Why Mona Lisa smiled
Diary of a Transit Lounge Page 3:
They sat together. Two cultures in one. Three? Schipol airport. Holding hands, coffee and themselves – the world somehow also there and with each, their cabin baggage. They were both Caucasian. Mid 20s, Parka, white Tees, well worn jeans. She was a brunette, pixie beautiful violet eyes, a Renoir mouth. He was a head taller than her, easily 6’2″, smiling eyes that somehow came across as serious. Light grey. Their babies were dark. Little curls and irises deep black; midnight velvet. Twins.
They were talking; yes Flemish! His accent was more New York. Little half words. You could tell they weren’t talking about roots. Not kin and cliches they had separately grown up with, but something about where they were going and you wanted to understand their space; War and Peace, and Love. You wondered what they had just seen yesterday, knowing you’d never know. But they’d moved.
Maybe it was in the way he reached in and took out the Flute. Piccolo? Gentle notes, now sharp, now low. She listened. Like she were the only one he was playing for. But he had a following. The German couple in new leather coats; the French lady, electric blue streaks in her hair; to the left, a young man and girl both red heads, white white faces that hadn’t rested.No one really rested in the Transit Lounge. There was always the departure. You had to be alert. No matter who you were. What the status of your ticket or life back home at work or where no one else suspected.After the man put down his flute, there was that stillness – like at the Opera. And some other places sacred to each. She leaned her face against her little grey pillow; he leaned into his self and they rested the way people do over conversations and other trade that can wait for a telling tomorrow.Outside someone laughed and there was that familiar mangle of scents. Perfume and deodorant, carpet, wheelies, a distant thud, a nearby rattle of wrap and cellophane – some of the things associated with people in movement.The flute was new today, its notes a new presence among Travel Pictures and other glossies.Mona Lisa smiled knowingly. What had she seen?It was 1am. That inbetween moment, sometimes an exit, sometimes an entry. You never knew which. Somehow now, both mattered. Both mattered. They went together. The man and woman, the Germans, the French lady, the young couple, Madame Lisa, the twins.The young man was looking at a brochure from The Crest Hotel, deep maroon and white crest. Beneath that a rectangluar white card – The Rai. The girl with the red hair yawned, “Ja”. He put the brochures away and they smiled at the twins who woke up and cooed at the New Yorker. New Yorker’s name was inaudible. He called her Martine. Martine Schraeppen read her tag. Martine nodded at the French woman who suddenly frowned. She looked sharply away as a new day sifted in through the pale blue lights in the Lounge.It was never midnight dark in some places. Unlike other places. The French woman hugged herself and steeled everything within for the flight she was about to catch. She had loved this city too much. Amsterdam. One day she would return…Digital Art by Vihann N. ~ © 2011……………………………………………………………..
by Rayla Noel
I am home here – among Journals, Dates, Time Zones, Words, Silences, Delays, Bars, Make overs, Baggage, Visas, Duties, Destinations, Calls, Contracts, Cancellations, Arrivals, Departures, Delivery, Approvals, Rejection, Deportation, Delegates, Stars, Status, Hijack, Terror, Salvation, Drinks, Soda, Salads, Tissues, Compacts, Chippy nails, Tears, Cologne, Fresheners, Sighs, Naps, Napes, Jetlag, Hosts, Pilots, Corridors, Counters, Encounters.
I am Transient – Permanence Growth in Change, Static movement forwards, Space Runways, airborne – earth, nauticals, winds, fuelling, wheeling, taking, speeding, rising, heights, steering, stalling, tilting, diving, hovering, listenings, signals, tailing, waiting.
Even if, even if, even if…
I used to pray for a new song, a new house. Now am satisfied and have forgotten the old rush of new things.
Today I saw new flowers in a tattered window. The colours ran like unruly dye all over my mind – gaudy red blood crimson smearing my ideas with unkempt lines…wheels within wheels within wheels…turn, turn, turn…to a time when rhymes were babes and we were new like pages fresh off the press.
Today I stopped to stare at the gifts you and I have so freely been given and I’m sitting here unashamedly wanting what I have. You?
(confessions of an insane-joybug)
09 August 2011
That night there was no day and if we had looked through the threshing sands, there were roofs in the sky and people everywhere on the street and in the gullies. Some one’s brother someone’s child. There were endless days and nights of that, until the sun climbed out. It was the first time I felt tired as a child.
Years later there were the riots, Mumbai/other times, in the rooms where we taught little children how to smile – we tried, but how does one teach an emotion?
I remember little Asha (meaning Hope) – eyes like star filled skies and just a few days left to survive the thing that was taking her away, right there, right then. “Didi,” she asked me(older sis). “What does it mean to die?”
Yeah, we can try and answer that but I saw life in her eyes. Like a sky about to rise with dawn; a river about to flow. Oh, Lord, that afternoon when we got back in to our elevator and back home, her smile broke me in all the right places. A street urchin and terminally ill, two arms and one foot, teeth blackened with disease or grime, little pink varnished nails broken yellow inside, not yet a woman, no longer a child, had smiled…
Medium: Tempera on canvas
Painted by Rayla Noel
by Rayla Noel
“Tables of Content”
Diary of a Transit Lounge Page 2:
Yes – it is here again, the transit area between Morning and Noon, our work hanging together, wordlessly.
We sift our schedules without much conversation except the Faith that pursues. Faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Unheard. Untouchable. Intangible…here, and yet…
Did Da Vinci find these Words in Chaos – unequal fingers working together, little chords in throat and scribbled alphabets assembling in one quote?
Little words. Seemingly.
09 May 2011
It sat bang in the middle of Commercial Street – food vendors, pedestrians, milled around. Higginbothams Books stood next door like it had for the past 60 odd years. To the right, The Daily Herald. Three floors of grey stone housed coffee-lovers, doodlers, insomniacs and others.
There was a ‘kicked up newness’ about The Coffee Shop this year. Fresh painted off white wall, front door burnt brown, black handle, terrace garden first floor, stairs spiralling off a tiny reception, pine freshener, new varnished tables, wrought iron window grill, peeling wood bench out front that local Traffic police ignored during road widening procedures when metro railways re-structuring first began. The Coffee Shop’s name plate stood thick with pigeon droppings and feathertuft wedged in rust.
Yes, there was a newness here…in the way of old garden cities and new fly-overs.
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For all true Angels everywhere who ever loved, or lost (e’vn thought they never were) or that they did not do enough.
Not all are sung, not all are known just yet, oh love like that is perhaps the most creative state of heart?
For Some must live or die alone, await a smile, a child (or child’s return) that first gurgle, or that one last glimpse, not time nor tide can return or give perhaps…
And some walk (walked) this Earth for us, and bear and raise and let us grow. Or those who never speak this word, thinking they never had one of their own (or were called ‘Ma’) and those not here, but where love goes when time is done, Mom, Oka-san…
From us and some who never knew that touch, to all, wherever whoever, this we know, the heart of truth lives on through us
A hiding place when it is cold, warm summer smile, the colours bold for all and those who celebrate the one they had or are, or never knew.
Beloved humans, those who yearn, or think they can never be, just yet, true love loves another as their own, beyond the farthest shore.
Whoever you are…whate’er the call, sometimes alone, sometimes out loud. If you’re living for another, if you have shared, never counting the hours. And no one saw the price you pay, each day, for love alone.
This day is yours, yours the greatest art of all, for love, tested true, asks nothing, repays no evil, seeks not its own; is tender, forgiving. We wish you things you wished – thought no one heard, may your prayer be answered. And know you are more than “Mother” here you are Earth’s darling human.
2. Sunflowers. Did they represent: “Stages of Life” (ref critique) Seasons; the Flowers reflect Emotions?
3. Did they portray people/times/his work style/fleeting impressions/change/creative – diversity/inspiration-calender…?
4. Oh Vincent, did you pluck them on different days? Some are wilting, brown…others gold, fresh. Were they a gift?
5. That vase, like my grandma’s pickle jar – an Indian pickle jar! The perfect flower arrangement…stalk lengths hang in aethesthetically, or don’t they? The backdrop/table, minimalist in colour choice, though the strokes are typically impasto lathered with Van Gogh upfront. The final work, so different from Potato pickers (do I forget the name here?), your skies and trees…
6. Were you, on the day you painted this, wedged between happy, wild, alive, breaking in, needing all, all, all? Stem, water, jar, table…that nth dimension where variations blend in perfect chaos – a new Work.
7. Would you have guessed the impact you would have on this planet, Vincent? Could you?
8. I stare at your individuality. Boldness. Belief in your gift. (yes you had a friend…Gauguin)
9. Which gets me thinking…we have so many Friends. Support. It’s so much easier today to say, “Hey I Salud you!” than back when even Impressionists were rebels in art, running wild with crayon-like offerings in the face of rigid canvas.
10. Theres work on The Artist In You! thats unbelievable. Van Gogh gets credit for all he is but, hey, there’s genuine Brush here…sensitive, stunning. Our Blog Artists redefine nature/colours/imagery. I am speechless. At the best of times, or the worst, there are not enough words. We need other mediums. Oil. Acrylic. Pencil. Pastel…
A certain Dutch radical got me talking today…thank heavens we were born different. Unique. Our rooms peer in through our works; our fields and tables; our little baskets and heart shaped poems; our tears, dogs, cats and potato recipes; trees and babies, circles of life and death, songs in the night and when it is morning…
History goes on to write itself. We write those journals with our lives. Unashamed to paint it, write it, mount it, frame it…exactly like it is. Its about the days of our Lives that we inherit and what we leave behind.
Oh the things we can realise when we begin to read/see each others’ takes on everyday Life…
Thank you people. Am blessed just watching you all…
But my friend, Lanz, had other ideas. “Write,” he said. Fine for him to talk. He could write on water and you’d understand every word. Me I wrote from some nether-attic…never mind.
Lanz hadn’t finished. He settled into the chair opposite and tore me to tiny little pieces. That was when I was first sampling theatre and still too young to understand that life wasn’t all about manners.
“Some of the best works ever made by man, woman or child were when they were beaten to pulp, get that?” I did not. So he beat me to a pulp some more. An hour later I had lost dignity and pride but was giving it back to Lanz in the jaw and every eye he ever had.
“Thats better,” he said grinning like only Lanz could grin. “Just get your head back. You got too much heart and that’s alright but the heads a necessity, babe. Every office you’ll ever work from is in there. That head. And dont come crying to me when you lose it again.”
Whatever that meant.
This morning I remembered Lanz and kicked back again. Any kind of work, or accountabilty, needs that extra portion of dare. “Yeah, so?!” Courage being what she is – not the absence of fear, but stumbling on and through inspite of it. I know, my own version, so correct me.
If you’re creative and a much needed citizen of earth-empire (hey everyone is!) I hope you never never stop what you’re doing, no matter what…
10 May 2011
This sketch happened over a series of mistakes, another Art makeover, in reply to Karsten Mouras’ post on the 9th May 2011
I’ll keep it short so you get the detail. It had been a difficult day to say the least. I ‘d made a mess with trying to open a blog at Networked Blogs – Tracie pulled me out of a spot there.
Then the following Facebook messaging left me smiling for days. Karsten – you’re wonderful!
1. This kid in the sketch (one of God’s own babies in all the wrong places), dear heavens, how many lost kids are there in all? This child in the street came peering into my raised window…not more than 13 and a baby slung across her crumpled shirt. A hula-hooper and contortionist. Body like twisting bronze. Matted hair, black eye, torn lip and fingers like an old womans. Crying,“Didi (older sister), do something for me? Take me home.”
2. There was a place on the hill where we were growing up – a home for ‘God’s own children’ as Sister Maria called them. I was seven years old and yet to understand why certain things happened the way they did. Across the kow-towing Asoka Trees in Sister Maria’s Home also nested a ‘Home for the Aged’ and Aunty Jordan, one of its older citizen inmates.
Aunty Jordan was shocking and fun – rouged jowls, violet glare and Scanjammy! A concoction spiked with things form vodka to vinegar, mint leaves and no one dared ask what else. She looked a little like something out of The Chronicles of Narnia. Great white arms, mega-frocks (one was fur lined – she ran by us Labels we could not have recognised back then), ferocious silver curls, jade earrings and tales of romance you wouldn’t believe! Yeah, she had lived a life, and lived well. Her nails were always done and she knew things and things about war and silks. Markets and visas. Her son would be home next week. He never came.
Size: 9″ x 12″
I looked for words in this painting of mine, and found there were no doors or windows. Was I that much of a loner then? Or was I more outdoors? There are no windows either, and so much light outside. Surround light.
Looking back that was the darkest time of my life, and the best things happened. Does the human mind sense imminent goodness?
Three sides to a coin
Talking perceptions at the Art of Self Leadership Seminar. Everyone grinned. The philosopher, the analyst, the daydreamer, one was a poet/artist, the speaker, the finance head, the student, the hotelier, the dramatist.
I had finished, “Asset 1: Our own personal edge. Asset 2: Megabuck-muscle, the mind.To find that edge we all have is the ultimate search. If we used our megabuck-muscle – The Mind…”
The Girl next to me in purple coat, black pants, lavender eyelids and the original Madonna eyes leaned forward and sighed. Now she had two fantastic assets – her ‘edge’ and her megabuck-muscle.
Me – I was purring with relief that there wasn’t much more to be said really, when I saw ‘IT’! Wedged neatly into the back of her head, a tiny trap door labelled, “AND YOU DIDN’T KNOW!” + wicked smiley.
The Boardroom was becoming surreal, like a Salvadore Dali painting. YIKES. It wasn’t just her. We all had these “Trap Doors”, crafted above our medulla oblangata, hidden cleverly ‘neath tattooes, butterflies and dragons in our scalp! There wasn’t time to check details.
Those “Doors” opened into our heads, where we kept our hoard – untapped skill, talent, gifts, ideas, memories,innovation, even wisdom, faith, courage, perception…a million million acres we had all inherited, even acquired…and here was the worst part. We did not know what we had stashed in there but there were others who knew! They were walking in that “Door”, taking away what they could. Even our Energies…! (These trap doors wore descriptions –“Habits. Mindsets. Pet Villians. Dogma. Blindspots!”) Hey! No one told us! Why hadn’t we known? When we were in school…?
All of this was spoken into the room and after I said what I had to say, and it was very, very quickly said, there was that relief. The Salvador Dali moment had passed. Doors were firmly banged shut! We all began to purr with relief, and went upstairs for rotis in table basket; spinach spiked-chicken, buttered vegetables-tender spice, fruit cubes in muted cream. The view was 360 degrees – overlooking a City and a very blue sky that noon. It would rain and keep us in an hour longer.
Fathers of Psychology: in spirit – Carl Jung, E.Erikson and others nodded, creeping back sleepily into thumb notes in the blue file. They (the Fathers), had worked well. We were now all sweeter than cavemen who had used clubs for words. I demonstrated with a wooden potato masher from home and there was the joy of physical assault, but sense stepped in and we moved to prescribed personality tests by my very talented colleague Joe and his gentle wife Laksh who we soon saw, had ‘edge’ enough to run for parliament.
I never knew I was an “INFP” type (Introvert/Intuitive/Friendly/Perceptive) also shared by A.A. Milne, Princess Di, Psychologist Meyer Briggs). There were 16 personality types* and who knew there weren’t more? Like at an icecream bar where we could pile flavours.
Came home to my kids and enough icecream to emotionally defrost in, because I was worried about being like some others at all and whose edge was what! The sun was shining. I stared at my unsuspecting kids ages 16, 11 and 10. Tomorrow we would run us all through some more Meyer-Briggs pages – get everyone’s edge and megabuck-muscles / trap door and stalkers all in place!
Know what? They were accurate, the tests! And hilarious. Everyone was pleased, even our teenager – INTP (introvert/intuitive/theoriser/perceiver). “Last minute planner, ready to explore, love and other committments, but can reverse with alarming speed! Needs a challenge or will get depressed. Due to a broad range of interests, they find it hard to focus.” Others in this type – Albert Einstein!
All except my husband who refused to believe himself a ‘daydreamer/Fred Astaire/Liberace’ type. When we read out ‘Steven Spielberg’, he grinned. I was thinking “Spielberg, eh?! Not bad. Not bad.”
Well, its true. We all have IT. The “edge” & megabuck-muscle – our fantastic brain, mind – waiting for outlet, more than the 1% we access!!! (Albert Einstein used 2% – and how!)
26 May 2011
This amazing gift…
I wondered that Dad could heal so fast. Just like that…? He has this amazing gift and I thought to share. The ability to have no regrets. No matter what has happened. Even if it was your fault. Be deeply sorry, make amends the best you can, move on. Simple as that. Simple?
The toughest secrets of Life are, apparently, simple and yet if people have moved mountains, learned to ride waves, build castles on ruins, danced again on prosthetics…hey I am fumbling for words. If I were to confess, I have a whole stash of mixed emotions in my heart zones dating from kindergarten…people I still need to punch, half spoken words…
But my Dad, just out of hospital, his big brown eyes filling with light, iron grey hair, warm hands and smile, sits in his Den, re-working his violin. The bow needs fixing. 88 years old. No regrets except that the violin’s been neglected. And the mandolin. And the mouth organ. In the corner I see the spanish guitar he made. And the electric guitar for his grandson. And the stand for the keyboard so Ma could reach it better, through the Spondylosis. Not to forget all the lanterns and chairs he made over the years. I remember my little green desk and small chair – that was when I was just a couple of feet tall and could not reach our dining table.
I know I could’ve made this a neater article. I am stumbling on those two words “no regrets”. From a man that knows about betrayal and sacrifice, the loss of time and friends, even basics that others might take for granted. We lived in a little house by the beach and we felt like princesses. Dad and Mom taught us about words and books, music and picnics, hospitality and games, hammocks and little bed time prayers, forgiveness and joy, laughter in the morning. After the tears. Pets. People. Muttering out loud about things that irked. Yeah even that. Especially that.
Home made cakes and ginger wine; mango juice and guava trees; boat rides; village people and city slickers. You needed everything and, at the end of the day, slate wiped clean, turn in, say “Thank you!” Unconditional gratitude.
It kept the amazement going. It kept regret in its place. Or far away. Or buried it. I am trying to inherit my father’s gift?
Painting: ©2011, “Bluebell Woods” by Tracie Koziura
Nothing prepared me for the house on Welders Street, like nothing really prepares you for Change. It gave me an Art Room that will never leave.
I am smiling now as I try “articulate”; but Honesty is a tough Agent in the ministry of secrets, and this Painting has some.
I cannot say it all here : you wouldn’t believe it. Maybe with time, one learns the Art of saying it so you don’t make your work more than it seems. Every one goes through moments, even cabbages and kings and tide.
Do you paint with a Plan? I wish I could. It either happens or it doesn’t.
I grew up by the coast, so wave, rock, currents are things we knew : not necessarily loved. The ocean terrified me, though she was beautiful. Sunrises were never the same each day…noons were crystal bold blue greens. Nights were dark/white water depending on the moon.
Not one day was the same as the other, yet they were linked with jagged edges : millions of them, like unruly families clutched by one rule. You made no excuses. You made a difference, an offering:
A scowling seahorse, chink eyed Star fish, bikini-ed women or fish-wives in tiny cotton naked-saris I wouldn’t dare wear like they did, without inner wear, just wrapped in knots at shoulder and waist. They worked and smoked little bidis (thin rolled tobacco leaves), they swore they were brazen, wild. Tomorrow would face itself own self, tonight they lived, laughed, wept, died.
Yes I know you dont see them here, but their spirit very probably smeared my finger tips. I was never the same. I learned to love movement.
This picture? I move away from it and see the Breaking-stillness of a Threshold. That crazed moment you look up at a wave as it begins to break over head. There is the decision to either go with it and possibly under, or cut through over to the top and ride its shoulder, to the shore for free!
The Little Art Room on Welders Street was so tiny it couldn’t have held one large wave : not the kind that were my playmates on the Bay of Bengal, West coast of India.
But it threw me some paint. I call this Thresholds, because maybe thats exactly what it was. Stepping over. Limits. Endurance. Letting go. Waiting to Dance again (no, that’s another painting, one an art critic tore to shreds…and maybe she had a point…)
Back to this aspect of Thresholds? When you’re done, it feels good.
Your world and mine, twined with more than ring and altar
chords, pages, lanes, life, love, me and you…how
how do I piece a poem, paint a picture
I am just flesh and blood, like you
like our children, our past, present and future
…the years stop by to stare; I gaze, stunned at how
Love came in, stayed, pursued, waited, shared, prayed
yielded, yelled, hugged, wept, laughed, gave, took, grew
everytime you said those three words:
I Love You.
Painting: ©2009, “Quiet Contemplation” by Tracie Koziura
Sometimes there are no words
just the colours in my mind
little pieces of Time and Space;
your lives and mine
impossible, and yet
puzzles and mime.
Often we understand each other, often
not; but when I look within the pages inside
new words form, new rhyme.
Colour saves me, just in time.
©, Rayla Noel
Today you will not awake and I am content to watch you; today you are a sweet tiger, soft soft fur outside.
Waiting to open those great amber eyes filled with rooms and dimensions only you can tell me about
I hear you breathe all over my floor; must watch you content to watch me, wait for you to rise again.
Me, too busy to be still. For you, work is also leaning, resting, mulling, the lull before…
Creativity finds a Vacant Plot – to Rent to Lease to Own. To Fill.
Thank you Sweet Tiger mine, sleeping still.
…like me, filling
with stirring colours.
Its all I have to give you
who fill these Fields around
look at the millions of us together
so varied, perfect : in our differences,
the way we all look together
here, there, wherever.
for letting me be a
01 April 2011
Rhythm has her own feet, truant dancers in the street know,
Why it takes so long for some of us to get along. : outside our programmed
Melodies and Pitch-shops, our definition of song may never be what they are
in the street. Here they sing barefeet.
Have you sung barefeet in your street?
~ RayNoel ~
Sometimes when I am not looking,
there she is:
raw green earth
stunning my violence with
her kind of peace.