Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Speak Your Love

This is how I survive. In the evenings I work. Depending on my mood, I have a background of the Alan Yentob series 'Imagine', some wonderment or merriment from Radio 4 or, ahem, 'The X Factor' and I hunch (decorously, of course) over my knees (because my desk is too overburdened with my 'to do' pile of... I really don't know what's in it) and make tiny shapes with my pens over and over again until an image has resolved itself, or words, or, best, the name of some child who will get their very own original artwork for Christmas. I am truly grateful for such happy-making work.

This, above, is quite a different thing. I painted it years ago, but only very recently have I been happy to let it find a new home. Here's the story of its being:

I'd spent the afternoon in the blazing sun, digging my own grave. There were about twenty of us and I was surprised to be the slowest digger, but I got my grave good and deep and anxiously waited for sunset so I could get in it.

I lay (snuggled in a sleeping bag) and watched as the planks, then the tarp, were placed over me. As the spades of earth landed and blocked out the light, my heart was hammering and it took some focused breathing not to scramble back to the surface.

And then, against all my expectations, I got very calm. Instead of feeling like a corpse, I felt held, comforted, by the Earth, like I was in her womb. I have rarely felt so safe in all my life.

And another thing: an odd experience I could only later explain as like being a Russian doll. I was in the womb of the Earth and in my womb was a... oh! So that explains why I had no energy to dig and the sun made me feel nauseous.

I had wanted a baby for a while and not conceived, so this was definitely a welcome surprise. All that night I lay in Gaia's embrace, sending and receiving love and happiness with this boy (I was sure) in my belly.

Once I was home, I painted this. It is an honouring of the Cosmic Mother who holds us all, our beautiful planet mother Gaia and of us human mothers who bring life into the world. Sacred all.

This is one of those lovely name signs - in fact, the most popular design on Etsy. (Obviously I don't mean in the whole of Etsy. I mean in my teensy-tiny little Etsy shop.)

Some tree studies I wasn't even sure about putting up for sale because they were too much fun to be 'proper'. (I know, I know, but I have these crazy thoughts. And at least I didn't listen.) They barely landed in my shop before two of them sold - one in a breathtaking six hours! The one above is the only one left, but I'm enjoying it in my home, so that's okay.

Wave, below, is just so pleasing to me that I haven't tried to sell it before now, but I need wall-space for new paintings. The ink is crawling across the canvasses each night and before long the oils will make a comeback.

 And last, the thing I would say if I had one second to address the world:

After my husband died, I was so desperately grateful that we had always spoken our love; even when we were angry; even when it was obvious, so there could be no doubt on either side, or in the mind of our daughter.
So when people asked me how they could make things better, I would ask them to speak their love with their special people.
Now I'm asking you.

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