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Moon, Light and Shadow

ART, POETRY, LOVE – THE MAGIC OF JOURNEYS

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Colour

Colours In Your Mind

“If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one,
you may see at times
a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours
suspended in the darkness;
then if you squeeze your eyes tighter,
the pool begins to take shape,
and the colours become so vivid
that with another squeeze
they must go on fire.” 
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Now I’ve done my A to Zs

“Now I’ve done my A to Zs.” (Sung to the tune of Now I know my ABC’s).

“There is something magical in seeing what you can do, what texture and tone and colour you can produce merely with a pen point and a bottle of ink.” Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

Monday 30th April was the last day of our A to Z April Challenge and honestly I’m a little sad to have come to the end. Granted I did cheat a little, by back dating a few of the letters, but I’m cutting myself a little slack as I had only just stumbled across the A to Z Challenge one day before we were due to upload our first post. I played around with a few ideas for a theme and finally a close friend suggested Colour. It was perfect, and very much, me.

Colour has always been a major part of my life. I am forever in awe of the colours I see around me, especially in nature. I’m fascinated by the effect colour has on my emotions, and even now as I write this post I keep glancing out the kitchen window, drawn to the cerulean blue sky, lime green palm trees with golden yellow coconuts, and the bougainvillea bushes with crimson, fuchsia and magenta flowers. It’s a brilliant morning!

I’m very happy I decided to take up the A to Z Challenge. This was my first writing challenge of any sort and I signed up to push myself to be more disciplined, dedicated to writing often and to flex my writing muscles so to speak. Using my theme of Colour, I decided not to limit my imagination to posts about the colours themselves, but instead use the colour names for inspiration.

What I’ve actually learned is that somewhere deep down inside of me, burns a desire for storytelling, not just to relate my own experiences but to imagine and create new characters with their own tales to tell. I found myself experimenting with children’s stories for my little nephew, with poetry, and with ideas for an epic. Imagine that!

It’s very exciting actually and I’m a little humbled by what can only be seen as a gift for me. A little window is now open in my heart through which I see a creative confidence I didn’t realize was there. The future is open in terms of what I’ll do with all this ‘stuff’ that seems to want to jump out of me and onto the page (laptop?), but for now I’m just enjoying the warmth and spontaneity of the process and its possibilities.

Thanks very much to Arlee Bird and the rest of the A to Z April Challenge developers for your advice and encouragement. It’s a great project and I am looking forward to next year’s Challenge. Thanks to all of my fellow bloggers who visited, commented and enjoyed my posts enough to Follow my blog. I look forward to keeping in touch with as much of you as possible. I wish you all an ever-lit fiery red creative spark, a brilliantly colourful imagination and a steady pen, fast and sure. A very special thank you to those dear to my heart who continue to support, encourage and inspire me. You know who you are.

My friends, I’ll see you around the blogosphere!

Bend the Light!

Luna

The Funny Side of Crayons

While working on my A to Z April Challenge last month I came across these cartoons. 
My theme was Colour.
Enjoy!

Zucchini

Zucchini The Great was the star of Caesar’s Veggie Circus and he was very vain about that. Every night before the show he would sit in front of his mirror primping and preening, telling himself he was greater than all the other acts in the circus.

“You are so much more talented than Bok Choy and Pak Choi, those Chinese acrobats.” He said out loud to his reflection as he twirled his moustache. “Anyone can tumble across the floor. And there is nothing special about Asparagus, throwing knives at a board. Pfft. Useless talent really.”

Someone knocked on his door, “Five minutes Mr. Zucchini!” It was Jalapeno, the fire breather. Zucchini the Great grunted. “Now there is a useless talent: fire breathing, Jalapeno would be better off being our fry cook.”

Zucchini the Great stood up and puffed up his chest. “Yes, I am really beautiful and the best one here. Now it’s time for the show to really start.” He made his way to the circus tent and stood waiting at the entrance, watching those two clowns, Carrot Top and Sasquash. “Do they really think anyone came to the circus to see them?” he muttered under his breath.

Finally Ringmaster Fennel, made the announcement: “Now for the star of our show: Zucchini The Great!” The crowd clapped and roared in anticipation as he made his way to the center of the ring. He stretched his arms above him, puffed up his chest smiled at the chick peas in the front row who squealed with delight. 
“Zucchini! Zucchini!” they chorused as he climbed up the tall ladder to the high wire. He arrived at the little platform, momentarily annoyed for the few seconds he had to share the spotlight as Cucumber handed him his balance pole. “Break a leg Mr. Zucchini!” 
Zucchini the Great took the balance pole and walked out onto the highwire with ease, thinking to himself “I’m way cooler than Cucumber.” The crowd oohed and aahed as he neared the middle of the high wire, and paused for a moment, looking down at his adoring fans. He could see the cherry tomatoes bouncing up and down in their seats. He continued his way across the wire, with just a few feet to go. “Everyone loves me because I am the greatest. I really am the best. I bet I can even do this with my eyes closed.” 
To his great dismay Zucchini the Great suddenly faltered, dropping the pole and losing his balance. He teetered back and forth, finally falling. He landed in the vegetable net some twenty five feet below and lay there frozen. The crowd was silent. In a flash String Bean the contortionist was pulling him off the net and laying him gently on the floor. Saucy, the Plump Tomato (and String Bean’s wife), was kneeling at his side. “Are you okay?”
He was all right but Zucchini the Great wasn’t feeling all that great anymore. How could he have fallen? He was ashamed. Everyone was surrounding him now including the Eggplant Wizard, Chive the Sword Swallower and Broccoli the Strongman. They all seemed so concerned, even Ringmaster Fennel who was known to get steamed when things didn’t go according to plan. Zucchini the Great sat up. “That’s it Laddie,” said the Irish Potato, helping him up, “On your feet now.” 
“Come on, you can do it.” encouraged Cucumber. Zucchini the Great felt guilty for looking down on him earlier. In fact, he felt really bad for looking down on all of his fellow performers. Here they all were helping and encouraging him. Would he have done the same for any of them?
“The Show must go on” said Ringmaster Fennel, “Zucchini, are you ready to get back up there?” 
 Zucchini the Great straightened up, boosted by the support of his friends. “Yes!” 
In quick time he was climbing the ladder as the crowd clapped and cheered. He deftly made his way across the high wire and finished his act with a flourish. Bok Choy and Pak Choi met him at the bottom of the ladder and hoisted him up onto their shoulders. “Zucchini! Zucchini!” cried the crowd. The Chinese acrobats brought him to the center of the ring for his final bows in the spotlight. Zucchini the Great looked around at his fellow performers. He beckoned to them to join him in the spotlight as he could not have done it without them. 

The night was a success, and Zucchini the Great learned a valuable lesson. Even if he fell again one day, he knew he’d have the support of his friends to get back up. After all, every vegetable deserves a second chance.

Yellow

I’m out on our back patio watching the inviting blue of our swimming pool ripple gently in the Saturday afternoon breeze. My sister sits at the table beside me, blending tortillon in hand, putting the final touches on her new baby’s first pencil portrait, and we share a bottle of wine. Two slices of yellow fin tuna thaw in the kitchen in preparation for our seared tuna, baby spinach and portobella mushroom evening meal. It is a beautiful afternoon, sitting here listening to the leaves of the palm trees whisper to twittering and chirping birds. Life seems perfect, and full of promise.

“Yellow is the colour of sunshine. Van Gogh said that.” my sister replies when I remark on the seemingly perfect pairing of her bottle of yellow tail shiraz and my yellow fin tuna.

Somewhere Towards The End by Diana Athill lays open on the chair next to me and I am just about to begin her chapter on books and writing. I am enjoying this book which makes me think alot about my mother and my grandmother, even though I see more similarities between myself and Ms. Athill. Her book has sparked in me a need to paint, to draw, to grow flowers and to write. Above all to write.

Here’s to evenings such as this one, surrounded by loved ones and fueled by the creative energy of others.

Xanadu

The musical film Xanadu was released in 1980, way way back when I was not yet a teenager. My cousins and I loved the movie almost as much as we loved Grease (John Travolta and Olivia Newton John), but Xanadu held a special meaning for us. There were nine sisters in the story and, well we were as close as sisters, my cousins and I. Plus, they were on roller skates! Hey, don’t laugh, roller skates was the big thing back in the early eighties. I did not remember much else from the movie, except that it was also a love story and the nine sisters were magical, or at least from another realm, so I researched the movie for this post and the back story on the nine sisters is actually pretty interesting. 
They were the nine muses in Greek mythology, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and they supported and encouraged mankind, enhancing imagination and inspiration of artists, musicians, historians and astronomers.
In Xanadu, Terpischore (known as Kira in the movie) is the muse of dance and song and she breaks the rules when she falls in love with the man she is supposed to inspire. He, Sonny, becomes friends with an older gentleman, portrayed by Gene Kelly, and Kira encourages them to form a partnership together. Eventually, Sonny learns who Kira really is and follows her through a portal to her own realm where he is told off by Zeus. Kira’s mother stands up for her and convinces her husband to allow Kira to return to our world to help Sonny fulfill his dream of opening a nightclub. 
Kira and her sisters dance at the nightclub on opening night and the movie ends with us wondering if Zeus and Mnemosyne decided to let Kira stay with Sonny for a “moment, or maybe forever”. Seems like the immortal Greek gods couldn’t be bothered with the concept of ‘time’ and luckily for Kira and Sonny, a moment for immortals is a lifetime for mankind. 

White

Do you remember white Chiclets gum? My eldest aunt once told me story about white Chiclets.This is what she said:

“It must’ve been the early 1950s when one day our Uncle came to visit us. He gave my eldest brother $1.00 to buy candy and share amongst my eight brothers and sisters. Most of us were too little to cross the busy street to the candy shop, so my eldest brother went.

“He bought a pack of Chiclets and while opening it on his walk home, one fell out of the pack onto the street. My brother did not know that one of our younger sisters had followed him to the shop, and was walking behind him as he made his way across the street. She saw the Chiclet on the street, stopped, picked it up and put it into her mouth and then tried to run after her brother. But she was hit by a car which knocked her to the side of the road in front of the shoemaker’s house. He picked her up and brought her into our garage.

“Hearing a commotion everyone came out and saw it was my sister. She was crying, wet, and all covered with mud, and Mom told me to go and wash her off. As I did that I spotted bits of the white Chiclet gum in her mouth and yelled “Her teeth are all broken!” Mom came running to see and my sister cried even harder at the thought.

“Soon after, Papa came home and took my sister to the Medical Clinic. She was ok, only badly bruised with some pain where she was hit. She had to stay in bed for a few days. Every day when Papa came home from work he would bring her a pack of white Chiclets. He would say to her: “You almost got killed for one of these Chiclets, now you can have a full pack.”  “

Veronica

Veronica, Veronica
Where is your harmonica?
Is it hidden under the bed,
With the dustbunnies and blue bedspread?
Was it left in the bathroom?
In the tub, under the sink, or in the loo?
Is it buried deep in your knapsack,
Among your books, pens and midday snack?
Is it in the hollow of the mango tree?
You were up there ’til the hour of three.
Did you leave it at Annie’s house,
When you were both running about?
Was it forgotten on the bus?
There there now, it won’t help to fuss,
What is already missed is surely lost,
And being careless comes with a cost.
A lesson for you, girls and boys:
It’s advisable to take care of your toys.

Umber

It’s been an umberlievable morning and it’s only 7:30! From my bedroom window the pool looked so inviting and perfect for an early swim. I threw on my suit and ran to the edge of the pool, only to be greeted by HIM:

He seemed as startled as I was, probably because of my surprised yelp. Or maybe he was annoyed that I was interrupting his early morning swim. Now what to do? Ooh get my camera of course. Gorgeous colours on him, even though he was a toad. Ochre, gray, umber and brown. He blinked as I snapped. Poor guy. It was time to fish him out.

Feeling a lot like a high jumper holding a long pole, I tried to use the pool broom but he clambered over it, blew bubbles out of his nose and sank to the bottom of the pool. Interesting. I’d never really seen toads in their natural …. er human habitat. I picked up the pool net watching him froggy-kick up to surface, scooped him up easily enough and tossed him toward the grass. He landed with a soft plop and laid low, watching me. Can you believe the ungrateful guy hopped into hiding when he saw me pick up my camera?

Needless to say the pool didn’t seem so inviting anymore. I sat at the little patio table having a cup of tea and reading when very suddenly the rain came, making pretty rings in the pool. I was thinking about how sudden and heavy the rain was when a huge dragonfly whizzed by. He darted this way and that, around my table, hovered over the pool, then zoomed off to my right and straight into the pvc downpipe with a solid ‘thonk’. I walked over to investigate. He lay flat on his back, stunned, with his wings twitching and his little legs doing a bicycle action in the air. The silly thing was getting his wings soaked in the rain. I used a cardboard coaster to lift him out of the rain to a dry place where he could recover.

He really was beautiful. Shimmering wings the colour of burnt umber glistening with tiny droplets of rain, and a superb crash helmet. Hopefully he wouldn’t die from that head on collision. I waited. With a few more twitches he was back in action! He circled me twice and I ducked just in case he was still uncoordinated, then he made a bee line for the pvc guttering again. Thonk! (I’m pretty sure there was a bee laughing somewhere.) The thonk wasn’t as loud as the first one and perhaps just disoriented him as he dipped and banked but didn’t fall. He righted himself, whizzed by again them zoomed away over the lawn. Perhaps he was just old and near sighted. It certainly seemed like odd behaviour for a dragonfly.

I wonder who else I’ll be rescuing today.

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