Tuesday, September 23, 2008

in which the fish speaks about nicer things

Cofa Spring Fair: printmaking department

Evidently the black is too black, I see I will have to work on happier endings, won't I?
Perhaps the longer version of would have been more appropriate, more redemptive. Just thought I would give it an airing and some literary type may have given me some free editing. However, I seem to have alarmed everybody instead. Don't worry, blossoms!

In other news, the Spring fair was fun, so very very hot and I was covered in a crust of something by the end of the day. I vacillated between impromptu floor talks and forgetting I was even in public, so engrossed was I in my work that I was discovered hanging off the easel like a baboon attending to the top corner with my eyes all unfocussed.

The highlight of my day was when I looked up and saw my female cub come around the corner, having travelled for hours by public transport alone, to "see mummy". Very sweet, considering it was 33 degrees and she could have been at the beach.
In fact, she said, her resolve wavered somewhat when, waiting for the ferry, she saw all her friends diving off the end of the wharf in their bikinis and she had to tell them she was off to paddington to watch her mad mother paint and give talks.
We went down to oxford street after the fair, me having painted like a lunatic for five hours straight, and ate Indian and looked at the bookshops.

I am still suffering from the too much to do thing, I am wondering if it is not just my mad schedule but my work practice: I write everything out in longhand initially. This is rather an ingrained habit: at the parents house on friday night, I discovered this, my notes on les Murray, and I remembered very appropriately, falling in love with "Spring Hail". Here is the first thing I ever wrote on Les Murray:

and here is the last page of notes I wrote on Les murray just last week:

the funny thing is, at conferences even now, I do the same thing. Loads of neat writing. It's probably more legible than my typo-ridden typing, truth be known. I like writing, it seems to confer ownership of some kind.

I have had to travel around Sydney a bit in the last few weeks. Some places have always given me a strange feeling that I cannot always deal with, just a sense of time travel and the loss of old landscapes as well as other things.

Its strange when you are suddenly reminded of something which you realise has shaped the way you do things. Although I try to dwell in the present, the past dictates sometimes the strange paths you take, and why you are happy, desperately so, for the good things: like silver light upon the sea, mango lassi on a hot night with one's daughter, turquoise paint upon your brush, seaweed on the sand.


meggie said...

Often it is small things that attract your focus, that seem to anchor the moment in your memories.

er, does that make sense?

Mary said...

I think the concern clearly stemmed from whether your story was fiction or autobiographical.

Either way it was very powerful.

fifi said...

I certainly appreciate all your comments and concerns, I felt bad that it made persons feel that it was too dark, or whatever. I really appreciate all responses.

I don't put my stories on here very often, actually, not many people ever get to read them so I thought I would give it a go. (I think I will go back to it and put parts back in that I took out, only about two paras. )

Thanks for reading it, is what I should say. Like I said, I am shy of putting stories out in the light of day

Everything I write is primarily autobiographical.

Jellyhead said...

Hugs to you fifi, you mango-lassi seaside-sipping daughter-doting fish. I'm glad the fair went well, and ended even better.

Red Hen (dette) said...

Do'nt be shy about your writing! We love to read it. And I enjoy in a perverse kind of way I suppose, when you express your darker moments you do it so beautifully and I think yes that's just exactly how I feel sometimes, but I just don't possess the ability to put my thoughts down so beautifully. I am a fan of your writing both light and dark.

alice c said...

Dear Fifi,
You can write whatever you are brave enough to write. This is your space and we are privileged to share it.

Louise Dalton said...

Those old half forgotten places are often settings for my dreams. Strange when you wake up, and you feel like you have been back there. Hope the fair was fun! I'm marking at the moment, and standing by to attend to end-of year yr 12 crises! Am dying to get to do some of my own work. L

Pam said...

Goodness, I'm glad I read the happy post before I read the frightening story. Lovely to be with your daughter. Mine are both far away at the moment, though not for long.

Beautifully written, anyway.

LBA said...

It was a little disconcerting to spy the first lot of handwriting ... 'she's got hold of my old diaries' was my gut reaction and I reeled back.

Funny also how your current style is so *unlike* mine. Yours is much nicer, whereas I have run off the rails, I think..

Bryan said...

Very nice. Now show me your..... Paint brushes!!!

Curious... are you left or right handed? Or both? I've never seen handwriting quite like yours. It's so prescice, yet diffrent from what I'm used to.

I guess your fins make it sort of difficult!!


Anonymous said...

I love your handwriting.

It took me a long long time to break the habit of writing in longhand. In fact, for blogposts I only very recently broke the habit. I used to write them in longhand whilst I was at the pool with the boys and then type them up when I got home. But for the past few months I have typed them straight onto computer. But I think I write better when I do so in longhand - my words flow more easily and somehow I think I write more from the heart. But it is not economical in terms of time and I have a problem with my wrist which it was exacerbating.

the past should never be shut out. It is part of who and what we are and where we are going.

Anonymous said...

i also suffer from the too much to do syndrome, I take terrible notes. they are all over the page & sideways never in order. I bought a pulse pen. That helps but then I have to try to all put the conferences & meetings into order after the fact...i think i have three waiting for me to organize. I have to have all these things to do, because it keeps me going. the thought of having nothing to do terrorizes me.

Regulus said...

Hi Fifi,

What a nice entry. I esp. like the last paragraph.

Painting for five hours? That's a long time.

So where is the suburban Sydney street located? I mean, how far is it from where you live or from the Sydney Opera House (the only real landmark other than the Harbour Bridge of which I am aware). It looks like pretty much any place in Florida.

Anonymous said...

How sweet of your daughter to arrive. My daughter often laughs and says "only for you Mum" - textile exhibitions, organic cafes "not ORGANIC!!!", art shows, and the best yet for self-sacrifice, a cavvies show. "Guinea pigs! Are you serious???".I can usually bribe her with a good meal or coffee afterwards, but even that didn't work with the antique fabric fair."Old lace, musty fabric and faded buttons, at rip-off prices...hold me back".She is thinking of moving interstate and I'll miss her. Do you think I pushed one organic cafe too many??We have lots of laughs.I enjoy your postings.

fingers said...

I know I'll never forget the seaweed on the sand at Noosa last summer, especially on those really hot days after the wind turned onshore...

fifi said...

Luhlahh, that is a frightening prospect which I will confess to being very glad to have done with. But you never know .
Jelly: thanks, yes occasionally all things turn out well.
Alice, thank you. I do thik if I were to write things like that noone would come back and I would be talking to nobody!
Isabelle,hope the girls are back soon. You must be suffering.
H+B: i think it is a trademark style, I obviously am a kind of obsessive as I haven't evolved into much of a messy style. I can keep it up at top speed if I am in the mood.
Oh, Bryan, I'll show you your hearts desire, I will run and fetch my brushes.
Handmaiden: there needs to be a balance, I never have nothing to do but it's the right kind of "things to do" that you need to be doing. Painting and swimming both leave my head empty for all kinds of things to rush in.
regulus: its on the OTHER isde of town. You know where i am, so you go to the opposite end!
Pam, yes, especially since she is rather young to be journeying such a long way. She really wants to go to CoFA now, so all the dragging around has influenced her. SDhe would probably have preferred a guinea pig show to some of the things I have taken her to! and thank you, I am glad to hear that.

Fingers! How lovely to see you, though i am afraid its a bit more sedate than your usual travellings. Yes, that strip of beach there is wonderful. i know just the smell of which you speak.