Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In which the fish speaks on her exhibition and two small scraps of home

The fish has been unable to write:
Perhaps there are still folks who call by this quiet place, and, finding it empty, move on?
So here are some times in the 
life of the fish, in the event I can induce you to stay a moment.

Exhibition (1)

It was a rather big job to suddenly have to empty out my nest

and take it somewhere new

and hang it up, all in the light rather than in stacks around the wall.

after two days it was nearly done.

Upon which a herd of dogs raced in to see what was going on.
Either that or they knew there as a fish in the vicinity: you know what dogs are like.

Domestics (1)

Upon receiving a note such as this one that I was given 

one might be forgiven for puzzlement.
Unless you knew that the writer of the note
had been reading the Aberdeen Bestiary
and you knew it meant "good luck mum"
in an obscur and little-known dialect.

The above author also penned the following advice

Let you spirit Sore

I will try my best...

Exhibition (2)

At last the fish has hung the paintings up on the wall
in the sea-grotto
with the shiny white floor.
And look, someone has come early.

It's Constantine.


Here is Constantine and the fish about a century ago
at another of the fish's exhibition openings
only about 200m away from where this years one is held.
My, we look different.
Well the fish does. 
Annoyingly, Constantine does not.

Here is a local who makes the fish laugh, and on doing so, laughs himself.
So we all laugh loudly and it rings in the grotto. 
Even Div laughs out there in the street.

and it continues.
The hour before a show opens is not much fun. It is usually as quiet and scary as anything you can imagine.
I m glad Div and Con have come early. 
But Div is not good on advising me on how to do my hair.

It gets dark


And the fish swims in the grotto
and waits for guests to arrive.



Domestics (2)

My daughter has issues at present. 

She is 16.
It seems she has often has issues
 but at the moment, it is quite distressing.
I develop anxiety pains at times like this,
when things seem to overwhelm me.
She seemed so distressed it got me wondering
what I would have done if she were a small girl.
In fact I looked at a photo of her as a little gitl and wondered where on earth 
her baby face had got to, but there you go.
If she were small I would have cuddled her up in bed with a story.

So that is what I have done, cuddled her up in bed with a story, 
which means I have to go to bed early and I bundle her up in my bed 
and I read to her. I cram her and her puffy tear stained face and her smeary make up 
and her big limbs into my bed and give her a bit of a pat on the back for a while and then read.
She thinks its very funny, and she thinks the story is boring.
But I pin her down tightly and I read a chapter of The Water Babies every night. 
She falls asleep very quickly, in fact, I had to prise open one of her eyeballs last night and hold up the book closely
because she was going to miss the picture of Tom
 with the beautiful Water Fairy. 

Already she looks a lot better.
In fact she laughed when I marched into her room, turned off her computer 
and said story time
 instead of screaming at me, and she trotted on into my bed.
and curled up ready for the book.
She later said it was the most
silly story ever.

but the cats thought this was a grand idea too.

Her father does not like this at all.
He has been banished to her bed
and his feet get tangled in her wrought iron bedstead.
But look
I say,
You can see the improvement.
Indeed, she looks much better, with roses in her cheeks and 
at least I know she is not on chat all night
or crying
till after midnight.

Her father says
I think I'll have to get her a bigger bed.

I say
Good idea.



and all the while

the fish swims in the vasty ocean:
where the fish belongs.


Mindy said...

I never realised you could still do that at sixteen. How wise you are.

Constantine may not look any different, but I bet the guy on the far right does (the fish is just as beautiful).

Just looking at your pictures on the screen makes me feel like I'm underwater. They must be fantastic in person. Did you sell them all?

Duyvken said...

What a weonderful mama.
Your exhibition looks beautiful!

Ulrike said...

Oh what a lovely post.

Sounds like reading Water Babies is the perfect thing for both daughter and you.

I feel happy that Constantine has #24 now that I know who he is. Looking forward to my little painting too :-)

fifi said...

Mindy, it takes a lot of persistence and I am not always successful in pushing her into my bed and hanging on to her so she does not escape.
That guy on the right of the photo-lol! I never ever found out who he was! Some friend of henrietta's, the girl next to me.
I did sell a lot of paintings. But I also have some to keep too.
Thank you.

fifi said...

Duyvken, I am no sort of a wonderful mama. I have no idea what else to do....

fifi said...

Ulrike my lovely FRIEND!!
Have not made it back to the nest...but I have the little canvas! :-)

Regulus said...

Hi Fifi,

Very nice pictures. Lovely. I'm assuming this is one of your art exhibits -- the one you were planning. Does this tie into the Romantics / essay on the sublime?

And you look practically identical and lovely in both pictures -- indeed, were in not for the two versions of Constantine, I would have thought it was you just a few weeks apart.

Oh, BTW, my friend Damon is moving to Newcastle, NSW, Australia (I guess me writing that is like you writing, "So and so is moving to Chicago, Illinois, United States") for a one or two year post-doc position. I told him I really want to visit him at some point. I understand it's about 100 miles from Sydney. Is there a train line between the two cities?

Regulus said...

Oh, and the two cats are adorable.

fifi said...

Hi Reg just sent you a note on your b log.

Thanks for all that, you are very sweet. Bless you entirely.

Oh and what area is Damon in? is he attached to a university?

The cats: adorable. As long as tey dont sleep on your face or step in your eyesocket as you sleep....

Leenie said...

Thank you, thank you for sending out a peek of your work to us who cannot see the wonder in person. Such relaxing, deep, wet, blue beauty. You obviously paint what you know and know what you paint.

And bless you for caring and loving all those adolescent hormones. Perhaps she will understand better when your hot flashes and mood swings make you cranky and weird a long, long time from now.

Leenie said...

Fifi: It is well past my bedtime. I need someone to drag me away from this computer and read me "Waterbabies." hehe. Hummingbird feeders are usually filled with a sugar-water concotion that is colored red to attract the little creatures.

Cold dreary rain for days here. The rivers are flooding and although the crops are planted there is concern the seed will rot in the ground. Could really use a sunny beach rught now.

molly said...

Miss Fifi! You have outdone yourself with your art and your mom-ness! Lucky girl! As long as you keep the hugs coming it won't matter whether you understand or not.....

M said...

You have style Ms Fish, real style. With your beautiful art and the way you have surrounded your 16yo with love.

ThirdCat said...

she is lucky to have you for a mum...and I still wish I could've been there to see your paintings

Red Hen (dette) said...

Firstly let me say that the exhibition looks fabulous and I am very dissapointed I could not find the money (Teenaged sons travelling about still cost a considerable ammount!) Secondly I thought you must have rushed off and changed your outfit from photo one to photo two,(before realising that it must have been an eighties theme party if that was the case.)
Hang in there with your daughter- you are indeed doing a wonderful job. Being sixteen can be a real struggle for both mum and daughter, but soon she will be 17 and then before you know it the rough patch will pass. I'm a little ahead of you with Chicky Babe being 17 almost 17 and a half all together too alarming for my liking!!! The other day I had to pin her down and give her a 'zerbet' on the neck, a zerbet is rather like a raspberry but not quite as floppy. It always used to make her laugh when she was three! She tends to get grumpy and sarcastic with me and call me silly nowdays. I am very sure I am not!!!!

Frogdancer said...

What a good mother you are.
You're not a bad artist either.

genevieve said...

Oh dash it all I MISSED IT!!!!

And everyone is right. You are clever to think of reading her a story. Calming, restoring her to sleep, making sure she is not alone.
Those are very good bases to cover, Fifi.

Leenie said...

Missed your final comment. I DID finally go to bed. Just for the record Auz and NZ are on the top of my list of places to visit---right after that white beach called Akumal on the Caribbean.

Why can't Australian birds enjoy sugar? All diabetic? ;)

p.s. Love the Siamese cats. Miss ours. But love our large black hairball lump.

Christine McCombe said...

This post made me cry. I have two little girls and I often think about how quickly they grown and how soon they will be too big to cuddle and kiss away their tears when things are bad. How glad I am that even at 16 a mother can still cuddle her daughter and read her a story and let her know that everything really will be OK. They are such precious things, children, and mothers.

old_black said...

ahh...daughters. Yes, Christine McCombe, precious is a word I use as well. Mine has reached a different phase. She is a 27 year-old adult. Recently she gave me a child's picture book for a birthday present; Shaun Tan's The Red Tree. Tan writes about the book: "A nameless young girl appears in every picture, a stand-in for ourselves; she passes helplessly through many dark moments, yet ultimately finds something hopeful at the end of her journey." That says it all, doesn't it?

Ampersand Duck said...

You are so wise. How could any young person resist the not-quite-forgotten allure of snuggling up with mum and the cats and hearing something soothing and comforting with no calories?

Well done you, on all counts.

Mary said...

I am folding away your story telling to your 16 year old in my mind - my blonde fairy is growing so quickly now and it won't be long before she is tear stained and confused about life rather than a missing soft toy!

Oh your blue paintings - how I wish I could have made it..

Louise Dalton said...

Hello Fifi. Lovely to have an update. So glad it all went well. Hope little fish gets her mojo back soon. X

Pam said...

How do I deal with my darling daughter's long-term romance with a mostly unemployed actor? And now her own unemployment because of the recession?

Ah, I wish TWB had a solution for that.... Still, stories are good and maybe the solution will find itself.

Your paintings are magical.

alice c said...

I see you standing before your pictures and I think how beautiful you are, Fifi.

And then I read your words and I think how truly beautiful you are to understand that your daughter need for you is more important than anything else.

Kirti said...

Oh Fifi gorgeous woman, mama divine, how I would love to see your exhibition and to have had a mother as present as yourself.

Meggie said...

I wish I had had a lovely comforting mother like you, in my sixteen year old misery!
How wonderful your paintings are!

Anonymous said...

I love that note. I bloweth water out of my hole wayyyy too much.

Fiona from Brisbane said...

hello fifi :-)

Congratulations on your exhibition .... the paintings look watery-wonderful, and I love that photo of you laughing with Constantine! You look beautiful and joyful!

I would never have thought of reading in bed with a 16-year-old, but what brilliance that you did. Your daughter is a lucky girl.