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The Original "Getting Real"

The Original "Getting Real"
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Friday, 20 March 2009


March 20th made it seem necessary to turn this room from its wintry blue to a brighter daffodil sort of shade for the first day of spring. Who decides what names to give paints? What it says on the tin is rather confusing - the 'golden yellow' I first tried, turned out to be a sort of muddy brown. 'Surf' is very dark blue (which is lovely) and various other blues were more purple than anything else. Other colours are more vague - like 'Biscuit' (what kind of a biscuit, a bright pink iced biscuit? A chocolate digestive? A Garibaldi spotted with currants?). Eventually, the room became rather coast-like with the sand and sea merging (because I can't paint straight lines!).

Nature - like the beautiful butterfly on Andre Hilliard's photograph - is filled with such a cornucopia of colour at this time of year, which is so striking after the black and white winter. I wonder, though, does everyone see the same colours as we look at them? Is my green, the same as your green? Is my blue your yellow, and your red my black? Interesting, too, how colours aren't there when there is no light on them. In the darkness, there are no colours, so perhaps there are really no colours at all - only light reflected in different we bring out the light in each other, and as, without the light of our spirits within us, we are dull and empty.

Ah well, my keyboard is speckled with yellow and blue but if I turn out the light, it won't be there!

Joan Baez read, on one of her records, a beautiful poem by Yevtushenko, called "Colours". How beautiful it is!

When your face appeared over my crumpled life,
at first I understood only the poverty of what I have.
Then its particular light on woods, on rivers, on the sea,
became my beginning in the coloured world
in which I had not yet had my beginning.
I am so frightened of the unexpected sunrise finishing,
Of revelations and tears and the excitement finishing.
I don't fight it, my love is this fear,
I nourish it who can nourish nothing,
Love's slipshod watchman.
Fear hems me in.
I am conscious that these minutes are short
And that the colours in my eyes will vanish
When your face sets.

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