This is a pencil portrait of my ex C that I mainly worked on in January this year. I did some finishing touches towards completion during May when we broke up, to get it over with and because I cared too much about the drawing itself and the feelings inside it to just throw it aside prematurely. It’s still not very “finished”, but as usual, the sketchy way it is will have to do and I don’t mind leaving it like this forever. I like sketchiness.
For a week or two lately, I didn’t even like to think of the drawing as it only reminded me of the very uncivil, angering way he ended our relationship.
By now, I have pretty much gotten over this last angry stage, and now the drawing means something new to me – it is an expression of the pure, curious, newfound love that he made me feel at the beginning of our relationship, when I was bewildered, confused, exhausted, blissful and happy. It was when those few obstacles that arose seemed like an offer from life for me to just jump over light-heartedly and to deepen our relationship.
It doesn’t picture him how he is as a person and how I know him to be now anymore, it depicts the love I felt and the image I had of him. I am somewhat at peace.
The portrait is loosely based on a photo from our 9-day-self-planned-big-travel-and-hiking-trip to Sweden in August 2011. It was a sunny dreamy afternoon in our cottage, after a small hike in the woods and self-made dinner.
Also, refer to this pic for some alternate lulz.
This week’s Tuesday, we had to put to sleep our family cat Isis after 13 beautiful years together.
She had been diagnosed with a tumor in her jaw exactly three weeks ago after my sister had seen something oddly-coloured when Isis yawned and had brought her to the vet. This Monday, before I left my parents’ place for my hometown, I convinced her to eat something, despite the by now visible bulge on her jaw, by splashing around in the food and saying gentle things. That was the last time she really ate something.
My parents called our vet in tears to make an appointment for putting her down at home on Tuesday afternoon when Isis’ belly kept on rumbling, being hungry but not able to eat. The doctor didn’t really have time though and could only come right away.
I went back to my parents’ place that same evening and we buried Isis in the garden.
Thinking about it and looking back, the most confusing thing about all this is that I feel I don’t understand her death. I haven’t been living with my parents for the past 3 1/2 years, so not seeing Isis regularly is normal for me and the feeling of her real, permanent absence hasn’t really reached me yet. There is an intense, deep sadness I feel about the loss when I think about it, but also so much incomprehension. What has happened? How can someone, something living die? I understand the rational part, how the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, and the brain is not reached by the necessary substances to continue working any more; I have seen her dead body and touched it, feeling it to be somewhat cool and too stiff to be alive, feeling it to not react to my touch – but what has happened? There is this apparent infinity – how can a personality, its thoughts, memories, all this that makes each living being special, just vanish? Where has it gone to? And if it has gone to nowhere – and it hasn’t – then what is its reality? I understand what has happened, but I don’t understand.
That Tuesday evening, I spent with my parents in their kitchen, listening to soothing music; everyone reading, internetting and copying photos at their own pace. We all need our time to understand and learn to live with it.
“That was inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his failed attempt to fly from Paris to Saigon, where he passes through the Lybian desert. Here’s the rest of the story. This is ‘The Walk’.”
I have often found myself confronted with planes of this simple type lately, be it in a game of memory-pairs with a friend or in the summer sky. They all look like they’ve come straight from the middle of the 20th century, or from a nostalgic movie, and they always remind me of this real story of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry crashing in the Lybian desert, wandering around towards his nearly-certain death for 5 days, and then these songs from Gazpacho‘s concept album “Tick Tock” that deal with the story.
I love the songs, the story behind it, the feeling of everything going together and the bright browns of the desert and the blue sky that is a masterpiece and all the other colours which make their way from my ears to my head.
Also, I am reminded of the saying that bad decisions (or events) make good stories. I am so fascinated by the story the songs revolve around actually being real, having happened; their not circling around something entirely imaginary (which would, of course, have been fascinating in its own right).