Who is on the plum tree?
It is a few weeks now since I posted a Wednesday Corner, due to the spectacular crash of the hard drive on my computer. I apologise to all those who have been waiting patiently for me to post their pieces. I have a lot of catching up to do.
However, I have great pleasure in introducing you to artist and poet Fycsene Shields. Many thanks, Fycsene for your lovely piece. I know that you have suffered tragedy, and it is to people like you who find their way through such dark times that many of us turn when we are in need.
By Fycsene Shields
Have you felt the pure and fulfilled satisfaction of creating something beautiful?
Not something which is useful, or which will sell, but something which, by looking at it, brings a feeling of pleasure? Magical words, which provoke emotions or a single image, immortalising a moment?
When my husband died last year, on returning from his funeral, when friends and family were gone home, I wandered the house, stunned at the fact that I would never again see or hear the person I had spent my entire adult life with.
Amidst isolation and an unknown future, I felt the overwhelming urge to draw. I trained as an artist and photographer, but hadn’t drawn for years. With three young children and a business to care for, I had no time for the luxury of gazing at the beauty of the world around us.
Incapable of much else at the time, I sat down and drew my daughter. I photographed the beauty of friends’ facial features, the skilled hands and lips of musicians, the graceful suppleness of yogis’ limbs, my favourite objects, found on the beach or on The Burren. I looked at the incredible landscape of West Clare and realised why my husband had travelled so far to be here, from the outback of Aboriginal Australia via the hustle of London, to a small stone cottage where he felt he could write.
Whilst drawing, I simmered with excitement, as the white paper sheets became populated by my favourite fossils, fruits, a wild flower, my children’s petite features ~ through my own small pencil strokes.
As I prepared to photograph an energetic yogi for her website, I was both nervous and excited. Like a child, trying something new and not knowing whether I could do it well.
Those moments while I drew, moments snatched from juggling childcare and a business, while I photographed, while my brain kept conjuring up unsolicited images still yet to be created by me, were the moments when I experienced a rare feeling of happiness.
Endorphins set free.
Rediscovery of ancient skills.
When we create something, be it writing, visual art, a dance, poetry or music; we are experiencing the moment. We are not re-living and regretting our mistakes of yesterday or suffering the apprehension of tomorrow’s unknowns.
We are immersed in the magic of composition. This is why art is used so effectively to treat victims of trauma.
The unsolicited ideas for images still flood my brain daily. Now I understand why he brought me here, to County Clare.
Mantrika by Rikki Shields
My Last Memory
The rain clouds, knew
The red sun, climbed
Out of the blue sea
The living wind
Pushed the clouds away
Slowly the wind carried me up
The rock, my rock, my freedom
She broke the chain, of darkness
My memories, children, moonbirds
All day I walked, talked
Only they knew
As the red sun, was sinking
Into the green hills
For the last time
My rock? She bared all
I knew the feeling
What I saw?
The spirit of the rock
The golden moonbird, Yolla
Yolla, I wept with joy
And understood, as the secret
Tears fell, she makes me
Do this journey, for me
My people, and our earth