Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Boys of Summer

The boys of summer with their skateboards
suspended mid-air like a gasp
arc down - a kingfisher flash
onto concrete
skirting the edge of adolescence and flight:
fledgling birds trying their wings
before the girls of summer
emerge from their lace-and-lipstick cocoons.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I wear these two rings daily - in fact I'm almost never seen without them unless I have a gig or a task that requires me taking them off.

They remind me of the two most important men in my life.

The lightning bolt ring - which has gotten lots of compliments from a lot of people - is a gift from my brother. All sisters are biased, but I do think, with every justification, that I have the best brother in the universe. He has been a constant support in my work and my art, the recipient of many of my rantings and frustrations, and he always believes in me, even when I don't believe myself. He is a musician of the first water, a gentleman, my protector, and anchor during some really dark periods of my life.

The steel circlet is from my father. This man has shaped my life in ways that I could never have imagined. He has loved me through times when some parents would have just thrown me out, and he is above all a man of integrity, faith, and humility whom I respect and admire with all my heart. I didn't see much of him when I was growing up, and our relationship has taken time to develop - it's still getting there, but I am thankful for it. He is common sense, practicality, support, lame jokes, and immense ability - this is the man who, without ever knowing what a drop spindle was, helped me build the Turkish drop spindle I use now. We connect through food, cooking and guppies - our conversations almost always begin and end with food, with mentions of guppies interspersed in between - but that is our measure of love, our own private language.

Love, strength, protection, all wrapped up in two steel and silver rings.

I carry them with me, every day of my life, to remind me.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Creative License Day (a'la Danny Gregory)

Today, I am giving myself leave to rest.

I have one production behind me that has taken several gruelling months of rehearsals, and which has been so rewarding and fulfilling.

It's time to recharge and give myself room to physically create with paints, paper, and inks again.

I am slowly making my way through Danny Gregory's wonderful book 'The Creative License', which I've had for yonks but have never really sat down to go through in detail. What I've read so far, however, is deeply sensible, practical, and immensely helpful in understanding my creative processes. More importantly, the book addresses the issues of negativity and how to free one's mind of that in relation to one's creative work - something I need desperately.

Time to deal with fears, hurts, and let art be my therapy for now.

Millenium Collage, done for Towers and Turrets mixed media class some months back. Time to return to that dark, quiet creative space and percolate.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Untether me from this shadow
Where you’ve pinned me, like a photographed smile
To the heels of your ghost.

Sink down, sink down, echo of our past
Fetched up from below the waters
Adrift, turned on its pale belly.

Let the dead remain dead, my love.
I have mourned you.
Stay buried beneath these stratas
These layers built to hold your ghost at bay.

Too sudden. Too soon.
In my heart, you have never left.

I am tethered to you by an umbilical cord.
Cut me loose, my love.
Let me live.
Recede into the distance beyond our grief.
You will not be forgotten, for love
Remembers all but softens the edge of departure -
The ache of our pain.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Post-Musical Fatigue

One word to describe the last two months:


Choir competition season will be officially over on 1st July, but for weeks on end it's been training, stress, hair-pulling, and all manner of insanity. This year though, there were unexpected and absolutely rewarding payoffs: all my school choirs placed in their district competitions. 2nd and 3rd places for the two secondary schools, 3rd place for the primary school - a huge achievement for the students, who have worked so, so very hard.

My youth chamber choir has also done me proud by taking a Distinction in their Trinity Gold Level Choral Assessment. So all in all, I am a very proud and happy musical 'mama'!

Add to that Jason Robert Brown's 'Songs For A New World', which just finished its run this weekend, performed by the vocal quartet I sing with, and there you have it. Between rehearsals and choir competitions and job and everything else, it's been insanely busy but character-building!

I haven't had time to do anything with the blowtorch or wire or any metals, which I'm hoping to remedy when July comes up. I did, however, manage to rustle up a rusty something-or-other one night when my brain was going completely bugnuts:

This is Jess, from a series of stories a friend and I had fun writing back in the day. She is 16, and has the attitude of a disgruntled, vocal porcupine. And also, just maybe, a little dangerous.

Oh July, July, just a few more days!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Geography of Loss: Losing Brian

Brian Rucker, 1964-2012
Rest In Peace

My heart's a great black hole.

I never knew what they meant by the weight of grief until now - an ache pressing so heavily against your chest it feels as if something has to burst from the pain of it, both physical and mental.

The last few days have been chaos. Unstable. One minute I'm all right and the next, something triggers a wash of memory so strong the tears come and don't stop.

The night I heard you'd died everything stopped as if time slowed down, as if thought were in slow motion. 16th April. Last weekend. How is that possible, Purry? We were just chatting on Facebook, posting memories from Virginia Beach and Sci Con only a month, month and a half back. How can you be gone, just like that? If Wes hadn't posted the news, I'd never have found out. None of us from Amber or your beloved game forums would even have known. None of us were expecting to lose you so suddenly.

We were supposed to grow old and cranky together, kvetch about the state of life, tease each other about our perpetual single status and figure we were too set in our ways to be any different. You talked about going to San Diego Comic Con this year. You were happy, damn it all, after Mysticon - you'd come home again to your first love of gaming and conventions and the crazy days of being young.

Today is Day Three of trying to make sense of all of this. And I can't. I still can't accept that you're gone, that I'll never hear you laugh at me any more, that I won't be visiting you in your apartment or watch the river under the bridge with you again. We'd only just reconnected last year. How could you just slip away without even a farewell?

We had our ups and downs, we had our disagreements, but you were important to me. You represent the happiest times of my grad school days, when things didn't make any more sense than now, but you tried to get me through them anyway. Cooking in your kitchen, learning how to skin a chicken, you laughing because you had no idea how to help me, both of us playing host to Courtney and Dan and Sis. Dan and Sis waking you up at 4am to tell you they were running through sprinklers in DC. Me waking you up one of your visits to my place, and wondering why my neighbour was moving furniture at about 2am and you going, "...That's not furniture, that's bed springs..." and laughing at my half an hour of snarky, sleepy diatribe.

I don't know if I ever told you how important you were to me, how glad I was to have you as a friend. I can only hope I showed it, but I wish that I could have said it too. Said it so that it would be set in stone, so that you could have heard it and been glad.

Funny how the years amplify things. All that time apart, just barely reconnected for a year, and I miss you so much. Perhaps it's the unexpectedness of losing you, that makes your absence so acute it's a fierce, almost physical presence. I want to reach out, grab hold of you in a drunken sort of desperation, shake you, tell you how much you've changed my life in so many good ways, how much I owe you. I need you to hear, I need you to know, to have some closure.

You were always such a proponent of supporting the local music scene, and I think that you would have liked to hear my youth chamber, that you would be pleased that I'm going out into the independent music scene too with my quartet. You were already so happy to hear I was singing now - 'Singing Purry', you called me.

My chamber sang 'Imagine' today, and I thought of you - your passion for fair politics and justice for the deserving. You would have been thrilled to know about the Bersih Rally here today, and that I was supporting it wholeheartedly.

I know I will never have a chance to say goodbye, good night, not in person, ever again. I don't know if you can see me writing this, or if you'd ever think that I would cry over you. Well, you tall skinny stubborn diamond-in-the-rough doofus, I am. I am right now, remembering your voice, hearing past conversations in my mind, and the ache in my throat is so strong I might choke.

I would give anything just to hug you one more time, hold you, tease you about being so thin I could break you in two, one more chance to tell you just how much you mean to me. I miss you, I love you for being my friend, I'm thankful for the privilege of having gotten to know you and do life with you, even though it was far, far too short a time.

As the song says, 'Good night sweetheart, good night.' Good night, Brian Rucker - my sanity, my partner-in-crime-and-craziness, my dear friend - good night.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Deliciousness by Nova Designs

I've loved Nova Designs for an age - Tess, the talented artist behind the gorgeousness, is an amazing, amazing jeweller. Her signature pinwheel designs actually -spin-, and they are so full of beautiful whimsy.

She's also having a giveaway so do check it out - nothing I say could ever do justice to her beautiful creations!

I mean, just LOOK at these. How could anyone not covet a pair of beautiful spinning earrings like that, or a pendant that one could play with?

Image: Nova Designs

Saturday, March 03, 2012

What I Need More Of...

Love, light, and peace.

Some time with family, and a quiet sanctuary where the long arm of people and to-do lists can't reach.

Time to be still.

Quietness and confidence. And strength.