Friday’s Letters

03.07.2020

Reflections….

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to another Friday and the part of the week where I share your words and pictures. This week my best friend at the coast sent me the beautiful photo’s (above) of a fennel plant covered in dew at night time in the garden. Linking back to our theme of All Things By Moonlight on Wednesday’s Creative Writing Class they seemed very appropriate to share here.

It seems many people are very fatigued now with lock down, especially with the threat of a second wave. I try not to talk about it too much here, but I wonder if that reflects that I haven’t had many words or pictures sent to me this week. So instead I thought I would share how I have been coping with lock down alongside a busy job as a key worker.

My solace is through painting and writing. Sometimes I feel it is too hard to put into words the emotions that I experience so I prefer to stick some headphones on and put colours down on canvas.

I have been recently working on a painting inspired by the creative writing task we did on totem animals and natural finds in the Goldfinch session a few weeks ago. Here are some images:

The painting isn’t finished yet, but will eventually depict one of my cats Gizmo sitting under a honeysuckle bush gazing at the activity of bees and butterflies, and possibly a goldfinch…. Here are the reasons I chose to put these things together:

  • Cat – represents home and belonging. Cats have always been a very important part of my life and to me home doesn’t feel home without a cat.
  • Honeysuckle – in a book about natural symbols and signs that I was reading honeysuckle is linked to Greek Mythology, apparently the lovers Daphnis and Chloe could only see each other when the honeysuckle flowers were in bloom, this felt apt to represent the current situation with COVID and distance from those that we love. Honeysuckle is the favourite flower of my mother, so it also felt pertinent to include it while we have had to remain in isolation through lockdown as a connection to missed family, and it also symbolises my love of the natural world and the untamed plants and wild spaces.
  • Blue: (You will notice that the background is a deep peacock blue). I chose this colour to offset the colour of the honey suckle and the ginger cat, it also represents my love of blue and in particular Klein Blue . Although the shade I have used is darker as I wanted it to have a magical dusk feeling of a late summer evening.
  • Bees – Well who doesn’t love Bees?!! I love bees, but through studying bees I am also fascinated by hover-flies and hope to include some of those too. They represent my journey of discovery of the natural world over the last five years running creative writing at St Nicks in York and remind me that there is always so much more to discover!
  • Goldfinch: (I haven’t painted this in yet) I may include a goldfinch to represent growing into my own plumage (see the James Applewhite Poem about that here) and also the freedom of birds. The bird and the cat together also represent the cycle of nature and the contrasts of species.

I hope that this was interesting! It’s a slowly slowly process with painting but hopefully I will be able to share the finished result in a few weeks.

Whoever you are reading this I hope that you stay safe and well and find some solace through nature as I have done. See you tomorrow for a weekend art challenge. You can email me with words and pictures of your own at e.mckenzie1@yorksj.ac.uk if you would like to 🙂

Best wishes,

Emma

(Getting out in nature is all well and good ….until your dachshund refuses to walk any further, or cross bridges!!)

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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