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30 May 2007 @ 20:06
Fiction: Muse  
A Mary Poppins piece written last summer after seeing Sunday in the Park with George, so some credit for inspiration must go to Stephen Sondheim. Otherwise the characters belong to P.L. Travers, Disney and Cam Mac. It is quite conceptual, Bert musing on his muse, but I am pleased with the artistic obsession that comes through it.

This was also posted to maryandbert.


The curve is similar.

No. Concentrate.

Soft, pale. Very like.

No. Not tonight.

But he can’t stop thinking about it. Her. She’s filling his mind. She’s back, he knows that is why. It has been a long separation, this time. He had forgotten. Not her, certainly not her, he can never forget her. But he had forgotten the details. The way she walks, lightly, gracefully, like a dancer. He tries to put the memory of the day from his mind.

He has to finish the painting.

He wants to paint her.

Five minutes, then.

He closes his eyes and summons her image. Oh, she’s not beautiful, not in the traditional sense of the word, not like the would-be goddesses that hang in the picture galleries, but to him she surpasses them all. The Sun is at her command. The would-be goddesses bare their skin of luminous paint, oil on canvas making delicate, soft, pale skin. She hides it all.

But not today. She stretched her arm, and he saw, delicate, soft, pale skin. Just her wrist, the inside of her wrist. It’s driving him mad.

His fingers twitch. Small canvas, charcoal, inelegant beginnings. The curve is similar. Start there. Map it out. The curve joins another and another, shapes on the canvas taking form.

What would it be like to touch that delicate, soft, pale skin, hidden from view? Meant to be hidden from his view. The faint blue tracery of veins, flutter of her pulse. Would it flutter more if he touched her there? Would her eyes close with pleasure, hiding the way the blue of her eyes darkens with desire? Would she pull away and be stern?

The fold of the fabric, a ruffle of lace, a crisp ruffle at the end of the sleeve, delicate, soft, pale in between. Line. Shadow. Form. Darker here, shadows on velvet, luminous there, she glows. Colour. Where is his palette? Colour and light.

Blue. Not intense enough. Cerulean, ultramarine, cobalt. More intensity. Blue. There. Colour and light. Layer upon layer. Thin washes, smooth, delicate, soft, pale, luminous. Colours you wouldn’t expect but colours he sees, colours below colours to make the eye see colours that he hasn’t put there.

How else could he capture her than by painting what she isn’t? What he thinks she isn’t. He doesn’t know her and he knows her better than anyone. Dare he ask to know her better? She reveals so much by revealing so little. Perhaps. The glimpse of skin on her wrist, the soft underside of her wrist, more alluring than the would-be goddesses spilling forth from shining shimmering satin.

What would she be like in satin? She would shame it. On her it would coarsen and dull, withered with a look from those eyes. Her eyes. Cerulean, ultramarine, cobalt blue eyes. He sees all of her at once. He loves what he sees. How she catches the light. And the colour of her hair. How she is graceful. How she smiles only for him, he thinks. He could look at her forever. But she will not stay forever.

He will never understand. She will never tell him why she goes. She will not explain. He understands but he does not know. And he will not wait forever.

The smallest brush for lace. A hundred colours with no names that lie under the surface of the white. A hundred emotions with no names that lie under the surface of what he feels for her. The world rushes by as he watches for her in the sky, he will fade into her past, into her distance and die.

He has to finish the other painting tonight.

But he has to finish the blue and the delicate, soft, pale and the lace.

Painting her before it’s too late. Maybe he is willing to wait. Maybe she will visit him in the night. A shadow torn from the height, from the sky. Her eyes the colour of the sky.

Each of them hiding from the other. Turning back too late to the other. And leaving again. He to his painting, she to the sky. Until they distance and die.

The space between them.


Colour and light.

Well, then.


Where: Library
Feeling: lazylazy
the captivating and tantilizing...: This wayladylizaelliott on 1st June 2007 00:54 (UTC)
Ah! I know you from the Julie Andrews.org forum, or it used to be there, but I remember reading this piece and loving it! Great to see ya on Livejournal, and in maryandbert