Ok so something a little bit strange has happened. The love rice is certainly not edible, but out of the three it is the least black and nasty… There’s one more week to go though. I haven’t been sending any vibes at all the past week but I’m going to start again.
One thing I did do though was watch a little bit of “The Real Housewives Of Melbourne.” And I learnt a great thing that one of the women’s grandmothers told her, and that thing is “Always leave the house wearing what you’d like to meet your husband in.” It’s a great piece of advice from a grandmother to a granddaughter.
The thing my grandmother taught me was this: being kind is the most important thing. She also taught me how to really look at something when you’re drawing it. I used to sit at the table in the living room, with a rose from the garden in a vase and try and draw it exactly how it was. This is what my nieces now do. The one who is four was sitting at the table the other day, with salt and pepper shakers and some sunscreen all lined up as still life and she was drawing them just as her mind saw it, with eyes and mouths and relationships between them.
In my mind I’ve always thought that if you can draw you should be able to cut hair too. It’s about making your hands do what your mind can see. But I guess you have to train your muscles as well, like, I can see many notes in my mind that my throat and lungs and tongue and larynx and lips and teeth and palettes can’t make.
My friend Sally had all her hair cut off in Hyde Park. We all stood in a group watching her, and someone would come forward and take the scissors or the clippers and just do it, the hair she’d grown herself, beautiful like a home grown rose. All the water poured into her mouth, all the sunlight. Yeah, plants and hair are made of the same thing. I keep talking about it, but that’s like people talking about music every week.
So all her hair fell down to the ground, fell onto the park bench, floated off in the sunlight. Her grandmother next to me was making little noises as if the scissors were nipping a little bit at her own flesh. She couldn’t help it. For her that shaven head was a bad portent of war or sadness and even all the money flowing from the hair into the cancer research machines couldn’t stop her mouth and tongue and lungs making that little noise. “Eep!”
I tried to soothe her even though she was a stranger. But still she did her little “Eep!”
Some of the hair stayed in the hand of Michael Dolan, the one with the nice arms. We played with it at the table, a lock of hair with a knot tied in the middle. You could pull each end and make the knot go tight and loose, big and small, like a heart beat. A blonde heart beat, out in the evening sunlight in Hyde Park.
Another night in the week I was sitting at the drop-in place, next to a man who tried to convince me that Jude the Obscure was not in fact written by Thomas Hardy but was a literary forgery. I listened to his reasons, and he almost convinced me. I told him “My mother loves Thomas Hardy!” but he didn’t stop to draw a breath. His arms were tattooed all the way up, his neck was tattooed all the way up, but he still knew so very much about forensic ways to evaluate great literature.
See, these are little scenes for you. You can look at them in your mind, as still life or moving life. The three jars of rice on a shelf; the child drawing a rose under the watch of a kind grandmother; the hair beating like a heart in the park; the man lifting his tattooed body up from the seat to make a point. These are all things to draw in your mind, and which I leave you to line up however you like, however your muscles are able.