Life has been shades of grey these past few weeks, and I’ve craved color and light. Here in Singapore we’ve come full circle with the pandemic: back to work from home, closed shops, restaurants, gyms and playgrounds. All I can hope is there will be no lock-downs, that I can continue with my morning walks.
Over the past weeks I connected with Mona, an artist friend from my past life, and enamored with her work, asked if we could collaborate. One of her paintings, and a small story from me.
The picture above is her painting.
Here’s my story:
Night fell like a curtain of grey flowers and song, midnight blue in her mind as she sat, eyes closed, wrapped in a red saree and a sense of déjà vu, as if it had all happened before and was likely to happen again.
Soft fell the night around her, darkness pulsing against her body, her vibrant red garb, around the sphere of light she held protected against her stomach, the small sapling that would thrive in a new dawn.
She smiled her close-lipped smile, secure in the knowledge of dawn, amused at the antics the night played around her, cajoling, tempting, adoring and chastising her in turn. Telling her she should rest a while. Set aside the white flowers of her garlands and earrings, make of them a fragrant bed, and recline a little. Rest her achy feet exhausted from the millennia of waiting.
It could not be all that hard, the night said, weaving its moonless magic, donning its cloak of the deepest blue. Rest a little, come, do not sit so straight; let the light rest, too.
When she paid it no mind, the night quit whispering and took on an urgent, menacing-velvet tone: look how vast my arms. I cannot see my feet. I have no beginning, and no end—that spark you hold can’t stand against me.
It does not have to be large, she murmured, soothing. A spark only need exist in one heart to catch in another. A sapling can seed a forest. We are not so different, you and I. We both hold light. I hold it in my hands, you hold it in absence. Come sit by me. Our friend Dawn, our beloved, the one of shadows and of light, will be here soon.
I’ve decided to be more spontaneous and put my work up oftener, warts and all. Flow and play in short fiction will hopefully help with the long work. I’ve got exciting news about that which I can’t really talk about–more on that later.
What about you? Have seen collaborations between writers and artists? Know any artists in real life? What do you think of this collaboration?
It is available in India here.
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