Ever since the demise of Woolworth’s our world has lacked the joy of the pick n’ mix sweets display. If I were to be really pompous and OTT I could say that it represented a philosophy of opportunity, infinite choice and reward. It was the free market of anticipated pleasure. Now why is this daft old Doris in the fried egg and banana sweet display? Well, watching the “global” demonstrations against “Corporate Greed” the image of the Pick and Mix keeps flashing into my mind. Should I join the jelly baby, fruit chew and dolly mixture coalition, the Red Strawberry Brigade or should I stand up and march goose-step in black uniform with the Liquorice Jugend? The choice is mine if I can ever be certain enough to dip my scoop and pay up. We live in interesting times when the old political show is indeed like some dated summer camp concert. As a spleenager I used to love punk music – (you should see me pogo guys!). There is a lyric in the 1977 song “Anarchy in the UK” which reads “Don’t know what I want but I know how to get it.” A further line reads “Your future dream is a sharpie’s scheme.” My dictionary gives a definition of “sharpie” as a “dishonest or cunning person. Now, as a very grown up parent with a life hard lived, lusted and busted I still see the fresh anger and confused accusation of this song. The modern young generation have an itch they cannot scratch – indeed because they have jumped nothing but focused educational hoops, they have received no word for that itch. They were told the pedlar had everything in his pack for them and that they could be even richer pedlars themselves. They have no anthems, no heroes and no leaders ….YET. In troubled times the winning slogan will be simple. The leader will wear some kind of boots – style to be decided. Sandals or slippers are unlikely.
I know that I overwork the word JOY. The reason is simple. In the universe of our hearts there is so much of it and yet we allow ourselves so little. Just now and then life gives you a booster jab of joy. Today, the joy was not my own – but danced and flung itself in ecstasy from the canvases of an artist. When Gilles spotted a sign advertising an exhibition outside a house as he was driving home I expected a polite amateur show of “local” art. We wandered along this afternoon to take a look at the paintings of Sara Barnes. Let me say simply that it is a long time since I desperately wanted to write a poem. The picture below speaks so vibrantly of the defiant fragility of blooms against the sky, the hidden force of their roots feeding their cry of mortal beauty into the deaf indifference of the ocean.
Then we have a canvas of Exbury Gardens which needs no words and is a visual feast of atmosphere,light and colour.
Then an unwitting careless study of innocence, hierarchy, fascination and that peculiar English childhood of rock pool discovery. The disequilibrium of the child in green, reflects a gauche accidental view of vulnerability and mortality.(Literatti among you might wish to check out “The Shrimp and the Anemone” by L.P. Hartley which explores this theme).
And finally a picture of that transcendent quality of motion that ballet sets out to achieve. Here a dancer leaps into the space of possibility that our imagination sketches ahead of us in time.
Feel the joy in that flight! I arrived too late to buy the above picture and paintings were flying off the walls. Remember the name: Sara Barnes (artist).
Emma thinx: A pure vacuum has no choice of what it sucks in.