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Of Bowerbirds and Blue

I saw you today for the first time in three months and
everything was blue.
It was one of those stark winter days
when the city feels too clean and harsh,
The edges of everything too defined.

You wore your dark blue suit
two tiny blue flags pinned to your lapel,
Your eyes bluer than I had remembered them.

No sooner had I sat down that words started tumbling out.
We are not so good at small talk
You and I,
we go straight to the hard things
The sharp things
The dark things.
Fear, failure, memory, melancholy.
We dive right in
Our conversations always feel deep blue.

I read about the Bowerbird recently.
A most bizarrely behaved bird,
a bird that collects blue.
Off he flies in great circles,
in search of any blue thing
bottle caps and bits of plastic.
He builds his nest with blue, surrounds himself with prussian and periwinkle
and every shade in between
A satin black bird
with the brightest blue eyes.

Did you know
that all my favourite paintings are blue?
Rothko, Pick and Pablo Picasso.
They painted with strokes of cerulean and cyan
Their canvases coated in cobalt.
Picasso painted with blue and only blue
For four straight years.
He was miserable, depressed and disillusioned,
devastated by the death of a dear friend.
And I wonder if, for Picasso, 
blue was the only colour that made sense to use at the time.
Doing so made him poor and unpopular
But I wonder if, in his misery
shades of blue gave him great solace.

I think that in some way
maybe we know
why the Bowerbird collects blue
and why the painter's pallets are too.
We are not fine artists
nor feathered flying things
you and I,
But we can fathom when misery demands to be felt.
We sense that there are sombre things
that only make sense in blue.
There are pieces of us
that need to break and bleed in blue
and that sometimes our souls
can only be known,
only be recognised and expressed
in a blurry haze of blue.

I wonder if you remember
When I painted in only blue
For you?

And if you know
in these teal times
that I recognise the blue in you.
The way you've been building your world in shades of sapphire and sky.
The way you have been collecting those colours
all these years.

We are not bower birds
Or broken-spirited painters,
no.

And so its my hope that you will grasp
what both birds and artists know;
That after the nest is built and the paint is dry,
So comes other days.
There will be new seasons,
brighter colours,
freer flights.
There will be softer skies and greyer eyes
And the words will feel lighter when they fall from your mouth
The edges feel less defined.

That day isn't today.

But know that
for now
I am here
in the midnight blue
with you.

--
Extra small
Can't believe you made it down this far! Its nice to have you here. In case you were wondering these are my favourite paintings: Rothko Pick Picasso
Bowerbirds are actually amazing. Here they are being bizarre and building nests
Apologies for the period of silence on the blog front. Been having a crisis of confidence but I'm on my way back. x Han

6 comments

  1. Love this Han x

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  2. Deeply reflective, and awesome, as always xoxoxo

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  3. Seriously love your words and can't wait for more! xx

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