A quick introduction to new followers on the blog and some who may not know that apart from my curatorial work and writing I’m a practicing artist. While I was away from the blog, I painted. My favourite medium is watercolour. I also draw with pencil and pen. If you follow me on Instagram (tribaldiva), then you have seen some of these work. Here are two recent paintings I completed as part of a weekly art challenge with a New Jersey artist friend, Akil Roper.
Most of my art from the 2017 solo exhibition, “Beauty Within” I had held in Royal Papua Yacht Club, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, can be found on my website www.joycelinleahy.com. That collection concentrates on people, places and things that have inspired me about the beauty of my country. The artworks are all for sale – both originals and limited edition prints. Some originals have been sold, however, you are welcome to email me on email@example.com. Please let me know in the comments if you like these and share them if you want. I will be showing more art here in the future.
I have taken a very long blog holiday; the longest since I first started blogging four to five years ago. I have had several art projects I needed to complete and I needed to spend some time on my book, health, and my family. During this time, I’ve received wonderful emails from many of you. Thank you. These emails have deeply touched me, and made me feel that my writing on the tribalmystic blog means something to all of us. To blog daily will be difficult at this time, but I’m very happy to return and work at posting two to three articles, stories or documentaries and pictures per week and when I can.
Thank you so much for your patience and continued support. You being here with me and sharing our stories means a lot to me too. In my culture, we dance to celebrate important events – coming home to this blog is worth dancing, so above are a group of young ladies dancing in Palau. I took this photo over ten years ago, and especially like the bright tones in their skirts and dancing sticks.
To kick start the writing, I would like to share with you a short story. Some of you may recognise parts of this story from my writing (150 words) Mondays Finish the Story with Barbara W. Beacham in 2015. I have left a link at the end of the story for you. I built the tale from 150 words to 500 words for the Queensland Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction in April, but since I didn’t win, I can share it here. Let me know what you think. The rules were to use the following lines in dialogue.
“It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should, therefore, be treated with great caution.”
“It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should, therefore, be treated with great caution,” Joe said and placed two “candies” on the windowsill. I didn’t respond.
I sat where I could see the pink roses over the white fence. The neighbour’s little girl came out to play. She had bluish lilac eyes and sunshine hair – golden and full of light. She looked two or three, just like Rosie, if she were here with me.
The drugs, one blue and one red, may divert my headache, but not fix it. I didn’t want to argue with him anymore – it only ever turned ugly. But when Joe made poetry and philosophy out of his drug business, it sickened me. I was tired of it, and him. And I wanted my daughter.
Joe moved around the house and after a while, I smelt his garlic breath and stinky shoes.
“What’s it going to be then, eh?” His arm pressed mine to take the pills and he kissed my head. I had dreamt about Rosie and now became tearful. After two years in Johnson Mental Facility, I finally started to feel good again and hoped to see Rosie. I had not seen my baby since she was six months old and Child Services took her. Joe promised me we would see Rosie.
“You keep talking about Rosie, and you do nothing about it. Nothing! You sit at that window all day, every day, Cathy!”
He twisted the truth. He won’t help me find her.
“Oh, by the way, Jack is coming on the payroll. It’s great! He’s never done anything like this before,” Joe said, sounding like he was the model big brother.
“You shouldn’t force Jack into that crap, he’s only 16,” I lashed out.
“I didn’t. He said he needed money.”
“Really?” And that was all I had to say. It became a war.
Later, in hiding, I watched the police take Joe away. He would have calmed down, but only he and I knew that; not our new neighbours. If only Joe wasn’t shouting. This abandoned house was the safest so far in two weeks. We have moved ten times this year.
Today was very quiet. The sun warmed my scalp and shadows danced on my hands. My thoughts hurt my head.
“Ava! Ava! Where is your doll?” the little girl’s mother called.
Near the white fence were a lilac doll pantsuit and two doll hands. The roses matched her floppy hat and threw shadow creases over her delicate face. The toddler first ripped the doll’s head and legs, which she threw towards me. Ava had caught me watching her. She laid the doll arms and pantsuit down, and dropping the body, she ran to their house. My eyes salted, thinking how scary I must have looked to her. I need to leave before the Johnson Mental Health party arrives.