Friday, 13th November.
It will go down in history as a very, very sad day.
Especially here in France.
We woke up to the country reeling from last night’s events in Paris.
No, the world.
It was Grace in New York who flagged the massacre up to us.
All the way from America.
What dreadful, evil people there are in the world.
To open fire on innocent people, to gun them down.
I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with horrors like this;
they seem to abound nowadays, too.
I know we can’t let the bastards get to us, frighten us,
or else they’ve accomplished their target.
But it isn’t fear which racks me - no, it isn’t fear.
It’s a deep sense of wrong, of terrible, violent wrong.
This afternoon, it was time to get my feelings out.
Words weren’t working,
so I decided to tackle the new lino cutting project
I have been planning for months.
Ironically, I had been struggling for a subject, because lino-cuts always strike me as quite raw, sort of naive.
I had no idea what I was doing.
Not a clue.
But that wasn’t important at all.
I knew to cut away from myself, so as not to hurt myself,
and with that knowledge and no other,
I started to try and work through the chest pains,
the sadness in my heart.
Drew round a little saucer straight onto the grey lino.
Sketched the Eiffel Tower into the circle.
No eraser to hand, not important.
I do not seek perfection here!
I am trying to speak when words fail me - literally.
Time to begin with the cutting and slicing.
Not that hard.
Don’t cut too deep, and keep your eye on the road ahead,
like riding a motorbike.
Never done this before.
The closest I have ever come to lino printing
was with a potato print.
Not that it matters.
I don’t think I have ever cared less about the outcome of a project.
This was an exercise in thinking through my feelings,
and letting them out on the lino.
From intricate focus on the tower legs,
to gouging out the middle and creating a divide.
Have had plenty of practice with our Groovi art.
And my anger?
I hacked and stabbed away at the lino until it subsided.
I made crosses for all the poor souls
who went out to have some fun on a Friday night,
and paid dearly for that right.
I made stars for all the families and friends who will never ever understand how it could happen.
Then I spread some special lino ink on a mat
and spread it on the lino with a brayer.
I laid a sheet of copy paper on the wet ink
and rubbed the back with a spoon.
And here is my first lino print.
I hacked and cut, and whittled away at a piece of blank lino,
until it said what I was feeling.
And I know it did its job,
because when I pulled the print and looked at it,
the tears flowed.
I shall not pull another print.
One piece on copy paper is all that was needed
to express what I feel.
Alain just came to talk about Paris,
and I gave him the print.
It belongs here in France.
love and serenity always.