about me

What she said


Condescension is manufactured self praise. Two things might happen. Sometimes a person wants to say “I’m great” but for that to work, the others must be low impact. (I discussed this in Envy and GOYA). Or, one insignificant aspect of the other person is used to judge them as wholly incompetent in all matters.


Case in point? A fine arts conference I attended this past week. After surviving a two hour planning meeting, which I co-chaired, I realised I was missing a painting session in the park. Then, it occurred to me I was only a ten minute drive from the restaurant of two friends. It is a visual spectacular stuffed with beautiful antiques.

I invited a colleague to join me. At the previous year’s conference, she was nice to me. She had not packed her lunch, so I thought she would like a delicious meal in a unique setting. Five minutes after later, I knew I had made a huge mistake. The first face slap came after I told her I confirmed the reservation, so I couldn’t rescind the invite.

Joy's kitchen

I used a PLUG for the rude remarks, but she was a slinky on an escalator. What she said: Below are the highlights.

12.40 You drive?!?!?!

12.41 Do you want me to drive? Are you okay driving a car??!

12.44 Where are we going?!!! Do you know where you’re going?

12.45 Did you get your license HERE??!?!??!?

12.48 You are driving like a wild person. (The driver in front of us has swung out in front of me and I am forced to brake suddenly.)

13.25 You’ve started eating already.


13.30 This restaurant is so beautiful. I feel bad eating here because we are attending a work conference.

13.43 You’ve finished already.

13.47 That’s a take away dessert. You must not eat it now!!

13.59 This biscuit is delicious. You can’t have flour? But it’s yummy. Mmmmm…. Hmmmm? (I am gluten intolerant).

14.01 (I quietly pay for lunch. This causes her to feel guilty about something).

14.02 Oh!!! No. I …  It’s …

14.06 (I realize I’ve left my umbrella). You’re a careless girl. People are inconvenienced by you. (It’s my friend’s shop, and they don’t care about that stuff).

14.09 You are able to paint? (NB: This is an fine-arts conference with over five hundred participants and I co-chaired the morning session).

14.20 (End of ordeal and time for a walk in the park.)

art poetry


Thrust in spells, fire irons were cast
Wild minds centre, great hands are clasped
Feathers fret round von Hoven’s draft
There’s much to fear where Rosen’s in craft

Plated in sheaths, impressions wrought steel
Thorn’s tender roses are flocking in teams
Verita’s lapels shall bind at the mast
What burdens we’ll bear if Rosen’s this craft

Swimming with roses by Stephen Day via Iconophile

Special thanks go to the spectacularly talented artist and photographer, Stephen Day. I found an inspiring story in his photograph, Swimming with Roses, and my poem practically wrote itself. Stephen blogs with the equally fabulous Jennifer Day at The Iconophile.




Gouache and collage on Saturday, outdoors … in the shade.

Shine a light on it.
Close inspection will hand you the details.


The Church II

No man waits in time alone?
Carmine shadows row o’er my soul
A coat of mail, the silver breams
Fretfully it hastens fretful gleam
In gothic passages taxis bloom’d
While now it grips, the dark, am doom’d


Photograph, “2426” and all following, by Alan Clayton Williams, Nagasaki, Japan.


Photograph, “2417”.


Photograph, “5255”.


Photograph, “2434”.


The Church

Narushima Trip
Photograph from “Narushima”.

Narushima Trip
Photograph from “Narushima”.

There’s a tiny island off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.
It is called Narushima. There are only twelve children on the island.
Three of them are Christians.
All photos courtesy Alan Clayton Williams/Veritalens.

Trip to Hisakajima
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.

Trip to Hisakajima
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.

We define “church” in emotional terms as a sanctuary or place of refuge. Objectively speaking, it’s a box. We hide under boxes to shield ourselves from thoughts and feelings in an unsafe world. These boxes take various forms, like personal, familial and political allegiances. However, they all serve the same purpose. They allow us to escape the messy work of negotiating our lived experiences. From the safety of boxes we insist that it’s acceptable to judge, blame and even deceive others. I bear the scars from painful lived experiences and I sometimes seek refuge in that dark, familiar place when a memory is triggered. But I’ve learned that boxes don’t just shut out pain. Sometimes they obscure the radiance and the splendour of unconditional acceptance and love.

Trip to Hisakajima
Photograph from “Trip to Hisakajima”.