Crazy Diamond. I’m not a good reader of poetry, I do far better if I hear it read, but this one – From Crazy Diamond to Borrowed Light by Oonah Joslin – made me think because of her comment about how it came about. She tells me it was something her mentor said when she was struggling to believe in herself as a poet; he told her that diamonds don’t shine on their own, they borrow light from those who do. Turning the Pink Floyd reference on its head, the imagery that came from this, finding your own light instead of reflecting that of others however glittery it might be, is something all creatives are faced with. This is the first verse:
Facetious I may be at times
but you have light
enough and light to spare
and see me shine.
Oonah Joslin, Three Pounds of Cells. The Linnet’s Wings Press 2016
The image is my first real painting since school days; acrylics on 8×10 canvas board with a great crunchy layer of pumice medium for the bits of grit that eventually make diamonds if you crush them hard enough. It was a struggle! I tried cut outs of diamonds first – pasted them on then scraped them off because they looked ridiculously obvious and also because I’d got the whole thing the conventional way round with them being the light and not the woman. I was also quite conflicted over her emitted light coming from only one direction – shouldn’t it come from all around? But then wouldn’t that look too beatific? I don’t know even now, but it’s there and Oonah likes it so that will do