FreeVerse

Day 13/14/15 – Surrender

Of course painting is the mission here so that’s what I’ve been concentrating on over the last few days. And now, considering the lack of visual stimulation thus far here I’ve decided to take a small intermission from Blink. to share with you all the painting that really helped me come to this point.

It’s strange how television that isn’t even on the critical level of, let’s say, Breaking Bad or The Wire can inspire something powerful from a place of crippling fragility and insecurity. Around December I began binge watching Law & Order: SVU as I became bed bound for around six weeks and Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson reignited a resilience and strength I was all but sure no longer existed in me. This character is perhaps one of the only truly independent, autonomous females in television. She is neither the ball-busting man hater nor the wilting violet waiting to be rescued. She is a fine example of what it is to be a true woman and unfortunately, this breed is rare on our screens.

In reality, Hargitay is no less inspiring. She created the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organisation which advocates for victims of domestic and sexual abuse along with campaigning to reduce, if not end, this kind of violence and works with End The Backlog which aims to eradicate the terrifying number of untested rape kits across the US.

Her earth-splitting beauty was secondary to me, though impossible to ignore. Therefore when I decided I had to paint a portrait of her, instead of choosing a glamourous shot of her looking the conventional idea of beautiful I decided to take a still from the opening episode of SVU Season 15. Here, she has been kidnapped and tortured for four days by a serial rapist referred to as “The Beast.” In the still I chose she has just broken free of her restraints and incapacitated her assailant.

This, for me, was Hargitay at her most beautiful. She was raw, burnt, beaten and fatigued but her face, her eyes, her mouth emanated such intense yet subdued power, a power that stemmed from the most vulnerable of situations that in a way I was a little awe-struck.

It’s the longest I’ve ever spent on a painting, just a little over four weeks of 10 hour days (I have no idea where that time went) but I came out of it with a new perspective on art, beauty and myself. It’s an extremely personal piece that will forever hold a part of my life and as dramatic as it sounds, I’m not sure exactly where I’d be without it.

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Day 9 – Maddened

Swirls, Rushes and Streams,
Grit, Sludging it’s way
Through the innermost workings.

Skin, so young, so scarred
by the wounds of time
Lost and Unkissed
In the womb of time.

Torn hands and Broken fingers
Weighted, Drowning by the instrument
Unheld and Unhealed.

The so-called glimmering eyes
Fogged and Veiled
for the funeral
Graced in every blink.

Outward symptoms of the inner skull,
The Riddled Body,
Each and Every shivering cell
In conflict,
Uncompromising and Unsoothed

©S.E Honan 2014.

Day 3 – Why is it called Blink.?

To be named,
To be loved,
To be truly lost.
A barrel on a freeway
Eagles overhead
A nothing on no sidewalk.

Why to lose a life,
To lacerate a limb,
To char a thigh,
To expunge an eye,
In a Blink.

Strands, shackles, seemingly
Safe.
So easily frayed
Whisper, Shiver
Shards on the floor
Swept and discarded
Cells, strings seeping below the surface.

Surface strained by seconds,
minutes,
years,
until.

A living urn.
Flakes,
Follicles,
Pieces,
Scattered throughout time
Is this our legacy?
To live in dust.

Once shattered
Never Restored
To exist only in forgotten sprinkles
Between the grout
To glimmer in the sunrise
Never to be seen.

Humanity’s shards
Windswept and Grey
Locked in the genes
that will not come.

To lose the battle, yes,
But to lose the war-beaten soldiers of legacy,
This is effacement.
This is annihilation.
This is genocide.

No God for the Non-Existent
Who exists less than the nameless?
Was I ever here?
Or am I a chaotic formulation of ash?
An accident in a chaotic world.

I lay with the fox
the hare
the cat
and the mouse
Whose life water paints
your path home.

I lay with the amiable rat,
with your fridge,
you could have taken the cheese,
I have socks.

You’ve seen me,
I take my medicine
You walk her to school
I was she
I’m not alive now
Before I’ve died.

We checked in together.
I checked out alone.
Have fun in Orlando
While I sleep in the cold.

We swapped slots
I got the best seat home
I saw the sky
If it hadn’t been for the smoke.

But these are the lost,
The locked and Sterilised,
Without you, who’s to say I was ever there,
Or Anywhere.

Now, Blink.

©S.E Honan 2014