Monday, 25 February 2013


I am on leave, have decided to cease from all attempts at creating drawings, or indeed any work at all, for the time being. I am hoping that this period of respite will enable the eventual return of my abilities and skills which have departed from me as if on a migratory path. Having recently made several abortive attempts at drawing cloud formations, I find myself not only woefully out of practise, which state of affairs could, I suppose, be remedied, but wholly disinclined to undertake the endeavour. I simply do not wish to make drawings of clouds, or anything else at present, my desire has flown along with any skills that I may have possessed. I have not emerged from Dante's "forest dark", and must yet be patient.

Hence my decision to formalise the arrangement; to designate this empty period a sabbatical, thereby effecting a release from the self imposed pressure to make drawings, and instead to fill those hours previously beguiled by making  drawings, in research, in reading the books that I have always intended to read, but never have, in attempting a more formal account of my ongoing struggle with depressive illness, in the hope that one day the work may be published for the benefit of those others, who like myself wrestle with the forces of darkness, and who have lost the "straight foreward pathway".

Sunday, 24 February 2013

a forest dark

"Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark
For the straight foreward pathway had been lost".

Dante Alighieri  The Divine Comedy canto I Inferno

I can think of, or compose, no better sentences than to describe my own condition.

Monday, 18 February 2013

my father's hairbrushes

Almost two years after my father's death, his hairbrushes remain upturned upon the bedside table in the room in which he last slept before being taken ill and admitted to hospital. There are two brushes, one for each hand, and it was my father's habit to take them thus, and sweep them one after the other from his brow to the nape of his neck.

They are old, slightly worn, a few silver hairs clinging to the bristles. They still smell of clean skin and the faintly musky odour of hair; the scent of my father's forehead when I bent over him to kiss him farewell at the close of each hospital visit. The scent, lingering on well after the extinguishing of life, and the cremation of my father's body, shocks me into tears, awakens such an acute sense of loss that I can no longer bear to hold the brushes, and I lay them down, side by side as my mother had placed them.