Shaken…and stirred.

It’s weird, how recent events have their impact on me. I’d never have predicted it if I’d be given a chance to up front. I notice that with the family drama down our street, my own borders of reality have collapsed. The distant and impossible soared into my vicinity; into my reality. I keep feeling annoyed that it has resulted in me being slightly off balance superficially, but seemingly overthrown inside. When horror comes close in real life, not even touching you, but in your proximity, something happens inside. Or at least, in me.

I don’t think about it all day. Not at all. At the risk of sounding respectless, it’s old news. But the daily confrontation with people asking me about the events is unsettling. Brings me back to the day it happened. Yesterday was a ‘telling’ day since my kids went back to school after the May holiday and I had to inform teachers what had happened right on our doorstep. I was a bit apprehensive that even though at home we haven’t noticed any effect on our kids, despite the fact that we chose to tell them exactly what had happened, at school with kids being boisterous about it, the event might come to life for them and have an afterblow. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. They had a great first day back at school. They love school. I had a harder time with it, however. I felt I was trembling while I told about it. And I was very careful what to tell, keeping far away from sensation and gossip. Then yesterday evening there was drawing class again and after a long period of absence I was asked how I was. Well, I couldn’t NOT tell what had been bugging me the past weeks. And then again, I felt I was trembling. My classmate were silent in shock at my “story” and then I realised that everytime I speak about it, it becomes more terrible. As if reality dawns slowly. Also I notice that I can’t concentrate as well these days. I said at some point that I thought I’d have to give this a place in my mindset…find peace with it. But then my teacher said that perhaps things as awful as this just take time. And maybe she’s right. It takes much more time than I’d ever thought possible.

Now I have to say that perhaps the impact on me may be different than on other neighbours since this isn’t the first drama that I’ve been close to. I hardly ever speak about it, for how cool is it to talk about real life horror? Chances are that you’re considering right now to close this depressing blog entry and move on to the next on your daily agenda. But for me it’s all too real. I’ve seen a few terrible things happen in my life. And even though I’ve managed to live perfectly fine with that, the drama two houses across the street stirs up those dark memories and the sense of being without a perfectly secure and framed reality.

So when the teacher asked me yesterday what she could do for me (because there’s no way I can even THINK about as large an assignment as illustrating my own book!), she decided that I needed something to just relax. I showed her my Gantschev-like journal page and she loved it. Go and make a few small ones on one page, she said, all with a different atmosphere. And so I did…not Gantschev-like, but me-like. Just watercolour and paper…and it was so good to just let the paint work for me and inspire me to move my brush and make shapes and shades.

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