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John W. Waterhouse often ties Classical, Celtic, and Norse poetry and prose to his images: His paintings are beautifully inspiring. I still have not decided what I love more, Literature or Art. I have used a painting by Waterhouse as inspiration for my Drawing. The Lady Clare
For several weeks now, I have been participating in a Grace Group Workshop. In the workshop, there has been a revisiting of my youth and trying to make sense of the roles I play and played in relationships. One of the exercises in the workshop is to write a letter to someone who had harmed me when I was a child, and read it out loud to the others in the group. A catharsis of sorts, an open acknowledgment of a painful event and being heard, which is something I did not experience as a child.
In time, there is redemption.
I had already written a letter of complaint to those who had harmed me and still felt a impulse to write one to my sister, Annie, who was hit by a car and killed at age 16, when I was only 9 years of age. Survivors ’s guilt had haunted me for years. A complicated web of lies were hidden from me, for I was youngest child in the family. And only after the death of many involved was I given the truth of many a familial crime.
In many ways, I love the story of civil disobedience reflected in a play by Sophocles, titled “Antigone.” In my mind Antigone is the hero in the play because she dared to bury her brother even though the law decreed that act treason. But we do not know much about Ismene, the sister who survived the Tragedy. The following poem is a metaphor of the events involving the death of my sister and youth.
Today is December 27, 2009. I am no longer a slave to my anger, I am so grateful to be able to voice this experience through written word and art.
There she is. That stupid girl.
You went ahead and buried our brother.
Why did you not let him rot?
Look over there… and there… the dogs and birds would have had their way with him.
The earth would swallow him.
Lunging—leaping— turning of that soil
You knew the decree
Instead, you just had to do the one thing that would send our uncle reeling
You drug Polynices from the street and carted him to his burial site.
I watched you
Pour out the libations
and I heard your wailing,
I stood there behind the trees.
The soil Lunging
- Leaping—Turning- Spinning
Don’t YOU see? You could hear her.
They bound her, they took her.
Polynices was dead, and she buried him with that shovel.
Now what Sis?
I hate you because now you are in a Poe’s tomb
Creon removed you, He bound you.
You buried yourself.
Now, I am here to pick up the pieces.
I hate you for doing that one defiant act.
You selfish bitch.