Shooting Star

Shooting star

The cool envelops me as I navigate the ancient staircase leading to the cellar. Damp smells assault the senses, remnants of a long forgotten flood. At eight months pregnant I lugged bucket after bucket of stagnant water up the rickety stairs, giving birth a week later came as no surprise. Reaching the bottom I survey the clutter, a mess for a different day. The dank dark room is suddenly stark in the glare of the overhead, high on a shelf in the corner I find what I’m looking for. Discarded colours of yesterday, coated in dust and memories past.

Blinking in the daylight I lower the heavy wooden door, locking it securely to keep the ghosts of unwanted thoughts at bay. I listen to the silence and take a deep breath, the children are sleeping; all is well. Quietly I let myself out into the garden dusting away the filth as I go. Taking in my work space, a garden table and two chairs, I relax and revel in the heat of the sun. I must work quickly, 39 degree temperatures and acrylic paints are not each others friend. Starting with the base I cover over shades of another day, clean and white, a fresh start.

Using the garden hose to clean the brushes, I take respite from the sun. Cool water spraying my feet, toes sinking into lawn I am reminded of another stifling day. Water balloons flying, hoses fought over and a drenched bathroom. Hiding in the house provided no protection from the Christmas Eve water wars. Escaping the heat and a painful reality, the family took liberties and relaxed for a moment. An afternoon solace, taking pleasure in the simple things.

As I prepare the new colours I reflect on the evening that followed, too hot to sit in the little house we walked to the shop for ice-cream, my friend and I. The clear skies twinkled allowing suppressed emotions to flow. Clammy air on our thighs and tears falling freely, we held hands like two school girls and shared our memories. A little girl who loved to sing twinkle twinkle little star, gone now, taken in her sleep before we could say goodbye filled our heads and swelled our hearts. Our pace slowed and our steps faltered until we were all nut standing still. Singing at the top of our lungs we both stopped short, the last line of the popular nursery rhyme to painful to get out.

The heat of the sun bares down on my naked shoulders as I select the first colour, squeezing huge amounts onto the canvas, satisfyingly streaking the brush through the blob of yellow. Staring down at the yellow glow my thoughts return to my friend. As we stood clinging to each others hands on a street corner in the evening heat our gaze turned to the sky, something had caught our eye. There, high above was a shooting star, as if a message from nowhere it streaked across the sky, leaving its glittering trail of tears to fade in the dark. As we gasped in wonder the star split in two, twin glows disappearing into a velvet pocket of night. No words were needed, the heat had dried our tears, the night sky had soothed our souls, we upped our pace and returned to the family, the half melted ice creams an explanation to be made.

Stepping back from the garden table I survey my work, 3 canvases 4 colours and a host of untold memories.
Tanya Bell © 2008

Shooting Star

Tanya Bell

Joined March 2008

  • Artist
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.