Objectification of the Mundane

Over the past week, I attended the Port Eliot festival and put my writing skills to the test by trying something new, journalism. For three days we created a daily newspaper that was researched, written, edited, printed and hand folded on site. It was amazing. And I thought I’d share a snippet of the work I created with you all…

Objectification of the Mundane

Against the sound of the falling rain came the operatic voice of the first Neo-Naturist. Dropping the robe that covered her, she began to set up home on the Art School stage, busying herself with tidying. Her body paint looked tribal and raw, contrasting her preened 60s bouffant hair. Following her was a man in sandals and nothing more. His blue body was smeared with neon hand prints, smudged and dripping in the rain. He poured himself a glass of wine. Next came a young man, painted with jeans a t-shirt and following him were the stars of the show, Jenifer and Christine. In something of an evolution, they were transformed. To their mud smeared bodies the others added bold swirling lines of pink and blue paint. The almost ritualistic scene was topped by the blue male shouting the prose of absent Neo-Naturist Wilma’s book, Surf Mama, in an animalistic cry.

The Neo-Naturists absorbed themselves in their own little community as passers-by walked on with uncomfortable bafflement. But some stopped. As a small crowd formed the oddly mundane performance came to a close and three small children led the crowd in a cheer. They had got what the others had missed: these people were not doing anything unnatural or strange. They had not objectified the mundane acts simply because they were done in the nude. It was the adults that walked on who were straying from nature, their instincts warped by the culturally encouraged prudishness towards nudity in this over sexualised world. Why is it that we can only be naked in certain spaces or for certain reasons?

newspaper.JPG

Blood

All I can remember are the screams. My screams. And the vivid red river of blood.

Blood is the bodily fluid that is pumped around the body carrying necessary substances, such as nutrients and oxygen. The only issue was, it wasn’t all inside of me. A lot of it was running down my arm.

To this day, I still don’t know exactly how it happened. I just know it did. One minute I was sat with all the other kids licking my triple choc ice cream in the French sunshine and the next, chaos. Or so my mum tells me…

My mum doesn’t like to tell the story, she gets embarrassed and a little queasy as the gory details come out. I can’t say I blame her, if it hadn’t happened to me I’m sure I’d feel queasy too. But it did happen to me, it is my story and I love hearing it.

I always ask myself, why me? Out of the thousands of kids there on that day, I must have done something to single myself out. I know I was a bit of a chubber and probably looked like a good chew, but why me? Maybe I looked especially tasty or exotic with my bright orange hair, perhaps I resembled a mango or an exceptionally moreish carrot.

“Shauna, shut up. Stop bringing it up” mum whines every time I tell someone new.

I trace the fading scar on my arm and she rolls her eyes. I don’t see the issue, it’s funny, I mean not everyone can say it happened to them after all. And it’s not like I was mauled to death.

In the weeks after it was perfect for show and tell, they all cringed at the stiches as I tweaked them and lifted the scar. The unhealed gaps between each loop of thread popping with every yank.

Even into secondary school it was still a great ice breaker. I’ve pretty much dropped it at uni, the scar has almost faded now.

“Oh, go on mum, tell the story, he’ll laugh I promise!”

She caves, “okay…”

Essentially it all hinged on that chocolate ice cream. Well, that’s what mum thinks. As she was there and, unlike me, old enough to remember, I guess I’ve always taken her word for it. I think maybe the poor animal was bored, pent up and in need of a release. Sadly, for me, that release just so happened to be chubby toddler arm. As the cages were opened for the safari, my ice cream was the lure. Its yellow eyes fixated and it ran over sinking its knife-like teeth deep into my tiny squishy bicep. And that’s when the screams start.

I hope he wasn’t put down. I’ve forgiven him. I’m sure it was nothing personal.

My mum finishes the story, my poor boyfriend is white in the face.

“You got bitten by a Lemur?”

I think he’s about to be sick. I just laugh.

 

Tink

Now, poetry and me do not get along, it’s my nemesis. However, I recently read Carol Ann Duffy’s collection, The World’s Wife and loved it! In the collection, she takes well known female characters, Little Red Riding Hood for example, and develops them from somewhat mute women into someone with a back story and a voice. With this in mind, I thought it would be fun to have a go myself and I chose Peter Pan’s right hand girl, Tinkerbell. As I’ve already said, me and poetry are not friends but this was actually really fun so I thought I would share it… and hope for the best.

Tink

Wind rattles wearily around my sleepy hollow home,

The hours wonder by heavily since he has flown,

Leaves have turned slowly from luscious green to gold,

Yet I am still alone- without him to hold.

Large puddles form at my feet as each day ticks by,

There is nothing I can do except sit here and cry,

So I sit here patiently as the seconds go by,

Yet he soars high over a twinkling midnight sky.

You think I’m the happy fairy with the long blonde curls,

Made dizzy by his love as it whirls and whirls,

But there is no more happiness and no more gleeful twirls,

That happy fairy is gone as away my love he hurls.

Pan is now flying towards her with the ruby red hair,

She is his latest prize to trap and ensnare,

To think that was that me a few short years ago,

Suddenly I’m replaced with a brutal heave-ho!

I am not bitter or angry towards Wendy,

I only hope she does not the suffer the sadness of which I’ve had plenty,

No amount of fairy dust can fix my broken heart,

So now swiftly from his life I, Tinkerbell, must depart.