Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Scanner Daily: 10

Art deco, hand painted sandwich plate, circa 1930s, scanned

I chose this, one of my favourite plates because this weekend we are having a tea party for my sister's birthday. I need to go there and help bake cupcakes tomorrow so I probably won't scan again until Monday. We want to have a special celebration as my sister's had a very bad year as she's been ill and she's still undergoing treatment in the form of radiotherapy - I wonder if she feels like she's a scanned object. She says it's not as bad as the chemo though. One of the reasons why I started writing The Gaps Between the Branches was because it felt so cathartic during a time of numbed anguish. It seemed like the most natural and productive thing to do when everything else seemed inaccessible and  unnecessary (I've been meaning to do a post on this for a while). However, I've noticed there are lots of sick people in my novel. This would have happened anyway as one of the protagonists is a psychic healer. I worry that there is more than the average amount of  sick, dead and dying people in my story. But surrounding the time I wrote it, people I knew saw close loved ones pass. It happens as we get older I suppose. I don't see why writers should avoid these narratives. They're not glamorous but they can be told philosophically and we can focus on the aliveness of the dead. I suppose ghosts are glamorous though and there's a few of those in my novel.

During writing a PhD many people lose family and friends to illnesses or accidental deaths. It's eerie how many. A PhD overseer at MMU said that life doesn't put itself on hold just because someone's doing a PhD. Especially as it takes at least three years. If this blog entry can be some small eulogy to those that have passed or been ill during the writing of my thesis and anti-thesis, then it shall. I hope you find some peace and some colour, like the flowers on this plate.  

Again, as the plate is 3D (more so than we'd think), it has lost some of its clarity. The painted scene is blurry in places. Some of the contours of the plate seem to disintegrate into smoky air like ghostly residues. But the colours shine through the scan.

Have a lovely birthday Anna. xxx

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