Archive for October, 2016

Writing…memoire/novel..Happy Days..

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Stories and reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2016 by kathydasilva

bookcoverimageabcIt’s funny and not, that at the moment I seem to be choosing humour to lighten what was traumatic at the time of something happening. But, I am not sure it will actually add to the ‘drama’ effect of real life being retold or for that matter remade, in the effort to fictionalize part of the story. I might be understating some of what happened if I add too much humour but humour is part of my personality, and some of that humour came from my father. At the time of a funeral the strangest things can happen. The people you have not seen for a while, can turn up looking completely different to when you last saw them, and in some way this can produce quite surprising elements to a scene. I am just remembering that famous film story, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Well that was something of a combined element of happy and sad moments in the lives of friends who had been quite close.

So to add to my dilemma, I will have to add something of what I read, or rely on for strength. Books are like old friends. My copy of Ulysses by James Joyce is thirty years old! The glue is dry and now not able to keep the pages together, it was paperback. The centenary that was being celebrated was the hundred years from his birth into this world. And that was back some years ago! I had read Stephen Hero and The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. When I recently went through the trauma of loss, I was privileged to view a newly written play, performed by Theatre of Eternal Values. They were Yogics, and multi national in terms of the cast who performed. So English, Italian, Finnish, Dutch, and Spanish actors took part in the story of William Blake’s life story. They did the whole lifestory, from birth to death and interwove the story of Job from the Christian bible inbetween scene changes to depict this. Blake  was someone who spoke about social injustice, and was also accused of sedition and ‘uttering treasonable expressions’, and he was quite a good craft person with regard to artistic drawing and print making.

A man who received visions from God, and saw angels in the fields amongst workers, as a child looking through a window. It is indeed amazing how one or two writers can impact a person, thoughout their life. So perhaps I am on the right track, with regard to my story after all!  It is like being in the river of life, the spiritual river if you can imagine a little of something of the mystery, it helps. My friend Michael’s poem, ‘in whose vortex I am caught up..’ Michael is a Brighton poet. The Blake play, showed the devil as a two character part representing his ‘tongue’ or two faced deceptions. It was well done. I thought this play needed to be in the Barbican. I think everyone should see this wonderful version of the life of William Blake. And now back to where I left off…..

The Great Escape!

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by kathydasilva

This little poem or start of one, I found in a notebook recently completely forgotten about, and then, as I read it all really made sense…

THE GREAT ESCAPE!

At the interview I found them
Cream-brown, and, grey-black,
Objects with different texture

Feeling and remembering
Distracting and dream-like
Wave after wave, flows up the sea shore

Grey-black and smooth washed
Glass cutting splinters, abbrassive
Rolled between the thumb and palm

The bleeding flesh filled with salt.

 

Child Poem

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by kathydasilva

CHILD POEM

Twombly said the thing that couldn’t be said,
A broken sapling, the top resting on the standing remainder,
My child saying ‘The snails make their bed in me’,
And that his bones ..’ … are as thin and brown as twigs’,
Children always tell you the truth through their own eyes and feelings.
I’d given birth to a poetic genius able to talk to me  from heaven or earth,
He says, ‘It’s all dark in the grave, there’s no light.’
I’ve learned to hate the rain.
My sister can’t bear to listen to me anymore.
She says she’s going to be cremated when she dies,
She’s adopted new beliefs,
But, it’s all old hat eastern philosophy.
I daren’t tell her I don’t follow that.
It’s true I can’t live this life more than once through,
You have to be too brave,
What will she do if it isn’t as she says?
Then there’s God Almighty,
And the question why?
But, at least we can feel close my babe and I,
In a sense there is no separation,
‘We watch you all the time,’ he says, ‘You’re a whuss.’

ahem!…. Driftwood new cover thoughts?…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on October 18, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I had tried a bit to do some comic satire drawing in the last week or so, and so far have produced two drawings with marker pen and a smaller finer, nib pen. Somewhere between a beggar, thief, scoundrel, but,an old ‘character’, is now on a second edition of Driftwood. Well, I’ve ended up with half of a Fagan, and I think half of a ‘Once Upon   a Time in Mexico’,  gangster style character. The felt hat, well that was borrowed from the film version of the character played by Fagan, in ‘Oliver’, the streets look more like Vegas, but, this is the way Europe is/was going, with all the new ‘deals’. Well I have certainly noticed it in our local Stratford shopping centre in London. The word Casino, in a very visibly dominant way, sign posting people where to spend their money. There seems a proliferation of the whole business of gambling lately. And if the economy is not doing well, well people are very tempted by the idea of ‘get rich quick gambling’. Am I a cynical person? I loose more often than win on lotto scratch cards. I’m not sure if this cover will describe what is inside more than the seashore dreamy one, but, it is a cartoon with some satirical content. In the more famous scenario of cartoonists coming under fire in the ‘real’ story of Charlie Hebdo artists being shot, en masse, well eleven artists killed, I think there are a lot of things that need to be discussed culture, and the mix and non acceptance perhaps of different factors that can cause shock and or alarm. I have made a fiction in Driftwood. It is by no means a mend all story. I felt I wanted to write something, perhaps to assess how I would feel, how in some ways I do feel about the unwarranted censorship, by gun? Or potential death threat. I am not a Hebdo artist, but, I feel a tad inspired, to add my own ‘axis’ on the current ‘malaise’ of our political scene. I am amazed that we, the public just are so vulnerable to the decision making of our leaders who do  not always reveal the full content of their business deals. Activists on the internet have tried to rouse some scrutiny about the TTP deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal in particular, which was not revealed, in detail or how this affects local business for example. How does the average Joe in society, even have hope in understanding any of this impact? The subject of the American Dollar. Does a person have to be reared on economics since birth to understand how value of money can change, and can change the cost of petrol or other goods? Energy? Anyone? How far does gas have to travel, before it reaches my stove? To China and back? Investment. Free energy would be such a delight.When I picked up a book on the death of Theo Van Gogh a film maker, and relative, descendant of the more famous Post Impressionist Vincent. I was shocked, amazed, and then as I began reading, because it all relates to another assassination, the one that was to end Pim Fortuyn’s bid for the prime ministerial place in Holland. And as I read, there in the film that Theo was making, was the trading of a fighter jet, a sale that was being brokered, an American fighter jet. I think this would make a film worthy of the cinema, if it was not for our supposed friendship with the USA. And maybe it is nothing. Because we will never know. But, a film maker being shot and stabbed afterward and glaringly a note to suggest why, pinned to his chest. Reading about it felt horrid, I think I have been in a bit of a shock since. And now it all seems a little fake. Not the murder but, perhaps the reason why. The Islamist who did the deed, had been a naturalized Dutch citizen, though, his religion and politics were, the reason for the killing as reported by the press, as Pim Fortuyn, was against the massive impact of immigrants, and the effect the whole business of refugees, indeed may have been affecting Holland. Additionally, and as in the West, the freedom to think, invites, examination, and radical movements, Van Gogh had also worked on another film in collaboration, with regard to emancipation, in part, of Muslim women, with film maker, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, about women and their roles in society, “Submission”(the title of the film) is the translation of the Arabic word “Islam”. There are other incidents, which drew my attention in the past, particularly Salman Rushdie’s book which invited the ire of an Iranian Ayatollah, enough for him to issue a fatwa, on his life, and it appears also on any one who translated the book! I saw Salman once in a Food For Friends restaurant, and was so glad for some reason, to have met by eyes only  a very brave man indeed. What a hero for doing what in the West to us seems logical, to examine belief. We as humans are capable of a lot of reasoning, and that is why I like philosophy and the whole business of conversation, though this might seem a dying art at the hands of our ipods/pads/…need to have endless light entertainment? To be continued…

Chocolate

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I was once accused of having a very decadent breakfast, whilst snacking on a small bar of chocolate one morning, on a reception desk of a London leisure pool where I was working. It was seven o’clock in the morning, I was there to open up the pool to the early bird swimmers, and this usually meant skipping breakfast in order to get there on time! I was reflecting on this description of the chocolate bar as being  decadent, (excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury) and the real meaning of that word with regard to an age of the so called ‘plenty’. We the land of the plenty, are seen as one of the first ports of call to people, travelers, refugees, students, who might settle here.  The reasoning being we are usually seen as tolerant of people’s right to choose their religion, partnerships, singularity,  sexuality, and live in relative freedom.  A democratic society with equality to opportunity. Until now!?! Mercy May! What would happen to our society after this latest blow to our world or worlds? With leadership as apparently unable to convene meetings which would result in the dissembling of violence on the planet, should we not be raising our voices of protest.

I’ve managed to find ‘Hoorah!’ My little motif, above, which is for the back of my published books via Amazon’s Create Space company in America. My own unique logo, with a name that I constructed quite a few years ago, with an intention to progress outlets for my creative energies. Bloomsbury Publishing. Well an independent form of publishing. It is not without many hours of work that anything is done it is true.

I have Italo Calvino’s wonderful The Literature Machine, at hand and was browsing it this morning, opening onto the pages about Levels of Reality in Literature. Its an essay talking I think about how the main characters contain the authors influence on their words and thoughts, but also that if a reference is made within the story to other sources of inspiration from literature for example classical references to philosophy, that this might also be two voices within the one text, or two separate influences merging within the story. I was wondering how the story I made within Driftwood, would in fact carry a sort of message for the future. I have hoped it shows my own hope for reasoning and goodness to flow once again in our society.  The first chapter was called River Walk for a symbolic reason. The ancient Greeks, use to make stories about spirits that inhabited their rivers for reasons of drama and in explanation of disasters for example. If indeed our global waters are experiencing such drama, then perhaps our good human reasoning and faith in a good God might prevail, where darkness seems to have entered. On a more objective level, civilization, civilized society is dependent on good behavior all round, and good reasoning. I rather wonder at how philosophy manages to bring down the urge to rage to a habitable level of reason, that models of thought help us to be self critical and examining. One of the most outrageous things happening in our present political climate is the emergence of the mercenary.  Way back, Leon Gollub, made an exhibition of paintings on un-stretched canvas at the ICA in London, just of that, pictures of militarized individuals who war the fatigues of army color, brandished machine guns and were seen to take hostages, and bind them to chairs, images of torture. The hostages were almost always blindfolded.

My own sense of ‘horror’ out of the news we now see on our screens, has been, the disruptive influence of terror like drama in European locations, Holland and France in particular. The unseen hand that plans all of this seemingly remaining anonymous to the general population.

I was beginning to feel that there seemed no way forward for artists and expressionists of film and fine art disciplines, to hopefully feel fulfilled if a kind of wild censorship came into place.  The need to be brave, and brave up, seemingly ever present currently.  I would have made Driftwood longer, but, for the fact that I had stopped wanting to write any further parts to its drama.  I ended up finishing it succinctly in order to get the information it contained ‘out there’.

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I would love any comments about the times we live in, and the possibilities of writing.  Whether my Michel, lives up to expectations with the cartoons he is shown to be creating. I was also leaning on a bit of Kitaj, with the imagery as Kitaj, quite rightly used the image of the whore,  showing Europe as this image, during the second world war, under the Nazis.  And this also brings me back to the cover, and should I do this or that, satire, comic drawings, or  a version of Kitaj’s pastel drawings from the  war period?.. thoughts?…

New Release ‘Driftwood’ is out now!

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2016 by kathydasilva

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‘Streaks of sunlight separated and shone strong rays of white light onto the stone floor, and as people passed through they interrupted the light, and momentarily fell under the spot light effects of the beams.’

It’s a novel about two people, who write comic satire for a magazine. Their work is full of witticism and humor about politics of the times.

My latest novel, Driftwood is now available on Amazon.co.uk as an e-book, and in the next few days as a hard copy paperback. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Driftwood-Katherine-Da-Silva-ebook/dp/B01LYQQCVP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475673195&sr=8-1&keywords=driftwood+by+Katherine+Da+Silva

Bonjour Paris!

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on October 1, 2016 by kathydasilva

dscf9220L’Arc De Triomphe! Hello Paris! Why I have found myself waiting half a life time to visit, I will never know. But, two weeks ago, I landed in Paris courtesy of Flixbus coach, yes the long haul via the tunnel trip. Thank God! Wow! My heart lifted at the sight of the Eiffel Tower on approach to the city from one of the main highways, from the East we descended on the city and I am pretty sure it was a full moon too.  And my friend came to meet me to give me at the hour of ten o’clock in the evening, a mini tour by car of the city, an entree.  I might add, I had not seen my friend since he was sixteen! We had reconnected via Facebook, as he belonged to a family of French farmers from Brittany, whom my sister Alison had corresponded with as a child well, at least to a daughter of one of the farmers. My sister had been ill with a debilitating disease for about three years, and died in the autumn last year. So out of the sadness, came this invite, and I would not have guessed in a month of Sundays that my friend would have become a policeman,  a detective, and settled in Paris.  So not only was the feeling of being safe catered for, but, he also gave to me a tour of the city, in three days such as I could not have hoped for had I gone alone, with maps and my own sense of exploration.

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It seems to have been an age, when I could say I was this excited by seeing a new collection of art, and the Louvre, and indeed its triumphal pyramid, and I mean that in every sense.  The pyramid can not be fully appreciated until you descend inside and see it from underneath as well as from outside obviously juxtaposed with the antique forms of architecture. From a visual artist’s point of view, I was absolutely thrilled by all the webbing of the metal and structure against the old style buildings which had once belonged to the crown of France. Fairy-tale! The scale of the internal staircases particularly the ones leading up to the rooms containing the 19th century period of French painters, Barbizon period.  I finally encountered the Mona Lisa. The whole picture is encased in glass, and you cannot see the masterpiece ‘in the flesh’, as all the other paintings are.  However for the number of paintings by Ingres, and many many other classical period, Renaissance, Italian… well we saw as much as was indeed possible in one afternoon, this was a very exciting and worthwhile, preliminary visit. And my friend and I wondered through all the rooms, and I took snapped pictures on my camera to try and give myself an aid memoir of the whole event. How wonderful to find it had impacted me, and why had I waited so long to do this thing which my heart had desired?

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I woke on the first morning to the darkness of a room with shutters, outside which you have to roll up to see the dawn, it does provide a sense of safety, but also if anyone is like me I do not like to feel shut in at the same tidscf9217me, so I found my self leaving the shutters, slightly open at the bottom to allow for my own body clock to sense the dawn.

 

The French police all wear guns in little holsters, and my friend was obligated to inform me of the fact he at all times wore his gun!  Our first day seemed one magnificent walk around the Isle de Paris and center, mainly focusing on churches Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle. Just before the walk we went up to  Montmartre, to see where the street painters are, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Basilica. This day ended in a bar wonderfully called the Sarah Bernhardt Cafe, and a glass of port for myself and a beer for my friend.
dscf9371aYes the final day was spent at the Palace of Versailles, near to where we were staying.  Another wow! I have never seen such a large palace before, but, the whole story of Marie Antoinette, came alive as my friend was keen to tell me about her dalliance with other men during the time of her marriage with Louis.  And to top all of this wonderful trek through French histoire, I was also taken to see some of what looked like ‘the state rooms’ of General Charles De  Gaulle. Enlivened by the whole experience of this day, it also made me mindful of what De Gaulle had achieved as a statesman. That wonderful history teacher of mine Mrs Sweaney God Bless that woman.  I was stood very near to where the Treaty of Versailles (WW1),  was signed! If God ever chose to surprise me in my life well it was a ‘full on’ experience of a historical nature.  We all need to remember that the first, and the second world war, were of a nature never to be repeated. The leaders of this era, had seen thousands of brave young men perish, amidst bombs and air raids and gunshot in fields that now bloom with wild flowers. And let us hope that America does not make a mistake in leading the world into this situation of global war.