Archive for biography

‘Enlightened Heart’ a book preview

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2021 by kathydasilva

I started this book with the idea of showing a positive image of a woman living her dream of becoming an artist. I myself studied art at a graduate level, and was the only one of my parent’s offspring, the youngest child to have passed at this level. It was in my own sense a huge achievement to have gone away to university. It took me in all four years of study, including the foundation course, to get there. But, the rewards have been infinitesimal. I moved to London to study but, for the sake of my story, I have based the main character’s student years in a southern township in England. The influence of reading, on for example, the direction of thought and ideas, was a big part of what had made a change for myself. The main character Sarah Cuthbert, is already settled with a flat and partner in a town apartment with balcony. Her thoughts, her reminiscences, are all part of her character makeup, and direct the flow of her days as she completes her studies. I had intended to have dug a bit deeper into the reasons for the literature, or desire to read better literature. I myself, had what I call an ‘awakening’ moment at the age of 15 years, when for my leisure reading, I had sought, to find a book by Mary Stewart, who wrote romance/thriller type novels, but, ended up with a novel by John Steinbeck, The Moon is Down. If as in my own family there is no one to truly ‘guide’ you, then it takes perhaps an accident and possibly an encounter, that gives a person new direction. The fact that the sister I shared a room with at home read, Mills and Boon and Mary Stewart, was one such thing influencing the first initial choices. But, thereafter, my encounters with better book reading individuals, also served as a wonderful moment of ‘enlightenment’… I say that with a bit of humour. When I went up to London to study, I would make a note of any references people made to books, and what they chose to read. On one of the events when a band of art students including myself, rode in a car together, and one of them mentioned ‘Plath’. I had no idea at the time who she was, and followed my nose to a novel, and then the poems of Sylvia Plath. I lived the first two years of my undergraduate time, with no television and vowed to catch up read all the major classics, as I felt woefully behind with what other students had accomplished. I did English up to an ordinary level, so had achieved a good ‘A’ grade for the written side of the subject. It bothered me that students with a private school education seemed to be so ahead. I sit happy now, with a very extensive paperback library, of my own, with the ability to choose quite an array of material. Art helped me see, and a I saw, with greater clarity, and observation my own world changed for the good. I felt wonderful for all of the four years of study. I felt I owned London town. I still do to some extent, as I know the roads, and places, almost like the back of my hand. But, truly that was a moment of time, which for now stays a good memory of positivity.

My new title ‘Enlightened Heart’ really needs to be a 400 page book. I seemed unwilling to do more than about 149 pages for this one. I did not want to make the book too heavy a read, more of a hint toward what happens when you start to change your own life for the better by taking a course. The entanglement with romance and couples getting along together, so there is no ’empty’ or ‘lonely’. Well, that is why the romance filled a gap, and then too becomes ‘the way forward’, it cannot be denied that company is better than feeling isolated. With regard to the story line, Sarah comes from a broken home, Theo from a family whose parents attend church and own a business, they are successful millionaires. Both are at an age of wanting to travel and explore the world they live in.

‘The bird call, was amplified, and the
sounds of nature, made a calming atmosphere of
sorts, resonating with the bucolic backdrop of the
countryside. ‘Every bird has its own nest’ Sarah,
whispered to the air, as one of the most important
decisions of her life, was being finalized.’ ‘Enlightened Heart’ Copyright Katherine Da Silva 2021

Coming soon through bookshops and amazon.com/ and all amazon sites.

Mothers..

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2019 by kathydasilva

Odd that I now have the lovely portrait I made of my own mother in my living room again. It is such a wonderful image, though, I remember my mother not liking it at all. I think I left it too late for her to do this honorable thing of making her portrait, and even later on, she would not allow photographs of herself to be taken. I think she felt she did not like her face with wrinkles. I suppose children and offspring look on a face with a different view, a familiar, and homely image, is what I had painted not thinking of how it looks to the rest of the world or how it compares for example. Old age can be a graceful thing that we all drift toward, well, eventually. I still love this painting, but the sad thing is that it remained in a cupboard for about ten years of more until now. It just shows you how the twentieth century has all been about ‘self image’ more or less encouraged by Hollywood and film stars. Women compare themselves to the icons of the screen, more often than perhaps wondering if for example, that some inner person the good inner person in them, is of more value in general. My mother looked beautiful for most of her life, until she was unable to control whether her hair was dyed or done by a hairdressers. This too is a lifestyle that became a ‘habit’ of modern day women in the twentieth century. I was introduced to hairdressers from an early age as, my mother, had always used them, and insisted that a hairdresser cut our hair when we were young too. I remember the Jackie Kennedy look, and that was a style copied by women of a certain decade, when there were platform shoes and flares in every shop window. I however, hated curlers, and anything ‘set’. I would be obedient enough to stay put in the hair salon, while my hair was done, but would literally run home to ‘undo’ it all as the whole escapade was unbearable, particularly sitting still, with nothing to do but wait while someone pummelled my hair into different shapes. I guess, it is something I have to contend with in memory only well, I have the painting before me, and it is still lovely to my own eyes at least.  There are so many aspects of a person other than looks that  an individual can love. And sometimes that is just the way they respond to you, and treat you. Though what is it with ‘looks’. And are we so swayed to needing a ‘Hollywood Star’, style partner? I am probably being fanciful here. Women in the past were victims of financial poverty and reliance on a husband for maintenance, this part is true.  The truth about my dear mother, is she became independent and chose a different path to most, though she had worked for a bank, and opticians, and the finance department of a university, all during and between having children. She wrote poetry and read poetry. Her ‘Liberated Woman’, was published by the local Echo. She based it on her observations of young students staying in her household during the 1960’s and 1970’s. She became the ‘modern’ woman. My cousin always said he thought  my mother had eccentricities. My only recollection of this, were the overly colorful socks, worn with those elasticated stretch nylon trousers in bright colors, that were indeed in vogue too and worn by the young for a while, but, then fashion changed, and they became dated. Her Alice band, was always worn to keep her fly-away hair out of her face, and create a youthful throwback look to when of course life may have appeared a little more carefree. It is wholly comforting to see her face whatever her age.

SONY DSC