Thursday 19 June 2008

Lost Things

THE GREY LIGHT of a shivering Scottish June day is trying its best to make its way through our deep set windows and cheer the house as best it can. There's a faint flappity-whapping sound outside of coloured bunting strung up for a village gala, and I am indoors with a hot water bottle and the warm feeling of a just-finished-book.
This book is one that called to me from the bookshop shelf with its thorn-silhouette cover and a quote by Picasso that I had coincidentally just recently painted:

"Everything you can imagine is real..."

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly is a delicious delve into the world of fairytale, imagination and books. It is the story of David, a quiet boy who is trying to come to terms with the death of his mother, and the new family that takes her place. He retreats into a semi trance-like world of his own creation peopled by crooked men, knights and beasts, enchantresses, wolves and worse-than-wolves. Written like all good tales, there's a quest and all sorts of encounters along the way. I was particularly delighted by the more gruesome aspects of the story, where Connolly has drawn upon pre-sanitized versions of fairy tales for his inspiration. Particularly dreadful was a huntress who made child-animal hybrids so that they would be more challenging and swifter hunting quarry, and The Crooked Man who is an incarnation of Rumplestitskin and who makes terrible bargains with children before plucking out their hearts and eating them, and then storing their souls in a jar on a shelf in his lair in order for him to remain alive.
Included at the end of the book is an excellent collection of notes by the author on the various fairy tales that were woven into his, and on the meanings behind them.
The dedication at the beginning concludes:

"For in every adult dwells the child that was
and in every child waits the adult that will be"

Today, too, there is another lost thing: my painting Soup & Pipe is winging its way to a new owner far across the seas and I am a little sad to see it go. It was painted last year on a lovely slice of wood found in a jumble sale, and these two bent old friends might be Tui and I holding hands by a log fire one long-away day...


d. moll, said...

Hee, hee, conspicuously using your hot water bottle, a nice touch. Sounds like a great book, most people do seem to forget the gory part of the original fairytales, there are lots of different sorts of fairies....That is an awfully lovely sweet painting, I'm glad, though, that it is your little blog icon. Soup forever!

littlerobot said...

Rima, it sounds wonderful! I've seen it around...the cover is Rob Ryan I think? I shall go and get it asap! Awww, so sorry your painting is going, it's quite heart wrenching when a favourite goes isn't it?


Acornmoon said...

Hi Rima,

You do have such a lovely way with words!

Morag Lloyds said...

Hi Rima
Thanks for the visit and I have made that link thank you !
I never thought in a million years i would find someones work that I could get lost in like Arthur Rackham but here you are right on the doorstep!What a gift you have.I love your parents work too.Do they, or you show with any Scottish gallery's?
Im loving your lorry and the
new window well I would like the window wouldnt I !

Anonymous said...

I love the way you make paintings on pieces of wood, it makes them into individual objects with their own little soul. You may have a vision of the future in that painting, how lovely that would be.
The original fairy tales were very violent weren't they? In my copy of Classic Fairy Tales you can open it at almost any page to get blood and pain!

kathy hare said...

Hello Rima,

I read this book during a very painful illness and it helped me through it because I felt transported into another world.. John Connolly's words are so poetic, even in his other works which tend to be full of murder and violence..

Anonymous said...

Rima, this is my first visit to your site, which I happened upon quite by accident. So glad I did. Really enjoyed it. :) I hope you don't mind if I add you to my blogroll over on my blog.

Brilig said...

Now I'm reminded of Rumplestiltskin for the first time in 30 years, I won't be able to get out of my mind that Ladybird book image of a little ugly man stamping his foot through the floor in a fit of rage.

Karen said...

The book of lost thins called to me too. I found it quite by accident picking it off the shelf of my library, whilst passing 10 minutes away before catching a bus. Of course I became immersed and borrowed it.
I've only recently stumbled across your blog and really love your work. You are a very gifted individual. I have added you to my list of places I like to visit. I hope this is ok?

Karen said...

Thins!!!! I mean't to say Things!Its late my spelling is going! forgive me:)

Ciara Brehony said...

Hey Rima! Another coincidence!! We're making a habit of this! I did spot this book one day when I hadn't a penny. It's top of my list now, thanks for the 'review'.

Beautiful painting. Beautiful sentiment. :-)