Weekly Diary

This week’s diary is darker than usual as one our much loved cats has died from cancer and another has been diagnosed with the early stages of kidney failure and possibly something even worse.


I started the day in a reenactment of the Battle Hohenfriedberg artfully frozen in fifteen dimensions (plus time) behind my artificial eyes. June went out with a partially smudged cat while I stayed behind with the entire Prussian army. I had planned to raise myself from the ink blot lake like Excalibur but in the end had to settle for the emergence of a naked hand (which briefly performed a naked hand ballet) and then let it take its antithesis into my mollusc shell study before the rain touched the embroidered hem of my demurely arranged petticoat. I wrote in spirals about the golden mean and not mean – as usual I sided with the not mean – and then fitted together brief glimpses of another reality which I hope to capture and keep for those times when nothing actually makes sense.


June and I dropped in quick succession from a star shaped hole in the ceiling. She picked up a piece of lunar rock in the shape of a Martian and I picked up the cat. We walked to town with the shadows of animals on the pavement before us and the shadows of people behind. The cat admired her shadow of a man in a trilby and I admired my Bengal tiger – we then all came home with the sun behind cloud. While June used the cat as a ball of wool I climbed into the hayloft to clutch at straws and work with a wild animal of a pencil – it let me scratch out pictures from raw emotion. I could hear wailing in the distance and saw a premonition of land floating above clouds. June meanwhile made a cottage pie for dinner; I admired the heart shaped windows.


As an exercise in astral art I painted staring eyes on the battlements of my stone head. I could hear the enemy in the distance composing rhyming couplets beside their ragworm camp fires; as a mandatory response I wrote rather abstruse verse on the camouflaged carapace of a mechanical crab. There was apparently a brief respite from the dark winged days and I curled up in the powder chamber of my heavy artillery piece to fire the lead shot of my imagination. As a pacifist I fired only at blank patches of earth; having cleared it of all recognisable forms of life. I then followed the faux animal foot prints out of my old stamping ground and onto pastures new, where I spent some time measuring the distance between dead flowers in readiness for the promise of a Spring display.


June and I visited the Noah lady again to pull animals from her pretend beard – over enthusiastic as usual I also removed the stone entrails from a sedimentary rock yak as well as the diamante launch pad of a V2 missile, several probabilities from a quantum mechanical computer and a frying pan last used by Thor to hit Loki (both were in drag and wore stockings in complimentary colours). We didn’t have very good news about smudge face (although worse was to come for chocolate girl) and we came home wearing African land snails as hats – I was amazed that mine had reached my breast pocket by the time I had got home as June‘s was still acting as a light house on her promontory head. I pulled a periscope down from the light rose and pretended to see the future instead of the past.


I walked out of the house with my cup of tea converted to a brown mist floating some way above the sailing boat on my head. Both the mist and the boat dispersed before I caught the mechanical camel to the bird haunt and finally the primate Olympus where the gorilla god spoke using several words at once, I replied with multiple silences. I came home to take the chocolate princess to see a pair of hands; the hands pointed out bad news and June and I crept into stone towers to shuffle home. I heard a strange whispering from the cellar we haven’t got and saw a premonition of the sea above towns of municipal coral. In disgust I broke mere words into pieces and handed them around; only one person refused the gift and he had arrow slits for eyes – I drew a picture with arrows instead of trees.


My astral soldier friend is seriously ill. She is curled up like a distant memory and wont take in food or kind words. The boy in me shrunk into the cellophane wrapping a long discarded toy was brought home in. We made plans for future existences in case we parted in the glass eye of the night. As the wrong curtains were brought down on the wrong play I wished we could all live in many times at once as I am not happy about being alone in this one – I wrote this as a pair of shoes climbed the stairs with no feet in them, they paused and then climbed another flight even though there isn’t one (I looked to see if there was a pair of gloves coming down but my fantasy and fancy didn’t stretch that far). I went to bed with the soldier and we reminisced about our campaigns of invention and imagination.


I called to June when I discovered a hand instead of a head on my shoulders; she held onto to it just as I steadfastly hold onto the notion of a universal spirit. I hope to prove it one day like King Harold with thought arrows buzzing round his head. I knew today was going to turn bad when the black clouds in the hall made an odd number instead of an even – if it had been even they would have rained. After a nonexistent breakfast we had to let the astral explorer go. Before we did I said I would come and find her – and I will. As the reality we are trapped in stopped for an advert break (underwear that forms a new continent when floated on a shallow sea and pencils you can eat if you want to draw with a ginger biscuit) I imagined everyone having fish for eyes although some fish can feel but not see.


About Gerald Shepherd

Gerald Shepherd is a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, digital/multimedia artist, photographer, writer, curator and arts administrator. He has also been involved with science art, performance art, conceptual art, installations and environments (as well as peripheral creative pursuits such as garden design).
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3 Responses to Weekly Diary

  1. The professor is saddened with the cat news. These times are hard as the tides of life just simply won’t slow down dadblameit! I find I cope best when I think Punchyish; do you?

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