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Delight Girl

delightfrontHere comes a feeling, starting in my legs and arcing up to burst through my chest. It is so big and powerful.

What is it? I look in my mother’s face, -her face will tell me. She is smiling back at me… nodding and laughing. She understands this feeling that I have and what it is. She shares it with me, we have it together…

I love the idea of parents mirroring the feeling a child is experiencing back to them. There is also that primal sensory conversation that exists before words -so we can talk about it too. Every movement, expression and squeal has a signature duration, time shape and intensity that can be communicated back using all the senses to show we got it.

The up beat of the squeal can be registered as received by showing the same signature up-beat of the mother’s eyebrow, or inflection in her answering coo.

delightpoemI have incorporated a quote from John Donne’s The Good Morrow, “My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears…”. In the context of the poem this refers to adult lovers but for me it captured the closeness and immediacy of a shared look and connecting moment of understanding. Maybe poets under- stood mirroring way before our profession was able to articulate it?

I like the idea that we can be understood in someone’s mind. In fact, we meet ourselves there! There, in the way we are understood, we find a version of ourselves, an amalgamation of all the different shard-like experiences we are continually having. They understand what we are feeling too, -and name it:

Delight…, delight…, you are feeling delight, you are feeling lots of delight…All, of course, in that sensory language!delightskirtclose

I guess when we are in the feeling it is hard to name. It can even be hard to talk or have the power of language. We are being the feeling, with our whole body. Another poet, Yates in “Among School children”got it in one “O swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?”bluehair

With Delight Girl I try to capture the intensity and quality of this feeling through colour, body attitude, symbol and texture.

If you smile and spin around then I have succeeded. Next…