Day 25: Opera Helps


I know why I am sad, but I do not know why I am melancholy.

E.M. Coiran

This morning a woman came to my house, accompanied by a man. I did not know either of them. They set up a little speaker system in my front room and then sat me in a chair opposite. The woman began to sing.

She makes the most sublime sounds with her voice that I have ever witnessed at such close quarters. Since my living room is not very big, she is standing literally two feet away. The effect of this is actually both awe-inspiring and awkward all at the same time. We are not generally used to sharing such intimate experiences with total strangers.

Nevertheless the effects were palpable: I felt a great opening up in my heart, and almost as if the molecules in my body were jiggling around and settling themselves back in a more coherent and orderly fashion. When my new singer friend finished – unfortunately I didn’t catch her name during this hit and run singing encounter – the room still seemed to reverberate with sound anMd with a kind of beauty that I cannot really describe in words. After they had left the atmosphere of the room seemed changed too; the effects have stayed with me in some way through the day and even now as I write this I feel I have been changed by it.

So the little painting sketch I have to offer you today contains some of that inspiration and focused purpose that I was given today.

(What I have just described by the way was an opera therapy treatment by Opera Helps, provided as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, for free, to anyone who wanted it in their own home. You can visit the website for info about future dates).
There was some more learning to be had from it as well as the experience itself – and I think this is the therapy working, because what I noticed was how happy I felt all day, but not in the way I might normally experience being happy. somehow more balanced and more steady. So often, I think, we experience life as a sort of rollercoater of highs and lows. But this was a different order of happiness – happiness tinged with sadness you might call it: really you could equally call it sadness tinged with happiness – it was both and neither.

I know it may sound like I’m talking on riddles -but It turns out the Japanese have some words for the kind of emotions I’m talking about. But I’ll say more about that tomorrow, because I’ve written far to much already…

One last thing I wanted to say is that I am going to make a concerted effort to get posts out each day before the end of the day, and ideally around 7 or 8. I feel its the fairest way to make sure everyone has a chance to bid. Having said that I do have a day job so please be patient with me if I don’t always manage. And now ts a pleasure to present you with todays work, painted at the University again, attesting, I hope, to the fact that ‘Opera Helps’


‘Opera Helps’ -15.5cm x 25.5cm – Mixed media on cardboard £25 SOLD

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