Amidst the stress and errands of last September I managed to spend an hour with my favourite performance artist, Ira Melkonyan in my favourite area which happens to be a 5 minute walk from my parents' paradisiac home.
We walked down the white cliffs and went for the quick swim. Then as the sun set we started to make mud from the clay dust. Earlier I had told Ira that I was interested in having a short impromptu play on reality with her, involving the idea of a tribe undergoing a ritual, and she told me of her desire to include the relevance of the 'new moon' as that day fell during nights of blank skies.
Below is a documentation of what went on via a video, photos and our spirtu pront conversation.
The accompanying music is by Happy, and I urge you all to visit his fun palace.
Piece of Munxar+Another piece of Munxar= New piece of munxar
Ira and the red ship
What was conversed during the encounter.
I- And now is a time when the sun goes down and the moon will reappear. It's the moment when I can enter the sea. It shows the way to the ships.
S- I am filming this sacred ceremony. Are you getting rid of excess mud?
I- I am weaving little balls of energy
S- What is that blue thing in your hands?
I- It's the colour of the moon.
S- Is it always?
I- Always. You ask strange questions you do not know anything.
[Puts little mud ball on S's foot]
S- Thank you
I- You're welcome
S- Are you ready for the sea?
[I puts blue rock besides crab nests]
I- There are many of them, they all want it.
S- Yes. What will you do?
[mud starts to seep in the sea from the rock]
Now they can take it.
S- We're starving. Will you help feed the fishermen of Marsaskala?
I- I didn't hear your question.
S- Everyone's hungry. Will you help?
I- I don't feed. I don't know what you're talking about.
S- With your magic, to the sea.
I- It's not about food. It's about finding the path. Your questions confuse me.
S- I'm sorry
I- You don't need to eat food.
S- But my tummy's rumbling!
I- That's because you haven't found your way. I think you should cover yourself in mud and go to meet the moon.
S- Okay. Bye Ira!! Did the rock tell you anything?
I- It doesn't speak it just makes magic.
S- Wow! It's blue!
I had taken these photos back when I was laptop-less for 4+months earlier this year. It was also the last Maltese Storm I experienced before moving to London (I'm hoping to catch some on my brief return in December). There's something so magnificently apocalyptic about Maltese Storms which makes it hard to not admire them. A reward with intensity that equals months of scorching heat.
I took the above photo of Siġġiewi on Good Friday when I drove myself and my amour Sam and dear friends Jean and Tom to Laferla Cross to witness the clouds of doom blanket our 360 degree view of villages one by one. It was a visual masterpiece, although it got scary when we realised that we were stuck on top of a hill with only a giant metal cross to shelter us from the heavy rain and hailstorms. Oh an no umbrella, although with such strong winds it would have been instantly futile. After half an hour or so of being soaked in cold rain a man signaled us to a cave right underneath the hill for shelter, and so we ran (and limped, for some of us who had crutches) and joined him and a couple of bats in a cave.
That was a great day.
Fawwara and a barely-visible Filfla
The Following Afternoon, at Ħal Għargħur. Farmer's shortcut.
By far one of my favourite display at the Natural History Museum (the Minerals section was the runner up!). I spent a long time gazing at these jewel birds. So tiny and so iridescent.
I've always had an abnormally high pulse rate-my heart is always beating fast due to a mixture of perpetual anxiety and excitement, and so I chose a pretty metaphor to describe my heartbeat akin to a Hummingbird Heart.
So I moved to London last Friday and am slowly settling in. My free time is still taken by attempts to transcribe my being here onto paper in order to be deemed a legitimate settler but I'm looking forward to finally working on some personal work that I'd been putting on hold for the past couple of weeks, in particular one which included filming one of my favourite performing artists Ira Melkonyan with a broken camera in my Skalian neighbourhood.
I remember a particular dream I had in my last week in Malta. As always, twas a strange one. I was weaving a fisherman's net in a part of the Southern coast covering Delimara, Xrobb l-għaġin, Il-Ħofriet and il-Munxar. It was a really hot summer's day where the sun was yellowing the rocks and every visible human was brown and the sea was very blue, so it all looked like a 1970s postcard of Malta. I could see my 'family' (as in, the people I was hanging out with at the time) was on a nearby boat jumping in the sea and screaming- they were the picture of summertime bliss that I grew up to learn.
And I was on land, very close to the boat, removing my late grandfather's rusty hooks that were attached to the net and replacing them with brand new, silver ones.
The dream was a mixture of nostalgia, melancholy and longing.
I'm very glad to have dreamt it.
I never wear the colour purple. It reminds me of artificial wool teamed with the stifling Maltese heat, rather than the Nobel colour oozed from seacreatures sported on capes. Maybe it's because I've seen the colour being butchered by too many people on this blessed isle. Anyway, this isn't a fashion article. This is my Djajru. So I'm going to expand my relation to purple beyond my personal sartorial choices. I'm going to talk about my earliest memory- so early I didn't exist yet.
For me purple is akin to the syntax 'pre'. It is linked to me before I 'existed' as a person, and the Universe, before it was a Universe. Purple is quite an abstract thing for me.
But very vivid too.
The truth is, in the beginning, or the pre-beginning, everything was purple for a long time. And when I say 'everything' I don't really mean 'every' 'thing' because there was actually 'nothing'. Just...me before there was a me, just- purple. A purple sea with no shores and no skies. Just sea. A very dark colour similar to the stain of a murex. And there were also sounds accompanying this- very muffled sounds, like being underwater in a beach full of people shouting and screaming and making sounds, like being inside a classroom while the rest of the children are outside running and jumping and screaming and vomiting and hurting and eating and crying and kissing and you can only hear faint sounds of all of these.
I sometimes wonder whether I was already born while I was seeing purple and hearing these sounds. Perhaps I was a newborn in the presence of a family celebrating Christmas or New Year's, thinking I was asleep, as the second-earliest memory is a more sorrowful one of me being refused the right of a dummy at my grandma's round the age of two and feeling helpless and distressed that I couldn't have my beloved dummy and being confused as to why I couldn't use it anymore.
I like to think of this purple as my Self dreaming me into existence.
Remember 1000 years ago when we met in Valletta back when the city gate was still post-war and we started walking towards the ferries and we were chatting and this woman from this balcony started screaming constantly which turned our conversation topic to insanity as we passed by her and then we went by the sea and you took out a bottle of Bailey's and we spoke about Charles Bukowski and his poem 'Bluebird' (you had shown me the poem 2 days prior) and then a blue bird actually landed in front of us by the sea for a rest and we were pleased at such a coincidence and I took out my small camera and took a photo of it and it was getting darker and we kept drinking and we were talking about a lot of things like fire and we decided to make a fire there and then so we looked for things to set on fire and we found a dried shrub so we took some stalks from it and you got your lighter out and we set it on fire and we saw it get engulfed in flames and it was quite exciting because we created what we were talking about for both of us to experience and i saw you shed a few tears because the fire was so magnificent and when the fire went out you gave me the lighter and i put it in my bag like it were treasure and we lay down and looked at the stars and talked about a thousand things and then it was getting late and we realised we were stranded soI called my brother to come pick us up and he was angry because it was late but he came anyway and I bade you farewell unsure where you were going next and when I got into the car I took the lighter out?
Lizard eating watermelon, Garden. 2014
Tired escapee, Garden. 2014
Night Cactus, mama and baby turtle, gypsy budgie and pigs,
Cold freshwater swim, Santa Lucia luxury, vertigo fish and grandma eel,
Night Fish, Sister's kisses, Dizzy Moonlight and BBQ by the horse.
One week of swimming in Sicily and tasting Sicily- enjoyed Agriturismo dishes, artisanal fig slushies, latte di mandorla, dried fico d'india flower tea, salted chocolate, spicy chocolate, limoncello, homemade pasta, cinnamon jelly, anchovy with oranges and degustation session at the Siracusa Market.
Until I become an android equipped with an in-built camera and index-finger torch I will remain blessed with moments sans camera :-
As per tradition S and I managed to explore a ghost town on our last day. It was filled with replicas of greek statues and walled-up door entrances. Like every other ghost town it had its very own roofless church-turned- pigeon paradise, still sighing the odd fresco on their walls, though the floor was buried in years of pigeon poo, and our barefoot, swimsuit-clad selves weren't equipped to investigate further than the rusty door. Was it a discontinued film set? We thought, but later research proved that it was an abandoned tunnery. We kept walking uphill, moving further away from the sea that we had come from and waded in an open door that revealed a derelict collection of large open aviaries and rusty tools, but before we could proceed further, a call from further up the hill was sounded and I looked up to see a man shouting in a language I couldn't understand but could only utter the word 'turisti!'.- only to be replied with the classical Italian 'whatt-a-r-a-you-doing?' hand gesture. Remembering rumours that the adjacent castle had been privatised by the Mafia, my brain switched to flight-mode, and we waded down back into the sea, and swam back to Mother, the yacht.
Dolphins, Dolphins, Dolphins such magnificent creatures that kept our 10 hour journey back home entertained and delighted by their giant bodies racing with the yacht. My dream to witness the Mola mola in its full splendour will have to remain on hold for the time being.
The excitement never ceases.