"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

All material on SHIMMERCASTDREAMS copyright of Marie Bruce and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

IVORY TOWER; Waterhouse Home Furnishings

The latest print to grace my bedroom wall
Those of you who have read previous blog posts will be aware that I have a fondness for the artwork of John William Waterhouse.  I have lots of prints featuring his work in the main bedroom.  I love that he was inspired by the Arthurian legends, which is another one of my own interests, and that many of his paintings were based around aspects of this British branch of mythology.    

The image above is one of his versions of The Lady of Shalott and it depicts the moment when the Lady Elaine first sees Lancelot through the window of her chamber and her life is changed forever.  I like the way Waterhouse has painted Elaine so that she is staring right out of the canvas, beyond the observer, to the knight only she can see.  She is utterly dazzled by the sight of him and falls instantly in love.  This pictorial moment in her story is when the curse against her is activated, which leads to her dying of a broken heart. Laid in a boat, she floats down to Camelot, where Lancelot finds her body. 

It is one of the most poignant tales of the Arthurian sagas, which might be why Waterhouse revisited it time and again as the subject for his art, and why Tennyson wrote his moving poem The Lady of Shalott.

The tragic boat scene

I've had the print at the top of this post for some time, rolled up in a poster tube to keep it safe and with the arrival of spring I decided to dig it out and use it to give my bedroom a bit of a fresh spring lift.  I plan to get it framed and hung this week. In addition, it was with great delight that I recently came across a small range of Waterhouse themed home ware and I bought some cushion covers; the boat scene cushion is sat in my leather executive chair in my study, while the Destiny one sits on the chaise lounge in the bedroom.  I have also got a Lady of Shalott locket,  which again depicts Waterhouse's famous boat scene and which has an antique finish.  I love it and it feels like such a lovely find.

Waterhouse was a prolific artist and there are lots of prints out there.  He had a fondness for romanticism which is probably why I appreciate his work so much.  I have been a fan since my late teens and I have gradually collected prints of all my favourite Waterhouse images.  My bedroom is like a small art gallery! These recent additions will brighten my home, make me smile and are sure to become talking points. 
Sometimes you just stumble across something that is so perfect for your house, you simply have to have it - this small shopping spree was just such a moment for me. It was a very lucky find.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

ONCE UPON A DREAM; Friend or Foe?

Poisonous Envy

Friend or foe? The fact is that it isn't always easy to tell the difference.  They say that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but what about when your friend turns foe or you realize that they've been your enemy all along? It's a tricky situation to navigate which is why I wrote a Spirit&Destiny column about this type of difficulty, so do look out for the May issue coming up.

Like most of my writing projects, my column with Spirit&Destiny is inspired by my own life and things that I am experiencing on a personal level.  I think that this frequently makes the best kind of writing because it comes direct from the heart and has integrity.  Writing from personal experience makes authors more accessible, so that readers can identify and relate to the piece more easily.  As we all share the human experience, certain common  issues are things we each will face at some point or another.

Not too long ago I discovered that I had been betrayed repeatedly by someone close to me and that this kind of back-stabbing had been going on for years.  Not only had they been trying to piggy-back on my career, approaching all my editors; waiting until I was away on holiday so that they could approach my music producer, dropping my name like breadcrumbs along the way, but I also found out this person had allegedly messed around with my ex-fiance while we were still engaged and living together.

This is someone I considered to be a friend. But once I'd stacked up all the betrayals I came to the conclusion that this person had never had my best interests at heart and was in it only for what they could get from me. In short, it was a false friendship and to be honest I can do without it. I might have been her friend, but she had certainly never been mine!  Friends don't mess around with your partner, do they?

So it was with a heavy heart that I cut myself off from this inner circle.  It just felt like the right thing to do, even though it was hard.  Self-preservation kicks in when you need it most, helping you to make tough decisions, so even though there have been attempts to reel me back in, I have been strong and held my ground.  I simply don't have the time or space for traitors in my life.  The only way to put a stop to it has been to put a stop to the relationship. In ending the friendship I have cut off the flow of information about my life, which in turn cuts off the prospects of deception and betrayal in the future. 
I now recognize that the traitor is always someone close, but never a true friend. 

Since then I have moved on considerably. Over the past couple of years I have made a new bunch of friends from my college course; I work with new editors in post at all the publishers I write for and I have new projects and goals to concentrate on. I am much more careful who I trust and who I might introduce to a new boyfriend! I am more reserved and less likely to chat about my publishing career and editorial contacts.

I consider the whole episode  to be a long lesson learned!  Just because someone pays lip-service to friendship is no guarantee that they are a true friend; they might be motivated by envy, not friendship. 

Being Wiccan I trust in karma and the three-fold law to deal with traitors, so I am free to just get on with my own life and relationships, leaving false friends far behind to reap as they have sown. Enough said. 

Is it a friend or an envious foe in disguise?