I wouldn’t have talked about the event that took away my ability to see the world in colours. Not when panic attacks were still crippling me and I was unable to notice anyone or anything else.
Once, I was alone and suddenly felt lost inside the walls of my home. I forgot how to breathe and the anxiety I was feeling nearly blinded me. He came back at that moment. He only took a look at me and the oranges he was carrying fell on the flagstones, bright spheres rolling and bouncing everywhere. The next I knew, I was sitting on his lap by the fire. He was rocking me, stroking my hair, softly humming a tune I’d never heard before. I slowly started breathing again.
Today, he cajoles me to take a walk with him. He has brought me to the sea front to show me the impossible. On this sunny day, the light has taken a fantastically eerie quality, forming some breath-taking images in the mirror-like sea and in the air above. I can spot a castle with turrets, palaces with columns and a ship suspended in the air. I stand there, enchanted, marvelling at the mirage. Everything shimmers and drips with light. Then, slowly, just like a fading rainbow, the mirage disappears, the images bleeding away as the light changes.
‘They call it the Fata Morgana, like Morgan Le Fey, the enchantress. They said she was the creator of the impossible. Apparently, you can only see it on rare occasions and I thought you might like to take a look at it. Maybe you’ll see the colours again, Artemisia,’ he tells me.
With his hand in mine, I feel finally at peace and believe that everything is possible, after witnessing the impossible. I can overcome the fear my memories bring me to become whole again. Later on, I mix the colours on my palette and I start, tentatively at first, then my brushstrokes become surer, as his features emerge from the canvas, dripping with light.
My inspiration is back: it bears his face.