Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Awakening

John Singer Sargent. 'A Dinner Table at Night 1884'

She’d hoped for more from this dinner party, the lovely, lonely widow. Making small talk with the animated gentleman her host had so thoughtfully seated to her left, whilst all the time she ached for a sympathetic companion to touch her artistic soul. She so wanted someone to re-discover the poet within her, to light again the spark of creativity. Instead the red glow of the lamps suffused the darkened room only adding to her desolation. She sighed and turned pointedly away, taking a sip of her port, and looked hopefully and longingly at the vacant chair beside her. 
When she looked up he was standing, smiling back at her, deftly sketching in his pocket notebook. She didn’t know whether to speak or smile, or even turn away. In the end the prospect of having to nod politely, and make appropriate noises, whilst inhaling the cigar smoke wafting in her direction, decided her. She turned back and caught the artist’s eye. He snapped the notebook shut and tilted his head slightly, raising his eyebrows. questioningly. She felt the old familiar sensation as her cheeks began to burn, and was suddenly grateful for the dim lighting disguising the reddening glow. She clutched the stem of her glass more tightly and sensed the beginnings of an uncertain smile. 
She felt that he had seen beyond her vulnerable beauty and caught something of the longing to just be alive again, to communicate and share, receive and give. She wanted to speak but found the words just wouldn’t form. She ran her tongue around her dry mouth and fixed her eyes on the silver tableware. There she saw, reflecting back at her, a newly confident woman. She allowed herself the full smile and, eyes sparkling in the now warm red lamplight, answered his question by raising the glass to her lips and draining the last few drops as she turned her gaze in his direction.

© Marilyn Brindley

Taking part in The Mag courtesy of Tess Kincaid. See what others have made of this prompt. 

33 comments:

  1. yes ...I think that Yeats was there or maybe both Yeats! that would have made the evening for her! one to release the poet and the other to paint the soul!!

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  2. I believe you've captured the inner longings of what many women feel at times.

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  3. Nice prose writing ~ I like that she looked at the reflection and raised the glass to her lips ~ I hope she is proven right and her artist soul would find wings ~

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  4. An intriguing tale, artfully told - what we have a right to expect from Little N.

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  5. very nicely told...how being noticed definitely makes one feel a bit more alive...i like how you let this develop very naturally as well....nice

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  6. I did enjoy this Lovely tale. All the while I wished I was she and I know what she was going through.

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  7. This is excellent , Nell, i enjoyed it, there us something quite underworldly Plutonic about the red glow, your right.

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  8. Hello Marilyn:
    We have much enjoyed your interpretation of this wonderful painting by Sargent, an artist whose work we very much admire.

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  9. Very nicely done, Nell. Now you've set us up for the next instalment.

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  10. Perhaps I should raise a glass of port to you? LOL :)

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  11. A charming snap. Nicely written Nell.

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  12. I think this is excellent - one of the best pieces you've written.

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  13. tell me more!!....lovelyxx

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  14. Maybe that lady is me!
    Beautifully descriptive; emotions captured very keenly.

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  15. I don't know much about Sargent, but I do appreciate this painting, I like his style. Great accompanying story, it's almost like you were there.

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  16. Well written. A delight to read.

    =)

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  17. You've given her the voice most women back then were not permitted to have or express. I love the detail of her holding the glass and then holding it even tighter. I can feel her yearning through your word paint.
    A really lovely write.

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  18. A very romantic tale! Romance, flirtation, and reawakening! I love it!

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  19. .. 'She allowed herself the full smile' ... and well she should.

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  20. Your painting of this lovely, lonely widow is perfect, and I sit on the side lines hoping, she doesn't hesitate for even a moment! I enjoyed your lovely, smooth writing!

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  21. Lovely. Dare I suggest "Fifty Shades Of Charcoal" as a working title.

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  22. You make her very human and very believable. k.

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  23. PS - my first comment was eaten and when I wrote again it was abbreviated. I meant to add - well done! k.

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  24. I think we've all been there, when we find ourselves immersed in a dismal situation that we can't cleanly excise ourselves from. I could almost feel the frustration here. And smell the smoke. Brilliant.

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  25. What a beautiful beginning to a longer story...It certainly brings one to life to be noticed...appreciated... Great work!

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  26. A lady in contemplation,so much to think about and so much to desire.It can lead to a lot of new discoveries. Nice write Little Nell!

    Hank

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  27. I love how fluently your words flow through this prose, Little Nell. The situation you present is so vivid and fresh. Thank you for sharing your multifaceted talent for writing here each week. I look forward to visiting. =D

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  28. That was touching. Here's hoping she had other 'sittings' too!

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