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One of the questions that I have a difficult time answering during interviews or in conversation about either my art/books  is:

‘Where do you get your Inspiration? or

What Influences your writing/art?

The reason for this is simple – There is NO one simple answer or if there is I have not found it. To answer that question would require so much complexity as each and every experience in life produces a creation of thought and in my case transfers to my art or writing. Here I have picked an example of just how a poem and the accompanying artwork transpired with an attempt to piece it all together.

The poem which can be found in the 4th Pillar of ‘5 Pillars of the Gypsy‘, my latest book featuring abstract art (mine) and poetry, came to me following a series of  encounters I experienced at Petra in Jordan a couple of years ago.

I was travelling with Habitat for Humanity – Global and as part of the R&R we toured Petra for a day. I decided to take the option of riding a horse through the Siq to the opening of the cave which then led to the spectacular inners of Petra.

Petra, El Deir Deutsch: Petra, El Deir

Petra, El Deir Deutsch: Petra, El Deir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The horses were led by Bedouin men who expected a tip for their efforts. The first horse I got on absolutely refused to move following a few strides though the leader begged it to move, it stubbornly refused (or so I was meant to think). Almost immediately another horse was brought up and a transfer made. The rescuer then told me to tip the first handler -

“No. When he trains his horse to complete the trip he will get tips.”  Incredible cheek, I thought.

The next handler had a proposal for me. He started out slowly then got to his point quickly. Did I want to meet one of the boys/men and marry them and take one home? It would be a double ‘benefit’. I would have a fine young species and he would have a ticket out with an opportunity to flourish.

“No. That’s disgusting and besides he wouldn’t fit in my suitcase.”

“But it is not disgusting – Women come here and do it all the time! Are you not interested in men?”

“Be quiet or you won’t get a tip either. This is a non-subject. Okay – Understand?”

I really needed this horsie ride to end now. Smiles all ’round. Tip given – taken. Part one of 30 separate little adventures of the day over. Whew.

Later on that day my friend, Jill was deciding between 2 pieces of jewellery when a Bedouin man came up to us to offer his assistance. :) I have never quite seen a more handsome man in my life. He looked like something out of an Arabian Fantasy novel complete with tanned skin, deep blue eyes lined with black kohl and a smile – well well quite indescribable – I flipped through a couple of hundred Google images but was unable to come up with a comparable man.

Following the final selection of which piece best suited Jill he turned to me and asked if I was busy that evening. He proposed he come by my hotel, pick me up, return to Petra, take his camel and visit his cave and a few other places and things to do and visit and have a wonderful night. It sounded like a DATE!!!!!! Yikes! NO.

“I would love to of course but I’m not allowed away from the group. It’s the rules.” (pretty lame even for me)

“You are a grown woman surely there is a way to clear your schedule. You’ll be perfectly safe. I’ll take good care of you. We will have a night to remember.” He smiled reassuring me of his intentions. “I am a Bedouin but I have my own business and I am well travelled. I have been to ….” Listing an impressive amount of countries and producing his business card.

The list of reasons to say ‘no’ was longer than my arm. The list to say ‘yes’ had only one reason – ADVENTURE ! – when would I ever get a chance to do this again in my sorry (until now :) ) life?

“I am really, really sorry but you basically scare the hell out of me! I can’t go out with you or your camel or visit your cave but I thank you so much for asking.” Laughter all ’round. He understood and let me walk away  – his eyes boring a hole in the back of my head – I swear.

And then I got to thinking about the men and women who go on vacation, fall in love and bring their true love home. And then I got to thinking of a rule that everyone should follow -

“Do Not Bring Home Anything Bigger Than What Your Suitcase Can Handle!”

I thought of the many women I have met and heard of recently who have made these sort of decisions and while I wish them only the best I can’t help thinking in some cases –  He will only be on loan. With you for a good time. Not a long time. Vacations are not in any way shape or form an indicator of relationships in real life.

And this story is what inspired and influenced me to write ‘Loaner’

Loaner

So you’ve nabbed yourself a bad boy

Complete with fresh tattoo

You’ve gone and done it

Anyway – though you know it is taboo

And you laugh away the warnings

To enjoy his winning grin

Scoff at those in all their doubt

Because he’s just the thing

To bolster up your ego

Ensure your sex appeal

You gaze at him with eyes

That say “Pinch me are you real?”

Walk beside him, pride intact

Letting stares bounce back to owner

You’ve nabbed your bad boy

Even though he is a loaner.[ 1]


 [ 1]do you really mean “loaner” (as in you’ve only “borrowed” him) or do you mean “loner” (he likes to be alone)?  **** note from my editor**** Yes I meant Loaner :)

The artwork is a collage that I had created and titled ‘Man in the Mirror’ after the song and Michael Jackson. The face showing an odd profile as I found MJ’s profile following years of surgery. I wondered what he saw when he looked in the mirror. I wondered what the ‘Loaner’ saw when he ‘looked in the mirror’

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Lesley - Rose coloured glasses suit my face. Forcing the look in.