It’s said that we often dream in sound bite pictures,that the images,devoid of gravity often show us falling into an abyss, of any light,any perspective:those were the thoughts ,jumbled and torn from the fuzzy mind of Brian that night.He couldn’t hope to make sense of it,only that ,as Jenny would often say,his mind Had to process it.He wished as he woke up that somehow the day might start off at Aunt Lucy’s again,but without his insistence of entering that loft,Then,or so he thought,he might have just soaked up the place in a different vein,treasuring the childhood memories that were so very dear to him.He realised that through it all,he had had so many wonderful ones of Cardinham ,the stillness ,coupled with the bleakness of it all,married his mind in these moments after his nightmare,way before any of the other patients had awoke,
As he sipped on his water,for one moment,there seemed a conscious silence,and that old Victorian hospital sheltered him from the goings on in the city outside ,and he was safe from intrusion,from thought even.As he allowed himself ,in that partial drowsing period of consciousness to enjoy these memories,he wished that his mind was less fragile,less sensitive to things,a oh how he wished that he might have been a less sensitive boy :then he might have escaped the taunts of the pupils who were hardened to city life,to survival,to aggression.Brian just wasn’t that that person,and like a cat not wanting to hunt for a rat of a mouse,he felt so very different,so very odd.It wasn’t like that here,and it wasn’t like that with Jenny,of at Aunt Lucy’s,but truly in most places,he felt like that .
Softness of light,the textures of paint,the reflections of lines,fascinated him and always had done.From a small boy,he would stare at a face in wonderment,wishing to sketch it,to profile it ,to find the dermis emotion of the person,it was his gift,but also ,it could be a burden that he carried around with him in artistic solitude,At art school,he had found kindred spirits in many ways,those who,like him ,pursued their passion through their installations.So many had left now to follow light in different geographies,but he couldn’t really leave Jenny ,not after mum had died.Maybe,just maybe,if he hadn’t had been so headstrong ,he might have waited for Jenny before he invaded the Aunt Lucy’s Pandora’s box,but now that it had opened,he couldn’t shut it up again.He thought back to his dream,how chaotic it all was,how dark,how it lacked colour.
It was no good though,he was not in the nightmare now,he was still,lying in his bed,and he knew that the Doctors would try to help him.The nurse would bring in food for him today as Jenny was busy at Great Ormond street and would come in later with further supplies.He started to think about his food books,and would ask Jenny if she could go to his flat in Battersea to bring one or two.Yes,that was what he would do along with his sketching .So,Brian,surrounded by mental anguish,turmoil almost,still had a measure of structure ,forethought,and a degree of calmness to think about his life.It was a contradiction to the untutored onlooker,it didn’t fit the description of Bedlam,but it was him,along with many many others at The Maudsley.His day would have meaning,it would have structure and a small degree of hope.
It might start with some breakfast fruit that the nurse would so kindly bring in for him,Such a simple thing,but sheer delight to Brian.
We all need structure and shapes,like the contours of our bodies that aBrian effortlessly understood ,the images from the galleries and museums of his home here that he had sketched since childhood.He gave up their dermis secrets,their underneath parts that all of us have as humans,but chose only to show to the sensitive .Brian found solace in that and we lay in contented muse as he awaited the start of a recovery day.
Thank you for reading this .