Written By: Maham Shahbaz
Why is it there a candle waiting in that room? Where is the woman who turned it on? Why at she wakes up to paint….to paint or to bear the pain? She never has control over the brush, the strokes, the color, the mixtures, the right amount of turpentine or water, she has no image in her mind. What are the flashbacks or whispers continuously in her head that cannot get out…they never get out. It’s insane its insane how sane people can be and she is not. Why? Why such a big difference there is?
What is that she paints? She never knows, she rarely looks at her canvas while painting like that…but there is this pain, and why is it there? There is an empty person inside her, a carrier maybe? Of what? What is this hollow shell? Is the soul asleep or long gone?
“Someone wake it up! Someone stop the noise”
she screams at dead of night…in the silence why can she hear all these noises? But wake what up? …she continues to paint..the soft red stroke and a violent blue stroke. Ironic, a soft stroke of the passionate color and a rough one of the spiritual color. She thinks in opposite maybe? But why is she not looking at the canvas? What is it that’s making the tears go on and on
… “stop the noise! stop the noise…”
She screams and screams…. What noise? There is no one around.
Suddenly she stops painting and begs “please, stop whispering I can not understand you” and with that she clings onto the bedspread…her whole body is stiff and then she relaxes…there is this dead silence in the whole room and then she exhales and cries, she gets up from the bed and sits on the floor crying and crying
“What did I do? Why can I hear?”
There is silence for half an hour and she sleeps there, on the cold ground…in her sleeps she constantly moves her hands and wakes up screaming.
“Get off me! Get away from me! Stay away….stay away. I am nothing, I cannot help”
And stops abruptly as if suddenly realizing that it was just a dream…but it’s always more than just a nightmare. With tears streaming down her face she goes to the washroom to wash her face.
As tired as she was she didn't dare go back to sleep…her eyes dropped but she force open them…
”I don’t want to hear, I don’t want to see…I don’t want to hear…I don’t want to hear…I don’t want to see…” She kept on whispering. She might have dozed off, suddenly got up and ran out to the terrace. As cold as it was, it made her feel the warmth of her own body, she was alive. She smiled “I'm alive” she cried a little more “why am I still alive?...why…still..alive?” broke down again….
It got too much…too much to bear. So many noises, so many voices, so many things just way too many creatures and one person to bear it. Why is that? Why is there no time for this? It happens at the crack of dawn and when the sun is proudly up in the sky…but at night, its more than just reality.
She looked at the sky..the calm sky and started to shiver. Maybe insanity took over her, maybe her insides wont wake up to synchronize with her body movements. It was too much and everything went black. Black, her color of comfort, her companion in the state of peace.
So another night passed by. And outside in the freezing weather the other presence gave her comfort and warmth and she let her voice down, she stopped crying she was calm. And the presence left only when she was peacefully asleep in her warm bed.
The memory never fades..Nor will it. No one finds calmness in this insanity. It’s ironic how her insanity is soothed to almost sanity by the one person who is more than just insane…