Ma’tje: Zeedorp 1

254 x 190 narrative

In my childhood home was a small oil painting by Gust Masson—a wedding present to my parents from their theatre colleagues—of dark clouds over the River Scheldt; also a Jules Bovée pastel of a man with a lantern walking into a wintery scene with pollarded willows. Four fifths of these pictures were grey sky. In my early teens I hiked through the Flemish countryside and absorbed with all my senses the nuances of how it manifested. For every season I knew the flowers, the small creatures and the ditches; the cows behind the electric fences and the buttercups, the shrines along the way. When I sang, it was to the skies and the flat land. That felt like home. I have since emigrated to two other continents, but in spite of an adventurous adult life have not fused this intimately with a place again.