As far back as my first solo art show, I had the dream of showing my work in conjunction with another’s poetry or short story. From time to time, I get a story or a poem from someone who has seen my paintings. Scott Harpole recently sent me this children’s story that was inspired by my night painting of a landscape with the moon watching over it. The name of this piece is “night mistress”. Enjoy Scott’s story, go to his website and enjoy other stories. Take advantage of his offer to receive a gift copy and cd of another story called “Sleepy Beach”. Enjoy….. Dorsey Mchugh
Right now, you’re snuggled into your own bed, safe and warm. Maybe with a sheet and blanket covering you up. Is there a squishy pillow under your head or do you like those flat ones? You know the kind you have to punch at a little bit to get into the right shape? You might even have some sleeping buddies, like a stuffed animal or two. Or do you actually sleep with your dog? Maybe not a boa constrictor! I guess a kitten would do, if it had to.
All the lights are off in your room, except a little bit of moonlight that just sneaks through the blinds and around the corners of your window shades. That’s the kind of light that you really don’t mind. It’s more like a glow than a light. It isn’t a light that you can turn off, but you wouldn’t want to anyway. It’s a soft glow that fills up parts of the room.
Before you close your eyes to go to sleep, let’s a pick a place to meet so we can be in our dreams together. Do you see this picture, called the Gentle Mistress? Let’s go there!
Do you notice that the lights are all off in the houses below? That’s because everybody is deeply asleep and it is quiet. But there is so much soft light and it is a bright and peaceful light. This light is not like direct light that is hard to look at, but a glowing light. And the waves lap up against the little boats in front. That’s because the moon is tugging on each one of the waves.
If you look closely, you can see my house. Do you see the house that I’m going to have? Which house is your house? Do you see the little boats in front?
Let’s take one. You get in one and I’ll get in my own and let’s go out in the water. We will go until we can barely see the houses. Then we will lay down in our boats and sleep. Our fingers will trail in the water and look up at the moon in the gorgeous, deep blue sky.
You can listen to the quiet and distant sounds. Most of the creatures are sleeping because it is so late and dark. All you can really see are the stars. They don’t just twinkle in that beautiful sky, they also bounce a little bit off of those distant waters.
It’s the deepest blue ocean. So deep, peaceful and mesmerizing that the deep, blue sky looks like the ocean. It is hard to tell where the sky ends and the ocean starts. Or the ocean ends and the sky starts. They all melt together. And remember this is a peaceful, sleepy dream. We are not dreaming to go on an adventure. So that’s why we are just sitting here in our boats, with blankets around our legs to stay warm and our eyes begin to get heavy.
You see the gentle, deep waters that stir beneath us. We lift up our heads and look just a little higher and see the gorgeous, twinkling stars. Wow! So many, so complex, so beautiful, so grand. Can you make out that one, far, far, far away? You can catch just the light from the edge of it. If you look really close, and keep your eyes open you may see one that shoots across the sky. I wonder if it does, will it shoot all the way across and land in that deep, blue water? Do you feel your eyes getting heavy? Do you feel your head getting heavy with sleep? Do you feel like the twinkling of the stars and the distant boom of the ocean surf, makes you sleepy?
Take a deep breath…hold it…and then finally let it out. Take one more like that and when you do you’ll be asleep. Be sure to meet me there.
Scott Harpole ~ My Dad’s Bedtime Stories