Thoughts Inspiration Education: Painting, Parenting & Purpose

Updated: Aug 11, 2019



I am painting. Not on canvas. On walls. Just white. Nothing artistic. Or maybe it is. There are so many corners and tiny sides on that wall, it’s driving me insane. Mostly, I am using the brush, rather than just rolling over. And that takes some talent to get it all even. I’ve done the first coat already, second to come.

I need to finish it tonight, too, so it can dry throughout the night. I’ve already done the larger children’s room. It’s all white now. Used to be a sunny yellow. Only my elder daughter Tarjani is taking over the room when she returns from Argentina on Saturday. I have to move the furniture back against the wall when it’s all dry tomorrow.

I’d have loved to have got a new bed for her, too. I know she wants a white one. Right now, there is still a bunk bed, wood, from when the girls shared before my son moved out. Lots of memories. Actually, first, my son Tajun and my older daughter Tarjani shared it before our little Tarini was born. Tajun used to bite into the wooden slats, gnawing away at it like a beaver. Tarjani, much later, threaded fairylights all around the bottom part of the bed, sticky tape inclusive, of course.


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I think Tarini is the only one who didn’t stick tape or glue on walls and furniture. She merely painted around the light switch once or twice. Good girl! Anyway, so the walls are all changing to white now. One by one. I didn’t think I’d like white walls again, simply because I spent too much time in hospitals and doctor’s surgeries in my life. You give birth, children get sick, break something, or you’re afraid they might have broken something, you get surgery, whatever. There were a million and one different reasons and incidents and for a year, I actually worked in a hospital, too. The local hospice, to be more precise, and I loved it.

So lately, I love white again. And blue. I didn’t think I’d ever again go for “cold” colours. Well, guess what? Things change, time gives you that emotional distance and while you’re doing some serious decluttering, you think, that pile of papers would look much neater against a white background, rather than a yellow one. And then your genius-artist friend, the lovely Nanda Boukes, keeps posting her artwork with lots of blue in it.


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Two blue prints and a blue painted crystal slice later (see picture above, photos used with kind permission by the artist), I also got an original, but, it’s green, not blue. Now green was a colour I used to hate. Not outside as in nature or on flower stems in the vase, but in any other context? Definitely. I’ve never liked green as a non-nature colour in all my life. It changed with one painting. I had to have it. It wasn’t even a matter of “Do I have enough money left to buy it?” (Which, fortunately I did. Just.) But it was a need deep within my soul.


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I’ve never really been interested in art. I know the most famous painters by name, but don’t ask me much more. Most works, I don’t like, either. I don’t care who did what first or how great it is that this technique was executed or the other. I look at a painting and either it makes me feel happy and appeals to my personal, individual sense of aesthetics and beauty - or it doesn’t. I prefer a painting by Nanda Boukes over a Salvador Dali or Pablo Picasso any day, trust me. Even over a Frida Kahlo.

I want my walls to be ready when I receive the painting in the post. And I wanted the room to be ready for Tarjani. Only, Tarjani has to choose her own bed. And her own new desk. Because we might fall in love with the same thing, or I might think that’s the one she’d love above all else, but what if she doesn’t? What if her teenage brain has a couple of different ideas than I anticipated? So she’s returning to a bunkbed and her children’s desk. It’s height adjustable, but it’s not white.

But one thing she will return to is a family who loves her and who has missed her during her two months’ absence. And that’s the most important thing to come home to, right? That’s what makes it a home, not merely a building where you store your belongings and sleep at night. It’s that place where you are loved, feel safe and you feel, that’s a part of you in there, a piece of your heart. And, if you don’t live alone, where you belong in the hearts of your family.


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Mentioning hearts, I am sure, our cat Taani will go crazy to see her again as well. Tomorrow, Friday, she will be excited to see Tarini again after a five day absence due to a class trip into the Eifel mountains, the same ones I wrote my book A Magical Family Holiday about. It was the first trip with her new class, too, so I’m all excited to hear about her adventures with her friends and classmates.

Poor Taani, our beautiful and loving Arabian Mau Cat Goddess, is quite confused already with all the painting going on. And now, Tarini is returning home tomorrow and Tarjani on Saturday, after two months away. What a reunion that will be! Four Goddesses, four separate adventures, one home, one love!

Credits to all photos of paintings with kind permission by Nanda Boukes.

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