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The Greats Talking


Eternal ephemerals or writings in sand To the question:

“What would you take with you to a desert island?”

Ever since my teens I have invariably answered:

“Paper and pencils to write with”.

Because words are for me essential companions. But I add straight away:

“I should also take my reproductions of Wojtek Siudmak’s paintings”.

On a writer’s island, you need a treasure trove, and Siudmak’s images are jewels. Wojtek’s paintings’ windows on the world, on all worlds, rhythm my life like breathing. I find in them the Intimate through the pretty faces of his daughters, the Sacred in the crumpling of a paper Christ, Immensity through his rock cathedrals floating in an empty space full of souls, Humanity in his bodies extracting themselves from primary clay.

Sitting on the sand of my desert island, I leaf through the pages and travel.

I return to the past… and I see the restless young woman I was when we first met. At last, he was there. I saw his back. He was standing in front of his paintings during a science fiction congress.

I went closer and said:

“I’ve read you were born on 10th October…”

He turned around, astonished. With his indefinable accent and a smile I will never forget, he looked at me and answered:

“Usually I am told: I like your paintings… Why did you remark on this detail?

– Because I was also born on 10th October and I adore your paintings”.

In memory of the pure joy he gave me in offering to paint the cover of my first novel, I’m tempted to raise my glass to drink to him.

The sand of my island becomes crystal clear to contain Goutte d’Or, one of the best vintage wines from my village in Burgundy: a Meursault, as I was born in the country of Wojtek’s favourite, adored white wine!

Night falls over the beach. I can hardly see the pictures resting on my knees, but I look at the stars. My eyes full of paintings, I float away Elsewhere. This “elsewhere” which has always inspired me, this “haze” as Wojtek calls it, which

unites us, he and I in a faithful friendship. Libra… double constellation.

Up there are suns, up there are worlds, up there are islands, and on one of these islands, I am sure, someone is contemplating the sky and looking at the Earth rolling under a giant’s finger. One of them sees my island and with fluid eyes promising Hope, he or she admires Siudmak’s paintings over my shoulder.

“Do sit down, the sand is still warm. Would you like a piece of Eternity?”

Danielle Martinigol
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