In Arethusa's azured arms

Tuesday, 17 August

Another postcard from Leonard arrived this morning. The picture on the front is one of Nabil Kanso's paintings (Leonard is a great admirer of Kanso’s work, particularly his series of Faust paintings) and the quotation on the reverse is a line from Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus: ‘A sound magician is a mighty god.’

Yesterday afternoon I received a second email from Luke containing a poem (below) and a set of photographs from the sessions with the brown dress and mask (I'll never forget how warm it was in the workroom when those photos were taken). I’m pleased that Luke has grown to trust me because meeting him has been the best thing that has happened in my entire life. Although he frightens me to death at times and he is a source of such terrible discomfort, he is also the only person who can soothe me when I am restless and alleviate the unbearable pains that wrench my body. He is both my poison and my cure. He is always caring, he is never afraid and he simply laughs when I voice my concerns like a criminal who has done something unspeakable but shows no remorse whatsoever after committing his crime. It is all so acceptable to him. I hope that I never become so accepting of it, but I suspect that I will over time. 

Luke uses certain words to describe us and our activities, but I feel such a fool mentioning them that I doubt they will ever pass through my lips or through my fingers to the computer keyboard. I tell him that these things are not real and we may as well talk about fairies or dragons or space aliens, but he says that I am avoiding the truth and he pleads with me to believe; to believe in him, to believe in us and, most importantly, to believe in myself.

Pelle Sub Agnina 

Why should I shout?
You won’t listen
And besides
I am comfortable here.
But the pounding,
This pounding I hear when they are near me,
It deafens me.

You said we would have
The devil to pay
And how right you were.

For since we took our place on stage
And commenced the first act,
The congregation has applauded
Our harvest of figs
From the thistles.