Author Archives: quiall

About quiall

I am a woman with a mission: to live life to the fullest. I will not let an itty, bitty incurable disease stop me. It may slow me down but like a ship dragging an anchor, I'll get there eventually. Walk with me at

What do you see?

My parents had a mirror that was quite large and quite heavy. In the middle of it was a ballet dancer in a pose. She had her arms out and was standing en pointe, on one leg. Her other leg was not in sight. As a child I always thought it was amusing that a ballet dancer could only have one leg. Eventually I came to understand that in that pose the leg was up behind her and out of sight.  But I liked to have explanations for things so I made up my own. She was indeed a ballet dancer who was dancing for the love of her life. The one she danced for didn’t know she was alive but that didn’t stop her from giving everything she had into the dance for him. The gods of dance took pity on her and placed her in a mirror where she could look out on the world but not be touched by it.  In my mind I never remembered the second dancer.

I tell this story to explain the picture above. It is a painting I did maybe 35 years ago. It is an abstract done in shades of gray. It’s called Private Dancer. That mirror was what inspired me to paint that picture and I have always thought of her, the dancer, as a lonely soul. A few years ago, a friend and I did an art show and I dug this old painting out because I rather like it. Several people came to me that day and commented how lovely the painting of the horse was. I smiled and thanked them. It was after the third or fourth person had commented about the horse that I finally asked someone what they were talking about. They didn’t understand why it was called Private Dancer but it was obviously a painting of a horse head. I never saw the horse head until it was physically pointed out to me. 35 years I’ve been looking at this painting and I never saw it. They didn’t see the dancer that I did. We stood side-by-side and looked at the exact same painting but saw something different. Isn’t that what life is all about? People go through life seeing exactly the same things but they interpret them differently.

There is no right or wrong way to look at an abstract painting. We see through our eyes not someone else’s and that is always a good thing. I can see the horse now and I can also see the private dancer and that makes the painting that much more precious to me. Because I was shown a vision through another’s eyes. That’s a valuable thing to share.

A Serious Thought

A serious thought,

Popped into my head.

It seems there was trouble,

With a word that I said.


I cannot remember,

The word that I used.

But my brain is insisting,

That my ego is bruised.


My feelings chimed in,

They felt it was wrong.

The word that I used,

Belonged in a song.


Confusion’s set in,

We’re all in a flux.

The bits that are me,

Think everything sucks!


I need calm in this place,

That I call my head.

Relax and shut up,

I know what I said!


I lied to them all,

I needed some peace.

It is sleep I require,

As the voices decrease.


Have you ever surmised,

About the noise in your head?

They’re loud all our lives,

Until we are dead.


I welcome the gang,

When we all work as one.

But then there are days,

When I am seriously done!




My Muse

My muse amuses me. I often hear people talking about their muse and I don’t have one. I have hundreds of thousands of one. I get my inspiration from the wind and leaves or a comment overheard on the street. I once wrote a lovely post about an ‘alligator’. A small childhood used that word to his mother to describe the elevator we were all on. I’ve written poems based on a cracked tail light and a misheard comment about soup. I am inspired by the people I read and by the actors I am entranced by. I am placated by a wooden spoon that my Mother used when I was a child, I still have it. It is so full of memories and it is now almost black. I would never part with it. I love the memories that creep up in the back of my mind when I least expect it and the wonderful vacations I can take meandering through my childhood. These are my muses.

I have written about a little red wagon and a broken pencil.  I have written about hopes and dreams and puppy dog tails. Raindrops hitting the glass or rainbows sneaking behind buildings.  Laughter and tears, a quiet moment with a book or a rousing rendition of cello music. All these things stimulate and provoke and tantalize. These are my muses. This is what compels me to write to share and to learn.

I am often flooded by ideas that won’t stop coming. I am downing but I am also excited and terrified. How do I grasp, how do I hold on. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes they walked by me never to be seen again or perhaps to show up in something else. Sometimes the ideas sit and percolate. They need to be stronger, more full-bodied. I can wait. I write a few words down and sometimes I go back days, weeks, years later and pick up where I left off or I am stimulated by another thought and I will go down another rabbit hole. This is my world. I love, love, hate, love it!  I am inspired and I despair in equal measure. But I’m having fun. It is my muse de jour that I have grabbed by the tail and I’m trying to hang on. It might be a bumpy ride, but damn I’m having fun!