Behind the facade



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Behind the facade


This collection of contemporary poetry, reflecting on the value systems instilled by our modern society. This collection encourages & conscious thought, in the hope a brighter future may emerge. Her poetry includes themes such as gender equality, climate change, the class system, hope and kindness.

My artwork including my books may bear my previous artist name, Camille Barr, while newer pieces are signed under my new name, Camille Delaquise. This represents a transition in my artistic identity, a journey of growth and self-discovery. (Delaquise- the surname of a paternal grandparent kept secret)
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It was suggested that I needed to introduce my book and myself.
This of course, is the polite and reasonable thing to do. Although as a shy introvert, I find this a difficult task.

So who am I, why did I write a book of poetry, and what is it about?

I am a human being living on Earth. I am the matter created from atoms, which had combined to make molecules. Who I am is therefore built on connections. These connections are unique, making me a distinct individual. They do not, however, make me
a completely separate being. What they do is make me a completely connected being, because ultimately, being an individual is reliant on the connections of life around me and within me.

I am the accumulation of my family heritage both past and present. Fused with the personal experiences that are facilitated by this family heritage; I am the sum of family heritage added to my environment, and experiences. These influences create who I am, as a thinking and feeling human being.

In essence I am the same as the tree that stands outside my window. Like this tree I did not choose where my life began. And like this tree if I am given a nourishing environment in which to grow, I will flourish. But if our environment is toxic and lacks nourishment, fight as we might to survive, eventually, we will both perish. It is only in our ability to connect that life continues.

I am known as a redhead. At first, this may seem as only genes connecting, and determining hair colour. After consideration though, this connects to human thought, which provokes opinion. Opinions have the power to direct the experiences, and environment we encounter. It is not by chance, it is by connection.
It is in this labyrinth of connections that we all dwell. When I was 6 years of age a boy at school announced to the whole class that his parents had taught him, ‘All redheads are ugly’. This was news
to me and immediately I turned to the only other redhead in the class. I looked at him and thought, ‘Are we the same and is it true that we are ugly?’

I knew this to be true; we had both been put in the same box by thoughtlessness. The boy’s parents didn’t know me, so how could they know if I was ugly or not? It also seemed unlikely that the boy had considered me ugly before his parent’s comments.

This comment whether it was true or not built a link to my identity. It followed me through school and into adulthood. I was travelling the pathways of the labyrinth, which creates the intersections in our lives, but I had not yet fully recognised it as such.

These connections that we make, without the realisation of how interconnected we all are, have always been a fascination of mine. These types of ongoing comments therefore, provided the starting point for my inquiry into the experiences we have as a result of opinions. I find a lot can be gained by understanding what is at the core of opinions, as they seem to play an important role in shaping human practices. A thought contributes to an action, and an action, brings about a consequence.

Now as luck would have it I was born to a mother that taught me that my hair was the colour of spun gold (it is strawberry blonde). This in my child’s mind seemed likely as the colour did match. And as people view gold as beautiful then for me my hair became beautiful.

Unfortunately, although my mother taught me my hair was beautiful, my father taught me that the freckles that came with it were ugly. He would demonstrate in humour, by making the

buzzing sounds of a fly, and with his finger poke at my face, then announce a fly had landed on it and defecated. I never understood the humour; I did understand the underlying message.

The point of telling this story is not to demonstrate that redheads are given a hard time by society. It is that I carried both these opinions, until I realized neither had been created by my own thought. I had forgotten to ask myself what I thought. I had not questioned where these perspectives came from nor if they were valid. It is a story that illustrates our connections to each other. Whether we see it or not, whether they are positive or negative, they are there influencing our lives.

This brings me to why I write. As life is built on a series of connections, writing can be a way to grow by examining these curious connections. Language forms an elaborate cable through which we can communicate, so that we may connect to each other. It tells the story of how we think, who we want to be, and what our value system is based on. It is the thought-provoking consideration of ideas.

Why I write poetry in particular has a lot to do with the desire to appreciate the beauty in life. Especially during the worst of times, it becomes the enduring strength that is hope. It is often found in the labours of love that bring simple joy, such as baking cookies for my children, or the gratitude found in the feel and smell of clean bed sheets, or the kindness in a smile from a passing stranger on a ‘bad day’. Poetry gives the means to acknowledge the beauty all around me.

Beauty can always be found in the grand masterpiece put on display by Mother Nature – a true artist if ever there was one.
One walk in her bounty is all the inspiration I could ever need.

Writing about it deepens my understanding of what beauty truly is, and how to incorporate this into my life.

It is in this practice that I find optimism and in turn resilience.
The world is at a pivotal point in time, and writing poetry helps me to recognise this, and try to adapt to a future that could be viable, if we take the time to question our direction. Writing can evoke the process of thoughtfulness.

The dinosaurs became extinct because of an asteroid. Are we to become extinct because we did not question, reconsider or change the systems that are unsustainable?

I realise that this is an oversimplification, nevertheless, it also points to the fact that what we are currently facing is a human made problem that we have the power to change. Where as, what happened to the dinosaurs was a random variable, and they had no ability to alter the outcome. Let’s hope we use our ability to connect and create, so that we can have a chance at changing our direction.

There is one thing for sure in this domain where connections rule, we can either grow stronger together or weaker. Either way, we
go together.

I know a personal introduction may usually contain more of a timeline of life events or circumstances, such as, I was born December 1978 at Byron Bay hospital, I am married, a mother to four children, and so on and so forth. However I felt this would fall short of telling you who I am, why I write poetry and what my poetry is about.

All any description would do is create an image for you that would be based on how you view females, mothers, poets, and especially people born and raised in Byron Bay (and to stop you there, no,

I am not a hippy, and I do not take drugs). Your view of me will not be all that I am. Rather your perspective that is formed by your worldview will limit it. It is through this partially obscured lens that you will see who I am, and at the same time, be blinded by who you think I am.

So on that account who I am is just a human being; no more and no less than the atoms that connected to form molecules to form the matter that I am.

I write poetry because I love it. And as we find new pathways in this world, I think it is worthwhile having inquisitive and critical conversations that search for understanding. So actions do not stem from thoughtlessness. Then perhaps, we may find the solidarity we need within humanity to safeguard the Earth that
in turn sustains each individual’s existence.

I guess then, you could say that my book is about looking beyond societies’ exterior walls to find a shared connection, which is our humanness. For this common thread in our identity has the power to unite.

I write to create,

I write to explore,

I write to produce,

I write to share,

I write to connect…to happiness

I live to create,

I live to explore,

I live to produce,

I live to share,

I live to connect…to happiness

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