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A Moment in the Storm - VALIZ Magazine

A Moment in the Storm

The Secret, courtesy and copyright Mai Mashini
I first met Mai Mashini through her poetry in the wake of her daughter’s passing. Through the transient journey, Mai rediscovered herself, and regained an exposure, a glimpse through the innumerable veils, of reality.

Ridtz Raschid

Love the strokes you have on some of your works. What state of thought were you in then, to impress such ecstasy?

Mai Mashini

Thank you. How can I describe the state of my mind, when my brush is like a spaceship, and the colours are vivid and of nature unknown to my current physical reality, I can tell you one thing though, I found that when I pick up the brush, I soon disconnect just to enter a zone that is abundant of images and themes vibrating with emotions, as in a trance.

Ridtz Raschid

What is your diary of exhibits for 2017 onwards

Mai Mashini

It is a dream of mine to share my art with everyone and everywhere. I am working on some ideas to organise a solo exhibition and hopefully will realise it soon. I aim to exhibit in the years to come.

Ridtz Raschid

Between these, who are you most ⎯ Person, Philosopher, or Lover

Mai Mashini

I can say I am all of those, and do find it hard to define as they are all related and combined in one.

Ridtz Raschid

The moments you most favour for work or is there no specific time, or would you rather be in the state of spirit to move colours?

Mai Mashini

I am always in the state of spirit, any moment is a good moment as inspiration seems to flow from eternity to eternity, but I do find that late nights when silence falls, and early morning when birds are awakened are with less distraction and more accommodating.

Ridtz Raschid

Share with us, your childhood, between three and eleven. Any vivid memories? Any hidden talents?

Mai Mashini

At the age of two I could recite Hamlet by Shakespeare cover to cover, acting it and the kitchen table was the stage where I can still recall the faces of my humble audience, my proud mother in disbelief, my aunt, the neighbour that kept asking my mother What language is that or Is she possessed?

At the age of three I discussed with my mother the need for her to understand certain things about human relations and how to relate to a child, as I was dismayed by her approach to discipline me.

At the age of four I recited my first poem in Arabic as my mother was cultivating berries in the evening, The moon was full and the night was with the flavour of amber, I said to her and as close as I can translate it to English, How tall you stand next to this tree, vibrant, as beautiful as the full moon, that’s what my heart could see

I did not stop writing poetry even if I wanted to, it is still flowing, and I have written scores of it throughout the years. The following years, I demonstrated gifts in music, art, singing, languages, literature, social studies and theories, sports, drama and acting and many other fields.

I was considered a child prodigy and was moved to skip classes and was the youngest among my colleagues — this I can tell you was not a great thing.

The incident I won’t forget at the age eleven is interviewing my cousin who was a famous actor, over the phone, pausing, as a journalist from a well-known magazine, and able to form important questions, carrying on in an hour interview while changing my voice, a prank that caused me grief and punishment later on.

I discovered that I am a natural born journalist.

Ridtz Raschid

What’s the most recent book you’ve read? Has it affected you in any way? Do you travel to a place more than once?

Mai Mashini

I just finished reading the Of mice and men by John Steinbeck a noble prize winner, written in 1930, a fiction that treats human relations and their fragile dreams in the era of depression.

It affected me on a human-centred level, as I have a deep understanding of the weaknesses and compassion to those less fortunate living, dreaming, and unable to fulfil their dreams when they fall short becoming victims to an unyielding cruel nature in discriminating societies.

I find myself visiting the shores of New Jersey during summer, and the shores of Florida during the cold winters, drawn to the ocean always. A relation between my soul and the power of waters that elevates my vibration and releases me from the stressors of the demands of life.

It is the moon plated on the screen above illuminating that mysterious ocean and the sun rising to defeat darkness that balances me, those two events in total silence in spite of all the noise.

Ridtz Raschid

Who has profoundly moved you to where you are today, doing what you do best? Were your parents monumental in your maturity, in terms of the paintings? Perhaps your children?

Mai Mashini

My parents took deep interest and devoted their life to afford me a great education and atmosphere to grow my gifts always, because of them I am here today. As for my paintings, and even though I painted since I was four, I can tell you that my daughter Lana, God bless her soul, is why I paint today, I paint for her and because of her. She visits me in my dreams to take me to places I have never been to and have never seen, she insists that I should paint and never stop painting.

Ridtz Raschid

Are the works exemplary of your having found your selves?

Mai Mashini

My work is the flow of inspiration and images in mental and spiritual messages that come to me all the time, but also as a result of my existence and co-existence, I vibrate to nature, people’s emotions, human stories of life they have lived and still living. I find myself in every face in every emotion but yet to be truthful the search keeps going, once you think you found yourself, you discover that there is way more to know. I am still trying to find out more.

Ridtz Raschid

What one thing that you’ve done, in the past that encouraged you to be braver in all that you do?

Mai Mashini

I took a big step, by moving from one culture that I was born to and familiar with, to another, alien to me carrying with me three children, to find myself a single mother raising them alone.

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