If you could touch your memories, how would they feel?
My first memory of life is blurry. A blurry red dot. A strawberry in a thicket of dark green vines and tall grass.
A chalky red pastel. A cadmium paint splash. A cardinal's feather. A lipstick smear . . . a strawberry kiss. All things red in one. I reach out to pluck the fruit but it's made of smoke and it vanishes as I touch it. It felt cool. Dewy. Tingly on the skin as if it were pressed there briefly and then it disappeared...
I can hear cicadas chirping and birds swallowing their words and scratching for their breakfast. It's the first time I feel alone.
Bertie Blackman grew up too fast. Bohemian Negligence tells that story with the breathtaking innocence of a child's point of view: close and vivid and utterly in the moment. As memories refract and elide with the images, sounds and impressions of Bertie's child's world, we experience both her wonder and confusion with astonishing intimacy.
A renowned musician and artist, Bertie is also a formidable and lyrical writer, and brings those gifts to recreate the world she grew up in. As the daughter of iconic artist Charles Blackman, that world celebrated freedom and creativity but also contained darkness and contradictions. Bertie has captured the magic and vulnerability of childhood in words and images both joyful and haunting: 'My childhood world was full of cracks. Full of light and full of dark. But it was full of love.' This book will stay with you forever.