Hello, flisties! Here I sit in front of my computer, trying not to hack up a lung. I've been sick for over a week and am so entirely fed up with coughing that I want to throttle myself. Needless to say, phlegm and fever do not lead to being a creative genius, so I'm behind on my latest fic, the other fic, the other other fic, and about 15 different replies to posts. (Sorry, anyone who's left me a comment recently - it's not you, it's me.)
Fun fact: I've just worked (not counting Christmas) 150 days in a row. This is one of those little drawbacks of being your own boss they don't emphasize nearly enough. However, I'm masochistically proud of this statistic, because I didn't actually know if I had it in me. In reality, I'm a lazy sod. I suspect there are another 150 similar days ahead of me before I can even think of hiring a part-timer one day a week. Also, much to my chagrin, I've never acquired the essential life skill of taking vacations - my last one was Crone Manor in Florida, for which I've never sufficiently thanked the person/people who made that possible. (Many, many, many thanks, my lovely and generous, witty and talented friends!)
So I'm tired, and I miss being outside.
But I'll tell you what: even working until I'm stupid with exhaustion, my life is 150% better than it used to be. Not perfect - my beloved 17-year-old cat died on March 1st, and I'm still grieving her and looking for her every time I come home (so I often work late to put off coming home); the store still isn't making enough to pay my living expenses; and my writing time has effectively shrunk to half an hour a week, therefore that part of my brain is deteriorating at a rapid clip.
But still. Better. So very much better.
(There's also the disgusting political nightmare in which the U.S. is currently embroiled, but we'll draw a discreet veil of silence over that.)
Now the real reason for this post:
The snape_potter community started posting its annual Snarry-a-thon, and the fest opened with a story (which I haven't read yet) and a work of art, which is what inspired me to post today. The picture can be interpreted as shippy or not, depending on your fannish lens, and it takes as its subject Snape's death in the Shrieking Shack - although the prompt provides hope of rescue.
It's a luminous work, with a subdued but striking color palette. The figures are rendered with great tenderness, Harry kneeling and Snape sprawled out on the floor, supported in Harry's arms. I recognize the artist's style, and this is one of their most moving pieces, after years of drawing a portfolio of Snapes. The emotion in it is quiet but intense, and the overall effect is one of beauty, even peace. The way Snape's night-black robes take up half the frame is like a visual metaphor for him turning - or being lifted away - from death. I'd recommend it to anyone, regardless of their opinion of Snape/Harry. Whatever you may see in it, it undeniably contains a moment of connection imbued with pain and surrender and gentleness.