Irina Povolotskaya is a writer, actress, artist, public figure and psychologist. She is a person of unlimited creative power and contagious enthusiasm. In a Special View column, Irina told us about her "new" life as Purple Fairy Phoenix and compiled a heart-breaking "medical record" from fragments of her autobiographical novella.
I am a lifelong disabled person – first-degree disability, deaf-blindness. Up to the age of 40, I still had some residual vision, about 10%, but, after retinal detachment, I lost sight in one eye and then in the other. After a few years of deep depression, I managed to recover from the existential crisis and reach a completely different level of personal life thanks to creative social rehabilitation through flamenco, inclusive theatre, special painting technique and a return to writing and psychotherapeutic activities.
In the process of this revival, I created the pseudonym Purple Fairy Phoenix. I perform in several plays (In Touch, Anima Chroma, The Seagull. Fragments) that have been staged at leading Moscow theatres and across Russia, as well as in London and Paris. I have shared the stage with many Russian renowned actors and actresses. Now I participate in art performances, keep improving my skills in the Xieyi Chinese painting style, which allows me to create my paintings. I am also planning to hold my own exhibition. I write articles, fantasy and sci-fi fiction, poetry, and I teach a course on metaphorical maps.
For many years, at the request of my family, friends and the media, I have been recording some episodes of my life in the form of miniatures. Many found these notes informative, useful, instructive and inspiring; some of these texts were even included into plays. Eventually, I realised that I needed to combine all these miniatures in one book – an autobiographical novella. Of course, there are no answers to questions that life throws at us, but there are answers to some of the questions that I am often asked.
The name of the book is I See Nothing, Hear Nothing, Say Nothing. As for the epigraph, I chose the quote by Zhuangzi: “He sees in the darkest dark, he hears where there is no sound. In the midst of darkness, he alone sees the dawn; in the midst of the soundless, he alone hears harmony.” Here I present excerpts from my book.