Ode to Jilliana

Shakespeare said: Shall I compare you to a summer's day?
Except that Jilliana glitters, sparkles and shines
Brilliantly bejewelled,
Bright like the intensity of a summer sun

Keats told us 'A thing of beauty is a joy forever'
She is a joy
Vibrant, bold, daring in colour and costume,
A whiplash of unapologetic lipstick and jewellery
Objects d'art that add drama to her ensemble

In her Sultana fashion style
Yet equally daring in voice and word

Her vignettes capture snapshots of stories
Moments of lives lived
Personalities gone but breathed back to life
Her myriad experiences across the continents
That we glimpse
Like peeking through a letter box to observe with excitement
What comes next on Jilliana's stage

A performer par excellence
But true to her own voice
Her own essential self

Her journey has not been an easy one
But this doyenne has torn herself free
Of the thorns and spikes
Of her previous existence
Ripped away the old and the toxic
Supported with love and tenderness
By her dearest friend Pauline

Keats also wrote of autumn as the 'Season of Mists and mellow fruitfulness'
There is nothing misty or nebulous about our Jilliana
Except for the float and billow of her kaftan's fabric
As it follows loyally and obediently in her wake

This is a woman who injects colour
Character and sizzle into this world
A world over burdened in its denial of the passage of human time
A world that does not celebrate the richness of our experiences
As we move through the seasons of our lives

Jilliana cocks a snook at this shallowness
And inspires us to live as our own true selves
Be brave
Seize the moment
Follow our passions
And of course
Dress like there is no tomorrow

Laura Topping
30.12.17. Brighton