My Mother in Grey and White

I’m not sure who snapped this of my mother, likely my dad. This might have been taken on their honeymoon. She couldn’t have been more than 19.

I love how her shoes, handbag, gloves and cap of black hair compose irregular compass points framing her. Only she would have had the pluck to wear a white coat while traveling. And to a city, no less. The blue scarf strikes me as a subtle bit of visual rebellion. It is grey enough to blend and blue enough to keep the eye focussed on the woman wearing it.

 

My Tree Buddy

Quarantining has prompted a delightful rapport with the Sugar Tyme crabapple in our front yard.  As winter left and spring arrived, I watched her bare branches come into leaf. When she flowered, that stunning trick of scent-memory flung me right back to senior year in college. Gnawing ambivalence overtook me: there are exams to study for, but it’s just too beautiful to go inside and hit the books. Then flowers fell and the tree came into full leaf . The present shifted once again and those leaves, so recently green, blushed scarlet and weeks later, let go.  Soon after came this bounty of berries — an open pantry for the squirrels.

And now, the snows arrives. Sugar Tyme and I begin our sacred journey once again.

photo courtest of Debra Darvick

 

Old Bowl, New Fruit

Mom had this serving platter for as long as I could remember.  Perhaps it had been a wedding gift. Perhaps it belonged to her mother. It now belongs to me, by default more than actual affection. When it came time to empty my mother’s apartment, it was too fine to let go, yet not fine enough to put anywhere but the basement.

The afternoon Martin brought it up from purgatory, I had just come home from the market.  I spent an enjoyable half hour or so arranging the apples and pears, trying the oranges here and then there, tucking in heads of garlic for some white space. Not sure how I feel about all the cucumber pickles leaping northeastward, but I do like the purple grapes trailing through the middle.

Sometimes the beauty of a thing is the beauty it makes possible.

Any artists out there who might want to take a try at painting this still life? If you do, send the results.  I’d love to share them.

photo courtesy of Debra Darvick