Saturday, January 22, 2011


I've been so focused on digital images in the last year that I keep forgetting how much I love painted works of art.  This morning while sipping coffee with the cat on my lap, I noticed the painting I bought as my first purchase for my apartment when I was a single mom.  (I had nothing, not even a tv, but I had to have this!) During that time, nearly eight years ago, I was working as a maintenance apprentice and groundskeeper for an apartment community.  My work day apparel was a collection of jean shorts, t shirts, a frayed baseball cap and a tool apron.  I loved the freedom of that job which included lots of outside activity and projects.  One day after work, while shopping in a craft store, I found a painting that says so much about my inner identity.  And I only write about it here because of the observation I made this morning.  The painting actually contained a piece of my future.  It told of the young woman I was, and of things to come.  I guess that's what makes it a masterpiece.  So this morning I'd like to share Fredrick Seigert's Dreaming on the Windowsill.  In this painting, a young woman (a girl, really) sits with the cat, gazing out into the morning, waiting for her life to begin.  Waiting for that wonderful husband who she imagines is somewhere out there.  Waiting to get out of her current subservient domestic life and into the one where she makes the decisions.  But in the beauty and stillness of this moment, we can peek deeper into her world to find her future self, her aging grandmother, spinning wool by hand.  As younger gazes out, the elder gazes inward.  I love that the young woman holds something she's stitching by hand.  When I bought this, I did not know how to sew.  I had no idea that one day, eight years later, I would be sitting and gazing out of my own window with something I'm sewing on my lap and the cat nearby.  I love that her workday clothes are not t shirts, but puffy sleeves under a pretty apron.   
     The second painting was the housewarming gift I gave to my husband when we bought our home.   I had been studying a lot of medieval literature in my English courses.  But I felt I had to give this one to my love because it told the story of what happened after I left the windowsill and went into the woods.  It even has a heart on the girl's sleeve, and hearts are my "symbol." When I see one, I know I am on the right path.  But when I bought this I did not even think of things like symbols as trail markers.  I just loved this scene of willing romantic conquest.  The knight in shadow was and is my reality, something I could never explain to anyone with family photographs.  Even our wedding pictures do not convey how I feel about Richard.  This is the way I look at him, and the way he looks at me.  Still.

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