I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell – mine sell out!

Friday, June 22, 2012

"Space"

I shared a bedroom with my 2 older sisters when we were little.  It was a 2-bedroom house, and even though it was a fairly large room, it wasn’t big enough for that many sisters, and definitely not big enough when a brother arrived.  So, Mom and Dad added another bedroom and bath to split up the kids.  My first pick would’ve been to get rid of some of the siblings, but okay, another bed/bath is good too. 

Bro and I moved to the little bedroom in the front of the house.  That was okay for a while, but our parents didn’t share my desire for a small family, and when Bro #2 was added, I was kicked back to the big room with my sisters.  We were all bigger than the first time we were roommates, and had bigger needs.  There wasn’t enough space.  Well, there might’ve been if we were all perfectly neat and organized like Sis #1, but Sis #2 and I weren’t like that.  #1 roped off her territory with yellow police tape, but that didn’t stop #2 and I from getting into her stuff.  Trespass and punishment was a continual and epic war – with a little time out to feed the salamander, fish, turtles, and whatever else lived with us at the time.

None of us were very interested in staying in the house though.  In the day, I had the woods, and the woods is a place of many rooms.  In the most literal of ways, all of the animals have their own separate places.  The deer would mat down the grasses behind the grapevines under the trees’ canopy, and the mice and others did the same thing in miniature.  I could randomly choose 4 tree trunks as the corners of a pretend room and furnish it with sticks and rocks and carpet it with moss, but my favorite places were the hidden alcoves that let me sit in privacy with a view of the passing world.  I watched the animals and I watched the older boys building tree forts.  I left the boys flowers in their forts once in a while because they never decorated things pretty.  Girls weren’t allowed, but nobody complained to me about my flower gifts.

Sometimes I laid on my back and watched the sky, deciphering the shapes of clouds and looking into the infinity of blue.

I knew people with large estates, or bedrooms they didn’t have to share, but did they really have more than me?  Sometimes I think about how we all run around trying to earn more, buy more, more, more, more, and never really appreciate what’s free and what we already have.  We don’t let children play in the woods by themselves anymore to imagine whatever they might imagine before they’re programmed into accepting other people’s dreams.

I guess I feel a bit sad today.  A childhood friend’s mother passed away.  She was part of my old life.  She saw me skipping down the street with my bucket and fishing rod.  She gave me cookies.  I haven’t seen her for decades, but she is part of my mental Polaroid picture of childhood.  I remember the smell of her perfume, and the click of her high heels, but now she isn’t here anymore.  It feels like one of the bridges between now and childhood has fallen down like one of the boys’ forts.

I guess it all boils down to people matter, often in ways they never intended or noticed when they’re doing things.  We carry parts of those people with us until we die, and those parts are passed on to the people we’ve affected along the way, so in a way, nobody ever really disappears.  We’re all part of the infinity of blue.

23 comments:

  1. Ah, my week is complete. Another fine illustration and wonderful piece of writing, Linda. I never thought about how when someone from your childhood passes away it's like one of the bridges between now and then falling. It's thoughts like these that give your writing depth (to me anyways). And then to wind up with a great thought is pure icing on the cake. Thanks.

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  2. nice image..I like the idea of being part of the infinity of blue.

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  3. "Infinity of blue" That should be a song title :) Great post! Beautiful illustration!

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  4. This is a really really beautiful painting--wow!

    I grew up with only one brother, and would have loved to have had a bunch of sisters, but the luckiest thing about your family was that you lived near some woods. I did too actually, and spent many of my days immersed in them. Thanks for sharing your stories!

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  5. Very though provoking work today Linda and a really different take on "Space"...I thought I would be seeing little green men! I too had a fun and free childhood where my brother and I could disappear all day to the park and also make dens. They were happy times indeed and very much part of the circle of life. Sorry to hear about your friend's Mum, sending a hug across cyber "space".
    Jane x

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  6. I did think of aliens once I started painting in stars, but I decided on straight space :)

    I'm glad other kids have gotten to play in the woods with their imaginations. Happy kids make for a better world. Thanks for the comments!

    Thanks for the follows Leanne and Deborah!!!

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  7. Oh Linda, what a wonderful post. I like the picture, but I love love the story. I'm in Colorado right now with my 2 sisters and we spent the day out in the mountains. I can't say woods; I love Colo mtns, but having lived on the east coast for a while, they look mighty bare. But high and majestic. East coast mtns are more cozy. Sorry about the loss of your childhood "mom." All of us who are lucky have several of those.

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  8. beatuiful illustration and sentiment. well done, sister!

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  9. I understand what you mean about the western mountains Terri. They just aren't as intimate as "woods", though that might be because I don't know them the way I know my trees? Thanks for the comments, and thanks for the follow Sonal!!!

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  10. Close quarters inspired a large imagination. I was an only child and it had a similar effect. I wouldn't trade my imagination for anything!

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  11. I didn't share a room (there were only 2 of us) but I did spend a lot of time outdoors by myself or running with the neighborhood gang of kids. I know my own kids didn't have the kind of freedom we did, and it's kind of sad...

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  12. Hi Linda I'm back in your "space" with a little bit of sunshine on my blog for you, stop by and take a look ;0)
    Jane x

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  13. Thanks everybody! And a special thanks to Jane! (I'll post about that a little later.) Yay for kids and their imaginations!

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  14. I think your friend's mother is a special memory for you, and that's not going anywhere. Even while she was still alive, had you visited her, it would have been a completely different thing. Her part in your childhood memory was inserted at the right time, and is still there for you as it was last year.

    There will always be a space for her in you.

    .

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  15. I'm enjoying "piecing together" your life; reading how your childhood has influenced the person you are.
    I only have one sibling - a brother - however, so many of my old neighbors had 4,5, or 6 kids; and I thought about them as you played musical chairs with your bedrooms, and space in general. I've watched those little homes get the extra room and bathroom - including my own.
    I feel sorry for those who loved and who will miss your friend's mom. I understand what she represented and how she took you back to the small house (space), that led to the "infinity of blue."

    Great illustration - expertly done! It deserves a place on the walls of the science museum. :)

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  16. I love how you took a painting of such immense proportions and, with your poignant post, brought it to an intimate, human scale. Well done, Linda!

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  17. Your illustration sits in the mind as words stream by. Some recollections hit a chord, some I'd never thought of. Funeral last week for me, same situation, similar thoughts - suddenly finding myself in the middle of a gathering of folks who were the background of my childhood. The things they know about me most of my friends now have never seen or known. Strange juxtaposition, very moving. As always, your image and words stay with me long after I've turned off the computer.

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  18. Such a serene image! And another wonderfully introspective post. Its funny, my brother & I had completely separate rooms...yet he was STILL always getting into my stff!

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  19. Thanks everybody! I love reading your comments. There's so many things to think about, and different ways of looking at things. So sorry for your loss Aino. I guess funerals are a time when we can remind ourselves to appreciate the people who are still here.

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  20. Beautiful colors, composition, and lighting! In all, your image is so interesting to look at. Bravo!

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