Friday, January 28, 2011

Pretty Little Post Card, John Singer Sargent, and Me


Every card that reaches me becomes an instant favorite, but this has to be one of my most favorite ever. It appeals to me on several levels. I imagine the person who sent it chose  it because they think it fits my profile. Truth is I don't remember what I wrote in my profile. Doesn't matter. It's how I feel that counts.

So, I choose to believe that the author put extra thought into choosing the right card for me in this post card exchange we're engaged in. I certainly put a lot of thought and effort into selecting the cards I send. I've gone so far as to have cards made. I've spent a small allowance on a variety of cards I think might be suitable for any gender, age, ethnicity, taste, preferential spectrum, or umbrella any card-sender is liable to fall under. My stash keeps morphing and growing to meet my imagined challenge. And I like it.

This card, I call "The Sisters." I see a new story each time I watch them together, yet they remain sisters. Today they are lovers in the story stumbling about in my imagination. They're writing to the same man, then share his letters--only he has no idea. Interesting, huh? I'd finish it but I have no desire to write out a story of betrayal, greed, heart break and . . . Unkindness. It would be about women being unkind, and that's no good.

So, again, I will tell you another reason this lovely card appeals to me. It tells me a story of the joy embryoed within the written word. That's power. Any image that invokes a powerful emotion is powerful in itself. Right? Then it's even more powerful if it gives the imagination wings.

Does the style conjure up the artist, John Singer Sargent for you? It does for me. I admire his work. The brush strokes are different, but the overall feel brings him to mind every single time I look at the recent addition to my small collection. I think of Sargent, and the glory of writing and receiving letters.

I have fallen behind in my efforts to write 365 personal letters this year. I'm still not well. Almost any effort takes my breath away. When I cough the cats fall over themselves and into each other when they take off running. I know it's the deep, cavernous rumbling that  starts in the very center of my chest, then meanders underground ahead of and beneath the subways away off beneath New York, just so it can wick away some of the noise and momentum, before it blasts its way up through the Yellow Stone geyser of my throat, and gurgles away in a spew of bloody yellow phlegm, then leaves me gasping for air. It is this monster sound that makes them feel the need to run for their lives. I would run from it too, if I could.

Instead, I have to sit. And I am loathe to spit out what comes up, into a wad of Kleenex. If I don't I might not feel better sooner. So, go on. Go ahead. Leave me with my pretty postcards instead. 



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