Thursday, November 9, 2017

Collage

Chapter 11 excerpt:

Now she had to think about her dreams. 
She wished to see herself as others saw her.  That is what she wanted.  To see herself as those three little girls saw her.  Or her students. Or her family.
She leafed through the magazines and cut out a picture of a woman diving into a swimming pool.  She then found a picture of a gray haired woman cuddling a baby.  In another magazine she found a picture of an old woman’s wrinkled hands with a rosary wrapped around them.  She cut out a picture of toll-house cookies.  She kept going.
After sometime she realized it was dark and it had stopped raining.  The house was quiet.  She felt quiet. 
She looked at the stack of pictures in front of her and all the bits and pieces of paper on the floor. She gathered up the scraps placing them in the fireplace.  She turned on a few lights, fed the cat and put the kettle on to boil. 
She dug around in her emergency cupboard and found a slightly used beeswax candle. 
She headed back into her study and found some Bristol board and a glue stick. 
She took her tea, and went back to the living room.  She lit the candle, and started to arranged the pictures in the shape of a human form.  Her form. 
She placed and pasted and pondered.  She sipped her tea and adjusted the placement of the last picture.  It was a dandelion puff.  The picture was about four inches square. 
She looked at the puff and noticed the individual seed pods within the puff.  She placed the picture where her heart would be.  That seemed appropriate. 
The collage was completed.  So was her tea.  
She took the collage and taped it to the mantel above the fire-place.  The mantel was directly across from where she sat on the couch. 
There she was – staring at a collage of herself – teacher, mother, daughter, wife, singer, swimmer, knitter, grand-mother, cruciverbalist, cat owner, friend, sister, student, dandelion.
Why a dandelion?  A weed.  A gardener’s nemesis.  A haven for bees.
She would have to sleep on it.  Maybe if she went to sleep visualizing this collage something would come to her in the morning. 
She headed to bed, forgoing the hot water bottle.  She purposefully didn’t turn on the radio. 

She pictured the collage:  A mother and daughter.  A poem.  A bottle of pills.  A musical note. A Dear Abby column.  An advertisement for the play  – Calendar Girls. (that wasn’t as odd as one might think – she did love to sunbathe on her deck, sans her clothes, in the summer). The puff did seem out of place, though. Why had she chosen that, and why place it where she did? 
Could she blow it all away?  Could she blow away parts of herself, and hope they take root somewhere else?
Could she?

2 comments:

  1. Fascinating................this person is quite complex and yet it is like I almost know her.

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    Replies
    1. yes, I am hoping that readers might recognize her in themselves or someone close to them. I think she is an everywoman of sorts.

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