Wednesday, February 12, 2014


As promised to calendar holders. I am writing the story behind each month's calendar photo this year.
February and Valentines are one unit in my mind, appar- ently.  Because every year at Calendar-making time, I invariably (and usually quickly) select a Valentine's-related image for that month.  This year's February selection was easier than ever.  The Back Bay garden cherub sprang to mind, and that was that.   The cherub was a bonus.  I had made the trip downtown expressly for the tulips, in the Public Garden.  Seeing them used to be a given, a lovely bonus of teaching in that part of town for the twenty years that I did so.  Now, it's make it a point to go, or miss them.  Last spring, I almost did miss them thanks especially to the summer-hot days that landed unseasonably as they say in the middle of our spring.  Still, no matter the condition I'd find them in, the promise of feasting my senses on those bold, fragrant carpets of color got me down there.  And I'm so glad it did.  I would enjoy the tulips, sunburns and all.  But first, an angel--leaning...sniffing? whispering? kissing?--would catch my eye.  Cupid, I thought, naked, wing-ed, cute little butt and all--with his nose in the flowers and his bare back to the midday sun--was gracing the entry of one of the Comm Ave. mansions between Berkeley and Arlington.  I found the scene playful, adorable.  And of course I stopped to photograph it.  On my way to where I was going, this.   It's a story in a glance to me, this one.  His one arm up, a finger to the lips:  "Shhhhh!":  The Angel Tells a Secret to the Flowers.  "Shhhh!  Don't tell a soul."  And the flowers vow to keep it. Intimacy, confidences:  it was all there in a glance.  It delighted me then and delights me now. This delight spilled into a call with my mother today; I discovered she did not share it."It's the first one I haven't liked," she leveled. "Why put that big, gray obstacle in the way?  I like to see the flowers!"  She spoke with such displeasure, such a force."Obstacle?!" I was so surprised.  She meant Cupid, of course, front and center in the photo.  Who'd have thought?  One woman's obstacle is another woman's poem, ah?  Maybe it was her eyesight, I wondered.  Maybe she couldn't see the detail?  I tried to make sense of it. No matter.  That I found whimsy and delight on my way to the Garden is "Why!?"  And it's a gift I'll be receiving all month long.  The sculptor too is a gift, it strikes me now.  Someone conjured this pose, cast it.  And even as the cast portrays, it seems also to contain--as all fine art contains--much like the skin of our body contains bones and flesh.  To my eye, my senses, there is an aliveness within the figure that matches the aliveness of the flowers planted with it.  Flowers and figure, in this together--in cahoots, you might say.  The gardener played his part too, of course.  He (she?) introduced them.  The result is something lyrical that evokes--speaks,, at least--maybe others, too.  Maybe not.  Either way, there is no accounting for delight, I say.  And no need to.


Blogger Kathryn Deputat said...

Comments received offline:

I love this photo, it’s one of your best! ( I say “one of” because I find all your photos exquisite.) I love the brilliant spill of flowers, and the angel’s back turned, and the wings— the radiance of it all— especially now, in the midst of all this snow and cold. Your photo say there’s hope— the angel beckons us toward spring. Love it! ______________________________

Happy Valentines to you as well. Thanks for your focus on finding love's way. I'm loving the back of a cupid facing a flower this month! take care and here's to the wonderfulness of love in so many forms

12:02 PM  

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