Posted on May 4, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair5.4.2014 Journal Prompt May 4, 2014: She loves him. (Happy anniversary, Philip Hartigan. She does love him!) Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
7 Replies to “5.4.2014 Journal Prompt”
Now, you see, I can’t do this. Not the way my imagination works and wanders into gloomy even when there’s such a happy picture as this. So, no, I won’t do this. I shall leave the picture to speak for itself.
Hello, Lindsay, and I hope I haven’t hurt your process! Might I suggest–if you haven’t already–writing what you want anyway? And you can share if you like. It is fiction after all! Thanks for the good wishes.
Yes! Wonderful. Happy anniversary.
Thank you, sir!
(Ok, Patti. Just as long as you understand that this is a fiction and not what’s in the picture. Oh and you should look up the poem… it’s beautiful.)
I have a picture in my studio, where I work. It is a reminder that we were young once and happy. I look at it every day. It makes me smile even though I do not recognize myself in the picture. Or you. It was so long ago.
We never did church, for we were godless then and still are. But I wanted white and gossamer and flowers. So we did our own unholy thing. And vows we took before all our closest and best. And I read you a poem by Norman McCaig called ‘True Ways of Knowing’. And I read it in a garden.
There are few pictures of that day. I have just the one. And like I said, we look not ourselves in the picture. I think it is love that does that. It’s something obvious to those looking on, something that radiates like light. And it makes us good and sure and we could leap fearless off of tall buildings together. Love makes angels of us, briefly.
We are different now. We are apart now, but I keep the picture on my studio desk and I look at it sometimes, looking less at you and more at me. Seeing someone I don’t know anymore, and wishing I could go back to that time – not as me but as someone looking on. I am laughing in the picture and though I still laugh now, it is not the same laugh and I wonder what sound her laugh has.
I remember we had tables out on the grass. Long tables dressed in white linen cloths and laid with silver cutlery that we hired for the occasion. And the sun stayed out and a bee was tangled in the folds of my dress, not knowing which way was up or which way down. You knelt before me a second time and unpicked that bee and set it straight again – as straight as bees ever are. And I thought then it was all going to be alright.
I am not bitter or waspish now that it’s over. We had our moments, is what I think. And we had that day in the garden. I sometimes wish there was more than just this one picture. I kept the dress for years, but then on an unsentimental day, I cut it up to be something practical. And I have a book that lists all the presents we got and the messages that came with those presents. And I have the poem.
You can look it up, the poem. It’s a lover’s poem. And every time I read it, I think of you and I think of me, and I think of how I was back then. That is something I recognize, that feeling, and remembering how I felt, I miss you then, or I miss something, just for as long as I remember.
The photograph makes me smile, not because it is you or me, for I do not really see you or us in the picture. I see two people in love, and laughing and it’s obvious. But seeing it, I think of ‘True Ways of Knowing’ and I am in love again, in love with being in love.
Lovely, Lindsay. Sorta sounds like my first marriage and its aftermath. And thanks for alerting me to the poem.
You are, as always, welcome. (And it’s Norman MacCaig… and not as I spelled it!)