Posts Tagged ‘global warming’


You saw this painting (30” x 40”) in a gallery. You stood in front of it so long that you thought you might as well buy it if it’s going to hold your attention like that. You take it home. You hang it in your dining room and start preparing for your dinner party that night. You have just four people over, people you’ve known forever, who sometimes get rowdy and other times yawn without apologizing. But this evening you notice that they’re exceptionally witty and imaginative. You credit the painting for this lively upswing in your social life. Over the weekend your retired uncle Bert is dropping by on his way to the hardware store. Because of his back, he prefers to sit in the dining room chairs and he says, “what in the sweet-baby-jesus name is that supposed to be.” He’s trying to describe to you how he’s planning to rig the back gate so the kids won’t cut through his yard on their way to school, but he can’t seem to keep his bolts, wires and springs straight. He keeps repeating what he just said, going in circles, and relating things that aren’t mechanically connected in his invention. He mumbles something about getting older and he’s got to be going and would you happen to have a couple of aspirin.

You’re determined to get to the bottom of this. You take down your heirloom oil painting of the Spanish galleon from over the mantel in your living room along with the carved candelabra and you hang this new painting there. You plunk down on the couch in front of it, determined to enjoy an afternoon of peaceful art contemplation. Two hours later you’re in the kitchen pouring yourself a double Black Label. You stagger to your computer and write angry letters to congressmen about global warming and to the New Yorker about the use of the word “iconic.” You go on Facebook and unfriend anybody who’s ever posted a cat video or that thing where the elephant and the dog become best friends forever. You email your ex to say, the arrangement with the kids is not working, we have to do better. You suddenly realize that your mom doesn’t want another frog broach for her birthday, what she would really enjoy is a plate of little sandwiches you made and sit in the backyard with you one afternoon. You pick up that library book, the one that needs to be renewed again soon, about genocide in the 20th century that you’ve been mostly not reading because it’s so awful to think about that. It must be getting late, you guess, you go back to the living room, reach up to grab the painting with one hand, you unhook it and take it upstairs to your bedroom. Tomorrow you’ll hang it. For now you lean it against the dresser and you throw a sheet over it so you won’t accidentally catch sight of it and be drawn into its vortex.

In the morning you hang it properly and you start a new early-rise meditation. You stand in front of it for five minutes, a to-do list racing through your mind. Can do! You drape the sheet over it for the rest of the day because you have no time to look. Too much to do, to fix, to learn, to experience!

Bruce Boyer, oil on canvas, 30” x 40”

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.





Read Full Post »