Wednesday, January 18, 2017

there is a word for that

The word is "catenary": a curve created between two points:

  • the gentle dip of telephone wires between two telegraph poles.
  • a tightrope cable between two stanchions under a circus big top. 
  • playmates and their skipping rope 
  • silky spider thread bejeweled with dew drops
  • the high flying string tether between kiter and his kite
Oh the weighted, subliminal beauty of the catenary line created between two points.

My dear father, Joseph, passed away December 23rd. 88 years old died in his sleep shortly after I returned home from visiting him in South Carolina.

Within one year, the experience of this third death has created not a catenary line I hold between two points of birth and death but a parabolic curve with a deep, tragic trough stricken heavily with the weight of grief.

  • like a telephone wire after an ice storm, 
  • like the tightrope of an aerial acrobat carrying three fellow travelers upon his shoulders 
  • like the string of the kite which lost its loft, 
  • like the skipping rope befuddled by a playmate's misstep. 

This past Sunday in the parking garage, I sat in my car frozen with fear. My car was packed with painting gear and a rendezvous with another painter was planned but I couldn't move.  "Go home, go home", came hissing in my ear. "Go home".  I called my friend and cancelled.

Wetlands in Littleton, MA

Here is the painting I painted after wrestling off fear and grief.   Fresh air did help in dispelling what ailed me in that parking garage...for the time being.

Love you Dad.