“Snapshot” mixed media on paper, 26 x 20 (framed)
This week, we moved in to our new abode in South Florida. The process of moving is physical, mental and emotional…full of surprises, twists and turns. The timing of this move, on the heals of the “Collaboratus” show and my own collaborative project with the poet Amy Vaughn, was exquisitely poetic and perfectly synchronized. This piece, based on Vaughn's poem “Snapshot”, became the catalyst for uncovering memories in our boxes as we lugged them from hither to yon.
The poem crossed my path months ago, and I remember pausing in my day as I read it, pondering for a moment simpler days - mud pies made in alleys, gooseberries and rhubarb, wading pools and gopher funerals (a story in itself, I assure you!), fire ants and crawdads, creeks and caves. Reading Vaughn’s poem, “the world dropped away” for a moment:
Wide sunny skies
Opened before us each summer day
We seized each moment
And lingered over watermelon smiles.
Muddy lake water ruined our bathing suits,
But we didn't care!
All that mattered in those moments gathered under the trees
Were ice cream freezers churning
And fish caught to be fried up crispy later.
Under watchful eyes we set our inner tubes spinning
And the world dropped away.
Coating each other with red clay from the shore
We danced and transformed into monsters
Who melted away when we ran giggling
Into the waves.
When the “Collaboratus” project was announced, this poem came to mind immediately. I wanted to capture Vaughn’s words in piece reminiscent of storybook illustration and childhood play.
In my own childhood, my sister and I were the muddy girls who didn’t care, seeking adventure every day and staying outside until our mother rang a cowbell (really, a cowbell) and made us come inside. We “seized each moment” in a way that eludes us now as adults, yet I can recall it perfectly if I pause long enough to remember the feeling.
Perhaps this collaborative piece will transport you as well, if only for a moment, and the world will drop away for a time of reflection, magical childhood memories and simple joys.
This piece is available. On display at Ciel Gallery for the month of July. Inquiries: Call the gallery at 704-496-9417 or Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jen Walls and her imaJENation