Sunday, May 24, 2009

expressing fragility in etegami

At the far south end of our yard, snuggled against a wall that offers just a bit of a barrier between our property and the thoroughfare, grows a forsythia tree. I guess I'm supposed to call it a shrub, but this one is taller than I am. It reaches over the wall and spills its willowy yellow-blossomed branches into the airspace over the sidewalk and street. I've used various methods to try to force it to stay on our side of the wall, but it seems to have a mind of its own. I used to worry that pedestrians and cyclists, not to mention cars, would ram right through the branches in their hurry to proceed down the street, but it seems that there is a common instinct that prevents violation of the forsythia's space. Everyone slows down and moves around it. In the earliest days of spring, when the piles of dirty snow along the streets have finally melted, and tulips and daffodils dot our yard at ground level, the forsythia is the first thing at eye level that bursts into color. A yellow so pure and bright, amidst the still drab and leafless maple, cherry, birch, and ash trees, it seems as if all of the sun's light were soaking into that one plant. Of course, I draw it every spring. The flowers soon make way for the leaves, and the greened-over forsythia melts into the background of the other trees, as their leaves too unfold. This year I caught the forsythia as the blossoms were making way for the leaves. The blossoms were already losing their plumpness and the purity of their color. I tried to match this in the thin wobbly writing, which I accomplished by dangling a gel-pen (like a ball point pen) from the tips of my fingers and barely scraping the paper as I formed the letters. The drawing and the writing together give an impression of fragility, don't you think?

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