Parting Company

Nov 17, 2020

It is not long until Thanksgiving and conversation is swirling around about what to do about the holiday. To gather or not to gather, that’s the problem at hand. There’s a lot of hand-wringing going on in my little world as well. I was excited to be welcoming my now Australian-resident daughter home for her 40th birthday, this year falling on THE big day. She was bringing her partner along to give him the full frontal on American gluttony. So yes, that won’t happen and I will miss her so.

When I began this project, I was excited to return to a flower grouping. At first, I was inclined to nudge all those stems closer together, to make them more of a bouquet as opposed to individuals and small clusters. I’m not sure exactly why, but it just didn’t seem right to do so. Maybe it’s all the social distancing talk that’s been drummed into my head for the past eight months. I kept them respectfully separated.

Admittedly, I anthropomorphize, a lot. However, as I worked on these flowers somehow, they weren’t becoming personalities to me. It wasn’t until I was putting the finishing touches on the whole composition that I was struck by their apartness and the way the group to the left seemed to be leaving the stage while the huddled group to the right seem to be choosing a path of their own. It brought to mind how we have separated ourselves over these last months, and over these past years, to forge our own narrow paths, and it made me sad. It also reminded me of those who are gone away and will never return, and that made me sadder.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just do a little cut and paste and move us all together again? To view our viral assailant as a mortal threat to us all and rise up and slay the beast? Then, wouldn’t it be the most glorious Thanksgiving for Americans to come together to celebrate our long hibernation and mutual distain with an exuberant feast of excess and to cheer our communal victory when the smoke finally clears?

I can dream, can’t I? Dibs on the wishbone.

Painting: Parting Company © Lissa Banks 2020