art by Arlene Kim Suda

pay attention...

pay attention…

week 30: love letters

Posted on July 29, 2012 by aks

There are no stars tonight
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.

There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother’s mother, Elizabeth,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.

Over the greatness of such space
Steps must be gentle.
It is all hung by an invisible white hair.
It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air.

And I ask myself:

“Are your fingers long enough to play
Old keys that are but echoes:
Is the silence strong enough
To carry back the music to its source
And back to you again
As though to her?”

Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand
Through much of what she would not understand;
And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof
With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.

– Hart Crane

This week is inspired by another beautiful poem by Hart Crane.

This week I’m working solely with paper — folding and unfolding it until it is worn down and starts to feel soft.  It makes me think of the paper love letters in this poem…”brown and soft and liable to melt as snow”. I love how the simple act of handling paper can transform it into something that captures light so beautifully.

softened paper, 8-1/2 x 9 inches


folded paper, 10 x 7 inches

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