I was organizing works-in-progress in my studio this afternoon and picked up the piece that includes this crouching child drawing on the ground. Where had I just seen this child?
Aaahhhh… the beach. I was in New Smyrna this morning to deliver some work to Arts on Douglas Gallery. Beforehand I gave myself the treat of some morning beach time and a nice walk in the water. The weather was perfect and it felt wonderful.
From my post on a sandbar I looked back at the beach to watch the earnestness of a toddler, crouching, just like the pose in my quilt sketch. She was wearing a bonnet. She had beautifully chubby little legs. She squatted so that her bottom was touching the cool water, and she was completely absorbed in… something. It might have been watching ripples. It might have been a mark she made in the sand. It might have been a little crab. Or maybe the simple delight of wiggling toes and watching the sand move. From my position on the sandbar, I could not tell.
It made no difference. It was something important to her. She had discovered something and decided it was fascinating and worthy of her full attention.
I remember. In fact, as I call upon my own childhood the memories that are most real to me are times of independent absorption like that. I loved to work with crayons. I cut out and played with paper dolls. Outdoors, I would make small creations of twigs and grass and stones to make houses.
As I have drawn on memories and dreams to develop my current body of work dealing with home, the crouching child, absorbed in her drawing, seemed a perfect symbol to include. Incorporated into a composition of house and tree forms, she is a vehicle to lead a viewer to remembering. Just as I could not determine the exact task of my little friend at the beach today, the exact purpose or subject matter of this crouching, drawing child is unspecified.
But through her, we can wonder. And we can remember.
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