I call this painting “Dancing Mare,” she’s my ideal for me the way she has her head and tail up forelegs ready for the push from behind. No turning back, she’s on the move.
The poem is one I’ve seen on people’s refrigerators, reminding them to embrace change. I wrote it when kids were little and I put it here now to remind me that change is the way it is and if I want support I can’t look back.
Together our lives weave an intricate tapestry
of dreams and jelly on the stove.
Your hair is soft under my hand,
yesterday it was sticky with peppermint and gummy candy.
I smooth the curls, form them in my fingers
think of the times we’ve had though
you are still so young.
We sit together, struck by the same light
in a cadence of features though change
is the fabric of our bond.
Like old folk music we sound off key
sometimes speaking in strident unison,
each voice grasping to be heard
words pour out into the space between us.
In the next moment your face beams
up at me, sure of my thereness
my solid rock comfort and I see the changing
face of the child I love.
The hair I get used to goes dark or light
the teeth I know fall out, there is always
a newness about you I dare not call strange.
I never know what you’ll come home with,
a new pet, a friend, book or idea,
you’re open to the world, to change.
As you shift in your winds I flip back through my childhood,
trying on memory’s tangle. We aren’t there,
you and I, our picture’s aren’t ready.
While I’m looking back, your eyes seek mine,
you lean toward me, keeping the corners of my life snug
like the paper triangles holding pictures in our photograph album.
Sometimes when the past comes to a point, like a death of a signature person or the unravelling of a totem being perhaps internal, the future is called to take the driver’s seat. Looking back is not as clear as looking forward. If the road is underfoot, best to look a bit ahead so as not to stumble, take a fall.
I watch my horse Sanne trust the moment and stride forward. Or the dogs and cats who share space and time with me. They look where they are going, where they are headed. There’s really nothing else to do, but we humans can be fooled.
Ingrid Schatz on the sea wall Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard.