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TWILIGHT SHEETS

Keeping the flowers alive a little longer, my mom always used worn bed sheets to protect the plants around the house from frost. I sometimes felt the weight of the cotton would break the stems, but instead they knew how to bow to accommodate the weight of protection. Dappled in twilight dew, the sheets I had seen for decades gave me pause. Because I’ve had this impulse to hug what I see, and like the urge to cut a rose brings about the plants imminent death, I refrain. In pause, hanging in limbo, the sense of longing to touch, embrace, be protected, pushes me a few steps back to look. I gaze in a tearful gratitude at the sweetness of such a gesture. Studying the folds of sheet similarly to appreciating the lines formed through centuries in rocks. The patterns of the bedding mimicking the very plants they cover. Such sentiments are loathed in the artworld today, and so I hid these photos, as many others away. Occasionally tucking in projects, quietly on an internet that could power down any day, I remind myself to print these. Or draw them. Maybe paint, but why? The clinging to these ineffable moments illuminates this place behind my nose, and so it’s really the scent of these bed clothes and damp plants that delivers me the present. But I’d still like to look just a little longer. In looking, I forget about fights, I forget about hunger, I forget about anything other than the sort of illuminated pleasure looking at and performing caring gestures gives. These are invisible to the world, such gestures, saved for healthcare catalogues and tending crisis made by wars. I linger longer perhaps because I hope these plentiful actions of care become more in focus in our collective psyches. Because if the psyche really means spirit, who doesn’t feel caring and cared for, can’t really see any reason to change. It’s hard to light a protected and damp plant on fire. Perhaps putting out the fire in the minds of men would deliver the care people are crying for.

 

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