Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gloria in the kitchen, a vision in the dough

Painting by Osip (or Josip) Falica.  Shared by Alice Vegrova.
In an uncharacteristically moony state, Gloria played with the pie crust, sculpting it into rolling hills topped by a curving track that looked better suited to a horse cart than a contemporary vehicle.  She  took cloves from the spice shelf to simulate curious growing tufts of vegetation, then reached across the counter for berry stems and cilantro sprigs, pushing them all into the pale, soft dough in an orderly fashion, the way a child might draw a farm.  A naif, wishful world in miniature, a vista preserved as though from a dream.  The road she and The Reading Man had driven yesterday in light not too different than that now striking the kitchen windows, gliding without fuss across the tiled floor.
The connection from head and heart to hand was the puzzle she would unravel, she vowed, or at least find the first loose thread, the way she worked the smallest knots in a fine though jumbled necklace or undid decades, perhaps a century, of fairy-sized stitches to deconstruct a vintage garment.  She was patient, possessed of the ability to be still almost to the point of suspended animation.  It had unnerved her parents who were used to noisy, twitchy children, children only able to remain quiet in sleep.  Gloria, in daydreams, hoped they would never be set upon by marauders who would stuff them in sacks and trade them to pirate ships as galley slaves.  When the marauders came, Gloria knew she could remain hidden indefinitely.  She would not sneeze or clear her throat, she would not squirm or squeak.  Her brothers, however, were doomed by their restless limbs, their smart-alecky stage whispers of insults or advice to each other, their snapping gum and a way of bumping and jarring anything in the vicinity.  She hoped in those times that they would protect her, then she could go for help.

When Fiona looked into the kitchen, she saw Gloria sitting at the counter on the red-legged stool.  Her right hand hovered over the landscape she'd created, her expression was soft and indulgent and peaceful, seeing the story before, behind, within the sculpture, letting, for that moment, her dreams run away with her.


susan t. landry said...

oh, lovely, marylinn. i so enjoy these excursions into gloria's world. it reminds me of children when they gather in a semicircle around the stool where the children's librarian sits, a large picture book balanced on her knee just so, to show the illustrations and read at the same time. my little head is tilted, rapt in the magic of a story.

Erin in Morro Bay said...

"And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers" - and what a dream it is, in a lovely tea shop by the ocean at the end of the winding road through the hills.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Thank you. What a familiar, comforting image and how unusual, for me, to be writer, reader and audience. I am so glad you find magic here. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - As I/we tell the pieces of the story, I do picture your world, the mist giving way to sunny hills. Now Susan's comment pulls the librarian into the center of the circle. xo