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Photography by Vladimir Fedotko
“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.” — Patti Smith
Image courtesy of Deborah Merrill Williams
I Am Thumbelina
By Annette Marie Hyder
I am Thumbelina in a field of flowers as tall as trees
gliding among the shadows of clouds of immensity
because everything is larger than life — when you walk with me.
Song starts on a subatomic level, twines itself to beat
like hammers made of hummingbirds
because even the minutest of things sing — when I am with you
and the greens chant and the sky is a sea to float away on a deux
as we lay in a field with Brobdingnagian flowers facing an ocean of blue.
When all the other trees have lost their leaves,
lift your eyes to the evergreens.
My daughter and I drive by this building on our way home. This message
appeared sometime in January. Is it art? Is it beauty? It’s a good
question for the new year.
By Annette Marie Hyder
The sand winks with broken pieces of larger things, once whole.
In being worn down into such fine granules they gained
(the boulders, pieces of mountains, rocks dull but serviceable)
an ability to reflect the light and shine in a way
that was never there before. A coral colored blush suffuses
the glitter on this shore.
I stretch out my toe, a stylus,
with which to write in the ruins of once lofty heights.
I stand on a wet canvas that scrolls far out to sea
leaving fleeting footprints even less enduring
than the mountains at my feet. It crosses my mind that the sand is also
leaving its “footprint” on me and that it will last just as long
as I hold this memory.
Macalester College sky, seen while reclining on the rolling lawn by Carnegie Hall. Photo Copyright Jasmine Rain Hyder
By Annette Marie Hyder
the clouds are deckle edged paper
letting the light shine through in layers
tinted by the watercolors of the rains they’re painted with
white clouds billow in the breeze
i’m making a tent
under the summer sheets
hanging on the clothesline sky
i’ll come out when i am ready
(when the day calls me in for dinner)
and you will see me by and by
a long line of white birds
gets lost against the equally white clouds
becoming hint and vague suggestion
of flight in the sky where such things —
floating, flying — are so ordinary as to fade into invisibility right before your eyes
if you allow yourself to have a blind eye to the commonplace
i look beneath the surface line between nothingness and splendor
unwrapping wonder as i go
Sometimes objects transcend the confines of their utilitarian objectives. It is as if they too possess souls in the form of meaning and possibilities and their souls are, in some circumstances, too large for the shell that contains them.
Imagine such an object in the form of a violin that symbolizes a young girl’s yearnings for something special and beyond what she has or is capable of at the present moment. Violins are expensive and frivolous indeed if there are budgetary restraints and considerations for things more immediately important and necessary.
But a violin that is yearned for with all of a young girl’s heart is so much more than just a violin. It is the promise of elegant dexterity in drawing forth from the polished piece cradled in one’s hands sighs and murmurs of beauty mingled so thoroughly with music that they are one and the same. It is aspiration with strings, a box crafted with wings, both friend and vehicle for a wondrous journey.
Yesterday my daughter had a special birthday celebration dinner with her step-mom, Jennifer, and family, Jude, Romeo and Andrew (I was there too!). At the end of dinner the wait staff came out clapping and singing and carrying a large wrapped present. Imagine my shock when Jasmine opened her present to her dreams come true — a violin. Jasmine is besotted with that violin!
We were driving over to Jennifer’s house after leaving the restaurant and I couldn’t help but notice the fog on the steep hillsides. It reminded me of the Smokey Mountains. “Isn’t that beautiful!?” I asked Jasmine. “Yes! Yes it is.” she breathed dreamily. Glancing over at her I saw her gazing rapturously at her violin.
I’ve been blown away every time I think of Jennifer’s getting a violin for Jasmine. Even more than the beauty of the violin itself, the beauty of the gesture is what takes my breath away.
“I used my income tax return money to buy it.” Jennifer told me. “Objects, things, they don’t matter so much to me anymore but I would do anything for Jasmine.”
Jasmine showed me the card that Jenny got her. On the inside flap is this:
I have loved you with an everlasting love… — Jeremiah 31:3 NIV