Look!

Vladimir Nabokov said "For someone who knows how to look, everyday existence is as full of revelations and delights as it was to the eyes of the great poets of the past. Who on earth, one asks oneself, can be this artist who suddenly transforms life into a small masterpiece?" (from "Pushkin, or the True and the Seemingly True (Essay, 1937) as compiled in Think, Write, Speak edited by Brian Boyd and Anastasia Tolstoy, p131). This picture was taken through the window of a seemingly abandoned house on a cold day in December. The simplicity of the antique lamp sitting alone on a table by an uncovered window drew my attention, and it wasn't until I opened the image on my computer that I saw the reflection to the left and the waviness coming in through the window above the lamp--like a ghost hovering there, long awaiting the return of someone important--that I really looked at the scene. This picture stayed with me for quite awhile, until I finally wrote a story around it that I called "A Lasting Spring" (from the song "Orpheus with his lute made trees" as written in William Shakespeare's Henry VIII) about a love that is never, even across time, lost. That's what I see when I look at (and now remember always) this picture of an ordinary lamp on an ordinary table.

Shepardstown, West Virginia, December 2008

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