Saturday, February 4, 2012
still-sound 38. Lady of the Oil
I thought of my very dear friend Jane Yeh when I saw this statuette. It mysteriously appeared on a table outside of a house I pass every day when I walk the dog. The house belongs to hoarders. Or maybe the occupants only have a mild form of hoardism. The concept of hoarders seems somewhat new. Growing up there were always neighbors who kept broken down cars propped up on blocks in their front yard and years of National Geographic stacked up in the family room - but they were just called people who collected stuff rather than hoarders.
The statuette reminded me of an ornament I particularly liked when I was a small kid. My parents often brought me to shops with them while they ran errands. This was the 70s and my parents had a somewhat laissez faire attitude allowing me to wander around on my own in public places. At Rickel, the local hardware emporium I would meander into the area featuring doorbell displays and test each chime until I could choose the one I liked best. I would eventually end up in the lighting area and once discovered a small statue of a 'maiden' surrounded by wires strung on a vertical diagonal. Drops of oil would follow the lines of wire downward in slow, random patterns. The overall effect was that of a woman standing in a garden during a gentle rainfall. I know that it was oil because I actually touched a droplet as it descended.
I don't know if Jane knew of this ornament but when I told her about it she seemed to 'get it' immediately. She's a brilliantly talented poet and could probably imagine the ornament in great detail. The statuette outside the hoarders' house only graced the table once. It had disappeared by the next day. I'm glad I took the photo when I had the opportunity. A lady of great poise - ultimately inscrutable - not unlike Jane herself.