Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

January 12, 2007

a new friend

I've just made a new friend and it's a book. It's called "The Song of the Lark" by Willa Cather and I'll tell you how I found it, first. I was browsing through the classics section at an overstuffed used book store called Priceless Books and saw a book whose title struck me because it also happens to be the title of my favorite painting hanging in the Art Institute of Chicago. I thought it couldn't possibly be related to that painting but of course I pulled it out and there was the painting on the cover, tattered and looking cheap for being on an old paperback, but still my favorite. Definitely a keeper.

So I brought it home and started reading it. It tells the story of a young artist from Colorado, early 1900's, and her discovery of herself and her talents. A very worthy subject and well-handled. Can you tell that I spent a good part of last night reading it? My writing is not my own this morning but heavily colored by the language in the book. Except that she goes on and on about the details of everything, which I kind of like but don't have the patience to do myself.

Here's why I say I found a friend. Her description of the heroine of the story finding and loving this painting "The Song of the Lark" is exactly the same as my experience and my feeling. Exactly. It's like she stole it out of my head, except, of course, that it was written in 1915! I think this would freak me out a little if I wasn't already a twin and so used to finding my thoughts mirrored exactly in other people. Here's the passage:

"But in that same room there was a picture -- oh, that was the thing she ran upstairs so fast to see! That was her picture. She imagined that nobody cared for it but herself, and that it waited for her. That was a picture indeed. She liked even the name of it, "The Song of the Lark." The flat country, the early morning light, the wet fields, the look in the girl's heavy face -- well, they were all hers, anyhow, whatever was there. She told herself that that picture was "right." Just what she meant by this, it would take a clever person to explain. But to her the word covered the almost boundless satisfaction she felt when she looked at the picture." -Willa Cather

I've even gone to the Art Institute just to visit 'my painting'. It's hard to get the same experience from seeing it 2 inches square from a Google image search, although you can certainly get the gist of it that way. It's very dark with not a lot of contrast except for the sky, so it's probably hard to reproduce.

Anyways, this all makes me want to keep finding and reading more books so I can find more kindred spirits. A very good feeling. Especially for a cold mid-January day. (Not that cold, though, really. My snow drops think it's time to bloom!)

Posted by Bahiyyih at January 12, 2007 09:21 AM

That picture totally reminds me of you. You must have a postcard of it or something. It's so neat that you found that description that is exactly how you feel about it, destiny.

Lucy and I had a great time visiting with you and are sorry it was so short. It was fun to be in your environment (it's been a while) and see all the work you do. We love you and hope to see you again soon!

Posted by: layli at January 16, 2007 09:13 AM

Dear Bahiyyih,

I love the movies you made. You make me the brilliant star.

Armed with the power of Thy name nothing can ever hurt me and with Thy love in my heart all the world's afflictions can in no wise alarm me.

I love your children and you. You are the most greatest aunt I have ever had in my entire life.

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Posted by: Lucy at January 26, 2007 06:22 PM

Thanks Lucy! I love you so much!

Posted by: Bahiyyih at January 27, 2007 05:55 PM