Emily’s crosses

A woman I know went into the night three nights ago. She slept near the heat of a sewer and breathed the hours till dawn. A bit later, at St. Patrick’s, watery hotcakes were slapped onto a plate and slid beneath her hunger. This woman’s street-home is steps from the Art Gallery of Ontario, down the hall from Emily Carr’s Indian Church.

Trees dwarf this white church. It resembles something a child might roughly shape out of dough. I think of a kitchen: a woman, pressing and pounding, rolls out bread. It springs back at her then she turns to touch a child beneath the countertop. She hands the girl a fist full of dough and says: make art.

There, on the tile near her mother’s feet she constructs a white church and the woman smiles down on her, resumes pressing deep and hard, relentless. Later, she’ll pick the dried glop from between her daughter’s fingertips. The kitchen smells pumpernickel breadly.

There is a slight splash of yellow on a bough; more yellow glimpsed through the Queen Charlotte fine forest. Emily Carr paints no figures but I see them. I lean against the fence watching school girls rustle up pinecones, spread havoc among the squirrels.

Carr’s Christ becomes shrouded by lush green. Five slight single crosses stab dirt while nearby ogreish pines cast oblique shadows. Whose deaths does she paint?


About Nor

I'm a creative non-fiction writer, with a special interest in memoirs and obituaries--life stories, local histories with flesh & blood anecdotal details. I'm also beginning to create podcasts of people's stories and expanding their audiences. I'm a diarist, an editor, and a political activist. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and spend days tapping keys or staining my fingers in ink.
This entry was posted in art, death, memorial and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s