My eyes hung on the painting strung onto the weathered cedar fence, ethnic style monarch butterfly nestled between cocoons spun with silver thread, wings pushing out, chalk bones and glinting marigold flowers.
I’d love to share it with my sisssterrr... Stabbing pain in gut, eyes welling, heart fell like stone in empty cauldron.... memory glitch resolved to bleak recall.... “she’s gone”.
Feet staggered numb to a patch of dirt and flowers... head hung, tears slowly dripping little diamonds on the ground,... “can I take a picture of your painting? I.... I wanted to show my sister but.... “....cheeks wet, eyes searching....
“Do you know the story of Dia De Los Muertos, The Day of the Dead?” said the blond angel of a girl glowing, cheeks flushed, madonna with child in belly, “when our loved ones come back to visit, and monarch butterflies help them make their journey, and the gold in the flowers are the riches welcome in the next realm... do you know that story?”
Raising camera stepping back, glancing down to same flower in the painting, the same one my sister is likely spending in the place she is now.... and with a click it was saved to my memory card.
A fluttering stirred hairs around my face as an insistent butterfly darted up and down and circled then escorted me along the path, through the garden, across the street, to my car then vanished, leaving me entranced and spell bound.
Murmurs of my sister’s voice, her last words still echoing.... “Do your art Lory, do your art...”.
I wanted to see the world through her eyes, placed camera in her hands that day. She showed me the sky in our backyard looking up towards the heavens, and the wagon wheel promising adventures in our dream Gypsy wagon where the butterfly painting got pasted on it’s door while surrounded with marigolds and the very same butterfly that followed me through the garden, down the path and to the car.
Touched with inner knowing of an unlearned process ... layer upon layer in a word doc, who would have thunk... art emerged from random items from my virtual memory.
Immortalized with memories of oil paints and turpentine wafting and love worn wrinkled mother's hands, pallet knives and tapered brushes, were sister’s eyes peering central and faintly overseeing, through the clouds and trees and sky surrounding her with pasted butterflies and marigolds, and pic of a birthday party with wings looming in background mom had painted... the very same butterfly...
A collaborative work emerged in a virtual world painted with pixels and memories between a mother and her two daughters and a wing and a prayer... and a butterfly sharing love between realms.
Blond artist woman now with year old child in arms, gazing long, trembling hand grasping collaged print with wagon, door and her pasted painting on a soul’s journey, eyes moist, stories woven, touched by butterfly’s and angels in her pregnant garden.