A Study In Light
You guys, as Im sitting here about to
write to you, and once again taken with the beauty of the
outdoors and where I live, I feel compelled to share with
you what I experience every time I look around.
The front of my house, facing west, is virtually
all glass including the front doors. The view outside the
glass is the lake and the sky. Because of this the main room
is bathed in sunlight. This is what Ive always dreamed
of. As I look around, I see a cacophony of memories bursting
out to talk to me. It is with great pleasure that I find myself
gazing around this room, countless times per day.
The first thing my eyes see is the two sketches
of Sam and Moxie, my beloved cat and dog, respectively. Sketched
on a whim by Hermans daughter, Hermanette, one day when
she was so moved. This was when we were in the old house,
which was not bathed in sunlight. He has another daughter
named Hermania who is also an artist. Beside the two sketches
is a watercolor that is part of a series she had done many
years ago. The series was some farmhouses with wood stacked
in front. Next to this is a halogen lamp, which is only used
when the sun has set. It adds light directing upwards, which
highlights our seventeen-foot ceilings. Then there is a beautiful
picture by my best friend Marys mother. It is reminiscent
of a Currier and Ives piece, but so much more than that as
it is personal to me. Beyond this piece is a white wicker
combination stereo rack and bookshelf. Sitting next to this
is a naturally wooden cassette tape rack. And directly above
the tape rack is a photograph of myself and my father sitting
on the beach in Florida, Sanibel Island to be exact. It must
have been about 15 years ago. Maybe even longer than that.
He was still breathing and I was still walking.
The photograph is in a beautiful frame that
my sister got me. Written on the bottom of the frame is a
brief sentence, but very powerful. It simply says "a
moment of magic." I knew I had to find a very special
photograph to put in this frame. When I happened on this photograph,
I was certain this was the correct choice. In fact, there
are photographs of my entire family adding energy to this
house. Below this photograph is an oil painting that was done
by Herman's daughter, Hermanette, who is currently completing
her graduate degree in art illustration. This particular painting
was done on a beach in Malibu CA.
Now comes the enormous bookshelf rack. Handmade
by Herman, it spans the entire back wall. Each book holds
for me a glorious story in of itself beyond the words written
by the author. Each one represents a specific time in my life.
There is an entire two shelves that just contain plays that
I had both acted in and studied when I was going to drama
school. Playwrights such as Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, not
to forget Tennessee Williams. Each one of these plays has
my own handwriting with direction given to me by whoever was
directing the play. This is particularly bittersweet as the
MS has taken my ability to write by hand.
On the very top of this bookshelf stands in
old milk bottle with fresh flowers in it. This old milk bottle
has Herman's last name on it, as his family had a working
dairy farm for 58 years. In front of the bookshelf sit two
wicker love seats as well as two wicker easy chairs. Something
about wicker has appealed to me for many years. The wicker
also sort of coordinates with a sundrenched feeling of the
entire house. Every inch of floor here is knotty pine. It
has tremendous character and really does set off the entire
I remember my parents always telling me as
we were traveling through Europe to "drink it in,"
and I wasn't quite certain exactly what they meant by that.
I absolutely get it now in my life. As I travel through this
house, I am always drinking it in. It just never seems to
get old for me. I'm trying to figure out as I'm completing
this if I left anything out. Actually, I looked up as I was
saying this and I notice my coveted Peter Max original. Drawn
for me as I was waiting on his table in 1986, each time I
look at the drawing it brings me back to that day. Perhaps
tomorrow I'll see something new. For now my eyes are getting
tired but even as I shut them, I will still know what beauty
waits for me when I once again open them.
"Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland
who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues
free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County.
Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"