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    A Study In Light

    You guys, as I’m 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 I’ve 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 Herman’s 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 Mary’s 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 house.

    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"