Sunday, May 28, 2006

further into the front hall

This mirror hangs where the mantel would have been and serves as our (always overloaded) coat rack. After years of living in rental apartments painted white, white and white, J and I could not wait to slap color on the walls of our own house. This was the color of the living room of an apartment I lived in in my mid-20s. According to Benjamin Moore, it's "melon popscicle." I loved it so much that when I moved out, I nicked a chip off the wall and carried it around with me through successive moves (and what is more impressive, never lost track of it) till I arrived in a place where I could have a free hand with a paintbrush. The front hall got the melon popsicle treatment because its one window is shaded by our deep front porch, putting it in need of a color resembling sunlight (or melon popsicles).

And here's the wall reflected in the mirror. After my grandmother passed away, I ransacked her attic for her cache of old family photos. I finally found them in a box marked "white thread." These are my favorites, color-copied and hung in thrift-shop frames I'd been collecting with this project in mind for years. My grandmother with her mother, circa 1912... my own mother's first steps on the sidewalk in front of her house in Philadelphia... my father and his sister as babies in Austria, their bare feet in the Bodensee. They grew up apart after their parents divorced when he was five, his sister four. As teenagers, they began to write letters to one another. One of these photos is of her, age sixteenish, and you can tell it was tattered and dogeared from being carried for years in my father's wallet. On the back of the original was written "Denk an mir"... think of me.


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