The painting is called "Cloud Room", a place I can go to sit with loved ones that I miss.
I was sitting on the teak bench on the garden the other day, a beautiful spring Maine day without flies [yet]. The teak benches, there are two, were owned by my parents back in Minnesota and sat in their rose garden for years. I often had coffee with my mother every day there, as I was a freelancer and made my own hours. At the time, I had one friend who often told me I needed to go see other people and quit doing a mother visit everyday as I would never meet anyone [I was about 40 at the time and very single, two years later I'd meet Martyn]. I told her I liked being with my mom, and I'm so glad I had all those morning coffees with her.
Years later, my parents moved into a place where they no longer could use the teak benches and they gave them to me and Martyn out at the old farm. They jokingly said they wanted us to name the benches "Bob" and "Kelly", in their honor. We did. None of us could tell Bob the bench apart from Kelly the bench but it didn't matter.
So I'm sitting in the garden, as I said, on one of the benches, and I was really wishing my mom was sitting there with me, so we could talk...talk about stuff I wouldn't talk to anyone else about. I thought of all our chats on those benches, some with me in tears over some moron I was smitten with, some debating who would win the election, some just sitting, watching birds. As I thought of all those things, I found that I was slightly bent forward, with my forearms on my thighs–this was a position my mother often would sit in on those benches. I smiled...I knew it was her.
"I still miss you," I said. "But thanks."