Reflections on Art and Life
Dandridge, TN – rediscovering the town of my birth, of my American birth, that is. Remembering how difficult and lonely the first years were and how many people showed me kindness and hospitality. Their elaborate small talk and readily given smiles drove me crazy, but in time I grew to appreciate their ways.
Today I laid my hand on the freshly dug grave of the oldest friend. The patch of brown grass made his absence brutally real and tangible. The sun kept burning my forehead and the air stood as still as only humid Tennessee air can. I found myself wanting to leave something on his grave as I made a note of the American flags gracing the neighboring headstones. I took a mental inventory of the contents of my purse but did not find anything worthy. I was reminded of a gem encrusted pin in the shape of the American flag he and his wife gave me on the day I became an American citizen. The pin originally belonged to his mother, and here I was, standing next to her grave as well, feeling a timelessness of human connection that spanned through three generations and two continents.