The Crossroads by Barbara Dillon Hillas
What memories an orange scarf can bring.
Like Monet, my sister likes to paint. In different media. But she paints. Including silk scarves. However, she not only paints scarves. She sculpts jewelry. This is what happens when a runaway artist does a thousand things. There is no way to reign in a runaway artist.
However, there was a time when I did just that… I reigned a runaway artist to help me understand what my daughter and I saw.
I have a bright orange silk hand-painted scarf. It is a pretty ornament, which can grace a woman’s sweater, dress, or coat.
We were far away then. My daughter found this pretty scarf during her school’s international fair and immediately thought of her Nonna. With her hard-earned dollars, she bought it from the lady who had painted it herself, because she thought the color combination was perfect for her Grandmother to wear. I remember thinking how perceptive a 12-year old could already be. My Mother loved pinks, taupes and oranges.
I have this pretty kerchief because my Mother died. When we were clearing her things, that orange scarf brought back precious memories.
Every time I look at this scarf I see myself wondering the halls of the school with my child.
A while ago, as I was folding the scarf to put away, it struck me that its crisscross pattern very much reflects the crossroads of life. My Mother is gone, but memories of her and her guiding principles remain. They are stronger today than when she was alive.
As I grow older, I understand my Mother’s view that -somehow- life and our experiences are interconnected by strong currents and delicate tendrils.
The orange color brought to mind an old song my Mother used to sing to us when we were kids, about an old blind man, a young Mother and her child, and an orange that quenched the child’s thirst. Little did I know that the song was an old Spanish romance from the 15th century. That was my Mother… a true teacher at heart, making the archaic sound modern to her children.
And so is the art that my sister Cynthia Dillon shares with the world. Nothing to hide, everything to show, beauty is more than what the eye beholds.