Texture can be a feast for the eyes as well as for the sense of touch.
At a Farmers’ Market this weekend, bright clumps of wool were encased in looped ivy branches. They hung overhead like oversized Christmas tree ornaments. Summer sun elided their edges to a dazzling white that was one with the sky.
I saw the world thrashing all around your face
Never really knowing it was always mesh and lace
On the opposite end of the textural spectrum is the Biblical anguish conjured by images of flesh bound with tenacious ivy and bristly twine.
Another kind of love song entirely.
The person who melted away in Modern English’s song–the singular stark human reality against a filmy lattice of a universe–seems to have departed before the beginning lyrics of Mumford & Sons’ “Below My Feet“:
You were cold as the blood through your bones
And the light which led us from our chosen homes
Well I was lost
And now I sleep,
Sleep the hours that I can’t weep
When all I knew was steeped in blackened holes
Well I was lost . . . .
Just give me time
You know your desires and mine
So wrap my flesh in ivy and in twine
For I must be well
Texture has its own subtext in the space between memory and the present’s less conventional sixth sense. In the smoothness of worn satin I still sense my own child-sized fingers rubbing rhythmic circles on a blanket’s binding, the way one would hold a precious gold coin. A moth’s chalky wings, so insubstantial they crumble to gray ash with the slightest human touch, may call to mind the ghosts of our younger selves telling stories on a summer lawn. A rhododendron, once a living, blazing lilac heart whose healthy petals fluttered in subdued waves, may turn to a crisp bleached tumbleweed.
Even emotions can have their own textures. Fear is a cactus-like prickle. Apprehension can be found in the braille of a field of goosebumps. And love can have infinite textures, from the impossible smoothness of a newborn’s cheek to that liquid stone blue cold of blood through bones.