Texture: From Mesh and Lace to Ivy and Twine

022Texture 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.

In Modern English‘s “I Melt With You,” mesh and lace is the textural equivalent of the rainbow’s edge: all else in the world is but a veiled, decorative backdrop to the song’s human object:

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.

 

About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like evidentiary issues, jury instructions, expert witnesses, and forensic evidence. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2016 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
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7 Responses to Texture: From Mesh and Lace to Ivy and Twine

  1. Stunning textural emotions post…..so evocative and powerful. I was left with a feeling of the texture of decay…

  2. Amy says:

    Well said about emotions can have texture. Beautiful texture photos.

  3. Dale says:

    A beautiful and incredibly thoughtful contribution to the subject. I especially how you used colour in your subjects to provide the “contrast” that brings out the texture …. Very beautiful indeed.

    Your words do get me thinking as well, especially the image of you as a child touching the fabric.You’re right — texture is a kind of sense. It’s more than touch. As I played around with the notion in my head, I thought of texture as a way of creating “connection.” Without it, well, as Mumford and Sons say, “We are lost.”

    • Stephanie says:

      Thank you, Dale. I like your thought of texture as adding to connection: it draws you in and engages you and provides another way to interact with the world even at those times one would rather crawl away and into a protective shell.

  4. Mabel Kwong says:

    Very creative interpretation to this week’s challenge, Stephanie. You are so right that the whole concept of texture is not just for the eyes, but for all the other senses and our emotions too. Texture, a feast for the soul. I’m sure you could play around with that clump of wool for ages in your hands 🙂

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