Spun Gold

Father’s Day 2012

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair. . . .

This Father’s Day I knew Jim would want us outside.  It was a glorious day on the seacoast, with a cooling breeze uncharacteristic for June.

I looked at the sunlit gold in the lavish locks one of my daughters had woven and pinned up  in anticipation of a much warmer outing.   And this made me think of spinning gold and fairy tales and, well, Canterbury Tales.   (There is no accounting for how my mind works.)

Before we had children, we parents of tonsorial darker hues did not contemplate a high probability of producing a golden-haired child.  In law school I took up quilting, and I launched a fairy tale quilt series.  My first design was Rapunzel (surrounded by “Castle in the Sky” blocks), whose golden hair streamed down a castle wall and off the quilt’s edge, not unlike that of our fourth-born-to-be (were we to have plunked her in a castle tower, from which I assure you she quickly would have escaped; she has always been both nimble and quick).

Somehow our youngest child emerged blonde, resplendent with long curls which turned strawberry in her toddler years and then darkened to honey and amber.    Thus my first thought was of Rapunzel when I gazed at the back of her head, atop her gracefully-held dancer’s neck.

Then Chaucer popped up again in my jumbled musings about gold and silver, about sunlit hues and their place in the universe.

Jim was so much a man of vibrant color, and (as regular readers know) a reverent student of the heavens.

(c) December 2010

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(c) 2010 Jim Glennon

Jim was a photographic alchemist.  Among his skills was the ability to transform green into silver.

Quicksilver seems an apt metaphor for grief, both in the absence of bright, buoyant colors and in its metaphorical sense of turning on a dime–which of course has a particularly tiny turning radius.

But before devoting myself entirely to heavy minerals, I will share lighter, and (I hope) far lamer analogies I stumbled across while sorting through reams of papers in my attic.  Jim often would forward me links that tickled his fancy.  One of them was a list of some of the World’s Worst Analogies, which somehow had been printed out and made its way into one of the vast, random piles of paper which have since migrated to the attic.  My favorites include:

“She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.”

“The sunset displayed rich, spectacular hues like a .jpeg file at 10 percent cyan, 10 percent magenta, 60 percent yellow and 10 percent black.”

Our Backyard
(c) Stephanie Glennon

Jim and I agreed on our top pick; we had very similarly twisted comedic sensibilities:

“She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.”

Continue reading “Quicksilver”

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