Thursday, February 06, 2014

PASSAGE FROM "UPROOTED" -- Helen and Anna in Amsterdam

-- Helen Rice and Anna Pietersen in Amsterdam:
"So much sadness to overcome," Pietersen said. "In this, there is not only who we are, but also our memories. I have never felt love like this, Helen. Can this house really feel like home to you after where you have lived and worked for so long? I am afraid you might abandon me."
"That doesn't seem possible," Rice said. "I love you so deeply. It mystifies me."
"We will find out who we are, then," Pietersen said.
Rice smiled and nodded. "The creative crones."
"Yes, I like that better than the sexy crones," Pietersen said. "Tea and brandy?"
Rice watched Pietersen prepare their tea and sit across from her at the kitchen table. Her face can appear so sad at times, she thought. We are physically similar, but our dispositions are different. She is more reserved, I'm more outgoing. I'm not sure, but she seems to be more sensitively attuned to nuance while I might overlook that in moments of flamboyance.
Pietersen laughed lightly. "You are analyzing me," she said. "It makes me self-conscious."
"Sensibilidad," Rice said. "A Spanish word that I understand to mean both sensitivity and sensibility. You embody that, Anna."
"I appreciate that and like the thought," Pietersen said. "But I think you must have the same in order to perceive it."
"I'm a little short on sensibility at times."
With their tea and brandy, they moved quickly through the cold afternoon to the studio behind the house, entered it, turned up the heat, and stood side-by-side. Pietersen said she felt reluctant about returning to her potting wheel, that like Rice, she wanted to try a different approach.
"We talked about collaboration," Rice said. "Would you like to try that with a light sculpture? I'm anxious to start. Maybe something that will amuse us instead of the heavy works the memorials represent. Perhaps with the notion of 'tilt' and pinball machine parts."
Pietersen placed her arm in Rice's and smiled. That would work, she said. She conceived of "tilt" as a graceful gesture more than as a shove that ended a pinball game, or perhaps both notions could be incorporated. Yes, said, Rice, one to mark the end of one "game" transmuted to a gesture that suggests a new direction, in a way telling their story. Pietersen said she could familiarize herself with the electronics necessary, in a sense, be the "technician" for the electrical network they'd need. They laughed.
"Creative crones," Pietersen said.
"The work will take a while to do," Rice said.
"Good. There is no rush. It is for us," Pietersen said.

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