Stile queen reverie

Not crossing over the fence in the photo, but sitting atop the stile. A rare photo of me from that era when I was the family snapshot taker. The SLR camera was new, so '91 or '92, an extravagant gift from my husband who wanted it himself and bought with time payments. First roll of black and white film out at Connemara. Oddly calm, almost bemused, pleased with my aviator sunglasses and bargain tan mohair cardigan, and for one tiny second sure my three sons are not breaking arms or legs or needing stitches. All the anxiety seems to be stored in that skinny, clasping wrist.

A stile is an arrangement to allow passage for creatures smarter than sheep and cows. Today I barely qualify, having left the wrong key when I dropped off my car for service. The stile photo is part of a collage about myself made a few years later while I was climbing over the fence of divorce, so '96 or '97. It hangs on the wall behind a door that's always open, so I'd forgotten the stile collage.

The collage is glued to a blueprint, appropriately.  My engineer parents created my blueprint, and regularly inspected the construction site. It is in heavy-duty laminating done by Kinko's that cost a fortune.  I hadn't asked the price, and was horrified to be spending the grocery money on laminating.  The collage was to be a talking-piece at my session with the therapist, but now I would have the dragonfly encased in amber forever.

Today I would say I'm still not over the fence, but I am not immobilized in amber or otherwise. I've supported several people making their passage to new meadows. I've watched hawks, bats, and scissortails swoop, hummingbirds and herons feed. My wrist is not so bony, and the hand not so clenched. I'm still borderline panicked about the grocery money.

Thanks to Kathleen for the image and poem that provoked this meditation. Thanks, too, to my extrovert sister, the Nebraska 4-H Style Queen winner. What year was that?

stile Look up stile at Dictionary.com
O.E. stigel "device for climbing, ladder," related to stigen "to climb," from P.Gmc. *stig- "to climb," (see stair). An arrangement to allow persons to pass but not sheep and cattle.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

I love seeing you in your stile reverie (and in your mohair style reverie!). What a lovely Random Coinciday!

Collagemama said...

Today I read Varamo by Cesar Aira. I am under the spell.


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