There's no better celebration of any season than the decorated tree adorned with the rich symbolism of nature—my ritual to inform and inspire you in the journey called life.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

hearts of glass

YES! This was the exasperated and emphatic last word I heard from my mother. To this day, which would have been her 86th birthday, I remember not only the singularity of that word, but how it can have more than one meaning. “Yes” can only be definitive when the circumstances allow it. The word “no” unquestionably has more finality.

MY MOTHER'S last word answered to something that is not quantifiable: “Mother, you do know how much I love you, don’t you?” I asked. The impatient way she answered let me know she was ready to move beyond this life. She had not spoken a word to anyone for several days. No one even knew if she could, but because I was hovering around her deathbed keeping vigil while she was probably moving in and out of this life, she mustered up the strength to speak. That single word in that moment expressed there was something incredible beyond our physical lives and she wanted to get on with it.

YES! PERIOD. That word will never be the same to me. I see it as endless possibility instead of limited admittance. No one is in physical control of the circumstances that allow it in the first place. The control lies within one's spirit and the unseen forces of the universe.

FOR A COUPLE of years before my mother died, I found glass hearts to tie on her Christmas gifts. I never thought then they would be the beginning of a posthumous collection by which to remember her. The two hearts in the upper left of this photo are the ones from gifts she received. The rest I’ve collected since her death. The pink-and-silver brooch in the photo was bought after I had a dream about her finding my Christmas gift for her. It is how I pictured it in the dream, which in turn, inspired how a tree was decorated for an earlier post. Maybe this blog has become a continual gift to her, even in spirit. I'm realizing how much soulful inspiration she still gives me by how often she appears here in what I write and create in photography.

ALL THE THINGS associated with Valentine's day have become resonant in holding these good memories. They are the lessons of the spirit. From the flowers that burst suddenly into bloom on important days (mother's day, her birthday and my birthday), the fragile heart made of glass, to the chocolates I always received on Christmas Eve from my parents when I was too old to believe in Santa. I emphatically  believe in the philosophy behind the line from the editorial so famously written (by Francis Pharcellus Church), which ran in the September 21, 1897 edition of the New York Sun: "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus."

HER NAME, Lois Virginia Moland is engraved in everything I do and say. Today, the credit for giving me life, even in death remains the driving force of my creative spirit. The gift of life, the gift of caretaking and a spirit in touch with something larger; I can only repay by living this life in her honor. And I'll keep creating something from her continued inspiration, wherever it springs forth, whether it be a flower, a beautiful heart, or a piece of chocolate pie. Her love lives within me. Happy birthday mother!

FRAGILE HEARTS | (Top, right - clockwise from top, left): A red-gridded heart was tied on a special Christmas gift my mother received and is from Neiman Marcus, a pink antiqued mercury glass ornament is from Dillards, a red antiqued mercury glass ornament and a large silver gridded heart are from Macy's. The small silver heart is the oldest and was made by Inge Glas of Germany (denoted by the star-shaped hanger top). The velvet Valentine candy box is a current item from Lindt Chocolates. A painted box and brown box with red ribbon are both from past seasons at Target.

BLOOMING LOVE | (Above, left) This "clown" (red with white) amaryllis was a Christmas gift (as a bulb) that miraculously bloomed just in time for my mother's birthday (the photograph was taken this morning). The planter is from my collection of milk glass. Ivy has long been a symbol of friendship and is rooting in a glass lab container. The glass heart and white love ornament (a representation of the pop artist Robert Indiana's love sculpture) are both from Urban Outfitters. The unfinished white heart candy box is part of a Valentine kit from Martha Stewart Crafts, beautiful here without embellishment.

RESTING PLACE | (Right) The most permanent graphic design project I've ever assumed was designing the typographic layout for my parent's gravestone. I doubt if there are many gravestones using the font Mrs. Eaves. It is one of my favorite fonts and I've used it in a permanent way here and in the Man and Cat symbol tattoed on my arm. They are buried in East Gadsden, Alabama at Crestwood Memorial Cemetery.

photography and styling by Darryl Moland

1 comment:

  1. Darryl,
    You have a true talent writing....and true love for your Mother,and my Aunt. Your Mom and Dad we're the best....I miss them, even though I didn't see them often. I remember staying with them one weekend several years ago...They loved to watch the Alanta Braves. I so much enjoyed that time I got to spend with them.