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LAce Posted Monday, February 28th, 2005
The Portrait
Katrina Denza

The sessions began when she realized she was becoming invisible. When the lines and curves of her started to bleed into each other and lose their definition. When she found the first gray hair in a place she never imagined she would. Her husband had long ago stopped looking at her—really seeing her—and so she turned to her own reflection, that first time in the distorted glass of a mirror, and then finally to the artist’s preliminary sketches, for proof of her existence.

The artist, tall and lean, towered over his canvas, stooping now and then. She wondered if his back hurt him at the end of the day. If he had someone to ease the strain. Only his eyes touched her skin, but somehow it felt more intimate than a pair of hands. Surely he would find more to her than the sum of her flesh and bones and viscous fluids. She held the pose hour after hour, feeling a change in light; a shift of air; even his breath if she concentrated.

As she stared at the finished piece, tears blurred her vision until she brushed them away. How was it she’d missed this? Was it only because her image had been filtered through another she could finally see its beauty? She considered wrapping the painting in brown paper and having it delivered to her husband’s office, but decided against it. Instead, she paid the artist and rode the bus home with it tucked under her arm. She walked straight to her room and placed it upright against the cedar board of her closet, tucked behind her long dresses. No one needed it more.

Comments [post a comment]

Posted by Miriam Kotzin on Monday, February 28th, 2005 at 1:19 PM
Ah, yes, the invisible woman of a certain age! Each paragraph brings so much to the development of the character and her plight. Wonderful!

Posted by Myfanwy Collins on Monday, February 28th, 2005 at 1:47 PM
This is beautiful, Katrina.

Posted by Ellen Meister [ ] on Monday, February 28th, 2005 at 2:06 PM
Amazing, Katrina. You captured so much in three paragraphs. Bravo!

Posted by Anna McDougall on Monday, February 28th, 2005 at 2:43 PM
A beautiful experience is presented here, Katrina.

Posted by Kathy Fish on Monday, February 28th, 2005 at 3:35 PM
Oh this is lovely and sad, Katrina. How we want to be seen, really seen. Beautiful writing...

Posted by Maryanne Stahl on Monday, February 28th, 2005 at 4:51 PM
Beautiful--as you are.

Posted by Beverly Jackson on Monday, February 28th, 2005 at 5:31 PM
Hi Katrina, This is lovely! It's always jewel-like when it's your piece.

Posted by theresa boyar [ ] on Tuesday, March 1st, 2005 at 6:35 PM
Gorgeous, Katrina ~ as always. . .

Posted by Katie Weekley on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 at 10:40 AM
Beautiful, Katrina!

Posted by Alicia Gifford on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005 at 12:53 PM
Brava Katrina, I remember this one, it's beautiful! Congratulations!

Posted by Patricia Parkinson on Thursday, March 3rd, 2005 at 10:08 PM
This is lovely Katrina, it's a beautiful portrait..thanks

Posted by Kathryn Koromilas [ ] on Friday, March 4th, 2005 at 11:59 AM
The gaze, without which we cannot be sure that we exist! A nice study of the problem, Katrina.

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