Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Silver Pitcher

I've joined in Willow's first Magpie Tales creative writing prompt today.  Willow will be hosting these muse-feeding opportunities weekly, and each one will be based on one of her own photos.  Feel free to play along next time!  Here's the first photo; my creative interpretation follows.
She sat staring, mesmerized by drifting motes of dust, as the late-afternoon sun filtered in through the lace-curtained window.  When would he return?  She could guess--a month, perhaps, possibly two--but she never really knew, and this time was no different. He assured her repeatedly that his heart was hers, but uncertainty plagued her mind, as it always did when he left.  

Was it enough that today he'd warily handed her a prized antique, a "large token" of his affection, as he liked to call his gifts?  Usually he brought her these tokens from his travels, but this morning, he'd knocked at the door early in his pea coat and tweed hat to tell her he'd be leaving right away, and he'd like for her to have his grandmother's pitcher.

He'd stayed only a few minutes, not even removing his coat and hat, but taking a moment to place the pitcher in "just the right spot"on a shelf opposite her old farm table.  Since he'd kissed her goodbye and walked out the door into the chilly drizzle, she'd tried to eat, work on her sewing, and go about her other regular activities.  But she kept returning throughout the day, insulated by the adjacent window from the vast changes in the weather, to sit at the table and gaze at the pitcher.  Its etched design and gentle curves pleased her immensely, and there was inherent sentiment that touched her on some level.  

But the weathered pitcher also brought to mind the tarnish in her world: a long-time wearing away of hope for a normal, civilized life built around a steady relationship.  Clearly the pitcher had aged well, though, and as she sat it occurred to her that perhaps her heart might do the same, that a few spots of tarnish might even provide the character and freedom from certain expectations that could make a life quite extraordinary.

21 comments:

subby said...

Would but a few spots of tarnish have the power to do just that...well done!

Berowne said...

Beautifully written, quite moving.

I chose the humor route. Check it out.

RNSANE said...

I find your tale very lovely. It bodes hope for an exceptional relationship if one can only free oneself from the bonds of the everyday!

Pat transplanted to MN said...

The soul of brevity and the agony of the heart came through so well in your tale....loved it!

Celestial Charms said...

Very nice. I want to know more about her...and that is a good thing!
Maureen

willow said...

Beautiful and poignant piece! And timeless, as well. It could easily be a pioneer woman waiting for her man to come home from a season of trapping, or one of the 21st century pondering her relationship.

amy said...

"that a few spots of tarnish might even provide the character and freedom from certain expectations that could make a life quite extraordinary."

Well done. I was immediately transported into her longing and struggle to make sense of her relationship; you have quite a gift!

The Vintage Kitten said...

Beautifully written! X

Vicki Lane said...

Nice point! The tarnish may be the sign of a life lived to the fullest!

Geetly said...

A delicate tale with an inherent strength.

Maisey's Attic said...

Thankyou for leaving a comment on my new blog - look forward to reading some of yours x

Peter Goulding said...

Isn't the tarnish always more interesting?
Nice piece!

Ronda Laveen said...

So much hope here! Lovely.

Brian Miller said...

oh, i do like my little bits of tarnish. nicely crafted tale...

katrina said...

your writing is beautiful. well done!

tori said...

"character and freedom from certain expectations that could make a life quite extraordinary"

-what a wonderful way to look at the tarnish on our hearts.
beautiful!

PattyF said...

An absolutely delightful read! Freedom from expectations ... would that we all could think so clearly!

Elizabeth said...

You wove such a great little story out of that simple pewter pitcher. I really enjoyed it...

Jacqueline said...

Oh Bravo, you women of many means. I enjoyed the story. It has such depth. Great word choices to describe. The fun of story telling...it's one amazing adventure that sometimes even surprises us! That's what it's been like for me in Jan. writing Queens in Training and now The Enchanted Playhouse. I already have my give away for March...you will be the very first to know...THE CALICO CONSIGNMENT SHOPPE!

joanny said...

Well written piece..the play on the word tarnish really is good gripping...it reminded me of this quote...

"Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age."

Joanny

The Hausfrau said...

Thanks so much to all of your for your thoughtful, encouraging comments! I do realize now that I took a bit of creative license by calling the pewter cup silver and taking the tarnish angle...

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