Continuing Conversations

I open my eyes and orient myself to the room. I have been going back and forth so often between Albany and the city, I forget where I am. That’s right, I’m on the sleeper couch in the living room in Manhattan. Fortunately it has a good mattress.

I reach for my phone to make sure I haven’t missed any calls or messages. I briefly scroll my Facebook feed.

I turn to look out the large picture window. I notice in the corner that the sun is casting a perfect shadow through the lead glass vase that sits on a small table in the corner. I look closely at the shadow – the rope that wraps the top of the vase is projected in detail onto the wall. The imperfections in the surface of the glass are illuminated, as well. I imagine Andrew Wyeth could paint this and capture the beauty of the vase, the light and the shadow. I wish I could paint it, but since I can’t, I roll out of bed taking my phone. I take two pictures before the light changes. I want to share this image, this lovely moment.



I consider posting it on Facebook, but think better of that – what would be the point? Really, does the world need another pseudo-artistic photograph? Instead, I text the picture to my two kids and my husband. Leah is in Seattle, so it is just after 4 a.m. there. I know she puts her phone on silent when she sleeps so it won’t wake her. Dan and his wife are on an early morning flight to New Orleans for a long weekend so he will get the text and photo when he lands. Gary is already at work in Albany. I am in our apartment in Manhattan, looking after my 82 year old mother, asleep in the bedroom, recovering from lung surgery.

I text: I don’t know if this photo does it justice, but woke up to see this beautiful shadow on the wall. Wanted to share it.

Gary responds with: Very nice but how about a photo [if] your smiling face.

Where is autocorrect when you need it?

I text back: 🙂

I am a lucky woman. Gary often responds with sweet comments.

A while later my phone dings. Dan’s text reads: On the ground in Atlanta. Transfer in an hour or so. Very nice picture, Ma.

Two hours after that, Leah texts: Really cool shadow, Ma!

And so it goes. Many days the four of us are in conversation in this way; brief moments of sharing. Sometimes one of us doesn’t chime in, but we know that we will all have seen the exchange at some point. It helps me to feel connected to them despite the miles between us.

I still miss them.

5 thoughts on “Continuing Conversations

  1. I am so glad I was persuaded to join Facebook after resisting for so long. I now know and am included in family functions, so Dan it is all your doing because I got on at your wedding. And Linda, your picture is beautiful and you always had a good eye for finding beauty in unusual places


  2. We are both quite lucky in that we have children who seem to be willing to speak to us, text with us and even spend face to face time with us. I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it’s something we successfully communicated, but mostly I think we just got really lucky with Leah and Daniel. We’re lucky with Beth too.
    And your love for beauty, whether on the high line, in a museum, a walk in the park or a shadow on the wall has brought almost as much beauty to my life as your smiling face.


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