chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things


Dorothy in ChenenceauxI keep looking at this picture of my mother as if I might discover hidden answers within it. On the back, in my father’s neat printing, is written Chenenceaux 9/66. It’s impossible to know whether Dorothy is moving toward the castle or away, but she’s walking away from my father, alone in the tunnel of trees, head down, dressed in her traveling suit — jacket, skirt, stockings, sensible low heels — a remnant of the ’50s that would soon give way.

Maybe she was even wearing a girdle and feeling the constraint of her narrow clothing. Perhaps she was looking for the perfect leaf among those early harbingers of autumn, or thinking about the colors she’ll use when she finally reaches a bench and can pull the pencils and little sketch pad from the purse that hangs over her arm. Maybe she’s formulating what she’ll say about this place, these trees, this trip to France, or feeling an ache of disappointment at finding herself so alone.

In some way, this was always the mother I knew: turned away, just beyond reach, alone in the very center of the picture.

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