chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

the cards we’re dealt…

playing card by DorothyIn a cupboard, in a box inside another box, in a small plastic bag, are four little paintings. They were a class assignment, I remember my mother telling me, in which the students had to design playing cards. Each of the four is entirely different from the others, executed with a precise hand in flat paint on a hand-cut card.

Whether the images were copied or suggested or imagined entirely, I cannot know, but Dorothy was good at this. She played cards — something she later gave up in her marriage to my father — and perhaps was able to envision the pleasure of laying a hand face down on the table to show the glossy repetition of her design.

She was 28 or so, a bad marriage behind her, the war a distant rumble and the man who would become my father as yet unmet. Now free of her mother’s house and her husband’s control, she sought self-discovery and redefinition.

That period of about ten years, between her divorce and her pregnancy with me, may have been the happiest and most intense of her life. She took classes, plunged headlong into a poorly-considered and ultimately ill-fated love affair, took a job at Lockheed (the only job she ever held), had good friends and a horse, and fell in love with the man who would be her husband for the rest of her life. Right there, at that time, she didn’t just play her hand, she created the deck.

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2 responses to “the cards we’re dealt…

  1. Jennifer Bullis November 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I love these reflective narratives of yours, Judy. So vivid and lyrical.

  2. jik November 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks, Jenn. I’ve missed doing them and sometimes feel there are no more stories… but apparently I’m wrong about that.

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