chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things


1940s Dorothy in foxIt’s impossible to know if Dorothy was posing and happened to be caught mid-blink or if she was resting, eyes closed. She’s in her 30s, at the height of her glamour, and her expression shows contentment and the pleasure of knowing she is admired. I imagine her dressing with great care and attention, putting on bracelet, high heels, lipstick and jacket in readiness for some celebration.

The Doberman is unfamiliar; I never heard Dorothy mention the dog, though it appears in several photos from this period. Perhaps it belongs to the person who has been tending the grass and the potted plants. Or the person who is taking the photo.

The picture isn’t perfect. My grandmother’s shadow hovers in the foreground, where it would remain, literally or figuratively, for the rest of my mother’s life. And someone has thoughtlessly left a sack of cow manure next to the garage.

But we can fix that. Tell the story any way we want. My mother did. Airbrushed the scars from her story. She might have preferred it this way:
1940s Dorothy in fox, version 2By the time she was my mother, Dorothy had abandoned, with lingering regret, the glamorous life she had known. She inhabited her new persona: artist, wife, intellectual. (Mother.) The fox jacket (previously mentioned here and here) was permanently abandoned to the closet.

She never sat in the sun though she was always cold, longing for the warmth of a forbidden love, for the heat of admiration.

5 responses to “rewrite

  1. marsha addis May 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm


  2. kristin May 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Your mother sounds like she would have been great as a character in a novel or play but very difficult to have as a mother in real life.

    Finding Eliza

  3. jik May 9, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I think you’ve got her exactly right. ;-)

  4. ccrooksphoto May 11, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Beautifully written and touching, Judy. From the heart.

  5. jik May 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Thank you. xox

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