art, Dead Sea Scroll, framing, Indiana University, Japan, life, Memory, Nicola Williams, North Idaho, Olive oil, Onion, Oregon, priceless, writing
KT unrolled the tattered batik on the framing shop’s counter. The worn image of two onions evoked a flood of memories. For Andy, the framer, it seemed unworthy. He laughed at its frayed edges, scattered holes, faded colors and said, “Well, it’s no Picasso. If it were, greater experts than I would be working around the clock to save it.”
Like the onion, its worth lay hidden. It had hung in my husband’s dorm room at Indiana University when we first met. It had accompanied us on every move through his military career. KT had resurrected it from the dusty garage for her dorm room at I.U., carried it to Oregon for her first home as a newlywed. Now she wanted to preserve and display it in her second home in North Idaho. She retained its sentimental value, I sought its mental value. When readers ask, “How did you remember such detail when writing Memory Lake?” I quote the lowly onion. Life adds layers. Writing peels them away. At the onion’s heart is an immature flower protected from the casual eye by layers of memory. Like a knife, the sharp pain of my mom’s passing had cut to the immature flower within and exposed these layers which I tenderly peeled away with the written word.
As Andy quoted a framing price worthy of a Dead Sea Scroll, KT’s phone alerted a text message. There, in front of that counter, we learned Dana’s battle with hodgkin’s lymphoma had officially entered remission after a year of treatments. And so, as another layer of memory slipped between us and the onions, I reached for my credit card.
ok. Now I’m crying and it has nothing to do with onions, not literally anyway. We have so much in common it’s unbelievable. I, too, am from Indiana. My brother and his wife both graduated from IU and now live in Portland, OR. My mother died 19 months ago from at the young age of 61 from colorectal cancer. I have kept journals for years and plan to write a memoir somewhere down the road. Right now, I just live each day and enjoy my children. My creativity expresses itself in other ways right now, but the day will come. I can’t wait to read your book! As for your onions, value is in the heart. Priceless.
I’m so sorry about your mom. Your wound is still fresh, like cutting onions all the time. It does lessen over time, though it still hurts.
Your blog is wonderful. I love your attention to grammar and punctuation. Thanks for visiting mine. I would be so honored if you read ML. You’ll be pleased to know there is only one typo in the entire novel, (it’s tough to find!) and no grammatical errors, (though some may disagree, but they need to do their homework). About 5 PHDs proofed it prior to publication and challegened some of my word choices but I won them over 😉
Readers: Here’s Gardengirl’s blog:
Thank you so much and thanks for sharing a link to my blog with your readers. Very nice.
Dan Verner said:
Wow, NK. Beautiful, just beautiful. Thank you.
Here’s Dan’s blog… (It’s not WordPress, but I like him anyway.)