Saturday, January 13, 2007

Uncle Tom's Needlework

My father's uncle was an artist...but not in the typical way I think of a man being an artist. I don't know of anything else he created aside from this one piece, but it's a masterpiece, at least in my mind. For as long as I can remember, the picture hung in my father's parent's home. When they had to leave their home in the Catskills Mountains and come live with my parents, the picture came with them and was hung over the fireplace in the room they shared there.

When first one, then the other passed away, my parents gave the picture to my sister who had it over her fireplace until three years ago when my parents moved from their home of nearly 30 years back to Maine. The picture now hangs over the sofa in their living room.

What's so interesting about the needlework is that it is a contracted view of two places very important to him: his home and the family church. I used to look at it and wonder what the real places looked like. Then a year and a half ago, I saw for myself. The home has the most incredible view I can imagine for a home...on the side of a mountain looking down on a lake. The church is one of those beautiful old family churches crammed full of history. Now, when I look at the needlework, I see so much more than amazing craftsmanship...

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