A Funeral for Art
Photography by Angelica Karns
"Come downstairs and help make dinner!" a voice yelled from downstairs.
…God. We are gathered here today to keep us…
"And I wasn't asking, Celia!" a voice yelled again.
Celia rose up from the floor where she sat Indian-style.
…firm from sadness and loss of that which…
Celia turned around when she reached the door, looking back to the floor where her art box and easel lay. Paintbrushes rested in a cross on the top of the lacquered wooden box.
Celia slowly looked up and moved her hands behind her skirts.
"Let me see, Celia. What do you have?" her mother asked.
Celia shook her head no.
"Now, young lady!" Celia's mother yelled as she pulled Celia's pale arms from behind her.
Her hands were smeared in charcoal and bright colored oil paints.
"How will you ever grow up with your head full of fancy?" Celia's mother rasped. "You can't even cook a decent meal! You don't even clean your room! You don't study your books!"
May you rest in peace.
With dinner over and Celia alone again in her room, the ceremony was done. Her paintings lay on the floor in a circle around where she sat. Celia began picking them up one by one, stacking them one upon the other. With her pile of paintings finally wrapped in the fabric of an old velvet dress, she moved out her door and down the hallway. Once at the top of the stairs Celia looked down, tears dropping and darkening the velvet wrap.
She let her hands drop at the end of the ceremonial march at the top of the stairs, each painting crashing down the staircase.
Celia wiped the tears from her face and smiled when she heard the lamp on her mother's nightstand click on.