I can't write enough about my mom, EVER, and so I won't. I'll save the thoughts in my heart and tell them to her privately. Suffice it to say, I would not, could not be the person I am without her incredible love and sustained example. Thank you, Mom. I love you. And thank you to the other wonderful women in my life who have acted as caring mentors and taught me important life lessons about service, courage, love, and faith: my aunts, grandmothers, sisters, cousins, and friends. I consider myself richly blessed in the women department. (If only I could say the same about the other department... hehe. Ahem.) Thank you all. How amazing you are.
I sifted through the Hirshhorn's files for art works bearing the title "Mother." Not one of them fit the bill for the type of indescribable beauty and awe I feel for the position of Mother. The closest my modern art museum got to the warm cuddly aura I was seeking was this little fella, hee hee:
Daughter and Mother. 1959. Bronze. Thanks, Max Ernst. You tried. But that looks like a salt shaker set. I hereby dub the long, slender, beautiful one my mom! When I was little I totally felt like that little stubby one with the dog collar thing around her neck. Little Lindsey, following her mom around, hoping she gets to look like her one day.
No, that just won't do.
A painting that comes closer to what I'm seeking (which my art history friends should all recognize):
Mary Cassatt, The Bath, 1893. An American in post-Monet Paris, Mary Cassatt is widely known for her simple, evocative, delightfully patterned pictures of domestic life. Women art historians especially appreciate her for the way she spun the tale of womens' lives in a harmonious, pleasing style (there were other women artists working around that time, just like today, who felt the need to emphasize the stifling effects of child rearing. Tsk.) Incidentally, mom, remember when I taught you about Matisse's picture of his wife, The Green Stripe? And how I told you how she looked like an Asian warrior because all things Japanese were in vogue in Paris at the end of the nineteenth century? This painting by Mary Cassatt illustrates the type of fashionable composition style that artists picked up thanks to the newly opened trade agreements with Asia. From Japanese woodblock prints they learned how to flatten the picture plane and include more things in one scene. To see what I mean, look at how the floor slopes up to meet the wall behind the mom at a rather impossible angle, to the point where it all looks like one shallow space. It makes the sweet tenderness of the scene just go BAM! right in your face. Thanks, Japan!
But that picture still won't do. I need something that lights up my eyes, that I see and go, "YEA! MOMS! THEY'RE AWESOME!"
Eric and Ann C_________ at their wedding reception, 198...3? :) One of my most favorite pictures of my parents ever. Dad looks like a Las Vegas magician- "Presto! I just pulled the world's most beautiful woman out of thin air!" and mom delivers what I like to call her "Queen of the Universe Smile." Anyone who's met her probably recognizes it. All at once it communicates to us her modesty, her joy, how she is delighted with her life, the way she always seeks to share her happiness with others, and certainly, her beauty. It's truly a great work of art.