Art and Lunch With Jackie

Jackie At LARAC with her art

Before the pandemic, Jackie and I would have lunch pretty regularly.

We’d meet at a cafe in Greenwich,  and share a piece of raspberry pie at the end of our meal.  The last time we were there, sometime in the fall, we closed the umbrella at our table to get as much sun as we could and keep the wind from blowing it over.

Jackie is the one person we had to our house a couple of times for lunch during the pandemic. Because it felt safe and necessary.  She was, in essence, the one member of our family that we invited in.

It was only a couple of lunches, but I know they kept me going.  They were a semblance of normalcy.

Today Jackie and I had lunch again.  Because she’s a nurse, Jackie’s been vaccinated and since I go very few places it felt safe going to her house.

I picked up burritos from Moe’s and we sat across from each other at her dining room table.  We talked about our lives, art, movies, writing and books as we watched the birds and squirrels at the feeders out her window.

After lunch, we went to LARAC, an art gallery in Glens Falls where one of Jackie’s prints was in an exhibit.  We were the only ones there, besides the receptionist behind the desk.

I was as hungry to look at art as I was for the burrito that I had just gobbled up.

We discussed each piece, commenting on what we liked or didn’t.  One still life of a crocus, a jar of honey, and a lightbulb touched us both the same.  The artist was able to bring these three disparate things together in a way that made them glow as if they were holy.

Jackies print was one of the last pieces we saw.

The image of a juniper branch was coupled with her poem “Nor’easter“.  There’s unexpected hope in her poem with the coming of winter.  Hope at a time when there was so much darkness not only in the season but in politics and the worsening pandemic.

Jackie and I met each other when we worked together in a frame shop, over 20 years ago. We lost touch for about ten years then just happened to see each other at a concert five or six years ago.

Most of the time when I meet a friend I haven’t seen in years and get back together with them, I remember why it is that we lost touch, to begin with.  But with Jackie it was different.  I found we had even more in common than when we first knew each other.  And something deeper too.  A shared experience even though we come from different parts of the country and have led very different lives.

Family is the word that comes to mind when I think of Jackie.  Family at its best.

Jackie wrote this about her poem “Nor’easter”…

“A short poem about the strange and new experience I’m having, of (for the first time in over twenty years) looking forward to the quiet comfort of winter. With all the stress and weirdness of the world happening these days, oddly it feels like the cold and snow might bring some small, but much-needed relief.”

You can read more of Jackie’s poem here, on her blog Creative Journey Woman

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