What pleases me so much about this photo besides knowing she is my beloved Emma E. is the obvious seriousness she shows in her work. And it is work she does.
I identify the intensity and I wish her to be able to see the beauty of her body doing what her mind has determined. It is with joy she will do work, whatever it is.
It will be with a loving gesture that she does her tasks. And the loving gesture is what makes the difference.
We have our favorite people doing for us when we are children and it is special ones we want to do for us as we grow older. It is the toddler who says either Mommy do! Or daddy do! Or pushing the item in the hands of another with a grunt! Do! What is the difference? The child knows. The child knows the difference. It is the love.
And the elder child approaching dotage? They sit calmly and wait for the loving gesture that always makes the difference.
I cannot nor do I even wish to get behind the eyes of an Other to see what they see. But I can see in the hands the loving gesture simply by how they approach the task. Is it with haste, or disdain the task is done, or even a disinterest? Is it with no thought because something else is more important or enticing?
It will show in the outcome of the work. So if it takes me hours to make dinner, it may be an honored chef in mind telling me to chop finely the celery for this dish.
It may be time in conference or in harmony with the invisible Other whom we all house in heart. This Other we talk to is what the cosmic element sometimes call prayer.
Emma E. is in conference. Emma E. is in harmony. She seriously mixes her mudcakes and measures the liquid to make real what she remembers from another place. Not in time perhaps, but in mind.
What she does is what her grandfather did on the white sheets folded to make a piano on his bed sing his heart songs. And an uncle sit with the books he memorized as a preschooler to cite them aloud while another climbed his trees with a tool belt made of kitchen ware to saw the branches off.
The loving gestures were part of them as I see now in their offspring. And I almost know, almost. . . what they see through their eyes.
Tresy Hallissey, Grandfather