The Boathouse – 34 x 28
After climbing down those long steep steps from the bluff
and peeking around inside the room below
we have climbed up again
to the top floor of the boathouse.
Last fall I was invited by Anne Vose to join her on the porch
and take an artistic measure of the historic structure.
While she and Pat sat in rockers outside
solving all the problems of the world
I explored the world of wonders within.
I talked, in The Changing Room painters notes,
about the way the water reflects the sunlight back up
into the room and bounces off the differing surfaces.
Up here, another level above the ocean,
the angles are longer and sharper
so they jut straight up into the corners
of the veridian stained rafters
and then ease down to those luscious wooden walls
to nestle softly on the antique weavings of carpet and chintz.
And that light engages with every one
of the deep rich colors inhabiting this chamber.
Those stairs rippling through the old glass in the back window
are echoed in the black and white photo framed alongside.
The robin’s egg blue that was once the only color
on the glider’s frame repeats on the inside window frames
then fades into a pale sage green on the mouldings’ exteriors.
The deep red of the oriental carpet
is straight out of my Barok Red tube of Old Holland Paint,
and the hunter green might as well have a fox running out ahead.
And then there are the faces…
the teasing visages of the man carved in the table
and the pastel of the flirtatious flapper.
Like the shiny dots of sunlight
around the edges of the porcelain
there was a glisten in the corner of her eye
when Anne recounted the day the pilings were
being repaired and one whole side of the boathouse
collapsed into the harbor.
Not only can you trace the depth of the family’s roots
through the objects in this room
but you can understand the core feelings
of love for this vintage island treasure
in the emotional telling of that tale…
right up until she gets to the part
where she chuckles and says…
nor cream pitcher…
was so much as nicked by the calamity.
That’s what I call a
prevailingly powerful karma.