Through my mother's eyes
Watercolour on watercolour paper
8 x 10 inches
Barbara Muir © 2011I can still hear my mother's voice acting out all
the voices in Little Red Riding Hood.
"But grandmother what big eyes you have"
"All the better to see you with my dear," said the wolf
my mother would growl in a low, gruff voice,
then switch easily to Red Riding Hood's high,
little girl tone. I picked up the love of literature
from my mother, who enjoyed reading
bedtime stories to us, and put her heart and
soul into it.
My mother is going blind, and after a hard
work schedule like the one most teachers
face at the end of a term when I feel at all like
complaining, I remember her. My mother's
courage and strength are a marvel to me.
And the gift of sight, plus a passion for
art, seem even more of a blessing, after
spending a weekend with my mother who
sees that gift diminishing.
My father was the artist in my parents' marriage,
but my mother taught me to see, and to love
what I'm seeing. This fall when I talked to
her about discussions I was having with my
students about the power of the imagination
she quoted most of Wordsworth's
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud to me and
ended with this final verse:
"For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."
Tonight I'm showing you a quick sketch
I did of the two of us. It isn't
an accurate portrait, but has the feeling
I was trying to capture. I may do a more
finished painting of this subject later.
Meanwhile I am more than grateful for
my mother, and for the eyesight she's
trained me to have.
Have a loving-what-you-see day.