Sky Above Clouds
I like to imagine being a mid-century airline passenger sitting beside
the black-clad, aging artist ensconced in her window seat.
Her dry personality shows at first—not much of a conversationalist,
she seems nervous on taxi and take-off. But once in the air,
she becomes animated, glued to the pressurized glass.
Rising above the cloud cover, she exclaims, “Oh, look!” pointing
to fluffy forms far below us. “Humph,” I catch her muttering,
“Alfred never saw them this way,” she quietly says with a smirk,
as if to give a cosmic one-up to her controlling, late husband.
The back of her head is all I see for most of the flight,
her salt-and-pepper mane drawn into a tight, sculpted bun
at the base of her skull. After coffee is served, she begins
sketching on a paper napkin, looking intermittently from
the small square canvas on her tray table, then out of
the square portal of possibility. She asks if she can have
my napkin, too, and I oblige eagerly, hoping to see more
of the artist’s process in its genesis.
Toward the end of the flight, she seems satisfied with
one tiny drawing in particular, a horizontal design featuring
neat rows of the many fluffy forms receding into a great beyond.
As we prepare to exit the plane, she beams with a confidence
not there at the beginning of the trip. I thank her.
“For what?” she asks with slight smile and twinkling eyes.
“For showing me a new way to see.” Her confidence visibly grows.
“Just you wait until I finish it,” she says with a knowing grin
spreading across her seasoned, sun-wrinkled face.
As a conceptual visual artist, Barbara Tyler has the lofty idea she can write poetry, also. A few brave literary journals have validated her dream, causing her to write more. To experience her art and a small selection of poems, please visit https://www.btylerfineart.com.
The Ekphrastic Review
Join us on Facebook: