A reunion of as many siblings who could make the journey. It wasn’t as long-planned as it was necessary. For some, those left who could still journey, came in great anticipation of sibling camaraderie, retelling and reliving memories, softening sibling youthful blows and jabs, but mostly an attempt to tamp down the individual time element of age related vulnerability. A few jokingly called their own personal expirey or sell-by date looming closer and closer.

I was the observer. The one with the camera: steady hand; clear vision; not related by blood but by mistake. No one present ever argued the point. It had never mattered. Not really but it did. It mattered to me. My fate had always been sealed. I had become an excellent observer, and camera owner.

He was the last to arrive. As usual he kept everyone waiting…and anxious. Was he going to show up? Did he know how important this was? The photograph will be visual posterity for my children, she said. Oh, he’ll come, one commented, he has more feathers in his cap. He’ll want to show and tell, quipped the brother. There were murmurs, garbled audible noises but mostly recognizable vocal gestures and physical discontent. This was my observation through the lens of reality.

He pushed his body through the not now-so familiar small crowd of his sisters and brothers. The siblings he grew up with were standing askew…dressed in Sunday-best, filled with chit-chat, laughter, storied moments and closeness relived. Again and again. Over and over.

He was now here…but not present.

He took the chair. The chair brought out especially for another. He sat in it.

One of them started to speak-out, but with the usual resignation of years and years of unspoken comments or rebukes, decided it was useless to point out the obvious to him.


Grabbing their attention and with firmness of voice I said,  It is picture taking time! Look this way and everyone look smart and smile. They did just that…gathered themselves noisily, jovially, and with purpose. The photos were going to be perfect, lunch was waiting, more stories were left to tell, memories to be had and made.

The future wasn’t here today.

It had not arrived after all…




23 thoughts on “THE OCCASION…

  1. Raye, besides your wonderful watercolors i really like your writing style. Many times the thoughts come in short bursts of words…like bullets piercing the readers mind. The art, the prose, so well wrought on all levels. continue…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I always read your stuff! Sometimes a comment seems superfluous in light of your brilliance with words! Smiling! Yes, painting, ranting, napping…you know…what every one else is doing…besides shutting off news feeds and trying to fend off questions like: How many stupid people are there? I’ve quit counting, by the way. I’ll post some things soon.
        Maybe….smiling. Continuing in spite of….xR

        Liked by 1 person

        1. aha! ok…the comments that come from your fertile mind are insightful and witty, which is why i am chuffed that you read my stuff. i have always thought of my work as an IQ test and as a singer/songwriter i always preferred to have an audience of 100 intelligent people than a huge arena filled to the rafters with oafs. anyway, i cherish your thoughts. i’m glad that you are well and painting….and ranting. continue…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. sorry, posted at wrong place, it wasn’t really a reply to Dale – don’t know how I ended up there – because she is a friend?! Why ever not….


  3. I know several people who could fill those shoes /that seat.. one is a Grammy winner… I suspect that many people will identify with this – opening long-ago wounds, inspecting them, then allowing them to heal… urging them to heal… demanding them to heal!

    Lovely and oh so sensitive.


            1. I just realise that I gave you (another) wrong name – but hey, I go by several names too – nothing wrong with it – but now I’ll stay with Raye…. (Raymonde?)
              A family story maybe? I don’t know if I like the painting better or the story – but in any case, I love both of them – maybe equally?! Always stuff to think about, to ponder, to wonder ;

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes – a gathering today about yesterday – and nothing about tomorrow.

    To me, the man in the chair seems pensively regal – a quiet soul who thinks. Bottom line, I like the painting because it provides much to ponder.

    Hi Raye!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love your work. The theme has a newspaper feel and complement the art. I’m just getting back to blogging after a very long period away. Pay me a visit sometimes. Not much there right now but I’m hearing up.

    Liked by 1 person

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