Bowtie & Broken Memento: Poem
Amidst broken memento and fragmented hope, fractured sculpture and ruptured carpentry, a bowtie binds bitter ends. A patchwork harvest of homegrown cherry, felled and milled, cured and crafted, offcuts conjoined, scrappy remnants sewn in singalong, cradling conversation, cutlery, crockery, and nourishment. Sun soaked, finger tipped tenderly, inadvertently in thought, in conversation, in fast breaking — the only breaking the bowtie abides — there's comforting contrast and real reassurance in an inlaid joint pulling the pieces together.
Bowtie & Broken Memento: Afterward
Sometimes, as I shared with a friend the other day, a hug is more articulate than a hailstorm of words. The same is true with a passing shower, a mist passing over, passing through.
This draft poem is still prenatal. Preliminary. A furtive foray into the curious coalescence of still tender fractures and ruptures that drew me back to Rosslyn (and that continue to disclose themselves each day of my stay, reminders of quaking in recent weeks) but also the durable bonds and the abiding beauty that hold it all together.
I reflected on the shell in the photograph above (when still unbroken) in an Instagram post a little over a year ago.
Muscle shell “name tags” for seating arrangement at a wedding reception celebrating Elizabeth — one of Susan’s clever cousins — and Nick in Maine some summers ago. We were invited to keep them, so we did, and they’re now nesting in a maple burl bowl on our morning room table. This beautiful vessel was gifted to us by our friend Pam in memory of her late husband, Bob. He had gathered the burl from a fallen maple at Rosslyn, an immense centenarian, perhaps even a duo-centenarian, that succumbed to a windstorm, nearly striking the house. I watched it fall. Bob had intended to craft the character-rich burl into bowls, but his honorable journey was abbreviated prematurely, suddenly, tragically by the mysterious fates. Pam fulfilled his plans with the help of another friend, Ron Bauer, a local woodworker who built for us the black cherry harvest table upon which this burl bowl rests and where we eat virtually all of our Essex breakfasts and many of our lunches and dinners. Ron turned this bowl, and Pam presented it to us last spring, a year after she lost her husband. So much life and memory and gratitude resident in a few vignetted artifacts, a daily memorial, commingling the stories and characters and nostalgia and beauty that enrich even our most quotidian moments. This is the abundance and texture that invests a poetics of place. This is the “singing underneath”. This is the art of wabi sabi living… — @rosslynredux, October 3, 2021
Today I met with Ron to collaborate on a new table. We talked about bowtie inlays, turning burls into bowls, wood, joinery, and the unique cutting boards he has made for us out of this same cherry that once grew just west of the icehouse and that we gift to some of guests at ADK Oasis.
This evening I will hold in my head the memory of our conversation, a meditation on bowtie joints as well as other acts, art, artifacts that resist fragmentation and fracture. I will dwell on the humble bowtie instead of broken mementos.
A butterfly joint, also called a bow tie, dovetail key, Dutchman joint, or Nakashima joint, is a type of joint or inlay used to hold two or more pieces of woods together. (Source: Wikipedia)
What do you think?