Sunday, October 26, 2008

Table/Turtle^haus



An old friend of mine in NYC has started a new blog called Turtle^haus. It’s about real living in spaces we create. She’s a fantastically gifted woman: architect, librarian, translator (mostly movies Italian/English), writer, mom, and life enthusiast.
Her first post made me write the story of my table. (And yes, that's my painting hanging above her table in Brooklyn.)
...
The oak clawfoot table pictured above was in my grandmother’s childhood home in Fort Wayne, Indiana. When my great-grandparents died, it was shipped out to California, and for years my grandmother served her extended family on it. Later, as she got older, the cooking fell to me, and I loaded it with dishes and then wiped it clean once a week.
It’s both elegant and strangely primitive. The grain is heavy and the color dark. It has several leaves, and can accommodate about 16 people.
When she was dying, my grandmother told me she wanted me to have the table. At first I thought, no, it’s not my style, I like modern furniture. But later I realized, Kloe don’t be stupid, this is such a gift. However, when she died there was no mention in the will that the table was to go to me, and my uncle proposed to sell it. I protested, but to no avail. Luckily, later he got down on his back under it, and found the post-it in my gram’s hand—said the table was mine.
So now I have it, and it serves as a metaphor for my creative projects and family life. We use it as a project table: play games on it, do homework on it, make artwork on it (protected of course). Someday I’ll again use it as my kitchen table and serve pot roast on it like my gram taught me.
It is one of my most prized possessions.

6 comments:

Turtle Ink said...

This is what I'm talking about. This story is so moving. So much more meaningful than looking at a table just like it in a showroom or a "showhouse," no? To think that your grandmother was so adamant that she wrote a post-it and stuck it under there... That's love!

kloeamongtheturks said...

Yes, and I miss her lots. These were her final days last year.
Much love.

namastenancy said...

This is a wonderful story - full of love, memories and family (in the good way). My grandmother left me a beautiful soup tureen and while it's resided at my mother's house for all these years, I look forward to actually having it sit on my sideboard (one of these days). I remember her farm in Oregon, picking berries, riding the horse (OK, SITTING on the horse and saying go horsie) and making french toast in the morning. Every time I look at the tureen, I'm reminded of her and feel that connection to the past which is so marvelous.

namastenancy said...

I just ooked at Turtlehaus blog and saw your painting on the wall. It's GORGEOUS! I love all the rich intense colors and the emotion that just fills the canvas. Anyway, I'll try and refrain from my usual Victorian abuse of exclamation points, underlining and writing in all caps but I really love that piece!!!!

kloeamongtheturks said...

Thanks very much. I love to see the painting in its environment, and Turtle is so sweet to accord it such a prominent place in her household.

namastenancy said...

You know - I can't type worth a darn. That was supposed to read "LOOKED..." but I am sure you figured that out. DUH!