Revisiting a Neighbour

Kim Kutner used to be a neighbour. A very pleasant neighbour she was. I am lucky to have some of her bookwork. I have discovered that she has since branched out to work in fabric. Some of her art is viewable at Kim's Suitcase and in a Flicker stream.

I still treasure a tiny book Rachel Wholebloom's Coming of Spring (1995) It is hand lettered and stitched. It's a gem.

I am particularly fond of a particular page because of where the narrative focalization chooses to rest its gaze. It's a unique perspective, there for just a moment, and the page turns and the story moves on and we are never to dwell upon "Rachel's middle hair parting". The image is exquisite because the reader is also parting with this instant of the story as the page turns.
[Rachel is in a video store. You, gentle reader, may remember those.]

She chose something she
had heard about, something
that looked familiar, something
advertised in an old newspaper
she had been rereading. She
took the video to the counter.
The clerk a man in his mid-
forties, smiled a gold toothy
smile as his eyes fell on
top of Rachel's middle hair
There is something iconoclastic about this little book. Although there are illustrations, none depict our protagonist. We are left to imagine her. All through telling details are told and tiny pictures are shown: the rubber boots, the city bus ride, the toast, the video cassette, and of course the buds beginning to open. Like the coming of spring an image forms of Rachel Wholebloom.

I, in holding the book, remember a good neighbour and wish her well wherever she may now be — somewhere where springtime comes cutting a pretty caper.

And so for day 1437