My parents gave me a garden.
The plot by the door of daily passage
Became my floral cutting bed.
My parents bought me books,
Floral frogs and foam.
I studied Ikebana.
Mother emptied the pie safe in the basement.
It became my laboratory for design.
Perhaps that is why I fought to keep it
In the division of property,
in the dissolution of my marriage.
Today the garden has a sense of wabi sabi.
Today the pie safe holds my dreams.
Norma T. Colman
June 30, 2012
After Norma shared these lines with us, Paul was struck by just how much imagery springs from Norma’s words. But what struck Norma was how amazing it was that our farming parents let a kid run the flower garden.
“They let me choose what I wanted, and I did it. I dug it up, planted it, hovered over the Burpee seed catalog all winter long.”
Our mom even stepped out of her comfort zone to find good flower containers for her daughter’s particular interest in Ikebana, which Norma studied from a Better Homes & Gardens book she found right in the heart of the Midwest.
“I realize now that Ikebana is a major influence in my work today,” Norma said. (You can see her work at Studio Three 17.)
The pie safe Norma mentions is a beautiful piece of furniture long dear to our family. Referring to division of belongings due to divorce, Norma made this remark: “I thought I fought for the pie safe because it was a family piece. It was for that, but it also is because the pie safe had held all my containers. That was an intricate part of my design process. That was one place I got to be artistic.”
Little wonder that today, in Norma’s art studio, the pie safe holds the stuff of her textile art.