Saturday, January 19, 2008

This is a picture called The Blue Door by someone named R. Wintz. Lynn had a print of that picture, framed and hung, everywhere she lived. It was hanging above her bed at the nursing home when she died.
A few weeks before Christmas, I found another print of it in an old pretty silver wooden frame at a antique store. I bought it and considered it a gift from Lynn to me. I'll put it on the altar we're making for Lynn.
Today's the day we're having the Memorial Party for Lynn, for lack of a better term. When I offered to do it here, I imagined somehow that the weather would be beautiful and we could all go from house to yard and the bluebirds of happiness would be flocking in the trees above us and the sweet, warm breeze would remind us of Lynn and how much she loved to feel it on her face and there would be so much joy.
Instead, it's supposed to rain all day, the sky is pewter, any birds in the area are huddling somewhere warmer than my backyard and it's cold.
So much for MY plan, huh?
I have no idea how many people are going to show up. There are enough plastic cups and styrofoam plates in the kitchen already, bought and delivered by Lynn's sister-in-law and oldest brother, to serve hundreds. Also two giant bags of tortilla chips, same for Chex Mix, and an industrial sized can of mixed nuts. I've made the worst looking cake I ever made. Seriously, I made better looking cakes in the third grade. Also some hummus and banana bread- all Lynn favorites. My shed is filled with beer and wine and sodas. Two of her brothers are supposed to be coming out to get those on ice.
Where we'll put all the food, the drinks, the chairs and tables is sort of beyond me at this point. My house is large, but there are many small rooms in it. Dancing will have to happen in the hallway, and dammit, it better happen, otherwise we might as well have just had a damn service at the Bevis Funeral Home.
I had wanted this party to be an event to honor Lynn's ability to always imagine herself, no matter what the circumstances of reality she might find herself in, standing there in front of a beautiful door, looking out at a turquoise sea with a blue vase of red flowers right there.
Sunshine required. Breezes necessary. Bluebirds optional, but a nice touch.
Instead, it's dark as the gloaming, I can't imagine where I'm going to put the food, my heart is sad, my husband is out of town with his grieving sister and my cake looks like a joke.
I don't know what I'm trying to say here, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Lynn never got a damn break, ever, and I don't think she's getting what she deserves today, either.
But you know what? I know she would have found the best in it. She would have managed to have a great time and there would have been dancing and she would have drunk rum and said, "Whoop-ai-ay!" as she tossed down a shot and she would not have worn black.
I better get working on this situation.
And by "situation" I mean my attitude which I can change, although the weather is beyond my pitiful ability to do anything about.
Candles. Flowers. Pictures. Shalimar. Music. Food. Friends. Family.
Whoop-ai-ay, Lynn, my always-joyful friend. I like to think that you're living in that house now and you know what every room in it looks like and that every one of the rooms looks out onto that sea and that the breeze is blowing into every window and you are standing there, smiling, the wind blowing your hair, your eyes closed, a huge smile on your face and your arms stretched up in joy and you are dancing, dancing, dancing.


  1. and look how it turned out :)

    you are a wonderful friend.

  2. Nah. She was the wonderful friend. I just held her hand down the path but she was holding mine too.

  3. My old lovable auntie had a print in her place and the family nearly threw it out but I rescued it in time. It is a Raymond Wintz print. (I have just found out). I have been looking for a picture on the net of "the blue door" and this is the first I have found. What a lovely story to go with it. My picture is similar to -Port a l'ile d'Yea- . It has three ladies watching a fishing man (standing up) in boat. Afew other little boats around.
    Thanks for the pic and article

  4. Wow, Ronny. Thanks for finding me. I'm glad you saved your aunt's print.

  5. My sister gave me this very print in a worn out frame with water damage to the mat. I began taking the paper off the back to replace the mat and chose to research R Wintz instead. Born in Paris in 1884 to two painters. I'm swept into a romantic swirl of adoring love. Your friend sounds like someone we each need in our lives. And so do you. I see you dancing.

  6. I do see why you have that print in your house. I love the hope and optimism you describe in Lynn, her gift to you, through that blue door.

  7. Angella- You really came and read this. After Lynn died, I found a copy of the picture in an antique store with a nice silver frame. It was reasonable and I bought it and I considered it a gift from Lynn. I love it.

  8. My Aunt has left me a copy of this print wich was a gift to her on her 21st birthday in 1954.
    It was precious to her and now precious to me.

  9. Louise- Hello! This post is one that a lot of people arrive on via googling the name of the photo. It is a beautiful picture and a very evocative one. I am glad you have a print and that it is precious to you. Mine is precious to me, too.


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