I mentioned on Saturday that I am working my way through another one of Susan Vreeland’s books (I was so taken with Luncheon of the Boating Party that I searched for another book on her writing about artwork). This book, Life Studies, is actually a collection of short stories. The first one is called, Mimi with the Watering Can, and is based on Renoir’s painting, Girl with Watering Can.
From there, he could see the huge foundation for Sacre-Coeur, a basilica planned to be as magnificent as the cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Though it meant little to him, he didn’t particularly like that it would be so monumental. Maybe none of it made any difference. Another seven hundred years would go by in a blink and none of it would matter (page 9)
“A spider’s web,” Elise said. “Look, Jerome. How Beautiful.”
It was strung from a tree branch to two places on a lilac bush. The sunlight turned the silk iridescent. How that tiny creature could launch himself into the void, spinning a filament of thin trust, and catch hold of something, anything, and build his three pointed kingdom from such a slender thread.” – page 16
There was nothing unusual about that watering can – tin turned bluish green, with a sprinkler head on the spout – yet he felt a tenderness toward it out of all proportion to its value. How Mimi’s fingers, like little white minnows, grasped its handle. how she wielded it with an authority beyond her years. It made no difference that the trickle of water drops falling on leaves and petals was a mere decoration and would never nourish the plant deep down in the earth where the roots searched for sustenance. She had a job, a purpose.
If only he were a poet. Or if Baudelaire could see her, and see inside him to his love for her, he wouldn’t have written about l’ennui. he watched her dance through her enchanted world, arms out to catch the fleeting impossible, her world where sprinklings on petals mattered, and his heart followed her. — page 17