Monday, September 7, 2009

Meeting Alice

"Within each woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing." Pinkola-Estes

The next day I wander in the garden. I am startled and surprised as I find, squatting low among the rows of green beans gathering the long slender snaps into a clay pot at her feet, my vision from the pond.
She smiles, asks my name, my length of stay, tells me she is Alice Twitchell.
Beyond that she doesn't say anything specific, we simply become companions. She allows me to accompany her for hours on end and so the days take on another level of mysterious depth and substance.

I am mesmerized.

I observe the manner in which this angelic woman glides through her days. There is some type of frailty that visits her...with frequency she excuses herself, telling me that she will be resting.
I watch as she floats around the corner like a mist and disappears into her room.

Larry Twitchell built their home and all the outbuildings by hand. He included an indoor tropical garden in the southwest corner of the main room with tiny entries in the foundation allowing small animals to run back and forth hiding treasures among the rocks and roots. With tranquility Alice eyes a chipmunk as she creates our lunch. Later she follows the darting movements of a field mouse, busily tending to its affairs, as she quietly moves lush watercolor over her paper's rough surface.

When she reappears from her quiet time she wraps the embroidered white caftan close to her body and speaks to me of things foreign and exotic like India and Baha'i, meditation and mi so; of the rigors of art school and polio and chiropractic adjustments.

I don't understand her or her ways yet I know that I want to be nowhere else but with her and I want to be more like her than like myself.

An artist memoir at the 60 year mark.
Graphic created in Sumo


  1. ooohhh, so good to see you in the light! the last few weeks have been busy, but i've been reading your posts, wishing to take the time to write a response..but's been flying.
    i have a friend who knows you, you may remember, Beth Wolfe? i told her about your blog, she may be checking in. she met you when you had your studio in the old hospital. she is a yoga friend and also a former classmate from high school- i attended one year at notre dame academy, we were in art class together, sat next to each other.

    did alice have polio? my mom did--she suffered from post polio syndrome the last 15 years or so of her life.

  2. Good to see you again and congrats once more on your great start to the tremont show...isn't it so lovely when all the joyful yet challenging work finds its way out into the world.

    Yes my posts are entering the light and I am loving that too...memoirs are a wonderful artform for taking stock of how we can travel through the pain or the pleasure without attachment.

    YES of course I remember Beth Wolfe I can even see her face in my mind's eye...give her my best ...there's that ol' six degrees of separation thang'

    I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulty for your mom. Alice did have polio as a young girl. The fragile nature of her days at the time that we met were compounded by something that went even deeper though I didn't learn the whole story until 26 years later.


Thanks for stopping '-)