Journaling Preserves Memories
As memories fade in time, I have found that by going back and reading a particular note in my journal puts me “smack dab” right back there, reliving that experience. Details emerge so vividly.
I’ve mentioned earlier how art runs big in my ancestral line as well as in my present family today. Going back, into past generations, my great grandfather was an artist and interior decorator from Scotland.
He ended up, after journeying far and wide, in Southern Utah, where I now reside. He became well known in the community for an art business he and his sons operated involving “graining”.
Back in those early, pioneer days, the settlers who had little money starting out would make every penny count and those who were more “well off” employed my g’father to turn the cheaper wood in their homes (pine) into the more expensive look of oak by painting oak-style graining over the pine, creating a totally different look. I doubt he realized he was using an art style called Trompe L’Oeil, a French term meaning, “To fool the eye.” He certainly did just that!
From a journal entry: 5/10/1999
Driving home from Zion Canyon, just “day tripping”, and as I passed through the town of Hurricane, I spied an old Victorian-style home for sale and decided to go look at it. I had no intention to buy but I wanted to explore this darling 18th century home on the inside as well. A very impromptu decision.
The seller lived in the house and began showing me its special features. She mentioned it was listed on the Historical Record Site and even got the document that told the history of this charming home.
Lo and behold, my mouth dropped open as she read further down that “David Milne and Sons” had done “the graining” throughout the house. It was interesting to see that term used in the historical records and made me realize it was a real painting process used back then.
My hand stroked the rich oak-look banister on the stair railing as my eye caught “the graining” on other wood trims. I was drawn deep into nostalgic thoughts as I laid my hand on the stair railing, knowing 100 years ago my own great grandfather’s hands, whom I’d heard so much about him, were painting the very wood where my hand laid.
This is amazing to me that I even noticed this home for sale then stopped and took the time to go inside and look at it further. What a remarkable treasure lay waiting, all these years, for me to discover.
Sometimes, I think we’re given glimpses into hidden treasures, lying right in plain site but in our haste are overlooked when we ignore the promptings to open our eyes and senses to something special sitting right in front of us.
”Art, a universal language, understood by the soul.”
More posts will be coming, on how art lives on in my present day life as well as through other of my grandfather’s progenitors, my sister, children and grandchildren.