Tora Estep and Karen Lee Lewis

Tora Estep
Study for snow figure, pencil, charcoal, and oil paint on watercolor paper

By Karen Lee Lewis

Inspiration piece

Her thoughts pixilate. She speaks in pin points and ellipses…
wants you to sign on the dotted line to surrender to her point of

Once she punctured her extremities. Stippled poinsettias
suggesting pink petals on the tapering tips of her fingers and
toes. Each day was a garden walk. She never needed to cut
flowers. She showered with flowers, dried herself with flowers,
pleased herself with flowers.

She bloomed all year calling to mind Christmas scents…
mincemeat apple-walnut hot butter… a trio of tarts. She liked
to sew popped corn garlands and wrap them around deciduous
trees. She dropped trails of the crisp kernels in snow and named
them vanishing points.

She developed a habit, entirely useful, of stiffening her index
finger like a dog’s taut tail. She trusted her fingertips would
lead the way– they became an essential detail that completed a
set of directions. She like to drum her fingertips against the
thin skin of her wrists while considering questions… a bouquet
of moments… or a momentous bouquet?

She never believed that life was pointless. She was reminded of
death at every turn. Her mother’s premature point of no return
left her terminally marking pauses–which became the
punctuation of the dead. Red poinsettias were her mother’s
funeral shrubbery–faded plastic wish you were here’s on a
grave she didn’t tend. She preferred to remind herself of livelier
points of departure. Like Seurat’s paintings her indelible inks
were indivisible, they were a still point to which she could
always return.

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