Darlene

jennie-harbourbmp.jpg

This beautiful image is by an artist named Jennie Harbour, not much is written of her on the internet, and she is a bit of a mystery. She was prolific in the 1920’s, and considered to be of the art deco period. I have a pretty little book of Mother Goose Rhymes, and this image is in the book. When I went to find out more about her, I found a site with many of her illustrations grouped there.  The one below of the mermaid was among them. I like it. When I first saw the image of ” Mary and her little lamb” I was immediately struck by the feeling that it portrayed my friend Darlene. I thought that first,  even before it dawned on me that it was Mary and her little lamb. The one below  reminds me a little of Darlene too, I think it is the fish and sea life. Darlene is a lover of all animals.

 www.surlalunefairytales.com     

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To watch Darlene ride a horse or love on a dog is really magical. She truly connects with them and gives them as much or maybe more respect than humans. Animals are unfailingly honest and most often kind, not always true of humans.

Darlene has many stories to tell of childhood adventures, some of great pain and sadness. Some of unbridaled freedom and sibling joy. There are many reasons that she would have to distrust people and to have long ago retreated from them. But she doesn’t, and hasn’t! That is what is so striking about her, her resilience and humor, her ability to take the experiences from her life and run wild like a horse, not chained by long ago hurts and wounds. She loved, forgave and respected her mother even after her mother crumpled under the weight of family obligation and  alcohol addiction. Darlene and her siblings were parcelled out to foster homes, that were far from perfect….. 

Darlene was wise enough to have healed herself through reading and lenghthy introspection. Some people go entire life times without the closure and healing that she has created. She was able to love her mother unconditionally, as an adult, and champion those things they had a shared love for.  She was her mother’s best friend before her mom went out of this life into a more peaceful one.

My friend is an exceptional mother, wife, sister, teacher, friend and human being.  I am so lucky and blessed that she took the chance to say hello, put on her walking shoes and join me on a walk amongst the orange groves. Thank you Darlene for your gift of friendship.

She is also a lover of words and a decipherer of Meaning, notice the capital “M”. Here are a few of her own words, with her kind permission,

” Just do your blogging thing and only write about what inspires you in the moment, like the photo of the men in your life. That was great. You say that your world is small, but you have enlarged it enormously by finding a way to creatively express yourself, connect with friends, and reach out to unknown others. A veritable blogtrotter. Keep up the good work (I have found solace and comfort in the word good-every other ginormous word is inflated and can be reduced to good in a nanosecond).”

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5 Comments

  1. Darlene Cornett said,

    September 3, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you. I am honored with this warm and loving tribute. You couldn’t be more accurate with your images and kinder with your words. They do express two sides of me, the day and the night. I find the picture about Mary and the lamb ironic, for even though I am now a teacher, I would dearly love to take my animals to work with me. The rules still say I can’t. The following is one of my all time favorite poems by Louis Gluck:

    The School Children

    by Louise Gluck

    The children go forward with their little satchels.
    And all morning the mothers have labored
    to gather the late apples, red and gold,
    like words of another language.

    And on the other shore
    are those who wait behind great desks
    to receive these offerings.

    How orderly they are–the nails
    on which the children hang
    their overcoats of blue or yellow wool.

    And the teachers shall instruct them in silence
    and the mothers shall scour the orchards for a way out,
    drawing to themselves the gray limbs of the fruit trees
    bearing so little ammunition.

  2. Tracy said,

    September 4, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Fantastic post, Laney…and fantastic artwork & imagery! Happy Day ((HUGS))

  3. joan said,

    September 4, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    ” Just do your blogging thing and only write about what inspires you in the moment…”
    Ah, how wise your friend Darlene is! Could you ask her if I could quote that on my own blog???

    Laney, your site is really beautiful.

    I don’t know how you found mine, but the fact that you did led me right back here… where I am certain to visit often.. The illustration of ‘mary’ left me feeling all of 6 years old again… thank you.

  4. jude said,

    September 4, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    fabulous artwork and a wonderful post, thanks.

  5. laneyloo said,

    September 5, 2007 at 9:28 am

    I’m glad you all enjoyed the images and the post. She is such a good friend and I love to be able to share my friends even if it can only be virtually. Wish we could all go out to lunch together!! Mexican, Thai, Italian….where shall we go?


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