Ilze Berzins

My own home-grown orchid, fabric from Bangladesh, painting by Doreen Wilson, plate a gift from sister-in-law, gold bird my own papier mache creation.

My dreaming mermaid mat in the sunroom. Have decided to post all the mats in my collection. Souvenirs from my starving artist days. I would never have that devotion today.

Charmed or snowed? That is the question.

Yes, I suppose I still sort of like Realtor Max. Still, having slept on his spiel, the charm has dissipated but the words linger on.

He wants to bring in a STAGER.

Giving a cursory sweep of his hand, he asked: “You do all this?”

“Yes, those are my paintings,” I replied, somewhat taken aback. Now I know the guy’s not a connoisseur but, until now, my work has been admired and valued. From past exhibitions I’ve kept a few paintings particularly meaningful to me, all in costly frames.

“Well, this is OK,” Max continued blithely, shrugging at my Sunflower “But…” he trailed off, glancing at a large painting (actually unfinished) above the mantle. I like to live with a piece, see what it tells me. For now it tells me leave me alone.

Then we get to ‘clutter’ (Max’s word).

In an heirloom silver frame I have photos of my family—black and white, some circa 1918.

They should be gone.