My childhood winters seem from another world now that I am grown and living in a city. We frequently were without power. There were just two families on our long, narrow and winding road through the woods, so when storms knocked out the electricity it might take 5 to 10 days for them to get around to repairing our lines. We had plenty of kerosene lamps and were always prepared, so it was not a hardship, though I thought I should get extra credit on my history papers for writing them by lamplight. One of the bonuses of those nights without power was that we pulled out the board games and played cards and games for hours.
My favorite game was Masterpiece, the art auction game. I think that is where I learned my love of art. In most games, I am a very good strategic player, but in Masterpiece, I was not. I bid on the art I wanted, not the art I thought had the highest hidden value. One that I was sure to outbid everyone on was Jackson Pollack’s Grayed Rainbow. Mom was always puzzled by my love for Grayed Rainbow while delighting in sticking me with its forgery. I could not really explain why that painting had such a pull on me, but it did. Looking at it as an adult, I am still drawn to it, but now I can explain why. You see, at first glance it looks a bunch of white paint dribbled and splashed on a black background, but it’s not. There really is an entire rainbow there, but you have to pause and let it reveal itself. It always seemed to me to be a painting about hope – the rainbow hidden by storms and despair, but there all the time if you have the patience to wait for it to reveal itself.