States of Mind

An empty farmhouse table beckons. A cup of weak coffee, some morning chat.

Myrtle's Table

It was a great pleasure  for me to meet Myrtle Cripps, who lived alone in a farm house. It was 1986. She invited me in one day to photograph inside where I found things placed with an exquisite austerity and simplicity. Her table had a particular beauty that caught my eye. I didn't get to see her often, as happens out in the country. She was my neighbor, she lived ten miles away in this sparsely settled area, but all of us in that area were neighbors. Myrtle once showed my a crazy quilt cover that had come to her from her grandmother who had died while making it. Myrtle was passing it on to her granddaughter. It was embroidered with symbols meaningful to her grandmother but their significance had been lost as the quilt traveled the time journey away from its maker. When I saw it the quilt was serving to tie the generations of women together who otherwise lost a portion of their identity as their names changed through marriage.