For years she hung in the family home, sort of swallowed up by everything else there. I secretly called her Genevieve, and it turns out that Scott secretly called her Emma. In the end, her real name was Gladys. I like Genevieve better.
It was easy to miss her, she was small and dark, unsigned, unfinished, but she was beautiful. The most beautiful thing in the room.
When she came home with us, I got just a little obsessed. An artist, fairly prolific in his day had painted her, his daughter. Of this I am sure. I look at his well known work, and there is Genevieve. In some she is older, saintly, inwardly glowing.
Rainy days allowed time for internet scouring. A picture was slowing developing. Of family, of friends, of philosophers, artists, musicians, of eccentricities, of rich socialites and damp days on isolated shores of wooded lakes. Of energy, of brilliance of a synchronized collective.
Curiosity burned, I grasped at the hints left in history, little bread crumb trails that led Genevieve so far from home, to a cedar wall on a rainy island on the other side of the continent.