There is often a particular pleasure in looking closer at very ordinary things. I find it fascinating to observe the beautiful flowers painted on my coffee-cup. Morning breakfast becomes a treat. The artist who decorated the cup, obviously relished in painting every leaf, petal, bud and stem of the roses, the «forget-me-not» and butter-cups that his brush was producing on the bare faïence. And I do join in his pleasure as he is creating the butterfly, the bee and the dragonfly, and even that little mischievous fly, on the cup and on its saucer.
When did that artist work?… A long time ago. For that cup, together with a whole set of them, usually appeared on my grandparents’ table, especially when we had a «crêpes’ supper» in the comforting glow shed by the two oil-lamps dressed with painted lampshades. My grandmother’s eyes, long before mine, had marveled at the graceful bouquets on her cups. She had reproduced them with her own brushes, on the tough paper of the shades. Long before her though, she had watched her own grandmother, drinking her morning coffee out of one of those cups. And her grandmother too, had looked with pleasure at the art of the unknown painter.
From generation to generation, the domestic utensils had been handed down. Now the old cup, which looked so young and fresh, with the cheerful pink, red, yellow and blue flowers and insects, dotting the white paste, sits before me, offered, like a meaningful and fine present. As I contemplate the harmony of shape and contours, colors and texture, my spirit soars towards so many faces and voices!… They have come to me, and I run to them all: beloved grandparents, uncles and aunts, ancestors and parents, long ago deceased… A communion of saints stand smiling back at me still on the very earth they enjoyed and loved, each in their time! Yet, Time is no longer, in the present so beautiful and calm, as the aroma of the morning coffee rises deliciously from the pretty cup.
A voice not voiced, is whispering to me : «This is My Present to you: enjoy it!»