About 15 years ago, I attended an art exhibit in the Alberta Arts District here in Portland, where one of my professor’s then-wife, Toni Thomas, (now a close friend) was showing her woman-centric, rustic sculptures, displayed along with her poetry.  I instantly fell in love with them, and vowed to own one some day.  That day has come.

Last night, we were the dinner guests of Toni and her boyfriend, Peter.  Both of them are getting ready to leave for a year in Edinburgh, Scotland to study poetry.  We went to bid them farewell and to enjoy one last night of their companionship before they leave.

When we got there, John had a surprise for me.  Said surprise might entail our having to take a second mortgage out on the house…but who cares.

Meet Suma.

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The name Suma is an East Indian name meaning , “flower” or “feminine”. The name is also found in the Egyptian language, meaning, “ask” and in the English language, meaning, “born in summer”.  However, Toni named her with the East Indian moniker in mind.

She is a very heavy, hand-thrown ceramic piece that stands approximately 24″ tall and about 18″ wide, at her widest, at the base.  She has a copper-like patina that no photograph can do justice. She is magnificent!

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There is a sadness about her facial features, a plaintiff expression, not unlike life’s longing for itself. Her truncated arms form breasts….or else the breasts form truncated arms. The torso is long and thin with an off-center navel and the suggestion of wide, womanly hips.

The piece now sits on the teakwood credenza in front of the window where our little hummingbirds feed.  At first, I feared she might frighten them, but no.  They are contented with her presence.  I, for one, am not only contented.  I am thrilled.

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