Stirring through the pages of the novel, she had an idea that interest in one’s existence — if not happiness — might be procured through external ornaments. The thoughts and colors of her imagination could benefit from new sensations. It occurred to her that she could not remember the last time she had touched a flower.
Jan van Huysum, Flowers in a Terracotta Vase (1724-1725) [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Her parents balked at the extravagant expense on so ephemeral a beauty, and her request was denied. But the next day, Lena had an idea.
CHAPTER 2: I DREAM IN PAINTINGS OF FLOWERS
In the bookstore, she presented to her father an abbreviated set of paints and a book on painting. “I hope you don’t abandon this as quickly as you pick it up,” he remarked.
Lena envisioned a room. It was not extravagant, it was empty, but in the corner was a pot of flowers, blushing and fizzing with life. It belonged to her and she would tend to it, and this was enough.
She toiled in shallow knowledge of color theory, of composition, of movement. There was satisfaction in the sweep of a brush on canvas, and in the melding of colors. In a week she was finished.
“Well, its no Renoir,” she sighed. “But did he paint flowers? — I do not know,” she pondered momentarily, then brightened again with youthful resilience, “but I will find out.”