Showing posts from August, 2013

Layers of Memory

There's a family story that it was made as a wedding present. I don't if it's true. I know that it once stood in my grandfather's home in Galway, in a room above his barber's shop in Eyre Square. I know that, when the shop was sold after his death, it came to Dublin with my grandmother, a charming, angry woman, who took to her bed on arrival and stayed there, in a temper, till she died. I know that when I was born, my father shortened the legs so my mother could use it as a nursing chair. I remember kneeling in front of it when I was five, playing house; I put a pastry board across the arms as a roof, and tucked my teddy to sleep on the seat. As I work down through the layers of paint, the memories blur. The top layer is white. That was put on by my brother after my mother's death. Beneath it, there's a layer of Wedgewood blue. That went on when my father died. I remember my mother, alone in the home they'd made together, afraid that