That what is left unsaid

December 22nd

Edward Hopper — From Williamsburg Bridge, 1928

Not much is going on here in this painting. Only the tops of a few buildings as seen from the bridge. The sky is hazy with that is summer oppressive heat. That building right-center strikes me — I lived in a building just like that for many years. Same brickwork and color. The same narrowly spaced windows. The same double-hung glazing. The same blinds. The same pseudo-ornamental mansards. I guess that was the style then and seventy years later buildings like that still stood and were in use. A place I called my home for many years looked exactly the same and that building in the painting catches my eye and affects my memory.

There is a woman in a white dress, seen from the profile, sitting on the windowsill, there as well. Looks like she is watching the street below. She seems relaxed like she is on the break. Break from what? a household chores? work? study? an argument? conversation? Maybe she is just deep in thoughts about her children or money or an upcoming visit, or maybe is just waiting for somebody to show up there in the street below. Was that really the view that Edward Hopper saw and painted? Was that woman really there? No matter — she (whoever she was) is immortalized in this painting. A solitary figure in an open window on the top floor in a townhouse on the Brooklyn side of East River.

A real person caught in an instant by a painter in a singular moment of action. Or inaction — depends on how one looks at it. That is all we know, everything else about her is unknown and unsaid. But that doesn't stop me from creating a narrative about her in my head. It doesn’t matter that the story in this painting is not completed — it is left to the imagination to say what was left unsaid.

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“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.

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footsteps of the Furies

footsteps of the Furies

“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.

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