June 3rd- the comfort -the questions- Chris Ritchey

June 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm 3 comments

chrisart collage Your drawings, sketches, photographs, product design, glass design, ad campaigns- for the most part your class work from your years studying at Cleveland Institute of Art has comforted me. I am surrounded by your raw talent in this house you called home for 28 years.

Not long after that dreadful December day, when I was in such despair my breathing was “forced”, the will to continue absent, trying to bear the unbearable -I would sit in your room, hour after hour looking out at the sky you looked at, drinking in the essence of you that lingered- waiting – for my breath to stop and release me from the agony.

Your father, wandering around the rest of the house , he too , looking for answers as to the cruel and terrible place we found ourselves. One such day, he struggled up the stairs with this life-sized self- portrait you had done in your “foundation years” at CIA he had found in a pile of your “paintings” . I had seen the preliminary sketches , small and the large, but I never knew the painting existed. You had done “just enough” to get it passed for the class- you weren’t a great success when it came to painting- that was not your forte.
The portrait , amateurish, insignificant to the rest of the world was and is worth more than any “old master” to us. The portrait hangs in pride of place and although a likeness of you at 22 , the perspective- a little needy. However, in the evening, softened by a night-light, the “mistakes” fade and blend until I see you as you were.

My comfort, I was reminded by your portrait there was more to you than the emptiness left to us. And so, I was able to find the strength to write about you and to write the truth.

I thought I was done receiving your gifts of comfort- and there have been many – some surprising. But once again, this last week, your father came in from the garage with another object. This time apparently with one of your “tries” with “glass”. I treasure “failures” just as reverently as I treasure the successes.
glass collage
World Cup Trophy – Breath of Life- Tiny Blue/ Gold Vase – Chris Ritchey
There are times, looking at some of your work, I wonder what you were thinking – did you have a premonition as to what the future may hold? But this latest gift did take me aback somewhat. I know of your wicked sense of humour. Was it used for a drinking vessel, as it is hollow inside and is a little strangely shaped an elongated smooth edge or was it designed to hold a light, as others of your pieces did?

You liked to work with light in glass- I have experienced that in the “Breath of Life”- a certain time of the day when the sun hits its just right the piece glows and the Celtic design in the body of the glass glow with fire. But “this” latest addition is very heavy but is surprisingly tactile in nature, the feel of it in your hands adds another dimension I wouldn’t have believed possible- there is a sense of movement in the texture of the glass – planned or by accident – it is a “puzzlement “ What can I say Chris once again you made me laugh, made me cry and ask the question ‘WHY????”


Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, death, grief, Love, men of substance, Mothers. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Morning Stillness- the Pond Life – continues This dust (ing) of community- Apathy – Hope?????

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dave  |  June 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    In spite of the odd shape it is quite beautiful.

  • 2. thatwoman  |  June 3, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    yes the bottom “lip of the piece has been smoothed and rounded . I didn’t try drinking out of it BUT the shape lends itself to that but it also works as an elongated foot sort of thing so it stands at a tilted angle allowing a small bulb light to be inserted…. I wish I could ask him why- apparently he showed it to his father when he made it but no mention of why and why it ended up in he garage is beyond me . Apart from the fact he took his steel and glass desk apart and stored it there ( it is still there) too big for the house and no where to put it anyway- did he have it on his desk??? I don’t know once more…. more questions than answers… a beauty in its ugliness……. 🙂

  • 3. thatwoman  |  June 3, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    However , I have decided that when I die I will have “some” of my ashes encased in the skull- bury it in the special place and when in the long away future it may be dug up it will give someone else something to think about- what this the religious burial rites of a long forgotten cult??? appeals to my irreverent sense of humor…..

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