Within minutes of opening this book, my body was floating in a different world. Having just read The Goldfinch and just seen The Wife, I was familiar with the notion of art theft, of creating art for someone because you loved them and wanted them to succeed, and unfortunately the immense pain that causes for so many. The heartbreaks that Claire experiences in this book, the betrayals by the men she falls in love with are so acutely painful, they cause me to reminisce about my broken heart stories. I believe it takes a talented author to cause such a reaction in my heart as Shapiro did with The Art Forger. Claire and Isaac, Claire and Aiden both those relationships were shown through Claire’s eyes and we see Claire’s pain. I wonder if having multiple points of view could help us to better understand the motives of Isaac and Aiden. Something else that I am not mentioning is the way art is eloquently and brilliantly described and the life of an artist, throwing her life into her work another kind of love affair. And that’s the only lover that she ends up with. Her paintings. Was it because she struck that deal with Aiden that fate caused her such great pain? What about the troubled youth she taught and their pain? I believe their pain and her pain were similar and she went there to connect with them because she felt compassion towards them. She had extremely unhealthy eating habits and sleeping, but I wonder if that sacrifice is justified in the name of art. I only wish the best for Claire. How could I wish that when people blame her for Isaac’s death and Aiden is in jail while she is free? I’m afraid it’s too complicated to answer in a few words why I identify with Claire and her journey in this novel. For Aiden and Isaac I believe that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Isaac and Aiden’s power and subsequent greed in the world of art destroyed them. Also, there are so many unresolved issues with Aiden and Isaac in this book that I don’t know where to begin. Am I a fool to leave Claire blameless? No. It is a question we have explored in this group previously that I cannot answer but leave you all to ponder, Was Claire a bad person or was she a good person who did a bad thing?
Dreams. Some of us have them. Some of us do not. Sometimes. All the time. Somewhere and everywhere. There are sometimes built over time with posters in bed rooms, movies running in our minds, and hope in our hearts. As with some movies, these can take unexpected and sometimes unfortunate turns. Because sometimes we get sick. We forfeit the championship game before the try-outs even start. We hang up our soccer shoes and remember things like the nick names we got while we attempted to fulfill them. Bruiser was my nickname and a part of my dream. Soccer was my sport, defense was my position. Then after eighth grade I got sick, and sophomore year called for no more P.E. period for me. Funny how some dreams bring other ones into light. The dream to create. Write. Compose. To be part of something bigger than yourself. To change views. How to be humble. My junior year I stepped into this new world and new dreams were pressed on fast forward. Dreams. You never really forget your dreams. To be a writer, runner, and Lover. They stay with you as you complete your morning jog, your bacon cheese burger, your chores, your romantic dinner, your fight with your roommate. As much as you try to alienate yourself from them. They call to you. To be social was another dream I never fully held on to but my bubbly personality came through and I have wonderful friends. Love, it seemed to always be slipping from my grasp when finally it seemed it had never existed. Perhaps this is the year. Now on the in-betweens, I’m trying to envision new dreams. Not to replace old ones. To be a smile now. You see funny thing about dreams. They never retire.
At first try I disliked your taste
What a fool I was then
Was I out of my mind?
Then a large change on a normal day
One day, at 22 I remember thinking
I should make a huge cup of coffee
I don’t know if I was tired, bored, distracted, or inspired
Thinking back, I was inspired
Somehow, the biggest cup available was pulled out the lazy susan
And as I poured hot water into the coffee and sugar
There was some magic in the air
And when the coffee was made
And since I took a sip I’ve never quite had my fill
Ode to coffee
Your strong, remarkable, blessed aroma
Makes me smile every time I inhale, I feel calm
It’s my greatest love and the start to a great day
Coffee you are the epitome of, “it’s the little things in life”
And you drive me forward with joy and a jolt. A treat and I’m on my way.
Ode to Coffee
For making small talk
For making coffee dates with friends
Your impeccable flavor
It, I savor
Glory from heaven above
It’s a cup of coffee I’d love
I am floating, floating far away
To where I am going I can’t really say
I’m floating swiftly in the blink of an eye
I floating away, please bid me goodbye
It’s fast and far that’s where I will go
No sense in even looking, you’ll never know
I will fly to a place entirely of my own
A place where I can weep secretly, alone
I’ll use my face to hide the pain
Even though my eyes are stained
I’ll pick up a shell off the beach so far away
Only a few minutes more,
Because longer I can’t possibly stay
And somehow in some strange way
The shell reminds me of you today
It is my greatest bliss and my worst foe
Hurriedly I will pack up and go
I’ll go back to where I came
Although it will never be the same
It’s silly to look for someone to blame
In my adventure I will see
A brief glimpse of what it’s like to be happy
Then the beach waves will rush in
Crush my hopes, recall only your sin
And my ignorance to think you actually cared
Thinking our friendship was existent and strong
Thinking of what it was that I did wrong
Knowing my guard will never be down again
With the entire world entire race of men
I’ll pick up the seashell and as I do
Instead I’ll simply despair realizing one thing is true
I will never love another the way I loved you
I will be half a heart until
I find another man who makes it stand still
Clothed in a satin sleeveless gown
With a rich crimson shade
I stand and look down
Meeting colors of white and jade
Fragrances of much enchantment strengthen
As the stairs, I climb
Wishing it were possible to lengthen
Or possibly grasp the hands of time
Causing the hands to stay at 10:09
And never rise nor decline.
For as I continue to stroll towards the comforting air,
The music seems to stop, as I receive many a stare.
I look around, I realize and see.
That what they are staring at is me.
They see only beauty and grace,
Not the sad, tormented look in my eyes on my face.
Suddenly I am filled with thought
That roses wilt
But true love does not
For precisely at this moment I spy, I see
The love of my life sitting near the Christmas tree.
I thought he never wanted to see me again
Still remembering that time when
A boy who I will never miss
Bent over and stole a kiss
This act angered me to the core,
But what hurt me so much, so much more
Was to see my real love standing
Standing head lowered by the door.
A cold tear flows
From his beautiful face
The cold wind blows
As I dash to his place.
But he is gone,
He is no longer there
Leaving me in a state of despair
For I have created a heart beyond repair
I was apparently incorrect,
For he is there standing tall and erect.
I’m assuming he was the witness,
Of the time I yelled at the culprit,
The stealer of the kiss
Suddenly, something wonderful happens there
His eyes meet mine
His eyes so fine.
Nothing in the world could prepare
Prepare me for what happened next
For I was asked to play a song, French for by the light of the moon
A song for many known as “A clare de la lune”
So down I sat upon the chair
And I began to play.
For that instant I was no longer in despair
The world seemed to turn and sway.
Soon almost everyone left the banquet hall.
Soon my tears begin to fall,
Remembering the day when I lost it all.
I stand there by the window cold and sad,
Recalling good times I once had,
My vision is suddenly black.
As soft, warm hands touch my face,
My tears are held back.
I turn around at a steady pace
And am greeted with a sweet kiss and embrace.
From the heavenly saint,
Who can play soccer and paint.
His smile worth all the diamonds, rubies, and sapphires
The world aspires
Aspires to give
Not all the lilies common or rare
Can compare with him and his presence.
For in the essence,
The essence of the moment
He went and brought my present.
He asked me not to peek or stare
For that would be unfair.
So I did as told and closed my eyes
Excited about this great surprise
He placed it on my neck with care,
A necklace more fair,
More fair than any other.
A mirror he set, he set in place.
And I used it instead to gaze at his face.
His slightly red hair began to shimmer
This angelic being, so divine.
As a song of memories past
Filled the room, subtle yet fast.
We dance under a moonlit night.
He holds me tender, he holds me tight.
Now from this moment I believe
In the magic which comes with Christmas Eve!
(By the way this romance
Everything from the gown to the dance
Was entirely fiction completely untrue
Although, I think it’d be grand, don’t you?)
I’m a blob of existence
trembling in the wind
exploding with the rage
of the things I can’t be
and the places I can’t go.
The media of shocking information
The exaggeration of images
Confuse and fascinate at the same time.
Then there is love.
The paradox of love and being loved
I have loved with my whole heart
Now my heart is filled with holes
The not being loved back was so painful
The accusations of never caring were the worst
I at least wanted him to know I loved him
That would be enough
It would have to be.
But, it was not meant to be.
For now I have sensations of love towards things like coffee.
Or my family.
Friends, Shimer, and Falafel, all sensational things.
They are different times for, different types of sensation
All senses are involved
Trying to awake from a deep sleep
Trying to come back from a dream
Trying to escape slumber and excite my real senses
My brain and body want different things
One waits stillness, the other wants movement
Struggling to wake up
The shock of no longer dream land
A most odd sensation …