‘Lightening cracked her mental scene as Clara slid her eyes & padded stool over to the closed window, admiring her glassy burning appearance against cascading sheets of rain, in the pool of her eyes, in the pretty of her life, & vibrated within the vision of the multiple mirrors of self.’
By: Dena Merlino Scott
“I’ll never have a proper debut,” cried Clara, the very green of Wissahickon wilderness shining sunny on her slender shoulders, heavy hearted in her home, The Hermitage. The lilt of the breeze was Clara’s constant companion.
The Baron’s mustache bristled as he looked up from his ledger from his international import of boar bristle brushes, his eyes heavy and full yet quick, a Russian hound dog in his heyday. “You have men of every type calling for you out here in this “wilderness” as you say. You are hardly alone, Clara, now please.”
Clara spun and stomped up flight after flight of wooden stairs, ruffles flying & ribbons trailing like pinion feathers. She closed the door to her bedroom with a composed bang, no movement or faculty wasted.
Clara sat upon the tufted stool placed prettily in the center of a guilded vanity. The golden-hour sun shined through the thick glass of the window, a butterfly breeze waxing the fragrant magnolia leaves that grew about her 2ndstory.
Clara unpinned her hair, brushing & softly setting each strand aside; her silver hairbrush was the finest from her family. Though she was careful to wear a wide-brimmed hat, Clara’s hair shined with flecks of strawberry: a summer head of highlights from strolling the wooded lanes surrounding The Hermitage.
The golden-framed mirror facing Clara was full of her image, her mind was full of herself: I do so like James’ accent, but Henry looks so smart with his gold watch chain…
The sunlight infused & refracted as the atmosphere moved around the sun & burned through the setting spectrum until shadows draped the vanity & Clara’s shapely shoulders & moon beam tendrils.
A hearty wind whipped through the woods, sending silhouettes spinning, a storm sang its’ electrifying way up the ridge’s elevation.
Clara popped up from her padded stool, & watching her behind gently bounce in the mirror, lit the lamps in her room, calling all of nature indoors: moths white as brides flung themselves into the fire.
Clara shut the window against the storm growing outside, alone with her glassy likeness. She unharnessed her outfit, unlaced her restrictions, and slipped into a cotton summer dressing gown, closed-in heat heaving.
Clara watched her slender wrist & tapered fingers pick up the luxury silver hairbrush & deeply stroked & separated her curls, their darkness a bounding light show. Clara’s triptych in the lamp-fire burned red & hot, the moon glowed cold & indifferent, magnolia shined white & ardent, wind wet as it whipped into a booming, electric, frenzy.
Lightening cracked her mental scene as Clara slid her eyes & padded stool over to the closed window, admiring her glassy burning appearance against cascading sheets of rain, in the pool of her eyes, in the pretty of her life, & vibrated within the vision of the multiple mirrors of self.
Clara’s 3-way silhouette bounced between the vanity and the stormy translucent window, aglow, & without taking her mind from the visions of herself, Clara carved “Je vous aime” in the consecrated Wissahickon wood of the window ledge.
Clara’s pretty breasts heaved as she re-opened the window, let the storm in; a bang of bone-shaking thunder & crimson crackle of lightening & Clara’s silver hairbrush was a conductor: the power of movement, elemental freedom, heady wind whipped her shining hair up & around – stimulating, charging, rousing her follicles with vitality, surging a celestial circuit of blossoming storms.
Sweeping currents disrupted the room, while Clara calmly regarded her reflection: her head aflame, but not burning, smoldering away the top layer of self to see the soul under the skin. Her hair frizzled up, a surface fire forever fed with the wind of her own force.
Story: Dena Merlino Scott
Photography: Victoria McConnell
MUA/FX: Jamie Leigh Matteucci
Costuming: Shannah Warwick
Model/Hair: Allyson Lynch
Check out our other works in the Wissahickon Portraits series:
“Tombstone Shadow”, set in Laurel Hill Cemetery
“Hermit of the Wissahickon”, Johann Kelpius & The Hermit Cave