Saturday, June 7, 2008


Peonies are the subject of a 1964 b&w home-movie that illustrates the basic natures of my sister and me:

The movie camera whirrs.
Two little girls in white dresses walk to a thicket of peonies in bloom.
Obviously following off-screen direction, Big Sister (turning five) picks a peony.
She faces the camera with her flower, a picture of loveliness.

Little Sister (me, three) bends over to pick her peony. She grasps it by the stem and tugs. And tugs. And tugs, and falls over backward.
Standing up, she displays her result: an entire peony plant, roots and all.

That's pretty much all you need to know about Sister and me.


bink said...

What I remember, having seen the home movie, is how extremely proud of yourself you were showing off your peony. So were joyful and untamed. Just thrilled that you captured such a big flower all by yourself. Just a two fisted grasp of life--nothing held back...a real inspiration. You should get that movie digitalized--it could be a youtube hit.

Anonymous said...

A Perfect example of a sibling relationship. Do more!

I remember peonies as having lots and lots of ANTS!

My 8mm moment, and I was the big sister at 6, was standing by my little sister's teeter babe squinting up into the camera, little sister had her head down looking at the beads on the teeter babe. Obivously I was told to try and get my baby sister to look into the camera. I started shaking the teeter babe, my sister looked up, I shook harder, my sister started flying up and down, I shook even harder, with a hardly concealed diabolical look on my face; my sister's mouth opened into a silent scream....the camera suddenly went white, a ziz-zag of upside down black letters and symbols flashed across the screen, then just blackness. (Thaaaat's All Folks. . .) Another sister/sister moment that tells all.

ddip said...

Do you remember this poem from January 1997? (I couldn't get all the line breaks as you had them, fyi)



In soundless
black and white June colors
the girl, camera conscious,
stands ballet with her picked bloom.
There are always peopnies for her birthday,
this watercolor girl.


(The camera whirs.)
the little sister
attacks the bushes,
wrestles with the thick green stalks
and tugs one--
and tugs
and, backwards, falls,
triumphant, stands
peony in hand
roots and all.

fresca said...

Bink: That's a great idea--youTube! I'd like to get those transferred anyway--they are on video now, not old film, so that's step 1, anyway.

Barrett: That's hysterical!!! I can just SEE you, naughty thing!
(Yes, the ants fascinated me as a kid--I suppose because when you're a kid, you're at eye level with them.)

Sister: Wow, I hadn't seen that in ages--yet I wrote it all over again (basically)! You are sweet to type it out--thank you.
It really is Classic Us.
I took this photo in Jenise's yard--I hope peonies are blooming for you too.