Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Illustration Friday: Silent
This picture was inspired by a book I just read, Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One's Own, edited by Sarah Carter. It's a collection of first-hand accounts of single women homesteading in Montana in the early part of the 20th century. In my favorite chapter, Ada Melville Shaw describes the winters alone on the prairie as follows: "From my windows all I could see was blazing empty stillness with the silent mountains on the horizon and at night the silent wheel of the pitiless stars. Not a cloud in the sky, not a shadow on the ground, not a sound in the world save the creak and snap of the wee house's timbers." Understandably, all that quiet drives her a little nuts, and after a particularly isolating storm she goes to her back door, bangs on a pan with a big iron spoon, and yells to her nearest neighbor: "A.Q.! If you don't come in here and talk to me I shall go crazy!" So even though this drawing seems to be a peaceful prairie scene, maybe instead we should imagine the inhabitant of the little house banging on a pan in search of some company!