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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Short #15

Sheri Hoeger. Building Their Lives. From A Touch of Hands series. “16 x 20”. Oil. 2016. Sheri Hoeger Fine Art:

What does it take to build a life? She clutches tight to M. Their union, some bond. Dependence. Codependence. Love. Trust. He offers A. Absence, adultery, abandonment? Any of the above? His hands are open because he doesn’t worry. He’s a white man in a white world, or at least a white-dominated country. Plus, he has a letter up his sleeve or a symbol or some skin in the game, but he’s only pretending to risk that. She doesn’t have C for confidence, no Can do it alone. She remembers building block structures as a child as tall as she could with orange column, red arch, blue lintel: a doorway into a safe space, a place of her creation. She always built too high, and they toppled over. He never trusted childish games, not blocks, words, or letters. He tells her, Here have mine. Though he scooped them from the ones like dice tossed across Vegas felt, from the wreckage on the floor all around them. He shoves his open hands forward, Is this what you want? She’s clutching hers in jaw-trap hands, holding tight even as she fits the green one that rolled off his hands into her stash, thinking, Fine. I’ll take that too. When their third fingers touch, there is no fire, nor recoil. There is nothing left between them. One grasping. One giving. Or maybe my eyes have their hands all wrong. A is her Ardor. M his Menace. His hands clenching, hers open-offering. Or he and he are no one to each other, strangers side by side in a moment. Are they even interacting? They are part of the masses reaching and taking, holding onto and letting go of what they want and don’t. Or she and she are friends collaborating, trying to build something that fits each of their visions, using letters, words, symbols, colors to represent them both. Here, try these three. Oh, here, I have plenty for you too. When their fingers touch, they build a world.

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