****A nice comment by The Orbis on the personage of the portrait. I should correct myself on the history as I believe Madame de Rimsky-Korsakov was aristocratic, but not of a royal bloodline. I believe she is included in the work of Tolstoy, as well. For the sake of time, I didn’t double-check my history. Thanks again to, The Orbis, for reminding me to address this correction. I never gave much thought to a more thorough treatment of the portrait itself since my focus was on the centrality of my folkish tale. Even though I have an interest in portraiture, I’m much more interested in applying statistical probability to the world around me. I extend my apologies to those more well-versed in their art history than am I. I will correct the closing line to reflect aristocracy and not royalty. Thanks sincerely. ****
After writing my blog entry, “In Memoriam,” The Orbis commented about how the tribute contained story elements. He thoughtfully pointed out that after I had visited my honorary grandmother at her haunted bed-and-breakfast on numerous occasions without encountering the slightest unusual event, wouldn’t it be a fitting end to an author’s take for Mimi to deliver a ghostly salute by bringing the arc to a close? Regrettably, such an occurrence did not happen, or has not happened, but maybe the second best thing did transpire.
Several weeks back, while visiting a nearby antique mall, I happened to notice the portrait that is pictured above. I am a member of the Portrait Society of America, so I am always looking at and evaluating portraits for what kind of impact they leave upon a viewer. Something struck me about this particular vignette, but I decided not to purchase it before leaving the facility.
Upon visiting the antique dealers on my next trip, I decided that I would purchase the image. However, the item was hung at a height where I was not able to easily reach it. Consequently, I had to assume the tips of my toes while also arching forward to clear a piece of furniture in front of me. While barely being able to get my fingertips around the bottom of the frame, as I raised the assemblage to rescue it from its hook, the hook moved along with the frame and I could not raise the portrait high enough to set it free. There was no one else around, the nearest store clerk was a half building away, and so I resigned myself to the fact that the image was not destined for residency in my portrait collection.
As I went back to the store a third time, I had not made a definite pact for making any concerted effort at purchasing the item. I didn’t even know if it would still be there. While walking past the booth that had housed the portrait, I noticed that it was still there in its same place atop the pegboarded wall. There also happened to be a kind lady standing in the same area as she was tending to paper work. She was obviously an antique dealer, so I approached her and asked her what was the best way for me to retrieve the portrait while following the antique mall’s safety rules? Without hesitation, she went into action and produced a small step ladder that had been concealed. The calling portrait was now becoming free of its elevated perch, and after calling to me on three different occasions, I was now going to become its new caretaker.
As the antique dealer and I continued to chat, she and I made an unexpected connection. She had gotten to attend the estate sale of Mimi’s wonderful home, Magnolia Manor. I had been highly disappointed that I had missed the sale, for I wanted at least one keepsake to always have as a memory from my stays spent at the home. As it turned out, the dealer had acquired three items from Magnolia Manor, and I now own one of the three.
It can be seen on the price tags that after the dealer and I chatted, she was able to document that the items had provenance with Magnolia Manor.
Was this my message from beyond the grave from, Mimi? Did I get my storybook ending? Well, I’m afraid the mathematical odds are a little too modest in order for me to have received my miracle. The antique mall is only about a little over an hour away from Magnolia Manor. It is quite reasonable to expect the local dealers to attend the estate sale of such a wonderful property within such a close driving distance. And, I had always frequented the antique mall well before Mimi departed from this Earth. I’m afraid the numbers just don’t give indication that this chain of events was my communique from the beyond. The story does not get to end with its hoped for ending. Instead, the mathematical odds simply dictate an explanation.
But, nevertheless, the occurrence was encouraging, all the same. I now own a piece of Magnolia Manor when it was alive with life, both of the present and the formerly claimed varieties. The turn of sequences that led to the purchase simply add grace to the comfort that I always take in knowing, which is as long as I am alive, Mimi will still be, as well. My own heart will guarantee such a survival. Perhaps, where some magic did come into effect was that I owe the beckoning of a portrait of royalty for uniting me with the small reliquary from Magnolia Manor. Now, you have something of more mathematical consequence to consider,…
…for regal princesses do not with any frequency call to me at once, much less thrice.