What did I know of your days
Like a skeleton, drawing varies widely in form and structure. Universal and unique, ancient and in continuous evolution, it facilitates and restrains movement. It can easily go unnoticed and unappreciated but is steady and immeasurably important in its hidden home inside the body. What did I know of your days borrows its title from a 2013 poem by Jane Hirschfield.
My skeleton, you who once ached with your own growing larger are now, each year imperceptibly smaller, lighter, absorbed by your own concentration. When I danced, you danced. When you broke, I. And so it was lying down, walking, climbing the tiring stairs. Your jaws. My bread.
Someday you, what is left of you, will be flensed of this marriage. Angular wristbone's arthritis, cracked harp of ribcage, blunt of heel, opened bowl of the skull, twin platters of pelvis— each of you will leave me behind, at last serene. What did I know of your days, your nights, I who held you all my life inside my hands and thought they were empty? You who held me all my life inside your hands as a new mother holds her own unblanketed child, not thinking at all.
Danielle Orchard and Nikki Maloof met in drawing class in college and have been best friends and colleagues ever since. What did I know of your days is a meditation on drawing as medium, mutual inspiration, friendship and love.