Reflections on an empty chair

I have always been drawn to images of empty chairs. Today while looking through the exquisite sketches of laurelines and coming upon this incredible orange chair among others, I began to reflect on why these images hold such appeal for me.

In more contemplative moments, the chair ofttimes serves as a reminder of people who have left or who are no longer in my life. It’s as if they have simply stepped out of my line of vision. I feel their absence, but try as I might, I cannot will their return.

I also speculate about the person last seated in the chair. What caused their departure? Was it a simple matter of wandering off to water the garden, make coffee or attend to a child? Perhaps the sudden ringing of the doorbell startled them and they bolted to answer the door.

Sometimes a chair, in my mind, is destined to remain empty for long stretches of time. Perhaps a journey has begun …

Just imagine my enjoyment if a book or newspaper happens to be resting near the vacant chair. What was the person last reading? Had they grown weary and in need of a breath of fresh air? Interrupted in mid-sentence, would they return to finish their story’s final chapter?

A vacant chair facing a window and I conjure up the images that might have filled the mind of the chair’s last inhabitant. Had the sun been too bright or too warm? Had they even noticed or were they lost in thought and oblivious to the clouds floating overhead?

Two empty chairs facing one another and I let my mind drift. Was there companionable silence between the chairs’ occupants while they spent Sunday morning reading the newspaper? If I close my eyes, can I picture them later in the day – two heads nearly touching as they shared confidences and grew to knew one another?

And I am this moment idly imagining that it is a lovely summer’s morning. Perched on the edge of a wicker chair (one is pictured above on my front porch last summer), I am careful not to disturb the tangled vines that are growing with such vibrant abandon as they attempt to completely cover the chair.

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