May 16, 2014 by Melanie L.
What is art?
Even when challenged to find expressions of art beyond paintings and sculptures, we might be inclined to limit ourselves to towering architecture, culinary preparations, or children’s creations. And, while it is true that to be considered art, Merriam-Webster says it must be “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings,” there is no caveat that art must be tangible.
This mosaic-framed mirror is, of course, a traditionally defined and tangible work of art. My talented friend skillfully arranged the ceramic pieces in a manner that pleases the eye. She artfully etched my anticipated wedding date into some of the pieces and presented it to me as an engagement gift. The mirror was and remains my most cherished engagement gift. Even after my marriage ended.
When it ended, I moved to a cute new apartment. I unwrapped the mosaic mirror I had carefully packaged. I set it on the floor against the wall on which it would hang. But, before I had the chance to buy some nails, my dear friend came calling. She spied her beautiful mosaic sitting politely against the wall and insisted she take it home with her. I parted with it only reluctantly.
A few weeks later, my friend asked to meet me for coffee in the middle of a work day. Excited for the opportunity to see her for an unscheduled visit, I met her at a coffee shop across from my office. Meanwhile, she had schlepped all the way across town, roughly 20 blocks, on foot, with a baby strapped to her chest. Tucked away neatly in a shopping bag that hung from her arm, though, she carried my treasured mosaic. She had touched up her homemade artwork to erase the etched wedding date and gave it back to me.
In so doing, she etched, anew, our friendship on my heart. Her mosaic now hangs in my office as a physical reminder of the intangible art of friendship.