The Pedestal Table and The Plane Leaves (Part 3) – Bruden smykkes af sin veninde by Henrik Olrik

Bruden smykkes af sin veninde by Henrik Olrik (Via Statens Museum for Kunst)

Cosied up within the crimson curtains of Mary-Ellen’s room, leaning on the same pedestal table from where she observed her daughter letting her sadness go under a plane tree, the mother stares at her daughter with compassion.

Clad in her wedding dress, at any minute now Camille will take her father’s arm and walk down the aisle toward her husband and her future. Her hair is soft and her skin glowing but her eyes are dull, and so is her heart. She tries to hide her sorrow from her mother but she knows she can almost read her mind. She envies the ease with which she manages her life. As soon as she finished school she married, gave birth consecutively to three children and took pride all her life in being a homemaker. Camille thinks that she would not be that lucky, she feels that although opportunities arise naturally she is reluctant to follow the events of her life. More than hesitation, she identifies these sentiments as contradictory to her desires.

Mary-Ellen puts the finishing touches to Camille’s veil and while she caresses her daughter’s hair she finds it difficult to swallow. The discomfort enveloping her body comes from the fear which prevents her from asking the right questions and seeking to make everything right for her beloved treasure sitting passively before her.

She surrenders to silence and being present for Camille. Both have non-verbally acknowledged that it is now too late to withdraw. The ceremony is imminent and Camille in her white satin dress, holding a bouquet of divine flowers and plane leaves is about to marry a man she dislikes.

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