Counter-Love, Original Response: Tracing My Daughter’s Tracings

My daughter drew a repetitive series of flowers.  I wanted to be a part of what she created so I decided to outline with a black marker then color.  I had no conscious plan.  Below is the course of events as I photographed various stages of development.  I think this is what Robert Frost called “counter-love, original response”

Here is the poem Frost wrote where he describes this concept.

The Most of It

He thought he kept the universe alone;
For all the voice in answer he could wake
Was but the mocking echo of his own
From some tree-hidden cliff across the lake.
Some morning from the boulder-broken beach
He would cry out on life, that what it wants
Is not its own love back in copy speech,
But counter-love, original response.
And nothing ever came of what he cried
Unless it was the embodiment that crashed
In the cliff’s talus on the other side,
And then in the far distant water splashed,
But after a time allowed for it to swim,
Instead of proving human when it neared
And someone else additional to him,
As a great buck it powerfully appeared,
Pushing the crumpled water up ahead,
And landed pouring like a waterfall,
And stumbled through the rocks with horny tread,
And forced the underbrush–and that was all.

I am not so sure about the originality of being an adult colorer, but to trace my daughter’s hand, to contemplate her, to honor her–that is both counter-love and original response.  I love you, Phoebe.

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