Susanna Salk


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Unfurled
Thursday, June 13th, 2019

For years it covered the floor of the main club lodge on an island in the middle of Moosehead Lake In Maine that eventually belonged to my husband’s father. After he passed away, its enormity prevented us from unrolling it in our starter cottage in LA until we moved to the country in Connecticut. There it kept me company in the studio barn that once belonged to children’s illustrator Leonard Weisgard. I’d escape there to try and write when the boys were having their naps as toddlers across the lawn in the main house. Later the boys and their friends would scamper across the rug’s plush surface at birthday parties: the rug’s duty seemed to shift from companion to caretaker and it patiently abided. Then we moved to the lake and I took that opportunity to clean it. The rug guy asked me for the size of it when I called for a quote and I replied I don’t have a measuring tape big enough. When we built a playroom at the lake house the rug supported the sleeping bags of my boys and their friends and the scuffed knees of endless air hockey tournaments. Tonight my son and some of those same childhood friends- now college sized- easily lifted the rug’s massive bulk onto their broad shoulders and transported it from the old house (which we are renting) to the barn on our new property. It hadn’t felt right leaving it behind, rolled away. The boys excitedly called me to come over and see. What I thought would have taken hours they had accomplished in minutes. Looking at it outstretched, admired by youth and supported by ancient floor timber, time, like the rug, seemed borderless.