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3 - Still Dancing - A Short Story Inspired by Kathleen Clemons' Fine Art Photography

Art Ink

06/16/19 • 10 min

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[If your podcast app isn’t showing the featured art for this episode above visit to check it out.

Castbox and Podcast Addict are both apps I recommend that do show episode specific art.]

Links from the Show at a Glance:

Artist: Kathleen Clemons

Title of Art: Still Dancing

Artist’s Website:

Instagram: @kathleenclemons

Art Ink Submission Guidelines:

Art Ink Podcast Transcript:


What’s up everyone?! Welcome back to another episode of Art Ink! I’m thrilled to introduce to you today, one of my favorite fine art photographers, Kathleen Clemons. I’ve been a fan of Kathleen’s beautiful work since I had the opportunity to meet her at the Macro Photo Conference a few years ago.

The best way I can describe her work is to have you imagine what it would look like if Georgia O’Keefe’s florals and Monet’s soft texturized paintings had an art baby. Of course that doesn’t even touch on just how gorgeous Kathleen’s art really is. The word that comes to mind when I see her work is sensual.

Of course, that’s just my take on it. But you can can decide for yourself by looking at the cover art for this podcast episode... when you have time, of course, please don’t fiddle with you’re phone if you’re driving my dear. As usual I will start off by trying to capture the beauty of today’s featured piece in a brief description, before we dive into the story it sparked inside of me.

[Art Description:]

A red dying tulip diagonally poised against a pale pink background with abstract white brush strokes here and there. The pale green style and stigma stand tall in the center of the flower, wearing drooping petals like a modern dancer’s skirt. They are windswept, as if she were leaping across the photo.

When I first saw this flower, I immediately saw a dancer... but it’s the title of the photo, “Still Dancing,” that made me ask the question, why is she still dancing? This fictional story is the answer to that question.


If you only considered her face, the old woman looked peacefully confident. It was the thin, blue nightgown and even thinner, red-tinged hair, pointing in all different directions, that gave her sanity a question mark.

Her expression was intent as she scanned the bar and then, suddenly, her eyes widened in recognition, briefly, before they thinned to squinty slits, balancing her broadening smile.

She walked to the bar and hooked one of her thin, fragile arms onto Tom’s elbow. “Ricky,” she said, “ask them to play our song.”

“Alright, Mrs. McGillicuddy,” Tom said as he patted the top of her hand with his free one, “Tina,” he said directing his attention to me, “can you play Only You by The Platters please?”

I searched the music library, as Tom led the confused old woman to the middle of the floor. Surprisingly it popped up. I hit play.

Only after the music had started and the odd couple was gently swaying on the dance floor, did I dare to whisper to one of the other regulars. “Who is that? And why did she call him Ricky?”

“That’d be Mrs. McGillicuddy,” Billy answered, “and you’re going to want to call that number next to the phone.” He pushed his Bud Light into the air, in the general direction of the wall-mounted phone.

I turned around to find a Post-It note scrawled with the name Moira. I’d noticed the number before, but in the month that I’d been here, I’d simply assumed it was some regular’s unfortunate wife. Guess not.

I picked up the phone and started dialing.

“That’s her daughter,” Billy clarified, “just let her know her mom made her way over here.

I didn’t have to bother, though. She answered before the first ring had fully rung. “My mother’s there?” Moira rushed out.


“I’ll be right there.”

I hung up the phone, and turned back to the bar.

“I suggest you put that song on repeat until Moira gets here.” Billy said, “It’s best to let her break the spell.”

I did as he said.

“Alzheimer’s.” he said, as if the period to his sentence.

Nobody spoke as the song ended and then began again. Mrs. McGillicuddy pulled away from Tom in the brief silence; peering up at him a bit perplexed, but as soon as the first notes filled the air once again, her face relaxed. She was back inside her comfortable dream.

Before the second instance of the song was halfway over, a middle-aged woman appeared in the doorway. She was a younger, sadder version of her mother, and her clothing was equally unsuit...


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