By Jim Reed
In the foyer of our ancient home stands a very tall red-and-yellow chair—too high for humans to sit on.
This chair is a piece of art created by Liz Reed—lovingly made of wooden stars and wooden crescent moons
and wooden legs and wooden spheres, and decorated in simple, primary colors.
The name of this piece of art is SITTING PRETTY HIGH.
When you first see the chair, you’re a bit disoriented—good art often causes such an effect—and you find
yourself either dismissing it to gaze at something more immediately understandable, or stopping cold and
examining it for its meaning.
Sometimes, there’s a small figure sitting on the edge of this chair at eye level—a glittery soft mermaid, maybe
a Pee Wee Herman doll, perhaps Mister Bean’s Teddy—just to demonstrate that dangling is part of the chair’s
If you dare ask Liz what this object is, she’ll tell you a story that only people who are short of stature will
You and I don’t know this, but petite people have challenges that are not always apparent. Sure, they see
more bellies up close then we do, they have to tiptoe at lecterns, clerks lean over registers to see them,
there’s trouble finding fitting garments, and so on.
But what this work of art told me that I did not know, is that petites have to deal with dangling legs. When you
and I sit in the average chair, we take for granted that our feet will be planted solidly on the floor. We are
accustomed to the stability and security this provides.
Liz and others her size have to compensate for this lack of stability. When you can’t plant your feet, you tend
to sway or wobble when you reach out. Disconcerting to say the least.
So, as a tribute to shortness in our society, Liz created a chair that pays respect to dangling limbs. A chair that
makes you want to learn more about what it is like to be Liz, a person who seems larger than life in
personality, humor, wisdom and talent. She’s spent so many years compensating for and overcoming this
gently ignored handicap that nobody notices a thing. She’s just that remarkable woman who can do just about
anything she tackles better than you and me.
Watching her function inspires me to plant my own feet firmly in my mind, even when there’s nothing solid to
stand on.
As a result of living with Liz, I’m always sitting pretty high
Jim Reed’s Red Clay Diary column does not end with a period (.). He has his reasons.
“To call Reed Books an ‘old bookstore’ is a bit like saying the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has a good paint
job.” ~ Allen Johnson Jr., author ~

About The Author


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.