PEN WORLD
Where Waters Meet Image Credit: PEN WORLD
Where Waters Meet Image Credit: PEN WORLD

Where Waters Meet

David Oscarson celebrates home, family, and another of his Swedish heroes: the sculptor Carl Milles.

Suzanne C. Lee

In 1940, a magnificent installation was unveiled in St. Louis, Missouri. Commissioned by Mrs. LouisAloe to honor her late husband and created by distinguished Swedish artist Carl Milles, the piece was named Meeting of the Waters and was meant to represent the coming together of a figuratively female Missouri River with her male mate, the Mississippi River.

The landmark fountain that was revealed contains a basin filled with myriad sculptural figures. Complementary but distinct companions, male and female, are surrounded by water sprites, fish, and mermaids who all seem to dance in mist issuing from the carefully constructed jets and sprays. Each creature is meant to symbolize the main tributaries from the two aforementioned major bodies of water, of which there are 17. Triumphant and vivacious, Meeting of the Waters (or Marriage of the Waters, as Milles intended for its name) was made to play just so with the combination of the sun and water, and the result is a prismatic dance that sparkles in the wider atmosphere.

David Oscarson, with similar brilliance, has crafted a fountain pen whose profundity springs from its intimacy. It is among the most personal pieces he has offered and operates as a paean to his life’s experience, the lands he has known, and the completion that he feels now.

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