• “She especially liked my bedside lamp, which had a five-sided porcelain shade. Unlit, the shade seemed like bumpy ivory. Lit, each panel came to life with the image of a bird: a blue jay, a cardinal, wrens, an oriole, and a dove. Kathleen turned it off and on again, several times. "How does it do that?"

    "The panels are called lithophanes." I knew because I'd asked my father about the lamp, years ago. "The porcelain is carved and painted. You can see it if you look inside the shade."

    "No," she said. "It's magic. I don't want to know how it's done.”

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