Sunday, March 24, 2013

Good Morning Jacob...

Letter to My Son
Sunday, 24 March

Jacob's Toon

Good Morning Jacob…

My last conversation with you, some years ago now, I said you were an artist.  I felt that because of how it is you experience life.  Sure, your drawings were a lot better than anything I could have done at your age but that is undoubtedly true of many people that grew up to be office workers in tight cubicles.  They had a draftsman’s talent but not the needed emotional gift that must accompany it if one chooses to discover art of their own making.  I cannot know the course in life that you choose but you will never be rid of your artistic temperament, even if you were to wish it away.  It can be most inconvenient.

I’m working on a picture that does not bend to my will.  Maybe I wanted to prove to myself I could do something I have never before been able to achieve.  I wanted to create something beautiful.  It isn’t going to happen.  I don’t know how unless I purchase a paint by numbers kit.  Grotesque faces and harsh colors are as stubbornly persistent elements to my pictures as cockroaches are to a boarding house.  I just hope the treats I serve up will somehow compensate for the critters crawling about. 

Life doesn’t get any better than this.  I could take the clothes off a mannequin at Nordstrom’s and walk out the door wearing them but I would still be me.  The trees I see, the people I view and the imagery I would find in the clouds overhead would all still be processed by these same two eyes and brought to some kind of meaning with this one solitary brain encased in this egg of a head that belongs exclusively to me.  I have no recourse but to exist harmoniously with myself. 

I hope you are well.  I wish your life to be as happy as possible.  Never give in to your darkest moments.  This last point is the most crucial lesson published in the survivor’s guide to living.  In your deepest valleys remind yourself with conviction that there are always better times ahead.  The most powerful hurricane reaps terrible destruction but it is merely passing through.  What is wrecked is rebuilt, often replaced with something better.  Our greatest talent is our insistence on the continuance of life… your own and those of others.

Quick!  What is the shape of a joyous thought?  Now take time to create it and show it to someone else.


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