Sunday, June 20, 2010
to the artist known as dad: wish you were here
The school year is over.
I celebrated with the rest of the teaching artists and staff at the Executive Director's house. We ate and socialized to cap off a successful year. Later, I was talking to the Director about my experience. And to talk about that, I had to talk about how I was an artist. And in talking about being an artist and an educator, I had to talk about my dad being an artist whom also taught high school art.
I wish he was here
I said, "My dad created maybe two pieces in 20 years teaching. After he retired he created like 30 pieces in two."
I learned that lesson.
Persistence and creativity balancing the scale with life on one end and art on another. He was always an artist. He was a lot of things. If we discussed it now I could ask how he made what decision and what he learned from the results. Some challenges and decisions he watched me make, others not. Wish I had his experience to draw from. To ask about.
But hey, I share, i listen, I learn, i impart.
Was he happy with his choices between art and life? I think so.
Was he happy with his life? For sure.
Was he happy with his art? Adamantly.
Would he have done some things differently? Hell yeah. All of us would.
Would he be proud of what I am doing? Said he was back when I ran the weekly paper. It would just be more of the same now.
Glad he was for as long as he was.
What did some of his choices cost him? I simply wonder.
All are answers those that have passed on do not share with the living after the crossing.
So if you get nothing else, here's a grain of salt: for whatever you do, you have a cost to pay and if you are willing to pay it, you can succeed. You may not want too pay it though. It may haunt you. It may not. You might stay on the fence about things but then again, ya might not. It may take as long as a lifetime. It might only cost you a year, a month, a week, or a day.
Part of our responsibility, that cost, as human beings is imparting gained knowledge and experience for those after. I may not have all of the things my father tried to teach me but I got a lot more than even I suspected. As an artist, I simply did not get enough. Then again, as an artist, he only saw what led up to not including the present. It would not have been a conversation for then.
If we could have had one now it would have been epic.
ARTWORK BY DAD
medium colored pencil