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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beau



Beau
Oil on canvas, 12x12. 
Commission

Beau is a memorial commission, one of three I'm in the process of painting.

I have been thinking a lot about life and death lately, about what we bring to each, what each brings to us, what we leave here on this earth.

Through my marriage, I have been blessed with a daughter and grandchildren, but I do not have a child of my own womb. I spent decades working in newspapers, telling a community about the fleeting events of the fleeting day; the stories are forgotten in a day. The newspapers will be forgotten in a decade.

I will leave hundreds of paintings, thousands, probably. There are scores of bowls and vases and cups I formed and glazed and fired. I've written millions of words. But I'd be a fool to think that any of these will matter, or be remembered, 20 years after my death.

Saturday was the fourth anniversary of the death of my mother, who was a larger force of nature than anyone I've ever known. I think of her daily, and talk to her. I sing songs that she taught me, read words that she wrote, touch things that she touched, and she lives on, for me, my siblings, for my mother's friends. But in 30 years, there will be almost no one who remembers her smile, the touch of her hand, the sound of her voice.

All that matters, she would say, is what we do today. All that matters is who we are, and what we make of this opportunity. We are only here for a while, and the good that we do today will be our one and only measure.

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