Posts Tagged ‘Families of Artists’

FAREWELL AGAIN

November 30, 2014

Walter & His Models (fall woods behind) 001 (2)

On this day in 1965

my father breathed his last breath

before departing his body

to become the breath we continue to breathe.

It seems strange but in some way fitting that I should wait to do this post until this day. The pot came out of the kiln weeks ago, days after my time at the annex seemed to run out. It is certainly not the best pot done during my sojourn there, but because of the subject matter – my father’s surprising appearance on the pot – I chose to keep it. The time since has been a struggle to adapt to change, to attempt to live well while dealing with the discomfort of transition. Sadness has been part of it. Don’t we all grieve when something is over?

Truthfully, even during my last few weeks at the annex, I had been feeling the urge to grow beyond what I was doing there. I thought to take what I had learned to a whole new level. I had sculpted clay in the past, now there was the potential for expanding that…bringing incising, painting and glazing to the sculptured form. I dreamt of sculpted vessels that might invite the decorative element. But newness can be as frightening as it can be exciting. Thence the struggle…

I think of my father…

of his choice to go it alone…

his need to create and grow so powerful

that he chose to leave his wife and children…

to forego the sweetness of intimate companionship

for the sake of his quest.

He chose suffering along with art and ecstasy:

his suffering and ours.

Fatherhood seems to be

less compelling a force than motherhood.

My mother was an artist, too.

Walter & His Models (detail) 009 (713x1024) (2)

Yet she relinquished all to serve this man:

as wife available to model for the painter

and to share his bed,

as mother to his children while he looked elsewhere…

for that which waited to be translated by his brush.

Walter & His Models (detail) 007 (1024x736) (2)Walter & His Models (detail) 008 (1024x798) (2)Walter loved animals,

and this I understand with all my heart.

But he loved birds more:

their flight, their freedom, their variety.

My father hovered on the outskirts

of my life with mama and my siblings.

When hovering,

one can be ready in an instant to take flight.

I think I understand.

Walter & His Models 005 (673x1024) (2)

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