Watercolor Part 2

September 4th, 2013 § Leave a Comment

I suspect it was the Geisha that got him up, that sent a jolt of life through him that afternoon. Once awakened, he engaged my brother in a way I’d never seen. And his gift of teaching, his natural artistic skill spun out of him. It was as if an ominous gray statue, one we tip-toed around suddenly came to life and danced before our eyes, filling the room with color. Who knew such things were in him? Looking back, can’t help but think, “It could’ve been different; it should’ve been different.” What got him out of his seat should not have been the hatred of a people under whose heel his people had so suffered. No. It should’ve been the love for his son. His immensely gifted son.

If it were love, he would have gotten up long before that afternoon. If my father had been watching closely, he would’ve seen that his son had that same, natural gift that was in him. A chip off the old block. Eyes that see, and the hand – the skillful, steady hand. An artist. Being an artist himself, he could have cultivated this gift. Taught. Encouraged. Kindled in his son a love for art, and in effect a love for who he was, is. But my father did this only once. Like so many fathers, most other days, he did more wishing than watching. The wishing as it does for us all made him blind to the gift, right there in front of him. Sitting next to him was an artist, and mostly he bemoaned that his eldest son was not a scholar.

I’ll never forget that afternoon. It was the one time that my father engaged his son in something his son loved. About three years ago, my brother picked up that long forgotten brush. He still paints. Beautifully. The gift survived the years of neglect. He’s made the long journey back to that afternoon. His father is not there, but the gift they share comes alive in a quiet garage, filling it with color.

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