Saturday, April 14, 2012

A letter to my dad...

I was inspired to write the following while visiting the Guggenheim Museum in Venice. I sent it to my dad and (with his permission) now share it with you.

Dear Dad,

Given your lack of technological savvy, I don't communicate with you much, but
that doesn't mean you are not traveling this journey with me.

You come to my mind often, especially as I see this piece of artwork or that
one. When I see sculptures of knights on horses, I wonder if you looked at that
particular sculpture when you were preparing to create your Bellarmine Knight.
Of course, I always think of you when I see Henry Moore's work. I smile when I
see anything related to Frida Kahlo, since I know you are not her greatest fan.
Sometimes I see pieces and something about them evokes your work or a period in
your artistic career. Today at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice a Marino Marini
and a Marc Chagall brought your spirit to me.

As I see these works and am reminded of you, I think about the battles you fight
with your ego, the sadness you sometimes feel because you don't have as much
talent as you'd like. Personally, I don't care. When I say that, I don't mean it
in a cold callous way. I mean this: you may not be the greatest artist to ever
live. Who cares? How many of us can ever claim to be the best _________? Very
few. And that's OK. You have spent your life developing your passion and your
talent and that is important because you have a lot of passion and a lot of

I once read something about artists' talent that compared it to currents of
water. All creative endeavors are like the water flowing throughout our world.
Some endeavors have the impact of oceans, others of rivers, or streams, or
trickles, or single drops. But don't discount the drops (and let me be clear
that you are most certainly not in the drop category). Without those drops,
trickles could never become streams or rivers, and without rivers and streams,
we'd have no oceans. Your talent has not only led to your own phenomenal art,
you have also let your passion wash over your students. Your passion has melted
the ice of their inhibitions, allowing them to join in the flow of creative

Think about the natural water that flows on our earth... Think about the natural
wonders that water has created over centuries and millennia, slowly carving our
earth and exposing beauty we wouldn't know existed were it not for water.
Artists do the same thing and often the impact of the artists, like that of the
water, isn't known until later. Through your work and your teaching, you are
doing the same. There is no way to measure how strong a current you have

Maybe you won't take this to heart because I am your daughter and you think I'm
saying it to be nice. Well, I see no point in saying things I don't believe. And
here I only have my iPod on which to write. The iPod battery only stays charged
so long and I wouldn't waste that charge on something unimportant. :)

So know that I love you and am grateful for the way your life has added to the
life-giving, creative spirit of the world. I am grateful to feel that spirit
flowing through me and washing over me.


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