Monday, June 11, 2007

Loon (for Leonard Nathan)

Dear Carol--

This painting is, again, as so often this past year, with Leonard in mind. I know I've told you this before, but it's even more true now. I'm remembering the last time he and I took one of the walks through Tilden--over the bridge near the pond just below Lake Anza, with Leonard hearing all the birds call, so quickly that I'd notice him hearing before I even knew to listen. We didn't see a loon that day, but this one has appeared, and it seems only right. The most ancient of birds.

Art is not a solace precisely--but it is what we turn to. Painting has kept me going, through much.

Leonard asked me, several years ago, when you were having trouble, about prayer. I remember thinking about his question very carefully. The easy answer would have been to recommend the siddur--and all the Jewish prayers that were not really a part of his life. Instead, I told him that in my mother's last month, when I was down in Oceanside, it was in the middle of the night I'd find myself reading the old Chinese poems. Po Chu-i, Tu Fu, Li Po...Wang Wei...

This loon is for Leonard, watching...

No comments: