Thursday, September 10, 2009



When I began this blog in late 2006, it was to be a 40-year retrospective of my drawings, paintings and other art work. My retrospective began with a drawing I had done in high school soon after meeting R. The drawing was a portrait of a young man. As the years went by, I began to think of the young man in the drawing as someone who had witnessed something beyond the range of anything life had prepared him for. Someone like R, who spent most of 1970 in Vietnam.

As most of you know, R died of a brain tumor while in a VA hospital in California in April of 2008. I always thought of him (and still do) as Richard, which is what he asked to be called soon after I met him when we were both 17. Today something tells me to start using his given name when I speak of him here.

Although I've had the CD from the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou?" since sometime in 2001, I wasn't able to listen to it from the time between summer of 2002 and this last few weeks. It was Richard who brought "O Brother Where Art Thou?" to my attention on my 52nd birthday, one of the two days we were together in 2001. His birthday is the day after mine. We were born within 24 hours of each other. Anyway, he had watched that movie with other veterans while they were hospitalized at a VA hospital. He liked it immensely and thought that I might like it, too. He was right.

In a few weeks, I'll be 60 years old. Physically, he won't ever be older than 58. I'm still growing older. We never could be together for very long, but we were always together anyway. I miss him. In his last years, his speaking voice sounded just like Bob Dylan. If he had sung to me, he would have sounded like this:

So happy just to see you smile / Underneath the sky of blue.

Thanks again to Nancy from Iowa who gave me the bulbs that produced the lovely flowers at the beginning of this post. The other set of bulbs she gave me are getting close to their first bloom.


Dale said...


I often think of this: how I have grown older than so many people I have loved and admired ever did. A strange feeling, of being floated away by the tide.

art farmer said...

this made me cry. and i needed to cry today. just everything about it made me cry. Thank you, now my tears can turn into stars for Richard and Love in all its myriad forms.

Anonymous said...

had never seen the drawing nor the note with it--interesting those strange synchs in life and death. water playing its so real part. it's good you carry on, it keeps the light of those you mention burning. kjm

mum said...

I seem to remember seeing that drawing on another one of your post about a year ago also - is that possible?

Some people are with us all our lives, yes? I'm glad you can listen to the music and the voice again. It made art farmer cry needed tears. It made me smile.

Sending you good wishes, am. The flowers are gorgeous.

robin andrea said...

I'm so glad you write Richard's name here. Yes.