Summer

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My Grandfather left us many of his paintings. One of them hangs in my bedroom. It is different than his others, which are landscapes or ordered still life paintings. The flower painting seems to be more of a study or experiment. The flowers vary in their renderings, the orange ones completely flat, the yellow with a bit more development in the paint and then grey flowers with pink highlights which are the most  three dimensional. The flowers are not presented in a realistic manner, they fill the canvas and have neither roots and stems nor a vase to contain them. I often meditate on the painting, allowing my eyes to focus on one flower or another and the pleasing contrasts among them.

Suddenly last night I happened to glance at the painting and was filled with what may be laughably obvious. I saw in my imagination my grandfather in his Deer Park home mixing the bright paint and placing his brush on the white canvas. The sunlight that fills the bedroom he has made into a studio is bright and warm. It is summer. The intimacy and lasting power of this act in time. The gift I have in surrounding myself with his work and therefore what remains of him on earth. The summer on my wall even in the throes of winter. I then flashed in my mind the future of the painting, after me. I imagined it stacked in a row of others in a dark closet. Today, however, I do not awaken like an Ebeneezer, newborn with recognition at the meaning of his life span. I just hope I keep awake.

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