Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Back to Wonder and the Artist

There is something wonderful about starting fresh, and taking time in those early, uncertain hours when life feels very much like dawn, to take long walks and simply think. These walks often lead to Central Park, an Eden on earth.  This past Sunday, when an artist asked me if I wanted my portrait sketched, I paused and reflected back on a time when I had - then recorded the story in a Back to A post you can revisit here.  It's a post I love, because somewhere along the neuron connectivities which inspire these posts - inexplicable, even to me - I had found my way back to The Wonder Years and my favorite moments and quotes - perhaps because the experience does bring with it that elusive sense of wonder - so difficult to capture, so precious when achieved.

This time, I was with my two boys, and I asked him if he wouldn't mind sketching Harold and Luigi. He was a little surprised - "I don't usually do animals," he began to object. I countered with a simple, "Why not?" and a smile, and then he was smiling, too. Why not, indeed. A great question to just about anything one has not given a try in life (except fruits and vegetables - they all taste equally vile, a profound Back to A belief).  So he began. . .

The crowds around us grew larger and larger. Artists sketching portraits in New York City? A dime a dozen. . . but dogs? Dog owners began to line up, and whether he was inspired by the growing crowds, or the sweetness of my two boys, or the possibility of a new career entirely - pet portrait sketch artist - this old man with the most piercing, Brighton Beach blue eyes in the world (where he lives), began to create a miracle on paper. . .

Back to taking time out to explore the possibilities of the what if's and the why nots. . . Back to my earthly Eden, and finding the time (and the artists) to create the priceless pieces which will adorn the walls of my life - one box, a single apartment amidst many, but encased within it, our entire story, full of sorrow and joy and. . .wonder.

"Whenever some blowhard starts talking about the anonymity of the suburbs or the mindlessness of the TV generation, we know that inside each one of those identical boxes, with its Dodge parked out front and its white bread on the table and its TV set glowing blue in the falling dusk, there were people with stories, there were families bound together in the pain and the struggle of love. There were moments that made us cry with laughter, and there were moments, like that one, of sorrow and wonder." 
-Neil Marlens and Carol Black

Back to the original sketches.


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