Nov 25, 2012

Hand Me Down


At Thanksgiving dinner my grandfather asked if I could use some oil pastels. He's 90 and has reached the point where his eyesight just won't let him paint anymore. On the one hand, I'm thrilled to put the set to use. Conversely, his no longer being able to work with the oil pastels is a concrete reminder of the way my grandparents' lives are changing. It's been hard watching some of those changes recently, but you adapt and you remember and you remake. So if my grandfather can't use the oil pastels any more, I can. And in using them, I'm blending his artmaking with my own and somehow that makes all that change feel okay. Even good.

A month or two back I saw I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and it's been rattling around in my head ever since. Watching how Jeff Tweedy would take a melody, record it, break it and put it back together resonated. Perhaps art (and of course life) isn't so straight-forward, moving resolutely from point A to B to C with martinet precision. Maybe it's really a constantly evolving, growing thing, pulling equally from the past and the present, layering and blurring the lines between the two.

In which case, here's to change. And oil pastels.


Charles Eubanks said...

Beautiful story! I'm sure your grandfather is proud to know that you're putting them to good use.

I recently had the same thing happen, with my 93-year-old grandmother and her oil paints. I know absolutely zilch about oils. Guess it's time to learn!

Geek+Nerd said...

Change is difficult, but it is lovely to see you accepting it with grace and thoughtfulness.

P.S. I'm drinking the cocoa mix that you made for me last year (yes it took me this long) and it's delicious!

Abigail said...

Thanks, Charles.

And Sarah - glad you liked it. :-)

Lynda Shoup said...

Poignant and beautiful thoughts. Your positive outlook is inspiring.