The house where my mother lived out most of her latter life is being prepared for sale, and that means a lot of throwing away and some salvage. Over the years I gave Mom quite a bit of artwork in the form of drawings, prints and functional and non-functional ceramics. Now she has no more use for them, and they wouldn’t fetch much if anything at an estate sale, so back to me they come.
This drawing in particular has me shaking my head in frustration:
It has a lot going for it, and a lot going against it. At first it made me want to invent a time machine and harangue the early-80s twentysomething who was saying, “Done!” and signing it without dating it. “DONE??! What the Hell? It needs another hour. In an hour you could turn an Isn’t-That-Nice into a showpiece. Not a museum piece, you dummy, because you used cheap sketchbook paper and you DREW PAST THE WIRE BINDING HOLES. Don’t you CARE? Don’t you have any respect for what little talent you possess?!”
Alas, the smart-aleck kid from 1983 or so now looks me in the mind’s eye and says, “What about YOU, Gramps? You are STILL dashing things off, on cheap paper, eager as Hell to send them out into the world, STILL making Isn’t That Nices instead of Showpieces, much less Museum Pieces. The Sins of the Younger are visited on the Elder. Hypocrite.”
I try to muster a convincing argument. I am running out of time. My heart leaps unbidden around in my chest every so often, once sending me to the ER, where they sent me to a cardiologist, who wanted to do a test the insurance wouldn’t pay for, and did another test instead, which boiled done to “normal” with a nice ECG. But Dad went at 49, Grandmother Caroline at 44, Uncle Jim at 53, Grandmother Marguerite at 67. ALL cardiac cases. And I have too many things to do in whatever time I have left.
But the Kid knows I’m full of it. “Your Time Management sucks, Pops. You can and really need to CARVE OUT the time from your vast, incessant Frittering. So do it. Do it for the Kid here. He’s still here, ya know. Just wearing older flesh.”
Can’t argue with that. We shake hands, I the left, he the Wright. 🙂