“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton
When I read this quote last night in my ‘quotes notebook’ I thought of my late husband. I didn’t need to read a quote to think of him. He is always with me. Not a single moment passes by that I do not think about him, that I do not miss him and that I do not think if only he were alive.
See my husband wasn’t an extraordinary man. He was in all aspects a very ordinary man who lived a humble life, getting along with everyone. He worked his ass off for his family and was great at what he did, always trying to reach perfection in his work. He loved life and did his best to make his loved ones happy.
Apart from being a family man he was also an artist and a great one at that. His art is beautiful, the colors, the subjects, the execution, made him stand out. He was one of a kind. As Vincent van Gogh wrote:
“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
But in the last year or so he not only lost himself in his art but also found himself in it. Physically he was in turmoil and he turned to art to flee the chaos in his life by creating. He painted to escape the reality of cancer and what it did to his body. In the words of Pablo Picasso:
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
His last paintings were about love and family, ‘Harmony’ as he called them. And to him nothing was more important in this world than his family. His family, his wife and kids were his pride and joy. He sketched and painted with such vigor.
He left a sketch, an unfinished sketch on his easel in the living room where he painted. His paintings were all over the room. After he passed away I tried to collect and cover them to get them out of harm’s way. The easel I left in a corner with his last sketch on it. Two Fridays ago while dusting the easel I gathered the courage to look at it for the first time in almost ten months. He had sketched a family, a mother, a child and a father. My heart skipped a beat and I broke down.
“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” Pablo Picasso