The Ink Spider
Painting for the story: http://www.redbubble.com/people/ray-d/art/71023...
I dropped a blue splodge of ink on a sheet of rice-paper.
With luck, the ink ran in lines that complimented a vague vision in my young mind.
I could move the ink-bubble from side to side and a concept was formed in my mind.
When it did a wrong turn and deviated from my vision, I suddenly realized it could be something else and at age 6 it was my best artistic effort yet!
Carefully I dropped another blob of ink from the fountain-pen and soon enough I had a rather wonky looking and slightly cartoonish painting of obvious merit.
It was without doubt a shadowy bird precariously clinging to Cane fronds!
You could see the leaves distinctly, and the bird, although on its back, was obviously a Red Robin.
I waited for my dad to return from work.
Running up waving the drawing I gave it to my father with great pride.
He smiled broadly and thought it was a rather wonderful hairy black spider with 4 and a half legs.
Disappointed, never again did I give him that first exclusive look at any of my artwork!
He died in January 2001 at age 85.
I went to the Old-people’s home where he had lived.
I packed almost all of his remaining belongings in 5 small cardboard boxes.
Gave the rest of what was left to the other residents who took them gladly.
Picking a book by the bed, I opened it to where a folded scrap of rice-paper marked the last page of his life.
Dog-eared, yellowed and creased; stained, partly thorn and much the worse for wear, it opened into that painting.
One could easily see it still clearly showed a shadowy Red Robin and not a 4 and a half legged spider.
It dawned on me that it took nearly 50 years to realize how much he had had appreciated my artistic effort.
Emotions tend to have little respect for planned dignity.
The nurse realized I needed some privacy and snuck out of the room.
Amazingly…dried, old ink still runs when wet!
One shelves some past with dread.
Some thoughts and smells stay as new as if time stood still. Yet others, forgotten for ever return to haunt the present and will never be forgotten again.
When a loved one dies, one not only puts the physical to rest but gets faced with the unsaid thoughts and unexpressed feelings staining what they leave behind.