Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Give You Socks

(sizes vary)

In the mist of clouds
or the flow of water;
wind sculpted in desert
frozen in ice;
in the duff of the forest floor or
a tumble of rocks

I give you socks

Why socks?
Before the disease of mental illness gripped him in its insidious vise, Alex was a joyous boy. At his funeral family and friends gave witness to his life; not to minimize his death but to realign the bones that gave structure to his existence. As memories crowded in the years unfolded. When his mother's sister replayed a long-ago Christmas morning, we all experienced his elation upon receiving a box filled with socks. Simple pleasures. As a parting tribute to a boy so recently touching and releasing manhood, our minister suggested that we gift each other, that approaching Christmas, with socks.

This series of sixty watercolors is dedicated to my cousin's son, Alex, who died in November of 2006. Each painting, inspired by folded and jumbled heaps of socks fashioned into landscapes, was given to a member of my family as a celebration of Alex's life.

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