by Angeliska on June 21, 2009
Happy Midsummer’s Eve, Summer Solstice,
and Father’s Day my dearies- I hope this weekend
has found you blissfully enjoying the land and the water,
and hopefully a big bonfire to jump over!
I know that I am very blessed to have such an amazing
father and grandfather. We have such a strong bond,
built on mutual respect and love, and are interested
in so many of the same things- as far as art, music
and spirituality goes. I know that’s a damn rare
and immeasurably precious thing, and I try to
never take it for granted. I’ve learned so much
from these guys, and feel so lucky to have
their friendship as well. Fine fellows!
Isn’t my dad dashing? This is from his days of studying zen and fencing
at UCLA. Very Errol Flynn! Happy 100th birthday, also to the King of Swashbucklers!
My dad raised me for many years after my mom died, all by himself.
I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been for him.
He did a great job, and continues to astound me with his patience,
generosity and unconditional love. He read me stories every night,
and taught me how to read by the time I was around 3 or 4.
Hop On Pop! The Color Kittens! The Thirteen Clocks!
He spawned a voracious reader, who is still excited by his book recommendations.
Oh yes, and incidentally- he has totally revolutionized the method by which
reading is taught! He teaches adult literacy in prisons and has a truly
remarkable success rate. I could go on and on, seriously- but for now,
let me just say that he is also an incredible musician
(banjo, uilleann pipes, accordion, concertina, various whistles + recorders, etc.)
and that he is a spiritual seeker who taught me to revel in the great mystery.
Also, I used to hate a lot of things my Dad was into:
Sacred Harp (or Shape Note) singing, polenta,
quinoa, NPR, t’ai chi- now of course, I love all those things!
Go figure. I am the apple- he is the tree.
This is my beloved Grampa Charlie, holding my pop when he was a bairn.
I wonder what that enormous book they’re reading is? It must be something
pretty fantastic, because that baby is captivated!
Obviously, the book thing runs in the family.
Where to even begin to explain the wonderfulness that is my Grampa?
I cannot do him justice in little snippets, but hopefully I will be able to
embark of a project that will allow him to speak for himself, and share
his marvelous stories- of which there are many. He is 95 years old,
and he still beats me at gin rummy regularly. Sometimes I think he
gets out more than I do! We’ve traveled all over the world together:
if you feel like scrolling back through the archives, you can read
tales of our adventures through most of Europe, Scandinavia and the Balkans!
In honor of Midsummer’s Eve, and the solstice,
and for my dad, who introduced me to the work
of Richard Dadd (who incidentally, killed his
own father- eek!) namely, The Fairy Feller’s
Master Stroke, (which is possibly my favorite painting)
I will share with you the treasures I have found floating through
John Coulthart’s Feuilleton, a veritable trove of wonder
which entertains and enlightens me almost daily.
Here are some succulent midsummer tidbits from his archives: