Friday, March 12, 2010

Something Bigger


I remember the day my brother Dow told me he had only a month left to live. He died January 27, 2002. I think one of the defining moments of my life was the day he flew away to heaven. We were born only 14 months apart. I had never lived in a world without my brother.
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After Dow died, I thought the world should stop--we all did. But it didn't. I thought, why is the sun still shining, why are the birds still singing? But the sun kept shining, and the world went on much as it did before.
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But our lives had changed forever. Death has a way of prioritizing life. Suddenly things which were terribly important, no longer seemed so.
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One day I found a photo of my brother's hands. They were beautiful. I began to paint them against a black canvas. Hands formed, then for some unknown reason, I painted in the world--scudding in clouds, earth and sea.
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My son wandered past where I was painting. He stood there a little while, then said, "Why don't you put a moon right here."
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So I did. Then a sprinkling of stars, and sparkling robes. Glory light formed between his fingers.
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I looked at the painting for a long time. Then I realized, through my grief for my brother, God had illustrated His great love, and heart-breaking gift to the world.
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Today, the painting hangs on the wall in my parent's living room where the morning sunshine touches it with a special glow. Mom says she feels great peace when she looks at it. She says she senses the presence of God.
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Looking back, I am convinced that, in wielding my paintbrush to express my deep loss and sorrow, I was directed to paint Something Bigger.

9 comments:

Desiree said...

wow, Beth what a touching story. I am so sorry about your brother, I know how you felt when the world kept moving forward but your life had completely stopped. I am so glad that your parents find some peace in your painting, its our special gift of art!

Lois said...

It is a very profound painting Beth. I enlarged it so I could see the details better and found that I could just stare at it forever. You are amazing!

Grannie Annie said...

What a wonderful painting I love it Sissy. What a devastating experience to lose a sibling that you are so close to. It leaves a great hole in your life. What a comfort to know that Dow waits for you on the other side of the veil.

P.S. Your cloud ship is lovely too.

Have a great Friday...love you.

Deden said...

You are definitely real Artist.. Looking at this artwork, I began to realize that art is not about shape and light, but more about deep feeling and expression. Painting is only touched an eyes, but art touch deep inside the heart. just like what you did here.. Amazing..

Clytie said...

I have the same profound feelings as Deden ... I miss Dow so much sometimes, sissie. The world isn't the same, but it is still as beautiful as it was before. Sometimes we just need to remember.

Looking to the Stars said...

I love this and I agree with your mother. What a wonderful tribute to your brother. To take your grief and fashion something this beautiful shows your amazing talent.

When I looked at your painting a song popped into my head that I haven't sang or heard in a long time. "On the wings of a snow white dove, He sends his pure sweet love"

I always liked that song, it was nice to remember it again :) Thank you. And I have no idea why that song would pop to mind, your painting has no dove :)

√ Abraham said...

It is a nice painting and the hands really look for real.

Catherine said...

Wow, Beth. This is such a poignant painting and so heartwarming to hear how it has touched your lives. So beautiful!

Woman in a Window said...

I do believe things come from outside of us and are chanelled through us. Gorgeous telling of something important and intimate.

I'm glad you had a photo of his hands. Hands are so important - telling of us, really.

Death is a hard thing to make sense of - the absense of those we love.

xo
erin