This is continued from last week's post. Thank you for your precious notes.
(also, I redesigned my online store this week, take a look, let me know what you think!)
CONTINUED...In Maui, we had four days together, my dad, my sis, my grandma and I. My dad and the 3 women who love(d) him most.
The night before his death, I came out of the room that I shared with grandma, to get a drink of water, and looked at my dad lying on this sofa bed. He had zonked out after a day of driving to Hana, hiking, wandering the black sand beach and getting plenty of dirt and sun. From my studio chair this moment, I can still feel the breeze of the Maui evening, and the taste of the pineapples that took me years to eat again.
Don't underestimate the impact
your devotion and kindness will
leave behind on those who love you.
Looking at him snoozing there, I felt something shift inside me. He sleeps in the same position I like to sleep in, and someday he will be gone. Someday quite soon, actually, very soon. I felt a choke in my throat and went back to bed, chalking the paranoia up to being very tired, and recovering from a day of Hana-induced carsickness.
The next morning by 11am, he was indeed gone. He slipped through my fingers in the ocean. His soul, but not his body, which I clung to and swam like hell with, until reaching the sandy shore where two strangers helped me pull him from the sea. On the frantic swim in, I had to scream curse words to knock the beachgoers out of their shock to realize I was not just a kid playing yelling-games in the ocean. Can you imagine?? Shock and disbelief seem like a fitting response to a girl screaming in the waves... at first.
I can still see my grandma standing on the shore... shock-stiff and staring at me in confusion.
That worst day of my life ended with us three girls back at our condo without him. I took a hot shower but could not close the bathroom door, be alone, eat or handle the dark.
I still think of that 20-year-old-girl, frail and broken and believing she'd failed to save her dad. That he had drowned because I couldn't properly keep his face out of the water while swimming to shore. The next day we learned that that wasn't the case. It was his heart, halted by a fatal sting beneath the water, not water in his lungs. But still... that first shower was scary.
Another piece from my hastily and partially edited memoir that may never see the light of day:
Can I make something magic? An art piece that honors my father. I wonder if I could make something fantasy-like... his spirit leaving his body in the ocean. I swam away with his body, and his soul floated above and off into the ether… did he join with a world of magical fish souls somehow? :)
In truth, what am I here on earth for if not to push the envelope, challenge creativity and vulnerability, and create work that will touch the hearts of others and leave behind a legacy? My artwork is my legacy, also my incredible sons. And we four kids are my dad's only remaining legacy. I am ¼ of his legacy…
And I am a true 'daughter of Art'. Since that is his name.
Maybe my recent re-grieving and steady thoughts of him are a nudge that I am to give him a mark on this earth. That I am to leave him behind in a special way, for others to discover. Others can know him through my story and my art.
Could The Seeker help me with this? She sure served me in creating A Silent Story... without her I don't know where I'd be. I keep an image of her on my wall, near my computer, she truly feels like a friend to me and to many others.
I can share more of my story if you’d like to hear it? And perhaps I’ll do so through more paintings, as well. I do not feel like the Open Skies Collection is the end of this exploration.
Here are a few more selected pieces I created for the Open Skies Collection.
You can still choose a free art print from the Open Skies Collection. I haven't decided when to end this offer. While my beautiful people (and strangers!) are still reaching out for a free piece of peace, I feel obligated to keep the page alive.
♥ Thank you!
Take care, and know that I appreciate you being here.
Love & Sincerely, Katie
Here's my dad. He would have turned 76 years old on July 29 (I misspoke last week in saying he would be 75).
This photo was taken two days before he died, in Maui. I specifically asked my sister to take this photo because I had/have only ONE other photo of him and I alone together, and it was taken when I was 8. I have a reason to share that photo with you down the line ♥