Thursday, April 28, 2011
Over the course of his illness, Fred had gone from a robust, stocky physique, to mere skin and bones. I wanted to override those final images and remember him as he looked in his prime. So this morning I opened my journal and painted a portrait of Freddie....a cat in the prime of life, a mighty hunter of rodents, the super-cat he had been. He was stretching, as he often did, just before he came up and gave you a good head-butt.... a real show of affection. That's the way I will always remember him.
The quote is from Walt Whitman, so thoughtfully sent to me by my art-exchange friend, Sharon Parker. It was fitting that it should be included on the page:
"I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained;
I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition; They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins; They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God; Not one is dissatisfied- not one is demented with the mania of owning things; Not one kneels to another, nor his kind that lived thousands of years ago; Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth"
Sometimes keeping a visual journal is a way to work through the difficulties that life hands us. It's a place with no rules where we are allowed to express freely the things we are feeling and then stand back and say "There, now, that's a little better."