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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Just Being

It was spring break.... great weather.....we def seized the day.  
I made the tee time and texted Landon and Braden  and told them to be ready to go golf.  I arrived home and they were waiting with three golf bags in the back of the van....oh yeah!

It was completely awesome....  got a cart, loaded up, but not before we supplied ourselves with three 32oz Dr. Peppers full of ice, milky ways stashed in a deep pocket of our golf bags for later (ok, we didn't actually have the Milky Way's but we should have..... and, they only would have lasted til the second hole) and absolutely no expectations of doing anything else but pretending to focus on technique we knew little about, mimicking the pro's with little wigs and wags of hips, feet and hands..... Every swing was like a new adventure, cause none of us knew where that little ball might go.  So, yes, very exciting!  There is a certain freedom that comes with a clear mind free from expectation.....and very little skill!  

I can't lie, it was kinda cool too that this course was super low cost.   One or two levels up from a well mowed farm meadow.

Isn't it so great to accidentally hit a lucky shot and then feel your chest and head swell with enormous confidence!  We immediately throw out the idea that it was just dumb luck and we entertain the new forming fantasy of "tour pro".

Ha!  Golf is the great "deconstructor"  It can reduce you to a pile of rubble if you start to care too much.  We managed to navigate that mine field pretty well.

Forget golf though.... that had little to do with what was happening.  This was all about just being together and taking the time to just soak......As if slowly sipping through the straw....like making a drink last for a really long time....sweetness all the way.

That will be all I remember, not anything we said, not any club selection, not counting strokes or glancing at the time on our phones.  We simply basked in the slow roll of the afternoon.

It was better than perfect.... it was..... "just right" 

Priceless..... 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Uber... The best laid plans

You looked so good on paper.... very seductive.  Hate to part ways but I must.....

It was short, sweet and definitely marked me in a powerful way.
I will look back and realize that so little of the journey had anything to do with Uber, but so much about me, God and my relationship with Chelta.

How mysterious His ways are... I just pray I will have learned all the things I was supposed to..... time will tell.

So Uber......I loved rubbing shoulders with you.... it was truly a pleasure to feel the power of your cause, share in the intensity of the spotlight and to see what changing the world really  looks like.  I was inspired......and a bit not.
I am grateful for the glimpse, the sip, the taste of something so unusual and fascinating.  Super smart and bright people are just people after all.... Smartness doesn't = experience.   Experience doesn't = smartness.  They both need each other.... Hard to leave as I probably won't experience something like that ever again.

I am not sure how far you will go, how high you will rise.... no matter. Loved the ride.....

Adieu


PS:  I have tried to quit 2 times now and they are not letting me do so..... I am home in Utah but they seem to be ok with this..... we are still exploring apparently.... very surprised and excited.  Not sure what will come next.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Soulmates

Over the years I have considered, pondered and have even written a bit about this notion of "soulmates."  I concluded that I had finally figured it out.... I am not so sure now.....some recent events have brought some doubt and dents to that definition.

And I am kinda glad......I like this one better. It is much more real, and has unfolded so beautifully before my eyes.....

This definition has been forming for a lifetime, but only in the past couple of years has it made itself manifest so marvelously.

McKenna and Braden are the opposite of sibling rivalry.... They are the fiercest of sibling alliances.  They aren't just "close", they have their own secret language, the one that doesn't need words.  The one that involves "knowing" something that no one else does.  The cosmic collaboration of communicative nuances and mind blowing telepathy. When the words do come out only they get it and usually they are on the floor laughing so hard it makes you laugh as well.  It is like a river of continuously flowing water, moving with its' own momentum and grace.  It can't be duplicated, regurgitated, redone, faked or copied..... it is magic.  It is incredible to watch and there is a ping of jealousy that one feels because it is so infectious you want to catch this particular disease faster than all the others, but you can't... even with lots of over exposure... simply, it is theirs alone.

What began with a little fistbump doo dad thing they do when they meet is just the beginning... Now they not only can speak for each other, but can pretty much emote what the other is feeling.   I hear about how identical twins have some amazing connections, this is like that, but different.

What this has led to is a pretty dramatic pinky promise they decided to make a few months ago: To serve their missions together at the same time.  They decided that they would get their mission calls on the same day, go the same place, speak the same language and actually end up as each other's companions as well! Ha! it doesn't quite work that way, but the idea on paper was really cool.  They weren't even going to tell anyone either and make it a surprise!  Well, I kinda messed all that up with my crazy idea to leave the family and go work in San Francisco (blog post coming...)  They ended up telling me so everyone knew, but then it was fun to be in on it for the ride....Man, the laughs we had along the way...

So, they did it..... physicals were completed, wisdom teeth pulled, interviews, applications and boom...they were waiting for their calls.  It didn't seem real until McKenna's call came.  Then we knew Braden's was on its' way.....his came last friday morning at 6am.  Then it got really real.   We had a big party, about 50 people came.  The mix of people was incredible... how cool that a mission call can bring out so many different people, all of whom have shaped their lives so much.

They opened and read their calls... McKenna - Montevideo Uruguay, Braden - Bangkok, Thailand.   The emotions run deep.  The gratitude deeper.... the level of awe and respect I have for them to make these huge life changing choices.... off the charts.

Wow!  amazing.....  I always wanted to expose my kids to the life I had growing up overseas, but couldn't quite give them that.  Now they are getting it through their own individual experiences.  Landon - Chinese, now with Spanish and Thai to add to the mix... pretty global..... pretty cool!

I think about this amazing memory they are creating together.  They will have this story forever, and will tell it to their own kids.  I can see the letters they will write each other..... sharing as only they can.  They will grow old and later, when their own kids are gone, and they are roasting marshmallows at the fire of their own twilight, this story will be told again.  It will bring bright memories that only they can know to their minds and their hearts, that this was about doing this service together, on their own terms, in their own particular way.  As much as I want to be part of this dance, I know I am just observing.  That is all I can do, is hope to be close to watch their magic continue throughout their lives.  Yes..... it is a beautiful thing to behold.  Watching might be all I can do, but it will be enough. I wish you could see it....it is something.

May 24th they leave together, on the same day..... could it be any other way?

Yes, it is awesome to see each of your kids grow and develop into incredible people.  To see this kind of bond?  unexpected and mind blowing.....   I bask in the glow they create.  The blessing is too great to handle... yes, my definition of soulmates has changed.   May this one live a long time....

McKenna and Braden, what can I say?  I love you,  God speed.... go do your thing... and maybe your magic will change the world.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Long View

This is the only drawing I know how to draw.  Anyone who knows me has seen this at least once. I hope this bring a smile to those who have.
I have drawn this same landscape for over 20 years now...I have never really not known why until now.   The words on the sign have changed over time, but the picture as a framework has been consistent over time.

It is like a "system", with individual components when integrated make it "whole".  There is context here...a background, a foreground, a beginning, middle and an end, a path, a direction, guidance, yes, one might say it conveys a vision of a journey.  The journey looks like it may take some time... not so long, but also not traveled in one day either.  One can see the end...I call it "The Long View."

I am not sure I completely understand what "Good stuff ahead" really means.  Despite being the one who wrote those words, I can't say that I know.  But I really liked it when those words came to me. Either the romantic idealist in me or just simple truth.  Good things are up ahead.

Does it seem like to you that the world has just gone completely crazy in the past 5 - 7 years....? Although I have seen the declining decay for decades, someone flipped the switch that has turned everything upside down.  I do not even understand what I see, hear or read anymore.... It is unbelievable.  Right is wrong, wrong is right, definitions are completely changing and it is happening literally before my eyes.  I have felt fear and even panic sometimes...every day the world seems to escalate more towards hatred.

Never has the long view seemed so clear as now.....   My little cute dumb picture has been a silent template in my mind that has kept me looking long... not short.  It has stretched my view... helped me me see further, higher beyond the rocks and potholes in the road.  It has kept my eyes lifted up, pointing higher, sometimes squinting to see what I can see.... There is something up there, I can't quite draw it, but it seems right.  It feels right too.

There is something in the simplicity of the one sign, the one path, the one sun, the one horizon, the one direction.  The more I gaze and reflect the more I realize I don't need more than that.  Can I be content with just what is there?  Will that be enough to get me through?  Strangely, I believe the answer is "yes", it is enough for me.  The answer that has been forming in my heart and mind recently is that I need to stay simpler.  For a guy who likes to over analyze and keep things complicated it is saying something.  For the first time in my life, I want to be simpler.  I think it is the only way through this journey for me.  Simple faith, simple hope, simple love and less clutter in the living room of my brain.

Maybe the only question I need to ask each day is: "Is this decision today going to help me in the long run?"  or "How will I feel 10 years down the line if I make this choice today?"  Would these be enough to steer me clear of the landmines just ahead of me?

I like the puffy clouds, I like the shadowy mountains but mostly I like this little star guy...... with his little hat and little smile.  He has worn these two things for all of his existence. The brim of his hat pointing forever forward.... his knowing smile because he either sees or knows something about the future.  I like that......  I never knew this until now but am so grateful because I needed to know what he has always known.... to look for the long view,  cause apparently....... there is good stuff ahead!

I wonder what your long view looks like?  I wish you well on our journey.....

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Holding Back Time

Here is Beauty holding back Time..... an absolutely beautiful piece of art.  One can feel the tension of forward momentum that Time is showing, even a bit anxious..... to be moving on.

Have you ever felt this way?  Wishing you could hold back the hands of time.....or lingering too long in the way things were?

I spent a good chunk of time in my youth trying to hold back the past.  I kept going back in my mind's eye.... I had too many beautiful experiences in too many foreign lands to let go of so easily.

I was that teenager practicing soaking in moments, memorizing each detail, the smells, the air, cloud formations, what people were wearing, what things looked like.

Time.... Sometimes it moves so slowly -- waiting at the DMV for an eternity (especially those days before smart phones!) But then contrasting that with your own kids.....Way different.... with kids it is one quick moment, whisking by like a cat's whisker faster than we can see, faster than we are every ready for -- when my first graduated from High School I only realized then that in just 4 more years all the of rest of them would be out of the house.

We say things like:  "Don't waste time"....  "Make the best of each moment"  Time is important.  We associate it with how long we will live...to some it defines not only life, but their existence as well.   Some "experts' say don't live in the past....forget what happened, only look forward.

We use time to measure all kinds of things... maybe it is God's way of thinking we are in control... setting limits for tests and teenage curfews, pregnancies, detention and time outs, when we are done with school etc....

 I think time is just a measure of a memory... when an experience begins and ends.

What if time were a series of innumerable books on an eternal bookshelf.  Not chronological.  No, just recorded "moments" yes...even "memories".  All of them already lived out and recorded.  And anytime we could just go to that "moment" and see ourselves living it out.  learning by watching ourselves in that moment.

Is time just something that brushes past us fleetingly?  It seems as if we are constantly struggling against it.  Like a the pull of a tide....constant pressure, misunderstood tension.  We let it do terrible things like measure goodness and badness, often it is a heaviness of regret, dormant dreams, drowned desires.....things not done.

Or are they just things that did get done.... the 10,000 activities, tasks, so that we could say things like "we did it" , "see how much we accomplished"......Life's mother of all checklists.

I think time should be savored, like a delicious sips of chocolate milk....  sipping a thousand memories....

So I say let time fly! .... release him... your beauty won't fade.  Your beauty is in the memories themselves... carved in, never to fade.  Being your best self in every moment is the way to go... ride time like a bronco buster...!!  Why not?  don't hold back, don't look back.... don't sell yourself short by always wishing the ride was just a minute longer.....  Run to the next one and ride it hard and ride it beautifully..... then sip on the memory later... it tastes better that way.

Post it Notes from Heaven

11 years ago we moved to Centerville, UT from upstate New York.  We bought this fun old historic home.  We moved in Nov' 95 and took this picture on the left with the kids on this grand staircase.  It turned out to be one of those 'keepers.'  We have looked at it a lot over the years.  It represented a new beginning then....  a wonderful new beginning that lasted 11 years.  In Aaron years that is like 2 lifetimes.  Almost left once but held on.  Glad we did.... 
11 years of jam packed life experiences and memories.  The kids are all 'grown up' now... yes, even Lexi... the punk kid is as feisty now as she was then...!    

We are about to close out the final chapter here in this part of the world.  I have a new job that is taking me to San Francisco and leaving the family here in Utah.  I didn't hunt down this job, it really came to me.... It worked itself out as the last couple of opportunities have done... an interesting side story....Just as I was working out details before the offer came through we had a hand written note suddenly show up on our door from a family living in Indiana... Here is what they wrote:
" You don't know us but we have been admiring your home for over 20 years.  We don't know your situation, but if you ever wanted to sell it, we would love to buy it from you."
Woah... Talk about timing... Maybe a coincidence....?  No, we see through coincidences much better these days....  Back in the 90's they may have tripped us up a bit... but not so much anymore.
We felt it was the second little post it note from Heaven nudging us forward.  We have since wrapped up the deal.  I move out in Jan and we all move out of this home in Mar.  So, I try and reflect upon this rapidly closing chapter in our lives.  There are a lot of moving parts to try and hang on to....like a really fast merrygo round....we are mostly just trying to hold on tighter.  But when you are married to the world's greatest project manager, it all comes together pretty nicely.

One unique way we have begun to close this chapter was to take another photo... same place....same clothes..(almost!).... same pose.... same stairs.... but not so same kids.  Landon did a fab job by going to a second hand clothing store to find as close to the same things they wore originally.  We positioned the bears just so too.....  Seeing them all sitting there now, side by side to the original is quite the scene to take in.  One can get caught up in the details of shades of color, smiles aren't quite the same, shadows here but not there, etc... etc...

 I don't see those things.....

I see brothers and sisters that grew together over those years... working things out, helping each others, getting in each other's way at times....fighting over all the same cliche things that every family deals with. They all 4 played all 4 years of High School soccer.  They cheered each others games, they went to each others' plays.  They terrorized the neighborhood together.  Their personalities went in all different directions.  Despite that, they learned to pray, they learned to get a long.  They excelled in everything they chose to do. .  Together they conquered all that was placed in front of them.  They achieved their goals.  Most importantly, they all grew testimonies of Jesus Christ each in their own way, in their own pace, in their own space.  They have blessed so many lives just be being their best selves, most of all their Mom and Dad. 

I look at them and see the same togetherness and love that has glued them altogether through this collective experience we have had together.  It feels right... it hurts good.

So, we try and find the last few words on this the last page......  Each one carries a world of emotion, each one reflects the immense gratitude we feel to God, for guiding us here, and for everything we found and did.  We close it not with regret, not with longing or looking backward... we pause to pose, one last time to close out this chapter with a picture... a picture that conveys a thousand words. Well done kids.... thanks for making it so perfect!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

New Grass part 2

This new grass thing has me smiling every time I go outside... I took a pic today.  Had to express my joy in seeing this new color spring up and out.  Obviously I didn't consider the same type of seed...he he.... oh well.  To me it doesn't matter, to see these little guys like a little Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, stretch out and try and fill in all the blanks is pretty exciting.  

This either means my life has become so dull that it only takes a few seeds to sprout to make my day, or that I am just that lame.....yes, I have become a......lawn nerd!

So, one last little gasp of verbal joy....   I love you little green guys, poking out with new energy as if you can't wait to experience life.   It is actually hard to go over you with the mower... weird, but true.

I just want to thank you... for giving me so much hope, that broken things that be beautiful again,  in fact, just like Kintsukuroi.... Now everytime I look at the lawn I will see the new patches, the places that have been grafted into the whole and will remember the impactful lesson I learned about second chances.  No matter how barren, no matter how improbable your situation may seem... there seems to always be a way out.  Not always on our time table, not always in the ways we think, but there is always a way... I have more faith today than yesterday.

I prayed before I cut some trees done, which I have never done before, so that angels would push the limbs in the right way, that I would cut the tree in the right place, that no damage would occur to our neighbors or to any property.... including "us".   It went perfectly.... way more than it should have.  Everything I do includes rework...not this time.  I never expected to have so many lessons on faith working in my yard.  So, thanks to the tree angels that helped guide the soft landings.....and thanks for God's creations that provide cool learnings....   


love it......

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Beautifully Broken....Kintsukuroi

I am trying to remember exactly when it was that I became aware that people, not just things.....could actually "break."  In Indonesia, as a kid, I saw plenty of poor people, beggars even, that lived broken lives....most of whom made tiny homes out of broken boxes, sticks and rocks to hold down thin corrugated sheets of metal for their roofs.   I didn't know about being broken on the inside.....That was different.....My 10 year old eyes couldn't see that 'far'.

Maybe it was when I saw what a bad break up could do to someone... a boy broke my sister's heart in High School.... I didn't understand the depth of pain, but I didn't need to, I just had to watch to know what that could do.  I remember experiencing the betrayal of friendship, hurt feelings from a family member, physical and emotional scarring caused by worldly vices, crippling low self-esteem, co-dependency....the desperate clinging to the wrong kind of love and affection.....and others......

Through personal experience, I started to see people differently.  I could start to see more on the "inside" then before.  What became the most revealing, was the transition of awareness in seeing others to that of seeing my own "brokenness".... Ouch!  That was a painful realization.  How did those things come into my life? How did they sneak in there?  How did I not see it?  I remember the series of events that led me to a very profound visual of the eggshell of a foundation that I thought was so much stronger than it really was.  I remember watching the eggshell crack literally beneath my feet....I didn't know how to stop the slipping or the eventual fast paced free fall to "truth".....real truth.  There I found a mirror that I didn't know existed or ever thought I would have to look into. This was Heaven's mirror, helping me to see who I really was and to challenge what I really believed in.   I struggled with the wrong definitions the world propped up in front of me -- of love, goodness, and personal worthiness.  I placed labels and values on my brokenness.... I couldn't be worthy of love and acceptance if I had these particular broken parts could I?  They were "bad" -- so therefore, I must too, be "bad."

I didn't know exactly where to start, to put the broken pieces back.  I actually believed for longer than I should have, that I couldn't really be put back together.... or if I did, then it wouldn't be the same "product" as before... it would be "defective"... Something you would find at a discount or outlet store... second hand quality.  It was very easy for me to find comfort in that space.... I didn't have to work that hard... it was pretty easy to believe in an alternate path and just "coast" in autopilot.  No thinking, no feeling, no steering... just letting things happen to me, instead of actively engaging in moving forward and upward.  I spent a lot of time deciding to accept the broken variety of Aaron.  I was still ok..... not shattered.  But I couldn't see the way through the pieces around me.

Then there was this person..... Not sure how, but they saw through me... they didn't see the pieces, they just saw my heart, they saw what I could become, not what I was.  They didn't look back, like I liked to do, they only saw......beauty. Part of me responded to that, part of me couldn't really believe it.  No, I can't really let myself totally believe in this new golden picture of myself.  That would mean giving up all these false beliefs about what I thought I was get rid of the map that led me to an alternate destination.  I had become comfortable with my collection of hangups.....That was harder than I thought to do..... It was easier to accept the broken me than to believe I could be whole, or even better than before.

In Japan, there is an art form that puts broken pottery back through application of lacquer mixed with powdered silver, platinum or gold.  It is called Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi "golden repair." More profound, is that it's philosophy treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.  A philosophy that embraces the flaws and the imperfect.  An amazingly different perspective than most of the world would offer.  Highlighting the cracks and wear as simply an event in the life's journey of an object rather than seeing it at the "end" of it's usefulness or existence because of the damage.  Not only do they acknowledge the flaws, but they honor and value them!  As in the image above, 
the repair is actually illuminated by the gold lacquer
....what a stunningly beautiful concept.

I for one, can share with you that it is an unbelievable feeling to be lacquered with gold powder and be illuminated with hands and eyes so loving. To be good as new.....no, to be 'better than ever.'  To loosen and let go of the robe of shame and guilt and to be a new kind of shiny.  I couldn't have ever done it myself.  I needed help...I still need help.....How do I ever in this lifetime, or with words that will never convey the deep and sincere gratitude for those who see what I could not?  For those that went from seeing to piecing me back together, that never gave up, what do I say to them?  What words do I choose?  What gift can I give?

I can be my best self and I can return the favor by seeing all those around me as they can become, not just who they were yesterday and who they are today...

Learning about Kintsukuroi has done one particularly important thing.  It has heightened my awe, reverence and hope of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  The parallels are very strong and interesting.

I know all the cracks, flecks, uneven lines and damage that makes up my particular piece of pottery.  I see my gold lines with a different view these days..... .  I have been and will continue to be beautifully broken.  There is no other way....






Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Days of Wine and Roses

Do you ever get hit by a wave of nostalgia that either knocks you off your feet or leaves you breathless and then afterwards find it hard to stand up straight and get your bearings as you linger in the intensity of the reverberations of a single moment of a time gone by....?  How is it the ripple affect continues on even now, much later...? How can it leave such a mark?  Did those moments really occur? Or do they seem like distant dreams now.....?

I have been completely overwhelmed by nostalgia in the past few days.... This time round I think the experience of soaking in the rays of heady halcyon days of the past has actually left a physical mark...much like the sun, overexposure for sure, maybe even a bit of  'saudade' sunstroke.... When these powerful moments come knocking on my door I welcome them in, they are friends, they feel like home.... so it is hard for me to let them know that the hour has grown late....that the time has arrived for them to leave....so that I may return to the land of the present, and somehow recover from it all. They don't leave easily... You don't really want them to leave......you both want to languish and linger and squeeze every drop out of each remaining moment....

The inevitability of tomorrow's reality check always wins out, but the mind can always soar again.....later.

How can one single photo cause such a tsunami?  The power of one image, one smell, one song, one freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, one glance.... incredible!  What emotions they can trigger, even those ones that you put away deep in the closet and locked up long ago.... Bang!! The doors fly wide open and there you are....all over again.  You watch the movie again, for the 1,000th time, and it never gets old.  It reminds you that you did live, that you did love, that you did matter, that you did contribute somehow, some way to someone else's experience and life.....after all.

Those moments where the bliss is so exquisite, the pain so engulfing..... the meaning so deep. Add them all up....and maybe you hold 5 or 6 seconds worth in your hands, compared to your whole life's clock, but they are the few 'seconds' that were the most revered, most loved, most magical, the one's that almost give your entire life it's earthly meaning.  Fleeting, yet full....yes, very filling...to the brim.
These moments are part of what one poet captured with this beautiful phrase:  "The Days of Wine and Roses"


They are Not Long

Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam.

They are not long, the weeping and the laughter,
Love and desire and hate;
I think they have no portion in us after
We pass the gate.

                                                                                                                                           

They are not long, the days of wine and roses,
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.

Ernest Dowson

There is something that happens inside me when I read this poem, especially the second paragraph. There is a contented melancholy that haunts me.  The words are not depressing to me, nor are they by any means overly positive either.  They just.... are.  They depict well, at least for me, how I think about those particular days... simple, beautiful and brief... as they should be, but big enough to swallow me whole every single time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ove is that I relate to the poem.  I am a dreamer, I take emotional journeys often, but I can relish the fact that my worst days of hate won't be long, neither are the icarus-like soaring moments of bliss either....Even James wrote this in the New Testament: 

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sketching the Soul

Hey Roland, it is me again.  You didn't know I was going to be talking to you a lot did you?  Neither did I.... I hope it is ok.  Somehow, I feel as if you are just "there".... that you can hear me, not my thoughts, but my words as I softly talk out loud.  I visited Dad in the hospital this week. He is doing ok... I thought of you....  I am sure you were close by. I won't forget those 3 days with you.  Much like the images of 9/11 will never leave me, neither will those 3 days.

I wonder if you miss it here?


 "Is it possible to miss a place you've never been? To mourn a time you never lived?"

I think about what you would have done had you stayed.... I know there would have been more art.  I wonder what of?  It would have been good, that is all I know.
  
I found a picture, rather a sketch I drew so many years ago... I decided to go with you to one of your college classes at the U.  It was an art class.  You taught me during that entire class how to draw a face... so complicated... where the eyes needed to be.. so much lower on the page, in fact, I remember they were really right in the middle... because you said we forget how much forehead space there is...that the eyes need to be drawn in the middle.  Then there were other things... lips... how hard to draw, ears and nose as well... How to shade in the right places... so nuanced.   Mine ended up looking like a horrible germanic-looking mannequin... but every stroke of that pencil was guided by your coaching.  I kept that face all these years....not because it was my drawing... but because it was all about you.

I could use some coaching now....can you tell me how to chart my next few moves?  I have been wondering how to sketch the next few years and am not sure how to start this drawing....  I am not so sure of myself.  I can't connect the dots so well.   Do I move?  Do I do something different?  Where do I pour my time?  I want to connect, but not sure where...?  I know you wouldn't give me the answers, just like you wouldn't draw that man's face for me, rather you would ask me a few questions.... to see what would I would find...  I have to decide if I am ready for that...to listen that closely while you whisper them to me.... I know that is the way, but I am not gonna lie, I wish you could just put your arm around me and tell me....

I wish you could tell me what do do more of, what to do less of... so I better know how to do what you are doing now.... I wonder... 

Your sketches must be amazing now!  I can only imagine the creativity and quality you render them with now... freed from earthly and human limitations... I imagine you are able to sketch people in such beautiful new ways... to draw them as they truly are, with pure eyes.  You would draw their best spiritual selves... What would that look like?You must see differently....to watch you now would be a gift.  

Maybe you would let me pull out a new sheet of paper, and then tell me now, as you did so patiently then....where to draw the lines, where to draw hard, and where to barely touch the paper, slowly bringing lines and curves of a pencil to life....this time drawing the spirit in those you see....something finite, yet so fine that mortal eyes can't see.  What it would be to see through your eyes now?....I will close my eyes and imagine... squinting just a bit to see if I can really see you, sitting just there...hoping I can, see you put pencil to paper again, perfectly as you see through those amazing eyes of yours....

Love you Roland, for playing the artist's part so well.   I will keep my drawing.... I will look at it from time to time to see if I learn anything new.  Maybe you will whisper something each time I unfold it in the future.... I can't wait.