What is art? In our home, it is anything that tells a story of who we are, "we" in the humanist sense. We surround ourselves with it; we bathe in it. Music, literature, theater, visual art, even fashion and television and film, good, bad or indifferent...there are so many ways to look inside the human soul. It is a priceless and yet simple gift to give our children from birth.
I wrote this promise to Arthur late last night, and I thank you for letting me share it with you.
My beautiful boy,
A thousand days have passed since I first felt the constant-every-other-second worry for you; still, each night I sneak on my toes over the protesting wood and creaky door to see you splayed-limbed and dreaming of ice cream or bubbles or dogs or trains and jet planes, to assure myself with the sound of your sweet little kid snore.
Your still light (but not for long), limp bedtime body wrapped around me in exhausted defeat at the end of your nightly mutiny is the closest I'll ever come back to the flutters and kicks that once left me breathless or to the sweetness of you at my breast, to those surreal and glowing moments, but I've always understood (resignedly at times) that you are a man already inside your heart (like Michaelangelo said, it is the task of the sculptor to discover it--only you are the sculptor of your self), and your mind and body will grow into it. This is as it should be, and our hearts and spirits are ageless, my darling.
I tell them all I never read but I go on to your father about Icarus and the Anyone in the Pretty How Town and later in the delicious muted humming of our 1:45 AM home when you and he are on other planes, I slip into some Atwood and William Carlos Williams and savor the sweet delicate rhythms and the iambs and trochees and apostrophe of their brothers and sisters, and listening to these words float through the night, I make promises to the air that I will share them all with you, the way we share the piano and the paint and the spring earth and grass.
Words and love are my cocoon, and when our clothes are second-hand and our food comes in plain yellow boxes and my time is sold for a mortgage, words and love are one, true, perfect thing...they are a gift I can give you.
Words and love are my cocoon; you and Daddo are my light. Together, we are a prism.