(First Excerpt from “Home to Home”)
When I was 17 I went on a “wanderyaar.” I left home in search of home. I wrote a book about it – beginning on my return at age 18, continuing when I returned home again at age 40 something. And now again, in my 60s. It’s a book across my life. I will select sections to add from time to time when inspired. My inspiration for this first one is a video my sister sent me about her grandchild running and becoming transfixed by a plant.
Shalom – from the Hebrew root for “wholeness”
(1977) As I sat in the park in Tel Aviv, on my oft-frequented “writing bench” under a lovely oak, I watched as a tear-streaked child ran to find her father who was up ahead and out of sight. As she ran along the grass she slipped and plopped down beside a blooming flower bush. I watched a transformation overtake her face as she began to cry at falling – a new hurt – then quickly began smiling as she noticed the flowers in whose presence she now sat. She became so deeply involved in the flowers that she forgot both about her fall and her missing father.
Seeing this stimulated a train of thought. As we grow it is ever harder for to forget what we don’t know in order to involve ourselves in what we do know, fully. We become spread thin in our many parts and we lose our childlike simplicity permitting us a singleness of intent. So now I seek for this wholeness of childhood in my slowly dawning maturity.
As a [once and future] artist I could find a single focus, a particular point of reference, from which to view the world and this would have afford me a clarity and solidity…Instead, however, I seek a wholeness, peace between people, derived from the synthesis of my many and disparate parts. Thus, instead of finding coherence by looking through the small end of a telescope at the grand design of life, I seek it by looking through the large end of the telescope at the small particulars of life. Henry David Thoreau spoke of orienting himself as he entered a woods by focusing on nature’s minutiae. He would look deeply into the pistils of a flower, and then from here he would take in the entirety of the forest.
I chose the path of peace seeking; I am re-chosing the path of art. Here’s my first “realistic” painting in that spirit. Still-life #4.