Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I finally have something to say

I lost someone very dear to me.  I had not contacted him in 10 years, but that love was not diminished by any amount of time or space.  When I learned of his death, I cried.  I cried for three days.  I am about to cry again.  Only now, almost a week later, can I find *any* words.  I wanted to write about him.  I wanted to post about my love on Facebook and share my memories with his family.  But I *couldn't.*  I had nothing but choking pain.  Pain and regret for not working harder to stay in contact with him.  I really screwed up and let something precious slip through my fingers.

My sister was able to write an eloquent, touching tribute to him the day after she heard of the death.  Usually I am the writer.  I felt utterly frustrated that I could not find any words.  Frustrated and confused.  Words come so naturally to me.

I drove home from the viewing in silence.  For the entire 90 minutes.  All I did was think and dream.  I thought about the past, I thought about high school.  I thought about how shitty my home life was, and how shitty high school kids and even some teachers were.  I remember spending two solid years deciding whether or not to check out.  I had no light, no hope, no dreams.

My only pleasant memories from high school itself was his classroom.  I started with a regular sculpture period, and quickly began spending my lunch period in there, as well.  Ken Drake *liked* me.  He appreciated my ideas and sense of humor.  He believed in me.  He saw something in me that no one else bothered to encourage.  He made me laugh.  He kept my head up.  He sent me home with clay.  He wanted me to keep creating.

Finally, several tissues later, it dawned on me.  Maybe I was not meant to honor him with words.  I was meant to dust off my creativity and my ambitions, and to believe that I have something worthwhile and unique to offer the world from an artistic perspective.  My sorrow alleviated, and I felt peace in my heart.  This is what I was meant to do.

I arrived home with a smile on my face.  I fired up and ordered 25 pounds of clay, a modeling board, and plastic bags to keep my work moist.  I'll have to find a kiln, but I am not worried.  I *know* it will work out.

Thank you, Ken Drake.  You are still pushing me to believe in myself and put myself out there.  I love you.

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