In the past few days I have read some amazing posts on various websites and Facebook and many messages that they have been sending up to my head felt like pieces of a big puzzle which I will be trying to put together in this post. Although these pieces seem to be scattered all over the floor of my agitated hypersensitive mind and I have no idea what the final picture is supposed to look like.
Firstly I would like to say, that one post that hit me big time said that anything we do and the way we do it can be considered an art. So without feeling proud, or full of myself, I would like to state that I could look at my own writing here as an art, but you, dear reader, are an art in itself as well and your efforts to decipher the code in which I’m trying to communicate to you matter in the most profound way. The way we read something and how we let it be absorbed through our bodily systems and senses is also another fine example of an art. If you disagree, ok, so be it, but believing in this made a young woman on the bus I was travelling home with last Friday, anxiously playing with a rolled up cigarette in her hand impatiently waiting to light it up as soon as she gets off, a truly gorgeous piece of an art and I don’t feel like letting this experience vanish in vain. I was observing her cigarette game, how she kept rolling the thin cigarette up and down between the pointer and middle finger of her right hand, no nail polish, something I kinda adore, simple black jeans and some sort of Nike Airs on her feet, white ankle high socks. Pretty average person by this description, but as I was going up to stairs to the top deck for a split second our eyes locked in some kind of understanding and we smiled at each other. I’m only writing this for you in case you are for example a photographer, so you could imagine what I saw and why am I calling it an art. I’m pretty sure that in right light and at the right place, exactly as she was, she could have become an icon of modern art if someone captured her just-two-more-stops-and-then-i-can-light-my-cigarette moment and if even when this “everything-is-an-art” might be just another useless theory, I’m well up for exploring its validity. I would much rather look at things around me imagining them as an art, or a part of some artistic expression, than to let my senses be dulled by things’ ordinary appearance passing life around me without recognising the beauty hidden in its every single manifestation I’m capable to perceive.
Till today I remember my anger I felt when I read an article about a Dutch artist, who presented an upside-down turned crucifix in human urine as some sort of art. Well, it’s provocative and unusual for sure, but if I could choose my type of art, the beautiful girl from the bus wins any fucking day over the offensively uninspiring crucifix drown in urine.
Another example of art is of course our beautiful daughter Anneke. When I came home last Friday she was covered in spots from chickenpox and she was very very sensitive and unusually sad. I have never seen such solemn look on her face, however her eyes still shone with that special spark of hers. The spark that all mothers and fathers know and which alone is enough to make them go further for their children and their happiness.
She kept saying the word chickenpox like it was a spell of some sort, and you could hear some pride in her voice like having chickenpox was something to be proud of. It felt like she saw herself being somehow special because of it as she has been quarantined from the nursery. She also checked my legs (When I walked into her room in just a shirt and shorts she exclaimed affectionately “Let’s see if you got chickenpox too daddy, come here, I’ll check it for you.) getting all excited afterwards from finding some red spot on the calf of my left leg. I guess she wanted me to be the part of her chickenpox tribe.
~ I realise that this might not be exactly exciting post and many have probably given up reading already, but I would really like to remember these moments so I’m probably writing much of this for myself and partially, it is a gift for Anneke for the times when she’s older, as I read that writing letters is amongst 50 things fathers should do for their daughters.
Original post here:
It really seems that chickenpox have taken over Christmas in our house. Since we are very unlikely to get snow in the UK for Christmas, I started to pretend that we must have been given this gift of chickenpox to have some whiteness around us as I was treating litre one’s spots yet another time. I actually painted stars on some of the spots on her back and it felt quit nice, it was like a game “See if you can find some beauty in ugliness”. Some spots have turned into the blisters and although I cannot say it’s something I would describe as nice, it was an unbelievably great feeling to realise that even that haven’t changed my love for my daughter and that I was humbled by her spirit and kindness she has shown through her suffering. She even kept apologising for asking me to treat her once again, for being a trouble (it actually made me cry a little). I’m not sure if I have shown her enough empathy (probably not), but after she said “I’m sorry for asking daddy, but it hurts you know. I’m sorry OK?.” I hugged her and apologised for not being patient enough. The sweetest reward came late on when during of the many treatments, I missed one little spot between her toes, she started laughing like crazy and called me blind. It was just beautiful to hear her laugh out loud like everything was completely fine. She probably won’t remember any of this, but I guess it’s my job to create some memories for her. And I’m doing it gladly. I’m proud to be witness of such marvelous beauty and even when I hear enough compliments about her gorgeousness, I think no one actually realises how miraculous she actually is. (I understand I’m very biased here, but I guess it’s every parent’s duty to discover it’s own child beauty and fullness and protect it until it is capable of taking care of itself.)
I’m not entirely sure if this applies to me, as I was merely fulfilling my duty to my own kind, but I couldn’t help but to think of this verse from the Bible:
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
But even if my service to her won’t matter in the end, I still feel privileged that I was allowed to treat the wounds acquired in her first battle. It was an honour my warrior princess Mononneke!
PS: After reading this post, I couldn’t help but feel some sort of betrayal to the readers, as this feels more like a journal entry then a post to be read by many, but I think it deserved publishing even though it will probably only remain a one person’s memory of one Christmas.