Saturday, February 8, 2014

Who I am

I’ve been trying to define that for fifty years.  

Did you ever think about that? Who are you? Are you more than your name? Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of a hippie question. So let’s ask it another way. 
What am I?
I’m a lot of things, I guess.
I play the guitar. People say that about me. He plays the guitar. But I’ve never really felt comfortable calling myself a guitar player. I’ve always been disappointed with my guitar playing abilities. I keep playing the guitar though, and I’m always working on a new guitar project, so I guess I’m a guitar player.
What else? Nothing really. I mean, I tell a good joke, I enjoy public speaking.
Oh, and I’m a father. My wife says that’s important. It says a lot about me. I’m not negating the importance of fatherhood, and I’ve loved every second of being a father. I have a wonderful family. But all kinds of men are fathers.
I remember when my father felt this way. My mother pointed out to him that being a father was a good thing. I can’t forget what he said at that time. He said that he felt like a large dog on a short chain, pacing around in his own excrement.
I’ve tried hard not to feel that way in my life.
Now I am a painter.
I’ve always known I was a painter. I knew when I saw great works of art. I knew when I went to see the LeConte Stewart prints at the county courthouse with my mother. I knew that if I ever picked up a brush, I’d be able to paint. I didn’t want to draw or do anything else, I just wanted to oil paint.
Being a painter is starting to have an effect on everything I do. When I buy clothes, I consider options keeping in mind that I’m a painter now. When I plan time off, I’m thinking of things I can do that will further my new painting hobby.
I waited till I was 49 years old for a variety of reasons, but I always felt like I was a painter.
And even more important than that, I knew what I wanted to paint.
I’d like to be able to paint people, but what I really want is to paint landscapes. I want to paint places that I love the way I see them.

So for the rest I my life, I’m going to be a painter. I’m thankful for this new life category.
Here's one of my own:

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