Such are These Gifts

After Savannah passed, a book of Carl Larsson's art mysteriously arrived at my office.

Painting of a small girl playing hide and seek under a table in Carl Larsson's studio.
"Hide and Seek" 1902 Carl Larsson
I flipped through the pages silently, slowly. I had never studied Larsson's work. He lured me in with images of his house and family. Unlike the romantic notions we have of the artist as a tortured man, such as Vincent Van Gogh, Larsson inhabits a world of quiet domesticity: grandmothers in Sunday best, holiday celebrations, and children playing. We see his wife and children in the kitchen and yard. We observe them living their lives in peace and happiness.

I was smitten.

The book came from Eric, who lives across the sea with his son, Segev. He is a father and poet. I featured his latest book in a previous post (I am a Broken Man...). His son is similar to Savannah. I was touched by this thoughtful gift in my time of sorrow.

I've included this picture of the artist's daughter playing in his studio. It reminds me of when Ruby was small and she'd toddle into my studio while I painted. She'd dash in and out. She's always been very busy.

Ruby has her own studio, now that I've moved mine into Savannah's room.

She grabs my hand and says, "Dad, come and see."

She leads me to her work table. I examine the current piece, praise her creativity, and offer a suggestion on technique.
Toothless the Dragon. A clay scuplture by Ruby Borden
"Toothless" a sculpture by Ruby Borden

"I'm going to be a successful artist and writer," she beams.

"Of course you will." I say.

"And one day, I'll buy you a big house with all the money I make."

"Sounds wonderful," I say.

"I'll even buy you a dog."

"Can I have a cat instead?"

"Okay," she smiles and hugs me. "A kiss, too" she says and offers her forehead.

Such are these gifts.

Savannah's life was a strange, but wonderful gift.

This book... Ruby... this life-- all of them gifts, of which I wish to be worthy.

#gifts #family #art #CarlLarsson #Toothless #sculpture #children #life #death


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