Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Flowers and Fun

Roses and fun. Roses don't need an explanation and the other doesn't either, does it?
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Monday, February 11, 2008

You know the paintings I would really like to paint....

If you really must know, I guess one would be of my tia Sarita standing sideways with one eye on the leaf and the other to keep conversation, sealing the plantain leaves over an open flame on her gas stove in Naranjito. I would be sitting at the table-level counter with the fake marble formica, drinking some cafe colao which she had stored in an old glass milk bottle that was scratched and etched with use and sealed with a little piece of aluminum foil. She would be chatting away and working as we visited; she preparing everything to make pasteles and I enjoying the moment. Titi Juanita and Mami would be coming in one door ready to help. That was family.

I guess the other painting would be in Panama, walking with my brothers. We could not be older than 12, singing onward Christian soldiers, and common Morpho butterflies, zigzagging over and around us as we walked on the side of the road on the edge of the jungle.

Then I would paint me, about 14 years ago, opening up a mailbox, then an envelope, with a financial statement from Calvin College saying that they had revised the prior final statement to Annie's scholarships to include a 2,000 dollar scholarship. My awe, surprise and relief had to be on my face since, those had been the 2,000 dollars I had interceded God about. Thank you Jesus. Annie was able to go to college.

My babies, my granddaughters, my funny little boy, under a table or lifting a bamboo sofa, the list goes on, but I have to practice painting people. I have a lot of learning to do, if you really must know.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Something Old Something New


Okay, something old, something older... Ponce de Leon Lighthouse at Ponce Inlet in Florida and San Felipe del Morro Castle in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. I love both places and love visiting them for their history, adventure and my own memories neatly interwoven in theirs.

Both places are extremely interesting to visit, both with their legendary history, El Morro designed by the Spanairds and built with Taino labor. This is where very famous Puerto Rican Criollos were imprisoned, many for very noble ideals such as the abolition of slavery. Then it had it adventurous side where this castle was sentinel and stronghold for the colony. The people of San Juan had to defend themselves against greedy attacks by pirates of the Caribbean and imperialistic armies from hoarding nations that would have taken San Juan under their flag. To that then you add my own personal history of sitting under the wind shaped trees ever leaning towards the north with my three young children settled for a picnic and an afternoon of kite flying. I know my memories were repeated daily by many other families. The trees are gone now, but the picnics and fun still continue though now under an unrelenting sun.

There are so many more paintings I need to do of that place, but I had to begin with one.

Then there is the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse, finished in 1887, whose noble purpose is in saving lives off the treacherous Atlantic. It is also a place that I visit as often as I have family that wants to go to Daytona to have lunch at Down the Hatch on the intercoastal waterway or stroll the beach, or watch fireworks in July. Whatever. Daytona is always a good excuse to get away from it all, see the ocean, and there is no better look out than being 175 feet up. Be ready to climb 203 steps to the top and believe me it is worth the climb. You won't be disappointed.
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