What does being an artist mean to you? Is it painting, singing, sculpting, cooking? Or perhaps an artist is a photographer, wood worker, or an author. The definition I always think of is someone who creates something. Basic, yes, but this creativity sets us apart from the apes and the asses. I admire my friends who can see a piece of fabric and use that inspiration to create a one-of-a-kind greeting card (see Michelle's blog) or can look at a piece of chicken and see a gourmet meal (see Andrea's blog).
My parents and I went to see the movie Julie & Julia. As we were exiting the movie theater my father said, "That's the key to longevity, you know. Finding a passion and living it. I'm keeping track. People who live the longest love what they do."
Today, I am recognizing my dad. It's his birthday and hence, here is his birthday post. My father is a salesman, and a gosh darn good one at that. He builds relationships with his clients, not by flashing a salesman's grin, but by living his life with integrity and honesty. I've overheard numerous conversations in which my dad takes responsibility for mistakes and manages to come flying to the rescue, regardless of the mistakes. This is my father by day. The man that the world sees. Does he love his job? Yes. He wouldn't be a Calvinist if he didn't. Is it his passion? Yes and no. His passion is creating. My father is an artist.
Ever since I was a baby, my dad has been building things for me. Every Christmas there was a new and exciting handmade toy under the Christmas tree. These toys ranged from doll houses, doll cradles, rocking horses and trains. As I grew older, the gifts and my father's ability became more and more impressive. He presented me with a magnificent sleigh bed for my sixteenth birthday. I'm always astounded by his ability to take a piece of discarded wood and turn it into a work of art. His latest pet project is a French rolling pin. My mom, my brother and I all have one. It rolls out sugar cookie dough in no time flat. (Yes, I know that is punny!)
Is this a shameless promotion of my father? Yep. My birthday wish for dear, not so old, dad is that he continues growing with his art, that he continues to live his passions. This is the great lesson of his life.