feet on the piling, head in the clouds
Yesterday evening, I threw my two boys in the back of my bike, and headed down to our local beach on the Great South Bay. As usual, I try and do the strangest thing possible to make them laugh- preferably make them laugh while they are drinking their juice box. And so, seeing a piling set in the shallow end of the water, I scrambled on top. Liam howled with delight, and said “Dad, let me take a picture with your phone.” From atop the piling, I demonstrated how to take a picture, then tossed the phone to him. He grabbed the phone, ran twenty feet away, and said “Say Cheese Dad!”
Now, the question is- is this how Liam actually sees his father? Was he just fumbling with the camera? I’m not going to say the image is not merited, but, wow. I knew I was a crazy artist, but goodness, this is just flattering. Somehow, it so perfectly summarizes this stage of life- laughing kids, installing a 10 foot by 15 foot glass ceiling into my new studio, painting inmates in a maximum security jail on Thursday, browsing through Winslow Homer drawings at Addison Museum on Friday, picking halloween candy out of my sons hair on Saturday.
Teddy Roosevelt was known for his famous adage, “Keep your eyes on the stars, and keep your feet on the ground.” Sure Teddy, that’ll help you do something as easy as build the Panama Canal. But for the much weightier task of being an artist with a family, I think it’s far more advisable to keep one’s feet on the piling, and head in the clouds.