On Life and Death and Art

My dad passed away recently.  He was the biggest supporter of my blog here at Jedi by Knight, reading every post I wrote and often mentioning them to me when we spoke.  Even my husband rarely reads my blog!  To know that someone, somewhere was reading what I write was a huge gift, just one of many such gifts my dad gave me.

42410301. sy475 A librarian by profession, my dad is one of the reasons I was an early reader.  Our house was filled with books, and he nearly always had one or two Louis L’amour novels by his comfy chair in the living room.  He occasionally asked my opinion on YA or anime to include in his library’s collection.

The last book I gave him (on the occasion of his retirement) was Louise Penny’s Still Life, which he described as slow and character-driven.  In short, my dad was someone who understood the value of novels to enhance our lives.

My mom and I spent a lot of time in various hospitals while my dad was sick; I was a bit surprised to find something all hospitals have in common: beautiful artwork.

Artwork in a hospital?  Don’t sick people and doctors have better things to do than contemplate the meaning of some shapes on the wall?

Actually, no, I realized once I thought about it.  I see art as an essential part of life, a way to tell a truth through a different medium, shapes rather than words.  Where better to see an expression of the meaning of life than among the sick and dying?

This is artwork from the hospital where my dad died: “Ahuja Azure, Citron and Amber Persian Wall” by the famous glass artist Dale Chihuly.  It may seem like a little thing, but seeing this piece there truly helped me in a difficult time.  It reminded me that even as I was experiencing heartbreak and suffering, there is still beauty in the world.

So, one thing I will take from my dad’s death as well as his life is the positive impact of art and books in people’s lives.  He will be missed here, but my blog will carry on in this spirit–his spirit–for as long as I am writing.