This is an ode to the fish who swim this river, up the ribbons of green, swimming toward an indefinite conclusion. This is an ode to the sign of Pisces, of which we are under, awaiting the water-bearer to return, to ladle the water in the rivers and seas, to pour out his might. This is an ode to the glimpses of color and light hidden in the water, of copper rays and red topaz, faceted as stones worked by a craftsman, who in this case happens to be A. Leon Miler, via the works of God.
This is an ode to my dad, who is my favorite artist for many reasons. If not for the swaying of the lines, the colors, the idiosyncratic ideas, then for the grins on the fishes, which remind me that neither he nor I ever take too much of life seriously–even if it seems as if the hook is in our mouths, and we’ve been baited, pulled free, and thrown back. We keep swimming, unfazed, our fins grazing others, grins on our faces–in the same direction.
I pray that God will bring my dad blessings–because of the years he’s worked diligently–sorting his life and slotting art into second place–because he’s always blessing others first. And, as a matter of fact, if God wants to know (and he already does), my dad brought poetry into my life, all of my early love for T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan. Of course, both my parents must take credit for instilling my Christian faith in me. How they managed, I don’t have a clue, but somehow God managed to work through them to reach past my cynicism, know-it-all-ness, and my general hard shell of inhumanity.
And so those fish–yes, the Pisces in the image above–must be my mom and dad, swimming the river. The slender one is my mom, and the one with a deep grin–that’s my dad. As with most art, this watercolor works on multiple levels: Christians are under the sign of Pisces bringing the Good News to the world, and my parents brought the Good News to me, so they are the fish. But others are fish, too (thank God, not the ones caught for fish-fries).
Someday, along this river, Christ will return as the Water Bearer and gather up his multitude of various and multi-colored swimmers. Do I sound silly to you? Well, I’m not. I’m utterly serious. Yet, I still have this grin on my face. Thanks, Dad.