The other day I had lunch with my older brother and my sister-in-law. They are a good dozen years older than me so in some ways they have lived in a different era than me. While I love my siblings, the chasm between me and the rest of my family is actually rather large on many levels. But I still feel some sort of kinship to them after all, they are family.
I think I have realized it in a more tangible way. Or at least there was a connection made for me. My family members nearly all carry in them a sort of innate artistic sense. We would all have agreed that my mother and eldest sister were the real family artists. Both of them actually went to college to study art. But I don’t think my father would have married my mom if he wasn’t somehow deeply appreciative of my mom’s abilities. I don’t even know if he was even aware of that fact. The two of them produced an entire family with some amount of natural abilities.
Our lunch conversation naturally revolved around what each of us had been up to lately. These two told me they were working on a necklace for her. A group project! I got an explanation of why it was both of them and later it came out that my brother was working on controlled rusting of a metal surface, an experiment they explained. He was working on a way to write words with rust on metal artwork.
Somewhere in the conversation they were both telling me about explaining what they do in retirement to a new acquaintance, an E.R. doctor. They became aware that the kinds of things they do are not what non-artistic people do. I had just a bit earlier been encouraging them to continue making sculpture out of found objects. They had made a moose (buffalo?) head last fall. It’s up on their front porch for the winter.
It dawned on me shortly after I got home that day that this is the bond I hold with my family. I may be very different in the things I deeply value from every single one of them. Certainly I differ in many tastes and interests than most of them. But we are all somehow connected by art; it’s in our fiber. We all may approach it differently but we all have some sense of it.