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Life & Walks #049Monday, September 02, 2013
Little Fred Daylilies, 11" x 14", Oil on Wood, Verdigris Copper Leaf edges
For Fred

I recently got back from Chicago. I delivered a painting commission for a memorial service for an incredible man, my friend's father, Fred.

Fred was an environmental and land rights attorney. He co-wrote many books, taught law at prestigious universities, even argued a case before the Supreme Court. But you'd never know it. He was a quiet and humble man. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, husband, and friend. He cooked great Indian food. He was a gardener loving daylilies especially, an avid reader and opera enthusiast. He and his wife Kay collected art they loved, mostly of nature. They supported local artists and ones far away. They lived their life in the most full and present way of any couple I've ever known.

They inspired me in so many ways. During one of my visits, as Fred learned East Indian cooking he taught me how you could develop a passion for something and delve deeply in to it's specialness, so much so it seemed sacred.

You don't often have the opportunity, or least I haven't, to be around people who truly teach you how to live your life in such a complete and noble way. A way that to me is very spiritual, though I'm sure they wouldn't have said that. That was their gift to everyone who knew them. They were examples of passion and curiosity and generosity. And they passed that on to their children and their children's children.

I'm so glad I got to spend time with them and hear their stories. Stories told from all different vantage points, illustrating all the different facets of Fred and his life. As time passes it is these times that thread us all together connecting us and making us whole. For me, this time especially was filled with invaluable lessons, on living in the most humane and loving way, not just for those around you, but for yourself.