Friday, May 6, 2011

A Mini-Tribute to my father... PART 8

(continued from Part 7; images are my father's work.)

By my father's childhood home ,  c.2008

I admired my father’s sketches… and in my adult life, he enthusiastically appreciated mine. But there was still the desire to hear my father’s approval whenever I showed him what I had accomplished at the end of a day sketching. 

As my father battled cancer, I visited him from Canada three times. With each visit, my impulse to sketch the city of Nagasaki – my father’s home town—intensified as the desire to know more about my father grew with the reality of his impending death. I sketched as much as I could on my trips, and delighted in showing the results the next day by his hospital bed, discussing the exact location and other experiences, encounters, and details. Often, these led him to reminisce about his own memories in the city. 

His fondest memories were about the home in the now-historic Minamiyamate neighbourhood of Nagasaki where he grew up, and the adjacent narrow stone-paved lane that frames a wonderful vista towards Nagasaki Bay. This was the last place he visited. 

By my fourth and last trip, my father would no longer be around to discuss my walks around town and his own intimate memories... I miss these conversations, and still have momentary impulses to scan and e-mail sketches to him after a good sketching day.

I left photocopies of all my sketches with my father at each visit. After the funeral, I learned that (true to his deskwork-centred managerial career) while he was still lucid, he catalogued all my Nagasaki sketches in hand written lists, complete with the date of execution, size, medium, and location (which he had remembered). I was touched.

(to be continued...)

The same scene in 1972, with my mother.

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