Art Show!

May 19, 2008


Last night I was one of the artists participating in the Third Annual Communion Celebrates Art show, held in the main gallery at the Bakehouse Arts Complex on NW 32nd Street in the Wynnwood area. It was a charitable event benefiting Miami’s Communion Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creative support and enrichment of South Florida’s gays, lesbians, and all who happen to co-exist on the same planet. (I guess that’s my explanation, not theirs!) It was an amazing time.

For more information on the event, check out http://www.communionfoundation.com/CCA3%20Home%20Page.htm

Alan hanging the show

This show was particularly exciting to me because I showed for the first time and offered for sale giclee (jee-KLAY) reproductions of my work. These are truly amazing state-of-the-art reproductions of the original paintings, printed with archival inks on stretched canvas, ready for framing. (Or not, as I’ve painted the sides of the canvas.) They are all certified museum-quality reproductions done by one of the national leaders in the field, Redfish Publishing in West Palm Beach.

(Redfish is a small shop that makes big waves in the art world. It’s owned and run by a guy named Steve, himself in every sense an artist. Truly one of a kind. From what I observed, his passion for what he is doing and exquisite attention to detail really makes it happen. I would recommend this outfit absolutely and with zero hesitation: www.redfishpublishing.com/giclee.htm )

In a nutshell, the process involves an amazingly over-the-top scanner (capturing the image at a resolution of 108 MILLION megapixels) and then a museum-quality printing process using the very best archival inks on either canvas or suitable paper. Standing even a foot away, it is VERY difficult even for me to distinguish between the giclees and the originals. The availability of this technology comes at a wonderful time (that would be now), and changes things in some important and exciting ways. First, I never again have to hear “Oh, I wish THAT one were for sale,” long after the original has found a happy home. Also, for the first time I am able to play with the size of the paintings, and it’s been a very cool experience to see paintings re-created in completely different sizes.

Three giclees hanging in a row can make a fine show really go

Each image will be done in a limited edition, signed and numbered. They are all “enhanced” by me, meaning that I’ve painted on the canvas a little bit more, and then signed. And, a Certificate of Authenticity will be provided, just as soon as I find out what one of those things looks like!

Here is a very cool example, a painting called Afternoon Forever, Provincetown, acrylic on carboard (wine carton, the only surface available!). Here is the original, about 22″ X 43″:

Now, here is how the giclee looks hanging in our bedroom. (Well, tonight it’s in the show…) We were amazed to first see it, at a great size of 33″ X 66″:


It was a truly awesome experience, seeing these giclees for the first time. My first thought was “Wow!” My second was, “It really looks like it was meant to be painted that big!”

And another really exciting aspect of this whole venture, to me, is that the economics of the situation. These works are a tremendous value, available for substantially less than what an original painting of like size would command. That makes me happy, because I want people to be able to enjoy and live with my work. Especially in these hard economic and generally challenging times, it delights me that that has become a possibility for more people.

I’ve really only just begun to play with the possibilities, here. Another new presentation of my work with great possibilities involve these fine prints, available for sale individually or as a group. And they do look really awesome, framed as a group and hanging together on a wall.

And the other cool thing, of course, is that full size paintings, or fine prints on paper, can be made “on demand” of any of the images.

These are hard times for people, and for our Earth. It is like we stand on a cusp, and there have never been more possibilities, for positive creativity and for massive destruction.

But it must be said: there is technology at our fingertips (quite literally, starting with the keyboard resting in front of you) never before known, ready to blast open all known walls of communication and creative expression.

All we need is a miracle. Fortunately, I’ve no doubt that they happen. And not just for some people, some of the time.

Stay tuned…


Art Show!

May 19, 2008


Last night I was one of the artists participating in the Third Annual Communion Celebrates Art show, held in the main gallery at the Bakehouse Arts Complex on NW 32nd Street in the Wynnwood area. It was a charitable event benefiting Miami’s Communion Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creative support and enrichment of South Florida’s gays, lesbians, and all who happen to co-exist on the same planet. (I guess that’s my explanation, not theirs!) It was an amazing time.

For more information on the event, check out http://www.communionfoundation.com/CCA3%20Home%20Page.htm

Alan hanging the show

This show was particularly exciting to me because I showed for the first time and offered for sale giclee (jee-KLAY) reproductions of my work. These are truly amazing state-of-the-art reproductions of the original paintings, printed with archival inks on stretched canvas, ready for framing. (Or not, as I’ve painted the sides of the canvas.) They are all certified museum-quality reproductions done by one of the national leaders in the field, Redfish Publishing in West Palm Beach.

(Redfish is a small shop that makes big waves in the art world. It’s owned and run by a guy named Steve, himself in every sense an artist. Truly one of a kind. From what I observed, his passion for what he is doing and exquisite attention to detail really makes it happen. I would recommend this outfit absolutely and with zero hesitation: www.redfishpublishing.com/giclee.htm )

In a nutshell, the process involves an amazingly over-the-top scanner (capturing the image at a resolution of 108 MILLION megapixels) and then a museum-quality printing process using the very best archival inks on either canvas or suitable paper. Standing even a foot away, it is VERY difficult even for me to distinguish between the giclees and the originals. The availability of this technology comes at a wonderful time (that would be now), and changes things in some important and exciting ways. First, I never again have to hear “Oh, I wish THAT one were for sale,” long after the original has found a happy home. Also, for the first time I am able to play with the size of the paintings, and it’s been a very cool experience to see paintings re-created in completely different sizes.

Three giclees hanging in a row can make a fine show really go

Each image will be done in a limited edition, signed and numbered. They are all “enhanced” by me, meaning that I’ve painted on the canvas a little bit more, and then signed. And, a Certificate of Authenticity will be provided, just as soon as I find out what one of those things looks like!

Here is a very cool example, a painting called Afternoon Forever, Provincetown, acrylic on carboard (wine carton, the only surface available!). Here is the original, about 22″ X 43″:

Now, here is how the giclee looks hanging in our bedroom. (Well, tonight it’s in the show…) We were amazed to first see it, at a great size of 33″ X 66″:


It was a truly awesome experience, seeing these giclees for the first time. My first thought was “Wow!” My second was, “It really looks like it was meant to be painted that big!”

And another really exciting aspect of this whole venture, to me, is that the economics of the situation. These works are a tremendous value, available for substantially less than what an original painting of like size would command. That makes me happy, because I want people to be able to enjoy and live with my work. Especially in these hard economic and generally challenging times, it delights me that that has become a possibility for more people.

I’ve really only just begun to play with the possibilities, here. Another new presentation of my work with great possibilities involve these fine prints, available for sale individually or as a group. And they do look really awesome, framed as a group and hanging together on a wall.

And the other cool thing, of course, is that full size paintings, or fine prints on paper, can be made “on demand” of any of the images.

These are hard times for people, and for our Earth. It is like we stand on a cusp, and there have never been more possibilities, for positive creativity and for massive destruction.

But it must be said: there is technology at our fingertips (quite literally, starting with the keyboard resting in front of you) never before known, ready to blast open all known walls of communication and creative expression.

All we need is a miracle. Fortunately, I’ve no doubt that they happen. And not just for some people, some of the time.

Stay tuned…


Art Show!

May 19, 2008


Last night I was one of the artists participating in the Third Annual Communion Celebrates Art show, held in the main gallery at the Bakehouse Arts Complex on NW 32nd Street in the Wynnwood area. It was a charitable event benefiting Miami’s Communion Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creative support and enrichment of South Florida’s gays, lesbians, and all who happen to co-exist on the same planet. (I guess that’s my explanation, not theirs!) It was an amazing time.

For more information on the event, check out http://www.communionfoundation.com/CCA3%20Home%20Page.htm

Alan hanging the show

This show was particularly exciting to me because I showed for the first time and offered for sale giclee (jee-KLAY) reproductions of my work. These are truly amazing state-of-the-art reproductions of the original paintings, printed with archival inks on stretched canvas, ready for framing. (Or not, as I’ve painted the sides of the canvas.) They are all certified museum-quality reproductions done by one of the national leaders in the field, Redfish Publishing in West Palm Beach.

(Redfish is a small shop that makes big waves in the art world. It’s owned and run by a guy named Steve, himself in every sense an artist. Truly one of a kind. From what I observed, his passion for what he is doing and exquisite attention to detail really makes it happen. I would recommend this outfit absolutely and with zero hesitation: www.redfishpublishing.com/giclee.htm )

In a nutshell, the process involves an amazingly over-the-top scanner (capturing the image at a resolution of 108 MILLION megapixels) and then a museum-quality printing process using the very best archival inks on either canvas or suitable paper. Standing even a foot away, it is VERY difficult even for me to distinguish between the giclees and the originals. The availability of this technology comes at a wonderful time (that would be now), and changes things in some important and exciting ways. First, I never again have to hear “Oh, I wish THAT one were for sale,” long after the original has found a happy home. Also, for the first time I am able to play with the size of the paintings, and it’s been a very cool experience to see paintings re-created in completely different sizes.

Three giclees hanging in a row can make a fine show really go

Each image will be done in a limited edition, signed and numbered. They are all “enhanced” by me, meaning that I’ve painted on the canvas a little bit more, and then signed. And, a Certificate of Authenticity will be provided, just as soon as I find out what one of those things looks like!

Here is a very cool example, a painting called Afternoon Forever, Provincetown, acrylic on carboard (wine carton, the only surface available!). Here is the original, about 22″ X 43″:

Now, here is how the giclee looks hanging in our bedroom. (Well, tonight it’s in the show…) We were amazed to first see it, at a great size of 33″ X 66″:


It was a truly awesome experience, seeing these giclees for the first time. My first thought was “Wow!” My second was, “It really looks like it was meant to be painted that big!”

And another really exciting aspect of this whole venture, to me, is that the economics of the situation. These works are a tremendous value, available for substantially less than what an original painting of like size would command. That makes me happy, because I want people to be able to enjoy and live with my work. Especially in these hard economic and generally challenging times, it delights me that that has become a possibility for more people.

I’ve really only just begun to play with the possibilities, here. Another new presentation of my work with great possibilities involve these fine prints, available for sale individually or as a group. And they do look really awesome, framed as a group and hanging together on a wall.

And the other cool thing, of course, is that full size paintings, or fine prints on paper, can be made “on demand” of any of the images.

These are hard times for people, and for our Earth. It is like we stand on a cusp, and there have never been more possibilities, for positive creativity and for massive destruction.

But it must be said: there is technology at our fingertips (quite literally, starting with the keyboard resting in front of you) never before known, ready to blast open all known walls of communic
ation and creative expression.

All we need is a miracle. Fortunately, I’ve no doubt that they happen. And not just for some people, some of the time.

Stay tuned…


War and Vacation

May 15, 2008

Last night my friend Eric, a veteran of combat from Vietnam, sent me an e-mail including the following:

On an unrelated subject, click on the link and watch the Keith Olbermann "Comment..." from last night: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24632990/
And get back to me, please, with your thoughts on it. I started out chuckling at the whipping Keith was so intelligently laying on our drunken frat boy president but by the end the horror of it all had tears running down my cheeks.
ER

I watched the clip, and so should you. These days I look hard for reasons to remain proud of my country, despite the global havoc we are wreaking in the name of “freedom,” and find one here: that at least we’ve not yet been completely stripped of the freedom to speak truth to power. God bless Keith Olbermann.

So, here is the emailed response I just sent out to Eric. By way of introduction, the “cottage” is a wonderful place nestled in the lush backyard of our Old Spanish house, that we’ve made available for vacation rentals ( more info at: www.lostreefcottage.blogspot.com/):

_________________________________________________

Dear Eric:

I LOVE this guy. And yes, the truth here is painful. There is definitely (I am speaking seriously here) a delusional, paranoid, and psychotic (literally, “break from reality”) aspect to Bush’s consciousness. Any fool could see that he’s created the very dilemma against which he rants.

But not him alone. The woman who cut my hair yesterday was expressing heartfelt anguish at the number of people who come in to her comfy hair salon and express support for the President and his wars. It is depressing. It’s as if every checks and balance system that matters has broken down.

Last week we had a party book the cottage, and then not show up and arrive the next day. They had three small very sick children in the car and had traveled very far (some from Maine), and were exhausted. They were with the brother to one of them, who lives in Homestead, and hadn’t realized that the Cottage was so far away. He had tried to call me the night before, etc. They asked for a refund, and though I had the technical right to keep their money I told them not to worry, a full refund would be made. I would not add to their burden.

I had a brief conversation with one of the mothers who looked the most tired, a young attractive busty blonde. I paid particular attention to her bust because she wore a low cut blouse, and had three tattoos across. I inquired about the center one, an intricate interweaving of green lines in a circular pattern, reminiscent of the shape of a cross. I asked if it was Celtic in origin, and she said indeed it was. “It stands for motherhood,” she said. “It’s magnificent,” I told her. “Really cool.”

So as she steps in to the car and closes the door shut, her brother offers his hand and says “Hey, I just wanna say…thank you for being so cool about everything.” “Listen,” I said, “not a problem. No big deal.” He glanced her way and then looked down at the ground for a second. “It’s been real rough,” he said. “Her husband was killed in Iraq four months ago.” I was stunned. I wanted to cry. “Those are their babies in there?” I asked. “Two of ’em,” he said, “the 4 and 2 year old.”

“Oh, my GOD,” I might’ve said out loud. When I heard that, I had to go to her. Instinctively, I knew this. Where there is a fire, I have to go. So I went and tapped on her car window, the front passenger’s seat. The power window didn’t work, so she had to open the door. I took her hand and said, “I just wanted to say, I’m sorry it didn’t work out this time, for your stay. I hope that some day you’ll come back.” She smiled. “So who are these beautiful babies,” I asked. There were two girls strapped in to the second seat. They were hams as only little girls can be. They were beautiful, and innocent. The third child, the 2 year old, a boy, was I guess asleep somewhere in the back of the van. They were introduced and I greeted them warmly. The second one was the 4 year old. She smiled at me with some ancient wisdom, I cannot really describe it. You just wanted to grab this child and hug her. “This one’s up to something BIG,” I said. “She is something else!” Everybody smiled, the little girl chuckled with delight and then smiled like the Mona Lisa, strapped in to her car seat.

I touched the woman’s arm and said “I hope the rest of your trip is better. It will have to be. You all travel safe, now.” I guess that this was the best way I could love them. This was the best way I could honor the sacrifice that had been made. I so wanted it to mean something, I mean the fact of this young man’s death, but just couldn’t see it. Yet certainly the shame was not his; he had been only a footsoldier doing his prescribed duty. Imaginary pretenses, real consequences. For this tired mother at the tail end of a road trip that’s supposed to be a “vacation,” doing such a magnificent job of holding it all together for the children, life is different now. When she wakes up in the morning, when she goes to sleep, her lover is dead. I imagine that she’ll never know exactly why or how, and doubt that would help, in any case. It is just the way things are. It is a huge goddamn shame.

I smiled as I waved Goodbye. These people were really just awfully nice. But I couldn’t help but think, “GOD DAMN IT. They’ll never know their Daddy. GODDAMIT.”

I just thought I’d share with you how the Iraq “war” touched my life, last week.

Thank God you are among the living, Eric. And God bless all your fellow soldiers-at-arms that never came home alive. May their sufferings, and that of those who will always love them, be redeemed. May a sense of hope revitalized prove to be the main crop produced in the Great Field given unto our care for tending.

Love,

Paul Hampton


War and Vacation

May 15, 2008

Last night my friend Eric, a veteran of combat from Vietnam, sent me an e-mail including the following:

On an unrelated subject, click on the link and watch the Keith Olbermann "Comment..." from last night: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24632990/
And get back to me, please, with your thoughts on it. I started out chuckling at the whipping Keith was so intelligently laying on our drunken frat boy president but by the end the horror of it all had tears running down my cheeks.
ER

I watched the clip, and so should you. These days I look hard for reasons to remain proud of my country, despite the global havoc we are wreaking in the name of “freedom,” and find one here: that at least we’ve not yet been completely stripped of the freedom to speak truth to power. God bless Keith Olbermann.

So, here is the emailed response I just sent out to Eric. By way of introduction, the “cottage” is a wonderful place nestled in the lush backyard of our Old Spanish house, that we’ve made available for vacation rentals ( more info at: www.lostreefcottage.blogspot.com/):

_________________________________________________

Dear Eric:

I LOVE this guy. And yes, the truth here is painful. There is definitely (I am speaking seriously here) a delusional, paranoid, and psychotic (literally, “break from reality”) aspect to Bush’s consciousness. Any fool could see that he’s created the very dilemma against which he rants.

But not him alone. The woman who cut my hair yesterday was expressing heartfelt anguish at the number of people who come in to her comfy hair salon and express support for the President and his wars. It is depressing. It’s as if every checks and balance system that matters has broken down.

Last week we had a party book the cottage, and then not show up and arrive the next day. They had three small very sick children in the car and had traveled very far (some from Maine), and were exhausted. They were with the brother to one of them, who lives in Homestead, and hadn’t realized that the Cottage was so far away. He had tried to call me the night before, etc. They asked for a refund, and though I had the technical right to keep their money I told them not to worry, a full refund would be made. I would not add to their burden.

I had a brief conversation with one of the mothers who looked the most tired, a young attractive busty blonde. I paid particular attention to her bust because she wore a low cut blouse, and had three tattoos across. I inquired about the center one, an intricate interweaving of green lines in a circular pattern, reminiscent of the shape of a cross. I asked if it was Celtic in origin, and she said indeed it was. “It stands for motherhood,” she said. “It’s magnificent,” I told her. “Really cool.”

So as she steps in to the car and closes the door shut, her brother offers his hand and says “Hey, I just wanna say…thank you for being so cool about everything.” “Listen,” I said, “not a problem. No big deal.” He glanced her way and then looked down at the ground for a second. “It’s been real rough,” he said. “Her husband was killed in Iraq four months ago.” I was stunned. I wanted to cry. “Those are their babies in there?” I asked. “Two of ’em,” he said, “the 4 and 2 year old.”

“Oh, my GOD,” I might’ve said out loud. When I heard that, I had to go to her. Instinctively, I knew this. Where there is a fire, I have to go. So I went and tapped on her car window, the front passenger’s seat. The power window didn’t work, so she had to open the door. I took her hand and said, “I just wanted to say, I’m sorry it didn’t work out this time, for your stay. I hope that some day you’ll come back.” She smiled. “So who are these beautiful babies,” I asked. There were two girls strapped in to the second seat. They were hams as only little girls can be. They were beautiful, and innocent. The third child, the 2 year old, a boy, was I guess asleep somewhere in the back of the van. They were introduced and I greeted them warmly. The second one was the 4 year old. She smiled at me with some ancient wisdom, I cannot really describe it. You just wanted to grab this child and hug her. “This one’s up to something BIG,” I said. “She is something else!” Everybody smiled, the little girl chuckled with delight and then smiled like the Mona Lisa, strapped in to her car seat.

I touched the woman’s arm and said “I hope the rest of your trip is better. It will have to be. You all travel safe, now.” I guess that this was the best way I could love them. This was the best way I could honor the sacrifice that had been made. I so wanted it to mean something, I mean the fact of this young man’s death, but just couldn’t see it. Yet certainly the shame was not his; he had been only a footsoldier doing his prescribed duty. Imaginary pretenses, real consequences. For this tired mother at the tail end of a road trip that’s supposed to be a “vacation,” doing such a magnificent job of holding it all together for the children, life is different now. When she wakes up in the morning, when she goes to sleep, her lover is dead. I imagine that she’ll never know exactly why or how, and doubt that would help, in any case. It is just the way things are. It is a huge goddamn shame.

I smiled as I waved Goodbye. These people were really just awfully nice. But I couldn’t help but think, “GOD DAMN IT. They’ll never know their Daddy. GODDAMIT.”

I just thought I’d share with you how the Iraq “war” touched my life, last week.

Thank God you are among the living, Eric. And God bless all your fellow soldiers-at-arms that never came home alive. May their sufferings, and that of those who will always love them, be redeemed. May a sense of hope revitalized prove to be the main crop produced in the Great Field given unto our care for tending.

Love,

Paul Hampton


We Love Our Mothers…

May 11, 2008
My Mom


Because they choose the hardest and most blessed of paths
They choose us

Because they give up so very much, in so many ways, to set upon that path,
Yet see our births much more as sunrises than any kind of sunsets
And continue to do so,
In bold defiance of all reason


Because many have struggled with the great questions of
“Who am I to be somebody’s Mom,”
or
“Is it mine?”

and yet forever lay those huge battles to rest
upon first holding warm human flesh to their breasts
that is of their blood,
crying out with hunger

And, the diapers need changing


Because they love our fathers
And none need it more

Or at least give it their very best shot
And no more can be asked


Because they are the most gentle
yet by far the strongest people from whom we learn


Because they keep the hounds at bay
During those God-awful days when we first bring back home
our band instruments
From junior high school,
Sometimes bigger than ourselves

And they hear the promise of sweet music
when others can hear only blaring assault
an unimaginable instrumental “raspberry”

They hear the promise of music most noble,
And we imagine them saying,

“Just you wait…,”

not stopping to give a damn
(at least as far as we can see)

how the deaf clanging world
sated with its own cacophony
might presume to pass judgment
on our future potential



Because the lessons they teach us are without number
And from the heart

(I think I shall always remember the tenderness
of being tucked in at bedtime
and saying my prayers:

Thank you for the world so sweet,
And thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,

And Thank you, God,
For everything
)

Because they teach us that Earth is our home,
And one another our people,
Yet remind us in their being of something much Greater
And more celestial

Because long, long before anyone else
even seems to have a clue,
They see that it is our differences
Our quirks
That make us special
And so we cannot lose.

Because it is part of their mission
To show us poetry in motion
Real life in its unfolding


Because love opens all doors,
And only those who have stepped through that portal
Can meaningfully invite us to step on through

Because they hurt when we hurt,
And are there whenever humanly possible to dry our tears

Because they are doing the very best they can
Day to night and night to day
Working quiet miracles

Because quite possibly more than anyone else, ever,
They want to see us succeed
And will be the last ones
(Almost always)
To sell us short
In a world that seems Hell bent on doing just that


Because we see ourselves reflected in their eyes
And sometimes must stop and feel “Wow”!
For there we see, and are reminded, that
we are all of us brought into this world
As somebody’s greatest dream

Because they die a million deaths in fear for our foolishnesses,
While we are infants in our cribs and teenagers and commuters
and sometimes parents ourselves


And pray with all their hearts
That it not be given them to see the sun set upon our lives
While they still cast shadows upon the ground


Because not only would our lives not be without them,

We cannot imagine
really living without them

Because they love us
as the sun gives light
Without reason, condition, or limit

Because they listen to even the silly, stupid things with an open heart,
The things that are maybe most ours,
And never laugh or turn cold

Because it is often not easy for them to pull it all off,
Day after day.

It cannot be

But in their hearts we become their reason
And we are all of us blessed


Because they can drive us crazy sometimes
In ways that we somehow know

We will miss terribly some day

Because they are each and every one,
One of a kind,
And absolutely 100% irreplaceable
In the heart of our hearts

And we wouldn’t
Couldn’t
H
ave it any other way


And yet deep in our hearts
(though we cannot bear the idea)
cannot
must not forget
that will have them with us only yet
for a while


Because they have taught us that Love Never Dies
And no union so close to the quickening very heart of being
So much of God made, so uniquely and especially blessed
Can ever be severed
(What has always been, can never end,
you know)



Because we know that they will be among the first to greet us
Upon crossing Heaven’s threshold of light most golden
At last
And so, OK, Heaven must be all right,
It couldn’t really be Heaven without them

Because the greatest miracle of all
Is knowing in your heart
That you are somebody’s greatest miracle


For all these reasons and so very many more
Though in truth we need no reason at all
We love our mothers.

And so I say, from the heart,
Thank you!,
To all the mothers in my life
So precious to me

And

I love you, Mom

More than words could ever hold


I feel that my heart, from here to eternity,
And throughout whatever seasons may then come
may cry out always first “Mommy!”

With gladness
And with gratitude

Because you have given me,
Given unto all of us,

The greatest and by far most fine
Gift of all
(Really, the only one that matters):

Yourself.


We Love Our Mothers…

May 11, 2008
My Mom


Because they choose the hardest and most blessed of paths
They choose us

Because they give up so very much, in so many ways, to set upon that path,
Yet see our births much more as sunrises than any kind of sunsets
And continue to do so,
In bold defiance of all reason


Because many have struggled with the great questions of
“Who am I to be somebody’s Mom,”
or
“Is it mine?”

and yet forever lay those huge battles to rest
upon first holding warm human flesh to their breasts
that is of their blood,
crying out with hunger

And, the diapers need changing


Because they love our fathers
And none need it more

Or at least give it their very best shot
And no more can be asked


Because they are the most gentle
yet by far the strongest people from whom we learn


Because they keep the hounds at bay
During those God-awful days when we first bring back home
our band instruments
From junior high school,
Sometimes bigger than ourselves

And they hear the promise of sweet music
when others can hear only blaring assault
an unimaginable instrumental “raspberry”

They hear the promise of music most noble,
And we imagine them saying,

“Just you wait…,”

not stopping to give a damn
(at least as far as we can see)

how the deaf clanging world
sated with its own cacophony
might presume to pass judgment
on our future potential



Because the lessons they teach us are without number
And from the heart

(I think I shall always remember the tenderness
of being tucked in at bedtime
and saying my prayers:

Thank you for the world so sweet,
And thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,

And Thank you, God,
For everything
)

Because they teach us that Earth is our home,
And one another our people,
Yet remind us in their being of something much Greater
And more celestial

Because long, long before anyone else
even seems to have a clue,
They see that it is our differences
Our quirks
That make us special
And so we cannot lose.

Because it is part of their mission
To show us poetry in motion
Real life in its unfolding


Because love opens all doors,
And only those who have stepped through that portal
Can meaningfully invite us to step on through

Because they hurt when we hurt,
And are there whenever humanly possible to dry our tears

Because they are doing the very best they can
Day to night and night to day
Working quiet miracles

Because quite possibly more than anyone else, ever,
They want to see us succeed
And will be the last ones
(Almost always)
To sell us short
In a world that seems Hell bent on doing just that


Because we see ourselves reflected in their eyes
And sometimes must stop and feel “Wow”!
For there we see, and are reminded, that
we are all of us brought into this world
As somebody’s greatest dream

Because they die a million deaths in fear for our foolishnesses,
While we are infants in our cribs and teenagers and commuters
and sometimes parents ourselves


And pray with all their hearts
That it not be given them to see the sun set upon our lives
While they still cast shadows upon the ground


Because not only would our lives not be without them,

We cannot imagine
really living without them

Because they love us
as the sun gives light
Without reason, condition, or limit

Because they listen to even the silly, stupid things with an open heart,
The things that are maybe most ours,
And never laugh or turn cold

Because it is often not easy for them to pull it all off,
Day after day.

It cannot be

But in their hearts we become their reason
And we are all of us blessed


Because they can drive us crazy sometimes
In ways that we somehow know

We will miss terribly some day

Because they are each and every one,
One of a kind,
And absolutely 100% irreplaceable
In the heart of our hearts

And we wouldn’t
Couldn’t
H
ave it any other way


And yet deep in our hearts
(though we cannot bear the idea)
cannot
must not forget
that will have them with us only yet
for a while


Because they have taught us that Love Never Dies
And no union so close to the quickening very heart of being
So much of God made, so uniquely and especially blessed
Can ever be severed
(What has always been, can never end,
you know)



Because we know that they will be among the first to greet us
Upon crossing Heaven’s threshold of light most golden
At last
And so, OK, Heaven must be all right,
It couldn’t really be Heaven without them

Because the greatest miracle of all
Is knowing in your heart
That you are somebody’s greatest miracle


For all these reasons and so very many more
Though in truth we need no reason at all
We love our mothers.

And so I say, from the heart,
Thank you!,
To all the mothers in my life
So precious to me

And

I love you, Mom

More than words could ever hold


I feel that my heart, from here to eternity,
And throughout whatever seasons may then come
may cry out always first “Mommy!”

With gladness
And with gratitude

Because you have given me,
Given unto all of us,

The greatest and by far most fine
Gift of all
(Really, the only one that matters):

Yourself.