Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Dark Rider 2011
This past April, a good friend of ours was mowing his lawn, getting ready for a family get together with his wife, and three of his four grown children. It was a beautiful day, sunny without being too hot. He came inside, complained of some pain in his shoulder to his wife, got a drink of water, then went back out, started to mow again and dropped dead.
I did this painting the afternoon of the day we found out that our friend had died. It's about his death, that Dark Rider that shows up to escort us to the other side, whatever that is. The crows underfoot, supporting the horse and rider. The sky, dark and swirling with small bits of yellow shining through. The rider, calm but stern, the horse with his large, kind, human eye.
I've since wondered what our friend's last thoughts were: were they about a pesky section of grass that kept popping up as he was mowing, or was he thinking about his life, his family, perhaps what they were going to have on the barbecue later that afternoon. His daughter told us that when she saw him laying on the grass and ran to him, he had a smile on his face. He was 53.
Two and 1/2 months later, in July, another good friend died suddenly, this time of an aneurysm. Talking on the phone to a good friend, someone he deeply loved, he experienced a terrible headache, then dropped the phone as he fell to the floor. She was able to call 911, and they took my good friend to the Hospital where he went in and out of consciousness, dying early the next day. I didn't do a piece about this friend's death. My grief was too large.